Tahi turned 8. And I , the ever optimistic mother of an ADHD riddled young man thought it would be a fabulous idea to let him have 2 friends over for a sleep over. I reiterate the word ‘Optimistic’, being that I decided some time ago that playdates were a no-no. Tahi would go bananas and often his friends would ask to go home after 2 hours of being completely overwhelmed by my delightfully excitable and controlling little Labrador Pup. I have even on occasion asked friends over to help by watching my younger boys so I had the space to try to help Tahi and his friend through the ordeal that common folk call a ‘Playdate’. Nevertheless, today is a new day , so why not let the lad have a sleepover to celebrate his eighth year of general carnage .EGAD!!!!!
I began my day by partaking in a somewhat irrelevant frenzy of insisting that my house was clean from top to bottom. Why, is beyond me. How many 8-year-old boys do you know , notice if you’ve dusted or cleaned your pantry? Every time I told Tahi that I was FAR too busy doing things like cleaning the skirting boards to help him put on his zombie make up ( Seriously.what’s the point of being a gut ripping brain lusting zombie if you have dusty skirting boards??!!) he would assure me that his friends didn’t care what the house was like and could I just tell him how many more minutes until his party. Eventually the cake was made., dinner was prepared and the sleeping arrangements were organised. I braced.Tahi invited 2 friends. One is also called Tahi. So they call mine Tahi M and the other is Tahi P. These guys are like peas and carrots. They could both talk the leg off a table and together, are harmless mischief. Tahi P is an articulate wee chap and is very good with my Tahi. He sets boundaries well and shows a lot of patience with him. I am very grateful for his friendship with my beautiful boy. Chopper from the miniball team was also invited. A nice little kid. Little is the operative word. A little fella with a rat’s tail and thick little glasses that cover half of his gorgeous little face. A quieter kid who I suspect, much like my boy, is on the social outskirts. Is tolerated by many and liked by few.
The boys settled in together well. They would try to establish who was the alpha male by seeing who could make the funniest joke about bum cracks or do the loudest fart noise. Whenever my Tahi thought he was loosing his grip on complete domination he would play the “It’s MY birthday party and you’ll do what I say” card. Usually resulting in one of the other lads coming out to tell on him. Mostly I would tell them to use their words and sort it out themselves. However, when he started getting tooo domineering,I would go into the room and say something thought-provoking and inspiring like ” Tahi it sounds like you’re being a bit of an egg.Nobody wants to be the pork chop at a jewish wedding,mate.” This would just bite me on the ass by resulting in 3 boys asking me why the pork chop went to the jewish wedding and what did it wear and why didn’t it want to be the pork chop and why didn’t Jews eat pork and what was a Jew and who was God and why didn’t I believe in him cos their parents did so who was right and who was wrong and what was the meaning of life and why does Kryptonite make Superman weak and can we have birthday cake now???
The inevitable exclusion of the younger brothers also occurred frequently. Rua and Toru camped outside their older brothers bedroom screaming and banging on the door whilst the older boys giggled and taunted them from the other side. Upon each attempt at removing the younger boys from their protest camp I would be beaten by a flurry of angry fists, feet and squeals. Clearly the temptation of sweet sweet rejection by the older boys proved to be too irresistible to turn their desperate little backs on. In time I gave in and provided them with snacks,protest banners, a megaphone and a potty so they could settle in at the 2% protest camp for the night.
Eventually it was time for PJ’s and DVD time. The boys chose ‘Transformers 3’. We settled onto our couches with blankets and lollies and proceeded to watch the film. Now I have never really watched a movie with a whole lot of 8 yr old boys. Apparently I still haven’t. Cos they just TALKED the WHOLE.WAY.THROUGH. My Tahi is the guy that asks what is happening every 3 minutes. Chopper is the kid that talks about how his older brother has seen that movie 17 times and Tahi P is the kid that has seen it 18 times. They all argued over who was who. “I’m Bumble Bee!” “I’m Optimus Prime” “I’m Mega Stomper!!” ” No I am !!” I would contribute by yelling things like ” I’m Buzz Light Year!!” They would look at me like I was stupidest human on earth and patiently inform me that I had the wrong movie and I was not allowed to be him. So, much to Tahi’s embarrassment, I chose to be some guys eyebrow instead. They were happy to settle for that. After what seemed like a lifetime of Giant machines with completely inappropriate voices( seriously…what were they thinking? Why didn’t they go the whole hog and cast Woody Allen, Michael Jackson and Melanie Griffith as the voices of the main Transformers) the movie finally finished. So at 10pm my group of little boys crawled into bed. My first ever sleepover done and dusted. Pffft. Whatever. It was just getting started.
The boys predictably giggled and banged and argued and giggled until stupid’o’clock. After going in several times to tell them to settle down or I was gonna bring out a can of Whoopass which would be followed by a barrage of questions as to what exactly was a can of whoopass and does it hurt and can they see it and where can they get one from and why can’t Batman fly cos he is a superhero who is like a Bat and Bats can fly, I eventually moved my Tahi into the spare room. He went to sleep instantly. The other 2 however did not. Chopper was terrified of the dark and needed to rearrange the sleeping the quarters so he could be closer to Tahi P. Tahi P was happy to oblige and decided then would be a good time to reorganise his things into a neat and orderly fashion next to his bed. Once I got the boys settled into their sleeping bags and lights out , I took myself off to bed. 10 minutes later Tahi P was at my bedside telling me his bottom teeth were a bit sore and slightly wobbly and he was worried because they were his adult teeth and should he ring his Dad to make sure his teeth were OK? I assured him that his teeth were fine and they were probably sore cos they were tired , had eaten too much sugar and had just endured 17 hours of inappropriate voice casting by mainstream Hollywood. Once he was satisfied I might be on to something he stood by my bed relentlessly telling me what I can only assume were band camp stories or some such yolk. I was too tired to even comprehend what this delightful child was babbling at me whilst the rest of the house slept.At one point I was seeing double , hearing Charlie Browns teacher and having LSD flashbacks due to his endless talking. I’m not sure how I found the strength, but I managed to get my wits about me and get him off to bed. He too was soon faaast asleep.
Peace at last.
Now reading back over what I have written , it sounds like the sleepover went smoothly. Well let me assure you it did not. There were tears, tantrums, punch ups, threats, Diva behaviour,exclusions, break downs, squealing, yelling, banging ,crashing,bullying, throwing, kicking, stealing,teasing, and much much more. And let it be known…it wasn’t just ME behaving this way. Tahi M was TWICE as bad!!!
After the boys left this morning Tahi and I sat down quietly and reflected on the events of the past few hours. I asked him if he thought his behaviour had been Ok. He agreed that he had misbehaved terribly and had been mean to his friends. I asked him if he could understand how I might be hesitant to let him have another sleepover in the near future. He said he could understand . To which we sat quietly and ate our pieces of leftover birthday cake together in the morning sun. After some time he piped up and said optimistically ” Mama….maybe ….if we start the medication for my ADHD ….we could try again then?!”
“Yeah buddy, That’s a good idea…maybe we could try again then. Maybe indeed”