I'm not a big fan of the sleepover. BigL has been on a few only because the parents of her friends have been my very good friends too. The other two whinge about this so I often spend my time repeating the fact that I won't be letting the most precious things in my life be out of my care overnight in a house where I only know the owners to wave hello at on the school run. I try the analogy of not leaving my gorgeous car in a foreboding car park but they soon point out that I think all car parks are scary looking so my argument falls on its knees and I'm forced to pull out the look mummy just says no right now filibuster.
But then I go and have the grand idea of introducing Brownies and Guides to my 3G. Never an option when I was full time working, when time constraints finally allowed it I grabbed the opportunity with both hands to shove BigL in the (fashonista) blue and red polo shirt of the Guides, and MiddleS and LittleE into the funky brown and yellow (yes it's retro now) hoodies of the Brownies and muck in with girls their own age outside of the school environment.
I did it in the 80s and loved it. Despite the yellow Brownie tie thing and blue Guide beret. I learnt loads, made new friends, got chosen to carry the heavy flag and yes, went on lots of overnight visits.
My parents rarely let me go on sleepovers either but camping or staying in a dorm with The Girl Guiding Association was different. It was educational. I was outdoors fixing run down old houses with a toothbrush or making living quarters out of a rope and some leaves. Just think of all the badges we could earn!
So I could hardly say no could I when BigL wanted to go off to camp recently, especially when she's survived the SATs without scarring.
In the two nights that I felt my house had tipped on its side with the unevenness of one of my children not in their bed and out of reach and WiFi reception, she was foraging in the woods, cooking outdoors, staying up 'til late and avoiding spiders in the loo with an extra shoe just in case one got too close (like I told her).
We met each other on the Sunday morning with bleary, weary eyes. Mine acquired from the lack of sleep - I never do when one of the offspring is away. She, exhausted from the chat-infested two nights of freedom.
She's away with them again in two months.