Chopper back on the ground
The sleepover occurred.
I met the friend in question when I picked up the girls from school on Friday. I'm not going to talk about someone else's kid on the internets (much), but this is an intense kid. Before we even got in our truck, she was prattling on, in great detail, about her parents' impending divorce. Which Phook responded to by asking me, "Mom, what's a divorce?" Yeah, good times. For the record, I have no issue with explaining what divorce is to my kid--it's a pretty unavoidable phenomenon--but that anecdote sort of sets up the dynamic.
The other girl was polite and nice. But also very much the alpha in the relationship. Which surprised me. I really think of Phook as an alpha. Because she totally is in our home. To the point where I always inquire with teachers how well she gets along with others at school, thinking she might tend toward bossy. Apparently, she doesn't. They always say she takes turns leading and following, and is comfortable either way. Which is interesting to me.
So I dropped peeps off without too much of a scene. I also dropped off Bigs at Auntie Hode's house, because he was mourning his non-sleepover and his aunt rescued the situation with a special invitation just for him. And then I came home, with just one kid.
And took her to a bar.
Okay, not really a bar bar. A brew pub. With good food. An hour and a half after her typical dinner time. It was funny. Big K and I are sitting in this bar waiting for a table with Parkie sitting on the little miniature bar table between us, and I couldn't help but laugh. I would sooner have been set alight than have taken a 2-year-old Phook out in public for dinner way past her bedtime in a bar. I would never have messed with her meal time or sleep time like that. With Parkie, no problem. And it was delightful. We had a 45-minute wait and Big K and I and the little Park Rat just hung out. With no mayhem whatsoever. Parkie was into it, too.
Dude is it easy to care for one child. Which I say with no offense intended toward parents of a firstborn/only. It's just so funny to me how when we only had Phook, it was so intense and all-consuming, and now on our third kid, having just the one to take care of feels like a spa day. Perspective. That thing you can never have until it's too late for you to reap the benefits. Gah.
So, yeah. I had myself a pint with my Big K and my babe and then downed a shrimp po' boy, and I tried not to think about the Peekerton too much. Which I mostly succeeded in doing, thanks to the aggressiveness of the pint I was having. It was a wise choice.
The next morning I got up and did my thing and tried to act casual, by which I mean I went to the gym and beat myself senseless until it was time to go pick up my kid. Hard to worry much when you're not getting any oxygen to the brain.
When I walked in the girl's house, Phook ran over to me and literally jumped into my arms. And then I regarded her purple under-eyes and her sallow complexion and realized she was in that state of fatigue right between crazy and comatose. Poor little sucker. The other mom said, "So, the girls got to sleep around 10 last nite" and then her daughter interrupted and said, "Actually, it was midnite." And then Mom says, "They got up at 5. But I got them to go back to sleep until a little before 8." Um, okay. To be clear, Phook is usually tats up by 7 p.m., if not even a little before on a school nite. And she sleeps until almost 7 a.m. Yeah, 12 hours. And on Fridays in particular she is usually blitzed-out exhausted. So she was very, very well-deprived. Which I was more or less okay with...it was an exception and a special occasion.
Then I got Phook in the car. I asked several prodding questions about her experience. She said she had fun but was not effusive like I expected her to be. She told me a few things they did. But then she said, "If [friend] asks if I can come over for a sleepover again, please tell her no. I was trying to go to sleep last nite and she just kept jumping on me trying to get me to watch TV with her. Until two minutes before midnite. And she was really mean to her big sister."
So Phook never did disclose much more than that, but she was decidedly not as pumped as I thought she'd be. And I don't want to speculate too much about a fellow 6-year-old's personality online, but suffice it to say that I think Phook's patience was tested.
And Phook, being Phook, is responsible enough to know that missing several hours of your regular nite's sleep actually really sucks and makes you feel bad. I was impressed with that.
Also, Phook is a firstborn. Which means she is sheltered, comparatively. She doesn't have a big sister so she hasn't spent her life being jacked around to attend other people's activities and events. Her bedtime and sleep needs have always been priority numero uno in this house. She also doesn't have an iPad. Or a fancy phone. Or many of the other things her friend has. Because there is no one older than her leading the charge for the next big thing. Phook likes unicorns. Because she likes unicorns.
I find birth order and how it shapes our personalities absolutely fascinating. It is so odd to me how the firstborn of one family and the baby of another family, even though they are the same age, can be in such different places. Neither place is really better or preferred. It's just interesting to see it play out. Phook is, then, temperamentally mature but sheltered by birth order. Fascinating. (And a fascinating aside on this topic for you. Big K's little brothers are male fraternal twins, born a few minutes apart. And even with only those few minutes' difference, there is a very distinct birth order pattern in their family. The middle child is absolutely a middle child and the baby is absolutely the baby of the family in classic birth order fashion. Even those there is less than a 10 minutes distinction in their ages. Truly fascinating.)
So, anyhow. It was interesting. Not what I expected. I am seeing just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how I will watch my kids' personal relationships morph and change and develop throughout their school years. Figuring out who they are. And who they are in relationship to others. Fascinating. And Phook is already proving to be a good pilot episode of this show, because she's got that rational, rule-following, sensible temperament.
For the other children, well, it's gonna take more than a pint to get me through.