Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sugar, caffeine, Hannah Montana and giggling girls,

Can anyone recommend a good over the counter sleep aid?

This week marks the ninth anniversary of our daughter’s birthday. To celebrate, she invited three friends for a backyard-camping sleepover.

One of the dichotomies of rural life is the balance between space and a lack of activities. I love the space. I do not own a large parcel of land, but if I stand in the middle of my pastures, I cannot throw a rock off my property. I love that. Our children on the other hand would probably enjoy living in a housing track in the middle of town. My wife, who grew up in town, says that she would spend all day playing with the kids in her neighborhood. I am unaware of this behavior because I grew up on a cattle ranch, seven miles from my nearest friend. Spending the night at a friend's house was a big deal for me growing up, so it is with our children.

We do not have many sleepover nights, so when we do, my wife hearkens back to her urban youth, with a little rural flavor thrown in. The weather has been warm, so she tried to locate last year's slip-n-slide to no avail. Roxie, the wonder dog, had torn it up and I had thrown it away. Being a resourceful person, she dug around the shop and found a 15-foot brown tarp, added a sprinkler and presto, a redneck slip-n-slide. Birthday banners, party favors, ice cream cake and S'mores rounded out the evening activities. Or so we had thought.

The tent in the backyard was filled with air mattresses, sleeping bags and a boom box blaring Hannah Montana. The girls finally went to sleep around midnight, much to my relief. I have a Hannah Montana limit, and I had reached it after the second song. Another drawback to the rural life is when you need a little extra sleep, farmers have no sympathy. Sometime around 5:30, a truck pulled in across the street and started loading hay. Loading hay on semi-truck is a noisy endeavor. It woke me up, it woke my wife up, but more importantly, it woke the 9-year-old girls into a tornado of activity.

I was never a proponent of the "hair of dog" style of hangover cures, but I figured it was worth a shot with the girls. Chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and they were back at full force. I realize it is warm in the afternoon, but at 7:00 in the morning, the slip-n-slide must have been cold. With a fresh sugar reload, they did not seem to mind a bit.

They are wrapping up the party as I sit down to write this. They have been on the trampoline all morning, playing with birthday presents and generally having a good time. There is still an occasional high-pitched squeal now and again from the front yard, but I think the sleepover was a hit.

Maybe next year we can something a little less stressful, like driving to Disneyland in the Corolla, listening to Hannah Montana the whole way.


JazGram said...

LOL... You took me back 50+ years! The 'tent' was a bedroom and the morning truck awakening was the milkman delivering glass bottles.

Nine year old girls have a ton of fun!

Joe D said...

You should have TWO GIRLS...and just wait until your 9-year-old is 12, or 14....look out cowboy, you're really in for a ride. I thought keeping my kids busy...all the time..would curb some of it..NOPE!