Are you ready to host a sleepover for your daughter’s BFFs?

“Sleepover? Aaaall night long… absolutely not,” said my bestie. We were having our bi-weekly tea dates and her daughter, (my god-daughter) wanted to host a sleep-over party at her home.

She is just 8 years old and my friend and I were shocked by the sheer thought of it. Also because it hadn’t crossed us that we’d have to meet this bridge so soon in life. We didn’t have a clue!

So we sat down researching and read up many mommy blogs. None of them appeared rooted in the Indian context.

Typical Indian home:

To clarify, we are vegetarian and live in a middle class apartment complex. Our kitchen is typically a mess of soaking moong dal kept overnight to sprout and fresh ginger washed and spread out to let dry to be used in our chai the next day. Children’s bed has storage underneath that contains winter clothes, spare bedsheets and other nick-knacks.  When guests come, kids sleep with us. We have one I-pad that we keep an eye on because it is expensive and the whole family shares it. We have a spare mobile phone that is meant for the kid to carry to his cricket practice (away from school). We ring on that number to know when it is time for me to pick them up. After that the phone is returned back to a drawer.  

Sleepover:

Sleepovers are fun because kids have unsupervised gadget time, can sneak into the kitchen and cook, have a locked door behind which monkey-ing around is allowed.

How does the concept of sleepover fit in our circumstance? Take a look at things that go against the very notion of why sleepovers are fun!

1. Kids cannot sneak into the kitchen to make food.

Why? – Because the mom does all the cooking in most of the Indian homes. Kids don’t know where what is. Except maybe chocolate, which is forbidden after 7 pm!

2. We switch off the wi-fi at night and keep all bedroom doors lightly shut – not locked

Why? – The first one to save electricity. The second because kids are not old enough to be left completely alone.

3. Our kid’s bedroom cannot accommodate more than three kids. Two are ours!

Why? – Rooms are small. There is room for exactly one child.

4. Our daughter is treated like a celebrity. Her safety is always top concern.

Why? – India. But we have no worries if her girl cousins sleep next to her.

5. Gadgets are strictly off limits post 7 pm.

Why?- We want the children to have calming thoughts an hour or two before bedtime.

We  went back to my god daughter as asked her to explain how she proposed to enjoy her sleepover – without TV and gadgets, chocolates and toys, and stifling in that small room?

Kid doth protest

Kids had a totally different take on the problem.

1. No TV/gadget is fine

They said: We just want an extension to their bed time (9pm). They said that they’d play UNO, play board games, and chat about school.

2. No room is fine

They said: They’d make a mattress with winter rajais on the floor and manage just fine.

3. Junk for dinner please

They said: Some creamy pasta for dinner with juice and a wedge of cake would work fine. They didn’t plan to do sneaky things at all.

4. Daughter’s safety

Son said: Please ask sister to sleep with you for the night.

We were happy with all the rules and planned a novel way to allow our god daughter to enjoy the night too. She went for an all-girls night out at the same homes from where the boys had come to ours!

The deal went off splendidly and I am the wiser for it!

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