I am feeling a bit spent and fighting hard to publish a post that doesn't make me grit my teeth in disgust. If you follow me on Twitter you know that I survived 1,276 hour slumber party. A gaggle of nine year-olds roamed the hallowed halls of Casa De Jack and did their best to wreck the place.
Ok, that is not fair, they didn't try to wreck anything, well maybe each other. More than once WWF matches broke out in the bedroom. The grandmothers were none too excited about this and tried to break them up. You would think that since they raised boys they would have understood that wrestling is one of the ways that little boys show affection for each other.
Since they seemed to have forgotten this I made a point of instructing them that "in my house they must follow my rules." Have to admit that I took great pleasure in telling them this, payback is sweet.
I know all about boys, I am one, albeit far bigger than these guys.
Anyhoo, I figured that it wouldn't hurt to let them burn off some steam and besides I monitored it pretty closely. Those little lion cubs didn't do much more than growl and nip at each other a few times. Far more time was spent discussing the finer points of game play on various game systems.
Video games were a big topic. My son had requested that each of his friends bring one of their portable game systems with them.
Initially I was reluctant to agree to the handhelds but it occurred to me that they might be useful in helping to keep the kids occupied, especially if people had trouble going to sleep.
So I told my son that it was cool for the other boys to bring them along provided that we had some other activities for everyone to do.
We ended up with a handful of Sony PSPs and a bunch of Nintendo DS handsets generating all sorts of beeps, whistles and music. While they were playing it was remarkably quiet. Aside from beeps, whistles and the accompanying music there was silence.
Of course when they weren't playing the games the noise level here made the Superdome in New Orleans look like a monastery. These boys made jet engines sound quiet.
After they had played their games, eaten dinner, built Legos and engaged in all sorts of other nonsense they pulled a move that made my jaw drop. They all changed into their pajamas and laid out their sleeping bags. It was around ten.
For a moment I thought that they were really going to sleep. I suspect that I might have even teared up a bit at the joyous thought of their going to bed at a decent hour. But something happened.
Those boys suckered me. They took a ten minute break from the madness and then let loose with a cavalcade of new games and nonsense.We had planned for this and turned on Empire Strikes Back. I figured that a movie would help calm them down.
I was only partially right. It quieted them down until it ended at which point the jet engine roar resumed. I let it go for a moment or two and then made it clear that it was bed time. Well that lasted for as long as I could stand in the room.
As soon as I left the tittering and giggles would resume. I didn't want to be the mean father and split them up. Slumber parties are known for this kind of nonsense. I did what I could to help those who wanted to get to sleep do so. Some did, but several did not.
Eventually I found myself sitting on the couch. Somewhere around 1 most of them drifted off and I made my way to bed. They of course woke up at some ungodly hour and left me groaning and coffeeless.
After they ate me out of house and home the parents picked the little buggers up and I sat on the couch in a daze. Now hours later I know that I must look like some overtired slackjawed fool. Really I had intended to go to sleep hours ago.
I figured that I'd watch Big Love and hit the sack, but I found myself unable to sleep, but exhausted. Would it be wrong of me to call the parents of all of the guests and thank them for sending their boys over. It is only a quarter to one, really, they might be excited to hear from me.
Well, overall it was a success but I think next year I might push for something more tame. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
(P.S. I forgot to include the Minnie the Moocher story, will have to do so at a later date.)