I asked the girls last week if they would ever want their own rooms, which was met with a far-too enthusiastic “YES!” They could have their own rooms now (shh…). It’s just that we put them together years ago, and…well…they are so cute together. Don’t get me wrong, they are equal parts awful and cute, but sometimes we sneak up the stairs to listen to them chat, and it’s life-changing. The chance to view their world from an outsider’s perspective is priceless. The secrets of sisters; hearing that bond form (as we yell up the stairs, “GO TO SLEEP!”) is reaffirming as to why we ever had kids. Some days, I gotta tell ya’, I have NO IDEA why we did this.
I’ve always known their night-time hours involve a litany of invented games which can be played between their two beds in the dark, but what I didn’t originally know was that these games have names. My recon was completed tonight, and here are my CIA-Mom notes. I’m formidable. Warning to the teens they will eventually become: this Mom has powers, and she will use them for evil if need be.
Matching PJs is the Name of the Game!
Games My Daughters Play At Night:
(1) Dresses: Use all available linens to create fashion attire that can be modeled while walking on the runway/bed.
(2) Sleep Talk: Played when one or both are ready to doze off. Close your eyes, but whatever you do…KEEP TALKING.
(3) Hang-Upside-Down Talk: Self-explanatory (and loud). Bonus points for falling off the bed and hitting your head.
Toys Doing the Perp Walk
(4) Warm: Get into the tightest ball you can. Describe it. Recent data would suggest this game is either retired or seasonal only.
(5) Under-House: Create tiny worlds under your blankets. Sara’s favorite game. Kelly’s least favorite game.
(6) Boat: Well…what can I say? I’m on a boat!
Lower Left Hand Corner: World’s Worst (and Cuddliest) Babysitter
(7) Play, Sing, or Catch: So boring, unless played on a weekend when they are allowed to cuddle, and then it’s a Vegas-style show.
(8) Catch-the-Cat: Their most daring of games. They sneak out of bed and try to catch any cat lurking on the 2nd floor. They always get caught, which oddly never defers them from playing. I am conducting a Catch-The-Cat Recidivism Study right now. Should have data by Christmas, or at least by the death of the next cat.
(9) Questions: Voted as the 2nd Favorite Game. They ask each other questions such as, “Who Invented The Telephone”? They run down every fact they’ve ever glued into a diorama or onto a poster board. Pegasus and his conquered beasts usually make the rotation, along with the lifestyle habits of Mermaids. Subjective questions are totally fair game. If you were Barbie, would you marry Ken? Would you rather be Barbie in the Mermadia series, or Barbie in “A Perfect Christmas”? If Laura is the central character, but Mary is the prettiest, what criteria would you use to choose who you’ll be the next time we play “Little House On The Prairie”? Discuss.
Ain’t No Party Like a Sara Party ‘Cause A Sara Party Don’t Stop
(10) Stuff-Butt: Not their most delicate of games, but you’ve got to them credit for creativity. How many games can you invent in the dark, using nothing but what’s on your bed? Stuffing things into your pajama pants, trying to win points for having the biggest stuffed butt is disgusting, but at least it’s hilarious. If you are aged 6 or 8, you are thinking my children are game-making wizards.
(11) Island: Mommy’s least favorite game. They climb onto their very high headboards, and jump off, attempting to pick coconuts from trees. They also try to pick grapes, which is agriculturally inaccurate, but I can’t blow my cover to correct them.
(12) Test: This game involves feats of strength. They give each other work-outs and see if they can be completed while the other counts.
When you turn away to wash dishes, I shall be sneaking this entire menagerie under my pillow…
(13) Where Is It?: Hands-down, the favorite game of both girls; perfect for a dark room filled with stuffed animals. It’s complicated, but this game must be combined with a game they call “Head Pillow”, in which one must hide her head under the pillow while the other person hides her stuffed animal. Head Pillow has versions, because sometimes they just try to pile as much stuff as they can on their heads.
(14) Independent Play: Just as it sounds, which means Kelly plays with her stuffed animals and Sara sneaks her iPad under the covers. I find it weird she never thinks to sneak up a headset, so we usually catch her watching movies, late into the night, on a 2 inch screen with no sound. I’d call it desperate, but I was once so poor in college that I kept a TV with no picture, after it had been hit by lighting. As luck would have it, several months later, a neighbor threw out a TV with no sound. I stacked them, and VOILA! I had a TV. After they both broke, I went for years with no TV whatsoever, so I’m not judging a kid who can memorize every line in “Tangled”.
(15) Hide-And-Seek: Involves getting out of bed, and it has been retired. A) They got tired of getting caught. B) They heard me tell of a similar game I invented with my cousins, called “Dark Revenge”. Mommy played it, ipso facto, it’s neither daring nor cool. Retire it! WHICH is poor form, because Dark Revenge was neither undaring nor uncool. We broke bones and major appliances playing that game. Now that I’ve written these words, I’ve solved my problem with the Island Game. I shall casually drop a fictitious story of a similar game I played with Aunt Jenny. I will call it “Peninsula”.
An Animal House Party, Redefined
I can’t believe they are ready for this phase of their lives to end. I, sadly, am not. They are ready for a little privacy and autonomy, which means more sleep for everyone, but far less time spent listening to my precious buddies laughing their way into sleep. How could they ever want this to end? All for a door and the chance to call it, “my room”?
Oh. Wait. Yeah. I get it. My room. I had one of those. Crap. “Your own room” is quite the kid-currency, isn’t it? I mean…it’s like…Christmas-big. It’s Disney-big. And having any say whatsoever in the decorating is equally big. [Dear Mom and Dad, I'm still waiting for my mallard duck bedroom. 29 years and counting, in case senility has set in, and you think I'm still 15. Remember your argument that I'd grow out of loving ducks and I'd forget about it? TURNS OUT...I nicknamed my CHILD after Ducks. It's cool. I can WAIT.]
This phase sure was fun while it lasted. And loud. It was loud. And often quite zany. But God, was it ever fun. I sometimes get asked by readers why I made the girls share a bedroom in a 5 bedroom house. I present to you the answer in a list of 15 games. Worth every single time we yelled, “OH MY LORD, WOULD YOU TWO JUST GO TO SLEEP ALREADY?!!” Yep…this was a good chapter to have engineered.
I wish for you good sleep, my parenting friends. And Godspeed, forever and always, Godspeed.