Well, this is going to have to be a short note - we've got a few things going on this morning. But a new request came to me yesterday evening, as I cut the grass. A family has moved in next door to us, including a 6 year old girl (my daughter Beatrice is almost 5). The family is not new to the neighborhood - they just moved a few houses down, closer to us.
We've been in this house almost a year now, and some of the neighborhood kids have, about a month ago, started coming over to "help" me in the garden. Planting spring bulbs, marigolds; pulling weeds - all afternoon garden activities have become a community event. It's fun getting to know these kids.
So, back to yesterday. The girl next door asked Bea if she could spend the night. Have a sleepover. Bea came to me to ask me, and I said "no." So the little girl came over and told me she had cleared it with her mom, and could Bea please spend the night? Again, I kindly but matter of factly, no. We don't know this family. We're lucky if we get a hello or goodbye as the dad goes to work.
We went inside soon afterwards, for storytime and bedtime. Later that night, I discussed the issue of sleepovers with my husband. I mean, it's bound to happen, but at almost 5, it seems too soon. Why was my reaction to say instantly, "no"?
I went online, looking for some tips - some sort of guidelines to follow. Nothing. One site mentioned that it's a good idea to know where the family lives, and to have a phone number, so that if you're out of town, you can still reach your child. Please.
So, I have to come up with my own. Help!
1. Know the parents. Well.
2. My child must be 6 years old before a sleepover happens.
3. Smoke alarms in the house where they're staying? Firearms secure? (How do you ask that?)
4. Background check??
The idea of childhood sleepovers stresses me out. My mom was so overprotective of me, growing up. Am I just following in her footsteps? I hope not.