by Jeanne Sager
There's a photo on my fridge from my daughter's first ever sleepover that always cracks me up. In it, she and a little boy are making funny faces at the camera. Did you catch the fact that I said little boy? We have rocked the co-ed sleepover in our house.
Movies. Popcorn. Ice cream sundaes. You name it, it's come out.
I guess this is where I should 'fess up to the fact that her very first sleepover friend was (is?!) her cousin. He's just shy of a year older, and they have a lot of fun together.
Still, he's a boy. She's a girl.
I never thought twice about letting him sleep over, even letting them sleep in the same bed.
Bad mom? To hear some of the mothers 'round the web talk (type?), yes. Admitting you've thrown a co-ed sleepover is just this side of saying you've dosed the kids' bottles with antifreeze (now, I have NOT done that) in some circles.
I don't get it. At least not when it comes to young kids (teens are a whole different story).
They're little kids! Little kids barely notice gender. And the risk of any hanky panky is 0. They are KIDS.
I'm not an ostrich with my head in the sand here. I know there are some kids who act inappropriately very early.
Those are the scary facts that keep moms up at night. But what allows me to actually fall asleep is reminding myself that those kids are few and far between. Most little kids are pretty, shall we say normal?
At 8, my daughter is pretty normal as are her boy friends, boys who frequently come over for playdates. As I type this, I can hear peals of laughter from my front yard where she and her friend, M., are digging for earthworms in dirt they've soaked with the hose.
The other day she asked for another co-ed sleepover with one of them. Some moms -- the moms I mentioned above -- would say "no" immediately.
I didn't. I said I'd talk to her father and to the little boy's mom -- the same answer I give when she asks to have a little girl sleep over.
At 8, I'm perfectly fine with her having a boy friend sleep at our house should the other adults say it's OK. The rules won't be much different from having a girl (although the girls often change clothes in the same room ... that will be different). They'll probably have pizza and sundaes, they'll play in the backyard until it starts to get dark, they'll be allowed to watch a movie before bed, and then they'll have to go to sleep.
They'll do kid stuff because they are still kids.
Do you let your kids have co-ed sleepovers? When will you stop?