My first grade daughter has this friend, H, that she just absolutely adores. They sit together at lunch, play together at recess, and get along like two silly, happy peas in a pod. Last month while my family traveled to Walt Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, H had her birthday party, and my daughter was devastated to have to miss it. With a very serious look on her face, she contemplated what would be more fun: behind the scenes experience at Disney – the Happiest Place on Earth – or a couple hours at her best friend’s seventh birthday party. Clearly, these two girls are great friends.
It was time for mom to come up with a Plan B to keep her girl happy. H’s mom and I vowed that the girls would get together post-Mickey to have a little birthday celebration of their own. The plan? Allow Emma to sleep over at her friend’s house for the first time. I wasn’t sure that first grade was old enough, but Emma was confident, excited, and packed the second I gave it the thumbs up. Friday was the day, and she headed to school excited to be going home on the bus that night with her friend, but nervous at the same time. She went over several times what she would do if she changed her mind. She reminded me that she knew she could call any time of night if she needed to come home. She seemed not quite herself walking out the door…
Then I got a call from her teacher that she had been complaining of a stomach ache throughout the day and was crying from the pain, but refusing to go home. She knew that if I had to come get her, the sleepover would be cancelled. I went anyway, picking up my poor girl with tears rolling down her face. She spent the rest of the day in her jammies, heartbroken, curled up on the couch lamenting the fun she would have had. Was this all just a case of nerves? I was certain that it was until the fever started later that night and the vomiting followed. We ended up spending a mellow weekend caring for a sick girl and hoping that the virus wouldn’t spread, but the second she felt better what did she ask?
When can we reschedule the sleepover?
Spring break is right around the corner so I’m certain that we’ll give it another try during that week. But what do you think, parents? What age is the right age to allow your child to sleep over at a friend’s house? When did you first spend the night or attend a slumber party? I’m choosing yet another date for my daughter and crossing my fingers that this time no stomach bugs or theme parks get in the way.