Weekends, birthday celebrations, vacation days, moments of weakness or distraction. There are so many reasons your kids can talk you into letting their friends sleep over! But once they do, they are usually so appreciative of it, you barely see them the entire time they’re together.
Unless, of course, your friend is the one sleeping over with her kids, and you actually want to socialize with her while she’s under your roof.
If you have yet to host overnight guests, please allow me to help you out with a simple explanation of how to prepare for both scenarios. Your eyes do not deceive you: there is a slight different between the two.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR WHEN YOUR KID’S FRIEND IS SLEEPING OVER:
1. Buy popcorn.
2. Make popcorn.
3. Rent a movie.
4. Get ready to forget they are even there.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR WHEN YOUR FRIEND AND HER KIDS ARE SLEEPING OVER:
1. Get a list of her kids’ favorite quiet activities.
2. Buy extra crayons, coloring books, stickers, crafts, and modeling clay.
3. Check to make sure there are no pieces missing from any of the board games.
4. Choose a selection of kid-friendly magazines and books.
5. Charge all the tablets and hand-held devices in the house.
6. Buy extra batteries for the gaming system remotes and TV remotes.
7. Gather every pillow, blanket, sleeping bag, sheet set, and airbed in the house.
8. Lay out extra towels in all the bathrooms.
9. Discuss the possible sleeping arrangements with all the kids to consider in advance so they decide which they want to do upon arrival.
10. Stockpile snacks, juice boxes, and mini water bottles.
11. Refill all toilet paper dispensers.
12. Collect every flashlight in the house.
13. Record entire series of a variety of kids’ TV shows and subscribe to Netflix.
14. Buy the fancy cheese and the good wine.
15. Make the spot they all decide to sleep in the most entertaining, exciting, food-filled mecca of awesome that any child has ever seen, full of crafts, games, reading materials, movies, cozy beds, and more (yes, including popcorn).
16. Tell your kids and hers that you will reward them greatly if they just stay upstairs all together for the entire night without interrupting you and your friend.
17. Prepare to be interrupted 700 times that night, anyway.
Graphic: Kim Bongiorno