It goes without saying that many of the ways we would normally celebrate a life event are no longer an option, so when Sloan graduated from preschool last week (such an exciting milestone!), we weren't able to have a party in the park with her friends, go to the zoo, or visit a museum. Letting such a big moment pass by completely unacknowledged didn't feel right, so I decided to throw her a slumber party—with just the two of us.
We've always been mindful to maintain a regimented bedtime routine for Sloan. She usually needs between 10-12 hours of sleep, so most of our nights look nearly identical. We eat dinner, she gets to watch a little TV, we play three games of Go Fish, then head up into her room where she brushes her teeth, gets into her PJs, and we pick out a couple of stories. We lie in her bed together to read, then I sing her "la la," which consists of a lullaby she chooses each night. She always sleeps in her own bed (and if she's sick or has a nightmare, I'll go into hers). Inviting her to sleep over in bed with me, while G stayed in the guest room so it could be a "girls night," reminded me of when I was growing up getting to occasionally have sleepovers with my mom on our pull-out couch. Those memories are still some of my favorites, so I couldn't wait to recreate them with Sloan.
Although the concept was simple, it ended up being so sweet and special, with minimal prep. A few weeks ahead, I told her we would be having a sleepover and she was thrilled, but I didn't give her any details (her only request was that we both be in nightgowns). While G prepared her dinner downstairs, I got our bedroom ready. Earlier that day, I ran out to pick up balloons (via contactless pick up at Bonjour Fête), and kept them in the car. While she ate, I snuck them into our bedroom to make it look festive, then set out a tray with popcorn and an iPad to watch the movie on.
Sloan wasn't expecting a full-on party when she came upstairs. As soon as she walked in, we promptly excused G and danced (Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." was her choice), then crawled into bed to watch one of my favorites from childhood, Hook, that I couldn't wait to share with her. Not only did she love it, but she's since memorized the song "When You're Alone" and has been singing it ever since.
Since G and I don't have a TV in our bedroom, it wound up being such treat for both of us to watch a movie in bed—and she loved staying up a bit later than usual. These days, she usually goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 PM, but we ended the movie closer to 9 and fell asleep around 10 because she was so excited and wanted to stay up chatting.
Right before she fell asleep, she asked if we could have another sleepover sometime soon. It served as a reminder that, even without leaving the house or being able to see other people, you can still find ways to add small moments of joy and we've already set the date for our next girls evening in.
P.S. Here are some helpful tips from professionals on parenting during COVID-19.