Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

The Sleep-Over

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DD went on her first sleep-over last night. I don’t remember having sleep-overs as a child. When did they become so popular?

 Till last week my life was normal. Then the other mum muttered the dreaded invitation and I was plummeted into the social minefield that is the 21st century extended play date.

If you don’t get invited on any, it’s because you’ve got horrible kids that no-one wants to keep overnight. If you do get invited but say no, you’re too up-tight, too precious about your darling offspring, and will undoubtedly be the subject of school-gate gossip.

Could I lay down ground rules with the other mum? No chewing gum, no cups of tea, no cola (you’d be surprised), please clean her teeth, bed by 7.30pm latest. It didn’t help that two other little girls were also invited. Their mums were so excited and happy about the whole thing. Was I the only one thinking, ‘She’s only four!’ ?

It didn’t help that we live a 20-minute motorway drive from the other mum’s house. An emergency pick-up late at night would be a pain in the arse.

DD is quite a rational child so, last week, when we were stuck in a particularly snarly traffic jam, I opened the topic with her. I presented all the possible negatives I could think of. As she listened, I got increasingly desperate. ‘You might be lonely; you might be hungry in the night; you might want to cry and mummy won’t be there. No-one will tuck you into bed; the others may want to stay up long after you’re tired and you know how horrible that is?’  

‘I still want to go,’ she said.

‘If you want to go, I won’t stop you,’ I said, bringing out my ace card: ‘But X (the other child’s live-in nanny) will probably be bathing you and putting you to bed and you don’t like her.’

‘Okay,’ said DD after a thoughtful silence. ‘I’ll change my mind.’

‘Oh darling, you made the right decision. I’m so proud of you.’ My relief knew no bounds.

‘Yes, I’ll start liking X,’ (the nanny). I could almost hear her smiling in the back seat.

She went on the sleep-over. She, who goes to bed at 7pm and has only ever spent one night apart from me in four and a half years, slept in a double bed with three other girls and went to sleep at 10.30pm. When I picked her up in the morning she was snappy with tiredness, and slept all afternoon.

‘Given how it went, and how tired you are, would you want do another sleep-over?’ I asked at an opportune moment.

‘Yes! When? Tonight?’  she said.

Sigh.

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Written by mrsdubai

October 24, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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