Sleepovers were always tough for me, growing up. For the first part of my life, I grew up with a single mother. And in my eight year old brain, I thought that something was going to happen to her, if I wasn't there. I know, crazy, right? What was my 50 lb scrawny self going to do to protect her? I couldn't even fully brush out the lock of matted hair that had developed, at the back of my head. I still wasn't totally convinced that there wasn't a talking giraffe, named Gerry, that lived in my closet. I guess Anxiety was still around back then. She wasn't around as often, and she was younger and more naive, but still sassy AF. And her hair was just that one knotted clump. Matted hair and misfortune.
But, if some crazed maniac was going to break into the house, I better be there to be my Mom's bodyguard. My sister and I joke now, that her biggest fear was evil spirits and my biggest fear was serial killers. These totally legit concerns made me panic every time she wanted to go for a run, at night - which is actually not a safe thing to be doing at all, high five my young murderino self - or every time I went to a sleepover at a friend's place. I would always need to call her and check in, and, many times, I would ask her to come and get me. Yes, I was THAT friend. And this joyful routine continued, until there were boys and parties, and then YOLO! Sleepovers....every...weekend.
Needless to say, when I had my own babies, the word "sleepover" set of alarm bells in my head. It didn't help the situation, that my first born didn't want to be with anyone else. Anxiety, ever more present now, working with the dreadlock, instead of against it, was like "He will cry all night without you, just like you did. You big ass baby." Have I mentioned before, how belittling she can be? So, I just couldn't leave him. I couldn't relax wondering if he was okay, if he was crying, if he needed me... I just couldn't. But, deep down, I knew I wanted more for him. I didn't want him to be THAT friend.
Hence, we started out small. Once he was big enough to sleep with us, we did sleepovers in our bed, one night, every weekend. He got to have snacks, watch a movie, and sleep in our bed. I was so proud of myself. Anxiety was proud of me, too. He was having a sleepover. He loved it. And I could hear him breathing, when I rolled over in the middle of the night. Nailed it!!!! Maybe, he never really needed to sleep anywhere else.
"When can I have a sleep over at Auntie's?" (See: File 19: Us Against the World, Ride or Die)
Best place to try is with family, right? I politely mentioned to my sister, 30 times, that I would come and get him, if he needed me. I sent him off with pride about how brave he was being. Then I waited. After a few hours had passed, I texted. He is fine, she assured me. Anxiety, with her new found hair and motherly confidence, pointed out that she wouldn't want to tell me, if he was having trouble. That she would want me to enjoy my much needed, child-free time. I give her the finger and wait another hour. Okay, time to call. My sister answers the phone, I can hear my little laughing and chatting away, in the background. He actually is FINE. And truth be told, he didn't want to come home, the next day. He wasn't THAT kid!!!!
This past weekend was our anniversary. We took our boys to Grandma's, for a sleepover, and I didn't worry about them, at all. Anxiety took the night off. And, to be honest, our youngest whined and said he wanted to live at Grandma's, when we went to pick them up....I will cry about that in private.
I don't regret being THAT kid, although I am thankful to all my friends that put up with it...you know who you are. The obsession with true crime has been there, as long as I can remember. And, Anxiety. And, that matted mess, in the back of my hair.
As a last note - The Neurotic Mama Files made #140, on the list of "Top 200 Mom Blogs" on Feedspot. https://blog.feedspot.com/mom_
Does Mama need to lose her shit?
Not this week.