Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Sleepover Birthday Party

This past weekend Benjamin had his first ever sleepover. It was a belated birthday party celebrating his 10th year. We pitched a three room tent downstairs in our finished basement and told all of the boys to bring their sleeping bags and pillows. What fun!

I've never been much of a babysitter, even when I was 12. And being a single mother for four years probably threw me over the edge. However, one thing I have always loved is hangin' with kids in Junior High and High School. I was a youth leader at my church for about 3+ years and loved it. At 10, Benjamin and his buddies are getting close. They are still a little wild and goofy, but I was able to pull out some old youth leader 'games' to keep things interesting. 

Food and entertainment was a 10 year old's dream come true with take-out pizza, fruit punch, fruit salad, make-your-own-sundae, candy & popcorn. 

For dinner, I made up little chit-chat cards kind of like the "Ungame" in case conversation needed some help. It was a bit one sided so I got out my pile of homemade cards and had each boy take a turn picking a card and answering a question. Such as: 
  • Can you touch your tongue to your nose? Answer: No
  • Would you rather go sky diving or bungee jumping (or neither)? Answer: Sky Diving
  • If you could buy your mom anything, what would you get her? Answer: Infinity Cats
  • What is your least favorite chore around the house? Answer: Taking out the trash
  • Do you play an instrument? If so, which one? Answer: Yes. Saxophone.
  • If you could travel to any country in the world, where would you go? Answer: Madagascar
Yes, the boys are in our dining room, which may seem silly but it's the only table we have (minus the island seating in the kitchen). I kind of like it because we actually use our dining room. As you can see, to conserve my energy level for the event, I caved and used paper plates and each boy got one plastic cup with his name on it. 
We also did the classic ice breaker where each person has piece of paper with a famous person's name written on it, taped to their back. They have to go around the room asking their friends yes or no questions to find out who they are. The incentive was: When you figure out who your person is, you get to pick out which box of candy you want for the movie. I had about 10 different 'movie sized' boxes to choose from. They did fabulously, and for Victor and I, it was hilarious to watch. The names we had were:
  • Princess Liea 
  • George Washington
  • Thomas Edison
  • R2D2
  • Miley Cirus
  • Benjamin Franklin
After dessert, we started a typical youth leader type game where I broke the boys up into two teams of three, gave each team a ream of paper and two rolls of masking tape, and told them that they had 25 minutes to build a structure. The tallest and sturdiest structure wins. They loved it, and it was hilarious to watch. 

The Wild-Crazy and Excitable Team
The Quiet, Methodical, Organized Team
The Quiet Team did change their method part way through, but they worked together and stayed focused the entire time.
The Wild Team had a lot of laughs and changed course throughout the project.
It was a taping, papering extravaganza.
No comments from the peanut-gallery, please.
Needless to say, the quiet methodical team won.
The unwrapping.
One of Benjamin's buddies brought over his Wee Game.
Another buddy brought over his extra controllers, so four kids could play at one time.
It was the most, errrr . . . excitable part of the evening. 
They had the chance to vote (secret ballot) on their choice for a movie to make it fair. It was between Star Wars I, The City of Ember and Back to the Future I. It was close, but Star Wars I won. Which of course, they'd all seen before. 
I was exhausted. We got everyone pajama'ed and bagged in the tent by 10:45 pm,  quietly talking and behaving themselves nicely. I finally had to go to bed because I was falling asleep on the couch upstairs waiting for the boys to settle down. Victor said he'd take the night shift and finally was able to go to bed himself at 1 a.m. 

In the morning I made pancakes, bacon and fruit salad for the boys. I think I'm out of shape as a youth leader. Or gee, maybe I'm just getting . . . old. I was exhausted and crabby. I felt like I'd pulled an all-nighter in college followed by a night of partying. It took me two days to recover. The good news is, all of the boys had a great time, no fights broke out, no one wanted to go home in the middle of the night, and we returned all boys to their parents the next day in one piece! 

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