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Horatio’s Birthday is very inconveniently placed at the beginning of the school year, which leaves me very little time to arrange birthday festivities. When we were young, we had birthday parties every second year, which is my my Mum just might be the smartest woman on the planet. But because Horatio was hitting double digits, it was important to celebrate it with some sort of a bang.

It was exactly this time last week that he informed me that he would like a sleepover party, and with just 5 days to pull it altogether, I was up for the challenge.

I told him he could have 3 mates to stay, which somehow blew out to 8. They were adorable, such a lovely group of boys. I ran them ragged. I gave them no sugar. And after the movie was over, I sat like a creepy old lady in the corner of the room until they were all asleep by ten thirty.

Or so I thought…..

Not much sleep was had by the kids on Saturday night. Me? Well I slept like the dead, thinking that all my charges were recharging, when in fact the party, apparently, had only just begun.


I asked no questions. I understand the sacredness of the sleepover. Because I went to one once.

I would have been about the same age. The sleepover was to celebrate Sally Griffin’s birthday. We spent the afternoon tearing about, dancing to INXS and Michael Jackson, talking about boys, eating crap and watching Back to the Future. When it came time to sleep, well we were not having a bar of it. We had all bunked down in the Rumpus Room (Don’t you think that it is the strangest name for a room? What is a Rump? Apart from a cut of meat…) and waited for Mr and Mrs Griffin to turn in for the night.

At about 11pm, Mrs Griffin appeared at the door, and pleaded with us to be quiet.

At about 1pm, Mrs Griffin returned, and threatened to shut the party down via several urgent phone calls to our parents.

At about 4am, Mr Griffin barged through the door and completely lost his shit.

The thing about Mr Griffin was that he was Scottish. His accent was thicker than pea soup. The more he yelled, the redder his face got. Small balls of spit were forming, and were being released onto us as his tirade grew more desperate. It went something along the lines of this….

“Listen up ye wee shits. Ah am gonnae kick yer behinds intae next week unless ye gang tae sleep. Ah hae tae gie up fur wark in tois hoors, ye wee fuckers. noo jobby th’ buck up.”

And I swear, I heard someone urinate in their pants.

Sleep came quickly after that for most, but not me. I snuggled under my sleeping bag, to frightened to move. And as the sun came up, and I heard Mr Griffin go off to work, it was only then that I could exhale.

Slumber Parties. Got a story to tell?