What an adventure full of twists and turns.
Last night at 11pm, instead of eating gummy bears, watching Jane The Virgin and editing photos, during the very blustery sideways-snowing, first snowstorm of the season, I drove to pick up a pajama-d and teary-eyed Isabella from a sleepover.
Her stomach was hurting, she said. (It wasn’t)
Superbad, she said. (Nope.)
I know because this has been the pattern for Isabella’s last three sleepovers and surprise! her stomach was miraculously cured the moment she got into the car.
But this morning she was up at 7, in tears, so angry at herself, so sad to have missed out on last night’s fun and this morning’s fun. I mean, her friends are all together and she’s here, with boring old me. She doesn’t know why she’s anxious—she can’t pinpoint it when I ask her. And I have asked her, at least 100 times. She knows her friends’ moms (and dads!) are awesome and would take good care of her if her stomach were to actually hurt her. It’s a mystery to us both, really. In fact, I found her googling “overcoming sleepover anxiety” online this morning. No, really.
She has been sleeping over at friends’ houses since she was a toddler. So this is new. Our kids are Sleepover Kids — at grandparents, cousins, friends, anyone who will take them, really. (I kid.) She has been to sleepover camp — twice — without issue, and she’s signed up to go to camp this summer for an entire month. She has been begging for a monogrammed overnight bag — as a better-late-than-never Chanukah gift.
I don’t know what to do, actually.
Say no to future sleepover invites? I don’t think that’s the answer. I really don’t want to find myself with a 30-year-old living in my house because she’s unable to leave home.
Force her to stay at sleepovers when she’s so visibly upset and anxious? That’s not really fair to anyone, especially her sleepover hosts.
Continue to have the same full-of-no-answers cyclical conversation over and over and over? Nope. It doesn’t seem to be helping.
Help me, internet.
Because I need to see this Sleepover Girl once again.