Of course she was. She's not even four. But her very best friend had asked. And they'd done one before, at our house, the night C's baby brother was born. And they'd spent almost every single day together since they were just weeks old. L, C's mother, had done practically as much mothering as I had in the past four years. E would be happy. She would be safe. And she desperately, desperately wanted to go.
The last time E had a sleepover--and that was at my in-law's house, with her dad, almost a year ago--I was a complete and total wreck. So this time, I knew before I even opened my mouth to discuss it, that even if she did make it through the night, one of us wouldn't be sleeping at all.
And once again, I helped her pack her backpack with her toothbrush and her underwear. I kissed her goodbye and waved at her as she walked down the driveway with Elmo sticking out the top of her backpack.
Then I went back inside, made Baby N dinner, and waited patiently for the phone call telling me to come pick her up.
5:40pm Email from L. They have eaten dinner and are currently watching "Pirate Princess." They actually suggesting doing that before they eat their rice krispie treats. Oh, and when they sat down For Pirate Princess E goes "this place is awesome."
She can move in.
No she can't. Is this when I'm supposed to stop being neurotic?
8:01pm We ate dinner. At the kitchen table. Alone. No one bribed anyone with dessert to take two more bites of broccoli. No one spilled their water all over the table. J went to the couch and began gloating over having full control of the remote for the first time, he claimed, in two years. Which totally wasn't true.
Email from M, C's dad. 8pm. In bed, lights off...some chattering, but they both seemed pretty tired.
I sighed a tiny sigh, half relief and half disappointment. She'd done it. She'd gone to bed without me. For the first time in E's whole life, I was sleeping in the house without her.
8:05pm Email from M. Jailbreak #1
8:28pm Email from M Jailbreak #2. "C: Let's go downstairs and see what my daddy is doing. E: OK, but we have to be really quiet..."
8:40pm Email from L. No more reporting. We have this situation completely under control. Goodnight.
9:07pm Phone rings.
"I forgot to say goodnight to Tucker. Can you put him on the phone?"
"OK. He's listening."
"Goodnight, Tucker. I love you."
"He says goodnight."
"C won't let me sleep. She keeps talking to me."
"Well, just tell her you're tired and are ready for night-night. OK?"
"Goodnight, baby girl. I love you."
"I love you too Mom."
9:47pm Text from M. I'm not sure what just happened. L's on her way in the car with E.
10:00pm E leaps into my arms from the car, wearing pajamas and sparkly pink shoes and holding her pillow and her backpack and Elmo in a white trash bag.
"I couldn't sleep. Because the bed was too small. And I didn't have milk. And I fell asleep during the book so I couldn't hear the story. And Mommy?"
"I love you."
10:30pm Email from M. SLEEPOVER FAIL.
Yup. Total sleepover fail.
Which is more than OK with me.
Because in the five hours she was gone, I pretty much decided she can never, ever go on a sleepover again. Or to summer camp. Or to college.
Because the house was empty and weird without her. There was way too much silence and not enough to do after Baby N went to bed.
Because I even tried bribing J to eat more broccoli to make things feel more normal. He didn't think that was funny.
Because I missed her like crazy while she was gone.