Late-overs and other things we've learned as parents

March 15, 2013

kids eating pizza

You know that Kung Fu moment as a parent when the master becomes the student? If you don't, it will come, grasshopper. We had one this weekend when a friend's son schooled us on The Late-over. The Late-over is cousin to The Sleepover, with kids heading home to the comfort of their own beds. Think an evening of video games, maybe a little drama, nail polish or action figures, pizza, movie and snacks-all before 10, 11 or midnight. And without the potential bed-wetting and breakfast. It's really kind of brilliant. It was unanimous-this was a keeper.

girls watching tv


Why did it resonate? Well, we parents like our sleep. We operate better on a full night of it, call us crazy. And as glorious as The Sleepover can be, it has nothing to do with the act of sleep, because you don't sleep. They don't sleep, little sister doesn't sleep, the dog doesn't sleep. Not for more than a few hours at a time and Rome was not built in a day (or over hundreds of years) by men running on three hours of sleep. It should be called a LayOver or Your-Plans-For-Sleep-Are-Officially-Over. And the next day? Forget about it. You'll have a big ball of crabby on your hands. We know this.

couple watching tv

But we love our kids. And our kids' friends. So we acquiesce. Because that's what you do sometimes…when you can't fight the force any longer. Only now we can have our movie popcorn and midnight snacks and eat 'em too. Because we can have our kids' favorite pint-sized interloper for a Late-over and everyone's happy.

We resolved to put our new discovery to the test. We were challenged to make it a Late-over to remember. You know, with forts and a good movie, maybe a little gaming, bouncing on the bed, a big bowl of popcorn. People reported a few errant Nerf darts, failed first attempts at a fort (always have extra blankets on hand), arguing over the orange Phineas cup, but overall it was a full-fledged success. And at the end of it all, guests go home. You tuck your kids into bed, you turn out the lights and grab their popcorn bowl to watch a movie.

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