It’s Michelle’s 12th birthday, and she wanted to blow it out. I’m guessing there aren’t that many 15 girl sleepovers left in me – but, as long as they’re willing to come to my house, I’ll have ‘em!
The girls and I got home around 5:10 on Friday. The crew started showing up at 5:30.
Michelle was having 9 friends over. Of course, that meant that Stephanie needed a couple as well which is fine with me. The older ones sort of disappear for the most part and occasionally step in to help entertain the youngers. I just check on them to make sure they haven’t smuggled in boys or started a fire.
At 5:50 Michelle ran out on the front porch. I was under the carport with Stephanie trying diligently to hook my laptop up to a borrowed projector so that we could watch Netflix on the side of the house. You know, bigger is better.
“Dad, can we open presents now?”
“Noooo. You still have two friends who haven’t arrived! We’re gonna do that later tonight.”
“But we’re bored.”
“Bored? Bored? Good lord child, they’ve only been here 20 minutes!” This was clearly going to be the longest night of my life.
“What should we do?”
She looked at me as if she had never heard the word.
“Do you know what we did for my 12th birthday?” She braced herself for the “Walk Two Miles to School in the Snow” story, birthday style.
“Your grandparents blindfolded us, spun us in a circle and had us stick a tack into the sketch of a donkey which was hung on our paneled basement wall. And you know what?”
“We were thankful we had a basement with paneling that was soft enough a tack could penetrate it!”
“You’re the weirdest person I know.” She ran inside with her iPhone in hand.
I’m a cheap sort of birthday dad. I did spring for pizza – but not the restaurant kind. I bought small circular crusts and let the kids make their own. They at least acted like it was fun.
We then headed out to the carport. That’s when DJ drove up.
My oldest daughter looked at me. “Dad. You look tired. Let’s project some music videos on the wall. We’ll have a dance party. Take a break. I got the next 15 minutes.”
A quarter of an hour. She is so thoughtful.
The movie was a hit until it started pouring down rain about ¾ of the way through. We grabbed all of our stuff and headed toward the basement door. As the girls ran in, a snake the size of an earthworm squirmed passed the door.
From the noise that came out of the mouths of these children, I thought one had run into a chainsaw in motion.
The snake is probably in Montana by now. Their screams no doubt scared the hell out of him. He was slithering as fast as a serpent can slither. I feel certain he will NEVER return.
At 10:30 we ate cake – well, sort of. I rolled out cookie dough and etched a little pic of the kid ($3.69). I figured after pizza and popcorn some fancy store-bought sugarfest would not be necessary.
Look, if you’re gonna dress your children in Jack Rogers’ sandals, you gotta save somewhere.
Around midnight DJ came home from her adventures with friends, and she helped me settle the crew down. I went to my room and began to doze off when I heard the back door open and a booming voice echo through the den.
“Happy Birthday Michelle!!”
The laughter and screeches began again. Uncle Jesse had arrived. He pulled out the family guitar and began strumming as he held court with the nine preteens.
His work was complete at around 1 AM. He did the job of an uncle. Rile them up and get out-of-the-way.
No stiches, no tears, no vomiting or fist fights. Asleep before 2. I’d say that it was a pretty good night.