Monday, September 26, 2011


When my daughter decided (months ago) that she wanted a sleepover for her eighth birthday I tried to sway her.  Bowling is always fun, or we could go to the movies.  No, all she wanted was a sleepover, with make-up, and nail polish, and the TV moved into her room.  How could I deprive her of a pleasure I enjoyed so much myself as a child?  I swallowed my apprehensions, which mostly had to with mess and dealing with other people's children in Spanish, and moved the TV.

The girls arrived after school on Friday.  My daughter had requested burgers and waffle fries, so that's what I made.  Everything seemed to be going well until I heard (in a stage whisper--in Spanish) I have some bad news, I don't like hamburgers.  I would say that this pretty much sums up my interactions with this particular child for the rest of the party--equal parts hilarious and annoying.  (Although, it was probably more annoying than hilarious when I woke Saturday, to her telling me there was no toilet paper in the bathroom.)  After eating, they played and giggled and ran up and down the stairs.  I was grateful when they were finally all in pajamas and watching a movie.

They went to sleep late and no one was up in the middle of the night crying to go home (have you ever had this happen?  it's the worst!).  They were up a little earlier than I would have liked on Saturday morning.  (They needed a round of Nutella on toast before I had the pancakes made.)  They had a great time and there were no fights, and no one wanted to leave (a sure sign of a successful party).  The mess wasn't too bad, except the  floor in my daughter's room was disgusting--popcorn, Monopoly, pretzels, make-up, and rabbit poop will do that.  I survived, and even mostly spoke in Spanish.

I speak to my girls in English, so I always feel a little unnatural talking to their friends in Spanish.  They know me as foreign, and accented and that doesn't feel like me.  Dealing with people in your second language (if you are like me, and are more proficient than fluent) is like having an awkward costume on, the people you're talking to never get the real you.  A puzzled look from my kids' friends always makes me painfully aware of my deficiencies in Spanish.  But really, they mostly understand me, and my own kids are so good-natured about correcting, or explaining what I am trying to say, that it's really no big deal.  Ultimately, my Spanish has very little to do with the success of a slumber party.

So, it was all good, and I'm sure we'll be doing it again soon enough.  A little mess and being the weird, accented, foreign mom is a small price to pay for my kids' happiness.  I am grateful that my daughters have developed close friendships here.  Rabbit poop under the bed, and blue nail polish on the night stand--I wouldn't have it any other way.
Even the bunnies survived six squealing girls

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