December 31, 2013 MY ANNUAL NEW YEAR’S EVE SLEEPOVER! Happy Almost New Year everyone! I LOVE New Year’s Eve because every year I have the best sleepover ever! This year it almost wasn’t going to happen…and I was FREAKING OUT! It all started this morning when I was sitting at the kitchen table making decorations for tonight. (I LOVE making decorations so much that I find all kinds of random things to celebrate with banners, like “Congrats on Parallel Parking Well Mom!” and “Happy You-Didn’t-Burn-Breakfast-Day Dad!”) I had finished with four of the five signs I planned to make when I heard my mom telling someone on the phone, “I’m so glad you’re feeling better! We’ll definitely be there. I’m sure Nikki won’t mind babysitting.” I usually don’t like to interrupt her when she’s on the phone because I hate when Brianna does that to me, but I had to set her straight ASAP. So I yelled, “Don’t hang up…I mind!” Then my mom stared at me with this mortified look on her face, as if I’d just told the whole PTA, “My mom lets me stay up ‘til 3:00 AM, eat brownies for breakfast, and run around the house with scissors!” After she hung up, she said, “Nikki J. Maxwell, I’m shocked. You know my friend Barbara hasn’t been the same since she had her surgery. And her husband left. And her cat died. Are you THAT selfish that you can’t watch Brianna for ONE NIGHT so we can help her have a Happy New Year??” What could I say to that? The poor woman’s like a walking soap opera. OF COURSE I wanted to help. But I had already invited Chloe and Zoey, and bought a ton of snacks…and what about the signs? It would be terrible to waste them! I stood there for about five minutes with my mouth open like a cod fish, trying to come up with some brilliant plan to help my parents out and still have my sleepover, but I couldn’t think of anything. So finally I said, “Fine! I’ll watch Brianna…but only if she goes to bed way before midnight so I can ring in the New Year with Chloe and Zoey!” Then my mom said, “Sorry dear, but if we’re not here, Chloe and Zoey can’t come over. What kind of irresponsible parents would we be if we let you have a sleepover unsupervised?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! It was so not fair! So I asked, “How about if your friend comes here instead? I wouldn’t mind…if you guys stayed in the kitchen!” Then my mom said, “That’s so generous of you…that you’d let us stay in the kitchen…but I’m pretty sure Barbara would prefer a child-free night, given that she’s recovering from her surgery.” I almost said, “Brianna will be super sweet and quiet!” But I knew that would be a total lie. Brianna’s NEVER super sweet and quiet! I was just about to call Chloe and Zoey to tell them the bad news when my dad walked in and said, “My back is KILLING me. Don’t think I’m going to make it ‘til midnight this year. There’s a bed with my name on it!” I was PSYCHED! Not about his back…that stunk for him and I felt super bad! But I was psyched that he was going to stay home so I didn’t have to cancel my sleepover. After that, my mom said, “You poor thing! I was going to go to Barbara’s to keep her company, but I could stay home and take care of you…” But he replied, “No need! I’m a grown man! You go and have fun and I’ll stay here and hold down the fort. So now I’m finishing a big sign that reads, “Thanks for holding down the fort, Dad!” I can’t wait ‘til Chloe and Zoey get here so I can show them the others! What do YOU have planned for tonight? Anything fun?