Sunday, October 3, 2010

Andre's big sleepover!

Andre first asked me if he could have a sleepover birthday party earlier this year. I thought it was a reasonably good idea mainly because he would only be able to invite a few kids (since his room is small). After his birthday party two years ago, I wasn't keen on organising another for a large group of boys.

So the party was planned and Andre invited 5 of his friends for the sleepover from Thursday to Friday (which was Children's Day, a school holiday). I didn't bother to organise party games this time since I learnt from the last experience that boys being boys, prefer free play and sports.

I fetched the boys from school to save their parents a trip since it was a working day. During lunch, I asked them what they wanted to do first and to my utter astonishment, two of them actually replied, "homework". That's what I call well-trained in the Singapore system!! It never happened though, they were vehemently shouted down by the other three boys (the birthday boy included).

The boys spent most of their time playing table tennis and badminton, which they enjoyed tremendously. Be warned though, chaperoning a bunch of 10-year-old boys in a confined space is not for the faint-hearted. I've never witnessed people play across the length and the breadth of the table tennis table AT THE SAME TIME while others are kicking and dribbling ping pong balls on the floor like they're playing soccer. Not to mention high-pitched shrieks echoing off the walls. It's like being in a room with 20 howler monkeys on drugs.

Who says you need a net for badminton?

Badminton finally gave way to the most basic activity created by hyper boys - catching. Here's an interesting observation - some of these boys didn't know each other since they each became friends with Andre from a different circumstance. The 6 boys are actually from 4 different classes at school. But placed in an activity-based setting, they quickly got along like a house on fire.

Dinner was pizza, shepherd's pie and garlic bread. It's funny, with girls, if a parent was present at the dining table, they would instantly clam up or be on their guard. With boys, everything is unfiltered. There's this particular boy who left me in stitches with his quips and deadpan expression. He's obviously a food lover - the minute he stepped into the house, he opened his bag and whipped out a family sized bag of snacks, declaring, "this is my Children's Day present."

At dinner, he revealed that his grandmother watches a local Channel 8 serial with a Hokkien theme song and proceeded to belt it out at top volume. When the conversation moved to TAF club, he stated as a matter of fact, "My grandmother always feeds me too much chicken. That's why I'm fat."

"Chicken doesn't make you fat," I offered consolingly.

"It's fried."

"Well," I was trying to stifle a smile. "It's not too late..."

Not even batting an eyelid. "Yes, it's too late."

Later, I discovered he had not brought his sleepwear and asked him about it. "My mother will bring it later. She has to come because we forgot to buy a present for Andre." I'm sure his mum would be mortified to learn that he volunteered that piece of information but really, that boy made my day - he's pure entertainment.

Finally settling down to eat some birthday cake and watch a movie. One boy asked if I had Fast and Furious, another requested for "something with zombies". I didn't want to risk complaints from angry parents so I screened a cartoon instead - Monsters vs Aliens.

The calm didn't last long. All too soon, the sugar rush kicked in. You know, even though there were only 5 boys at any one time at the party (one arrived only at dinner time, one didn't sleep over and another had to leave for a birthday dinner with his mum before returning to the party), let me tell you, it felt like 50.

I'm not sure if it's just the boys Andre hangs out with but these were as jittery as Mexican jumping beans and the only time they could sit down without hitting or kicking something was during meals or when they were playing computer games. I did find out that all of them, except one who happens to be the most mature of the bunch, are last borns. Hmmm....

If you're wondering what that the boy in the left picture is holding, it's a fabulous plush hammer that I gave each of the kids as a party gift. There are two types - one goes "DOIIIII-NNNNG!" like in cartoons when you hit it and the other makes the sound of glass shattering. Very fun and it was a great 'hit' (pardon the corniness) with the boys.

Finally at 11pm, we sent the boys to brush their teeth and change into their sleepwear. There's the pre-bedtime routine...

and the mandatory telling of ghost stories...

...before they acquiesced to having the lights turned off.

If you think it was an uneventful night, then you haven't heard a word I've said about boys. Talking ensued despite my reminders to go to sleep, as well as a pillow fight. At 1am before I turned in, I caught two boys sneaking out of the room. They claimed that they needed water so I topped them up and shooed them back to bed.

The next morning, I learnt that the same two culprits had woken the rest of the boys up at 3am thinking it was 5am and told them to get ready for breakfast. They then stumbled out bleary-eyed into the dark living room and toyed with the idea of playing Risk. SERIOUSLY. When Andre realised that it was only 3am, they apparently looked at each other and said, "what do we do now?" The most sensible boy of the lot declared, "Go back to sleep lah!" From what I know, Andre had muttered, "morons". Heh.

At 6.30am, Kenneth peaked into the room. The boys were out like a light, having completely swapped sleeping positions. Two were on Andre's bed.

Their little night adventure didn't seem to have any lasting effect. By 8am, they started to climb out of bed and still in their pyjamas, decided to start their postponed game of Risk. Conquering the world before breakfast. Why not?

Breakfast was ham and sunny side up eggs with toast, pancakes with syrup and milo.

Later that morning, when the food had settled, the boys went down for another round of badminton and table tennis before their parents came to pick them up.

All in all, Andre had a blast even though he was zombied out during his badminton training later that day. His prayers that night had a little addendum, "Thank you God for a wonderful sleepover and I-hope-I-can-have-another-one-soon."

Well, if God can help organise it, I won't object.


Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday Andre!

Good idea and great fun! Glad you have had such a wonderful time with your friends. Parents really need to be creative too with so many years of birthday celebration...

I love the hammers...Maybe I shud get one to hammer my gal and we can both roll on the floor and laugh! LOL...

Where did you buy it, Mon?


Anonymous said...

Oh boy, Mon, your post left me in stitches. I hosted a sleepover before. Just 2 boys. They are very decent but I'll never volunteer to do a sleepover again; They could sleep through the night but not me!


monlim said...

QX: The quintessential toy haven - Toys R Us!

SC: It took me 2 days to recover from that ordeal lol!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mon,

Such a humorous post!! I would have certainly enjoyed such sleepover myself. I must say though, that you are a brave mom to organise it :-)


Lilian said...

Your final sentence is too funny! Wow, Andre's friends are really active like him huh? When Brian had his friends over for his 11th, they didn't run around at all! Interestingly, all the other 4 boys were oldest kids with a younger brother, except for one who's the oldest boy, not oldest kid, but also had a younger brother. Someone should conduct a study on this.

And where was LA in the midst of all the havoc?

monlim said...

YL: I would have loved having a sleepover when I was 10 too!

Lilian: It's really birds of a feather, I think! L-A was either holed up in her room or at my computer (triggering the boys to comment, "So lucky! How come Andre's sister gets to play computer games all day??")

Thankfully she's a heavy sleeper so she wasn't woken up by all the shenanigans in the middle of the night :D

Benjamin Chua said...

Hi Monica Jie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ANDRE !! Didnt know when his birthday, saw your post then know is his birthday.

After giving him the LEGO Starwars, maybe for a change give him an IT Gadget, something which he can use for home and sch. ha ha

I go and think about it, of course give 1 must give the sister also, or else later not fair. LOL

Cheers for Andre

monlim said...

Ben: You really know how to make a kid happy! Thanks for the birthday wishes :)

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday to Andre!!

Mon, will you have a ladies/mummies nite sleepover? I would love to join!!! ^_^


monlim said...

Haha Chris, now THAT'S an idea! I think a mummies sleepover should be in a 5-star hotel though :D

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