Last night was the party for Thing One's birthday. Eight eleven year-old boys were here for most of the evening, and five slept over (mercifully, for one reason or another three were picked up by parents before bedtime.)
This will be the last time we do this, really. I know we say that every year, but this year we MEAN it, dammit. And it wasn't that they were misbehaving, because they weren't--they are good kids and really have remarkably good manners as a group--but that is just an *awful* lot of preteen boys to have running around one house and yard. Especially when there are also two younger siblings around, one of whom has to be picked up and dropped off from a friend's party the same evening as well.
After the pizza and cake, the manhunt and basketball and swimming and general mayhem, the boys were bundled off down to the basement with their handheld games of choice, sleeping bags and pillows and asked to please keep the noise to a minimum. We've given up on hoping that they actually sleep, although some of them do on occasion--our baseline requirement is merely that they let US sleep. Himself was scheduled to run 17 miles with a friend at 6 this morning and really was not in the mood to be kept up all night--he told the boys that anyone who kept him awake was going to be dragged out of bed and taken running at 5:30! Amazingly, we went to bed at midnight and didn't hear a single peep before Himself's alarm went off. :)
One boy had a stomachache first thing this morning. I called his mom, who came over immediately, but of course the kid was feeling better by the time his mom arrived and ended up staying. After Wii and pancakes, the kids were collected by their parents, and after they left I found a pillow, two pairs of really grubby, disgusting boy-socks and a bathing suit left behind! Par for the course. Thing One has been a zombie for most of the day, but he had fun with his buddies and that was the point of the exercise.
And next year, NEXT YEAR, there will be a party somewhere other than my house that does not involve sleeping over!