The Sleepover Set Up: 3 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Friends Safe

They make you laugh and they make you cry; and if your hair isn’t graying, you’re pulling your hair out. But, the good times far outweigh the bad. Having children has been a blessing. Who knew how much you could love someone that can act like a tipsy undergrad when they’re cranky, right?

Making sure your kiddos are well-groomed, well-fed and well-loved is what it means to be a good parent. When you bring other kids into the mix, even if for just a night, everything can start to feel a little hairy.

Taking care of your own children is one thing, but watching over other people’s children is something else entirely, even if just for a night. When your kid comes up to asking to have a sleepover for their birthday, you can feel your body suddenly break into a cold sweat. “A sleepover?” You ask. “Wouldn’t you rather go to the movies instead with a buddy?”

Nope, they wouldn’t. Being the good parent that you are, you agree to the sleepover. Okay, so how do you prepare for a children’s sleepover?

Here are three ways to keep the little ones safe and having fun at your child’s next sleepover.

Chat Up the Parents

Before hosting the sleepover, call your child’s friend’s parents to discuss food allergies, nighttime routines and entertainment. Is their child allowed to see that latest installment of that hot new dystopic, or, are they only allowed to watch Disney? Can they eat peanuts, or do all nut provisions need to be removed from the house?

Lifehack writes that as the host parent, you need to make the sleepover’s activities clear to the other parents. With everyone in the know, the sleepover will have a better chance of going well as both the parents and children will know what to expect.

Set Up a List of Ground Rules

Kids (as you know) can get really excited, especially when they’re spending an evening away from mom and dad. To maintain some normalcy and authority, let the kids know that there are certain rules that are to be followed to make sure that everyone has a good time.

Rules should include:

  • No running in the house
  • No jumping on the furniture
  • No running with scissors at craft time (why do kids like to do this?!)
  • No eating after an adult has gone to bed
  • No screens after lights out

It’s necessary to set up a list of rules so that you can avoid a sleepover accident. Imagine that you didn’t tell your short-statured guests that there’s no running in the house. Ten minutes after visiting your home, one of your child’s friends runs full-speed into the sliding glass door. The door shatters and cuts them up, resulting in a trip to the ER. Not only is the child hurt, their parents can sue you for damages.

Rules will help to alleviate potentially nasty situations. For double protection, make sure your homeowners’ insurance can handle a home accident. It’s easy; compare homeowners’ insurance rates online and you’ll find a policy that’s sleepover proof.

Locked and Bolted

After you’ve gone to bed, the children will get a second wind and want to go tearing through the house, be it by playing hide-and-seek in the dark or crank calling their parents and other school friends.

Make sure the kids know that once it’s lights out, it’s time for bed. Make sure all doors and windows are locked (you don’t want the wandering outside) and that all electronics are protected with a passcode. Without the option to indulge in a little late-night fun, the kids will have nothing else to do but go to bed.

That’s it, you’re ready to host! Have fun planning the sleepover!

The story….

You all are gonna have to bear with me. I’m a guy and guys are not very good at telling stories. I’m gonna give my best attempt to appear romantic and fill ya’ll in on how the proposal went down two days ago. Here goes nothing…

The backstory…

Girl Ninja and I are both originally from the Seattle area. We also both currently live in San Diego (not together). I decided in August that I wanted to wait until Christmas time to propose because we would both be in Washington with family and friends. I bought the diamond in June, and for six months kept that sucker hidden in my desk. Needless to say, I was really excited for December 28th to come.

The Proposal…

I picked Girl Ninja up at 12:00 on Monday, for what she thought was 12:30 lunch reservations at the Barking Frog. The restaurant is part of a really beautiful winery/lodge and was the perfect spot….

Inside the Barking Frog

Now Girl Ninja, was under the impression that we were meeting friends for lunch (a double date), little did she know that was never the plan. As I pulled in to the lodge’s parking lot, I called my friend that we were suppose to meet up with and pretended like we were a half hour early. Girl Ninja and I decided it would be cool to walk around and check out the lodge, while we waited for our friends to arrive.

As we walked around, through the various gardens and fountains, I became increasingly more nervous as I knew we were nearing the proposal spot. As we approached the final courtyard, my hand began shaking uncontrollably from anxiety/excitement. I began to drag Girl Ninja to the table set up with the ring. As my hand was shaking, reality started sinking in, and Girl Ninja realized what was about to happen.

She looked at the table, then looked at me and said “No!” Still walking towards the table, I looked back at her and said “Yea!” We approached the table where I had the ring, some flowers, a Bible, and a scrapbook waiting for us….

The proposal table, next to a fountain (Girl Ninja LOVES fountains!)

We arrived at the table and it was time for me to put my game face on. I picked up the Bible and read this verse from Genesis…

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called ‘woman,’

for she was taken out of man.”

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

I then got on my knee and said something like “I’ve been waiting a really long time to do this, Will you marry me?” I don’t really remember what happened after that because I was so freakin’ nervous/happy/excited/anxious that the next couple minutes were all a blur. I do remember one thing though…. SHE SAID YES!!!!!

Immediately after she said yes!!!

After some celebrating and chatter my friend and brother, that had been snapping pictures from the distance, came up to congratulate us and continue taking some AWESOME pictures. We then flipped through the scrap book I made which had a list of my Top Ten Favorite Moments together. Here is a picture from the scrapbook (the bottom left corner is empty so we can include a picture from the proposal)….

The last page of the scrapbook (aka my most favorite moment with Girl Ninja)

We took some more pictures and then headed over to the restaurant for our actual lunch reservations. I told Girl Ninja, there was no double date and that it would just be her and I. I could tell she was a little sad she had not been able to share the big moment with her parents, but little did she know I had some tricks up my sleeve. About 10min into our lunch reservations her parents surprised her and had lunch with us. Girl Ninja began crying and we had some great conversations.

At 2:15, it was time to leave lunch and head over to the Willow’s Lodge Spa so she could her nails done (I had to make sure her hands were looking pretty when she showed off her ring!). From the Spa we headed to Downtown Seattle and went to Starbucks so she could begin calling friends and family and sharing the exciting news with them. After an hour or so at Starbucks we headed to Pike’s Market to buy some flowers to bring back to her parents.

At 5:30, we left Seattle so we could make it back to Girl Ninja’s house for dinner plans with her family. Little did she know, there was more suprises to come!!!! We arrived to her house at 6:00 sharp to be welcomed by 40 of our closest friends and family. Getting to share the most exciting day in our lives with those closest to us truly amazing. I could tell that Girl Ninja was a little sad that one of her best friends, who lives in New Mexico, was not at the party. We mingled with our friends for about 15 minutes, before I pulled out my last surprise…. I had secretly flown her friend up to Seattle to be there for our celebration. I called for Girl Ninja’s attention and at the site of her best friend, tears and screams rang out.

The ring, with freshly painted nails, and our engagement cupcake!

We partied hard for a couple hours and overall had an amazing day. Here were my favorite parts…

1) Surprising Girl Ninja with a ring

2) Surprising her with lunch with her parents

3) Throwing a suprise party for us, when she thought we were just having dinner with her family

4) Flying her best friend up to Seattle to share in our special day

If you can’t tell I am a big fan of surprises and wanted to do as much as I could to let Girl Ninja know I love her. I can not believe I get to spend the rest of my life with such an amazing woman. The Lord has truly blessed me and for that I am thankful.

Thank you to all who have sent congratulatory comments and tweets. I have shared each and every one of them with Girl Ninja. I may not know any of you, but they still mean a lot 🙂

p.s. About six months ago I blogged about how I sold my motorcycle…that was to subsidize part of the cost of the diamond 🙂