As I sit here at the desk on my daughter's laptop, giggles and squeals coming from the next room as they clean up and pack, all I can think is,
"What was I thinking?"
Rosie had approached me weeks ago with one pleading, begging request for her approaching 13th birthday. To stay in a hotel room with her BFFs. After grilling her on her sanity, I gave it some thought (and researched some prices on the interweb) and it actually looked to be less insane than initially thought. Turned out I could get a suite for not much more than a hundred bucks. In the realm of birthday parties, I figured I was getting off easy. The girls could have two beds in one room and I could have the sofabed in the next. The cost also included full breakfast in the morning, afternoon "manager's reception" and of course the hotel pool the size of a postage stamp.
And so I entered into this lunacy.
First, a trip to the mall. Yes, the mall, on a Saturday afternoon during Christmas season. Took me nearly as long to enter the lot and find a parking space as it did to drive there from the boondocks. Once there, I threw a few dollars at each of them and let the mob go their way as I went mine, with promises to check in periodically by text. This suited me just fine and was probably the only sound decision I made.
Next, on we went to dinner and an appropriately embarassing song to the birthday girl by all the wait staff (they made Rosie stand up on her booth, I loved it).
Then onto the hotel. Oy. After all, the diminutive pool could only keep them amused for so long. So after showering and changing, they were off to play in the elevators and "explore". I was torn between being a hovercraft parent shadowing their every move, being a Nazi parent confining them to the hotel room for the duration of the night, and being a liberal pushover parent letting them run amok while I cowered in the room praying they wouldn't get in trouble. I chose the latter, but I suppose God enjoyed a laugh at my expense when the manager yelled at them to stop running around. Well. At least that gave me some leverage when I suggested they needed to stay in for the night.
But it was only 9:30, after all and a girl's gotta have fun. So when they went down to see one of the gals off (she couldn't stay the night), they snuck in an extended stay out of the room by getting milkshakes at the hotel's restaurant. Then, of course, they just wanted to check out the fitness center (all this communicated by text). The stinkers didn't get back in till midnight. A more responsible parent would have had them tucked in bed with lights out at a more reasonable hour but I.....uh..... fell asleep.
THEN, my Mom Hearing evidently still in full working order, I caught them trying to sneak out of the room at 3am "To play cards in the lobby"
Well, sputter, stammer, steam, "I think NOT." Made them march their hineys right back into their room toot suite (get it?) and it was lights out and not another peep.
Of course by then I couldn't sleep much for fear they would try some teenaged foolhardiness again and my Mom Hearing would be turned off for the night. So I spent a miserable few hours tossing and turning on the less-than-comfy couch until it was at last time to start the new day and get the hell home.
And here I sit, all packed and ready to go, eyelids held open by an infusion of hotel coffee, while the girls clean up their disaster of chip bags, candy wrappers and soda bottles and bag up their wet swimsuits. And I have to ask myself, have I lost ALL sanity? How was it I was ever convinced to partake in such lunacy? When Rosie asked for this weeks ago, I thought: what a nice reward for my straight A/ student council/ star soccer player. What a special treat for a young lady turning 13 years old. Why not?
Now I know why not. If I ever consider doing this again with any of my other kids, I beg of you, talk me down!