When I was in junior high school I didn’t like slumber parties that much. I wanted to be invited, but I didn’t have many friends so I always felt a little awkward. Plus when it came time to go to bed I fell asleep quickly while everybody else stayed up late and pulled pranks. Made me feel like a dork in the morning, hearing about the fun I had missed out on.
But I like them much better as a Grandma. Lately it’s been a season of slumber parties for me. Really fun ones. A couple of weekends ago it was all about a girls, girls, girls. As an early birthday present for two of my granddaughters we spent the night in a fancy hotel with its American Girl doll package. Emily brought along her original Samantha doll, gifted to her as the oldest now that her mother has replaced dolls with daughters of her own. Molly brought Holly to our adventure, an almost-American Girl doll without the pedigree. The dolls and all their accessories took up more space in the car than the overnight bags for the three of us.
Samantha and Holly checked in at the front desk with us, on their best hotel behavior. When we arrived in our 15th floor room with window seat and a view it was all about setting up their rooms and beds and pet areas and changing their clothes to something more suitable for this occasion. And of course there was more clothes changing when we went to the swimming pool, complete with doll chair and beach bags. A new outfit for our trip to the American Girl store, where we stood in awe of the selection of dolls, world of accessories (everything from the pet section to a huge teepee to a fully outfitted horse stable to a recording studio – not to mention the clothes). We made a few purchases, including giving the Kaya doll a new home with Molly and a trundle bed for Samantha, and thoroughly enjoyed lugging the bright red shopping bags with their white writing back to our room.
In the late afternoon we returned to our room to find doll beds, doll robes and slippers, and real mini cupcakes with ice cold milk laid out on the window seat waiting. Emily and Molly were so surprised, and I loved knowing I had arranged that for them. Deliciously fun and extravagant. Cupcakes before dinner. Another change of clothes yet again before we went down to dinner. That’s the fun of dolls, dressing them and arranging them in various situations. In the restaurant Emily set the table for Samantha, Holly and Kaya, who impressed the waiter with their good manners. He commented that their owners must have good manners too to teach the dolls so well. We had pizza and mac and cheese; the dolls had pizza too. For desert we had ice cream while the dolls had cupcakes.
On the way back up to the room the girls wanted to explore. We found the exercise room and tried all the equipment. We sat on the jumbo balls and drank from the water cooler. The American Girls rested on the bench while we ‘worked out’. Back in the room girls had a long shower in the fancy bathroom. We played a card game of War (Molly won) and Emily danced to a kid-friendly music channel she had found on my tablet. The dolls visited each other at their respective houses, and decided to have a sleepover at Samantha’s with her new trundle bed.
We made ourselves get to bed at a decent hour. Delightful to wake to the array of doll mania everywhere, finish off the cupcakes and some breakfast snacks we’d brought while watching Alice in Wonderland from the comfort of the bed. Then we dressed – another change of clothes for Kaya and Samantha – and helped the bellman load our cart with our stuff and those lovely red bags. A few more rides on the escalator while they brought car around. Settling the dolls in the car, Emily announced, “Grandma, that was the best day of my life. We need to make it a tradition!” And we will.
Now THAT’s a slumber party.