“What time are you going to stay up ‘til?” she asked her big sister with a devilish glint in her eye, anticipating the best for her big sister.

“Oh, probably until like 9:00,” she answered nonchalantly.

“Nine?!” what a tragedy! Her big sister showed her true colors as a conservative slumber party slumberer. Better known as a wimp! “It’s a slumber party! You are supposed to try to stay awake until midnight.”

“We’re little!” she defended. “I’m turning nine but most of my friends are only eight. We need to get to bed.”

Funny, the six-year-old was not convinced that was necessary. Knowing what she was thinking Mom did not dare convince her conservative party girl that she could or should cut loose a little. It was similar to the dilemma of whether you told little kids to pick up as much candy as they could from a piñata. You want them to understand the object of the game, but the results can be painful.

She thought: This is your big night of the year and you have permission to have a slumber party. How could you go to bed early? How could you go to bed at an hour that mom and dad sometimes allow on movie nights? How can you blaze a trail for your little sister if you play it safe every time? Nine o’clock? Are you serious? Midnight is the bewitching hour for Cinderella, et al. You have got to go for the challenge and TRY to stay up at least that late. This does not bode well for high school. Why doesn’t she know this stuff?

Mom thought: Why does the six-year-old know this?

Alas, at the end of “Ariel’s Beginning,” the eight- and nine-year-olds were all yawning. The six-year-old? She was choosing movie number two.

The party girls trouped into the bathroom to brush their teeth and into the bedroom where it was wall-to-wall sleeping bags. There were just four other little girls to keep it manageable. Then something happened once they entered the slumber zone. Something everyone except the birthday girl expected. They woke up.

An ebullient second wind blew in and energized the girls for a few hours of impromptu talent shows, fits of laughter and telling tales of third grade triumphs and challenges.

At 11:00, while the six-year-old was sound asleep in her own bed (wimp), the girls were asked to take it down to a whisper so the grown ups could go to sleep. After a final burst of noise, the calm settled in and the lights went out at 11:30. Unfortunately, the lights came back on at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. Over chocolate chip pancakes and maple-syrup glazed bacon—a breakfast Will Ferrell might have enjoyed in the movie “Elf”–a few swore they were up until midnight. Not sure how they know, but that’s okay.

“Midnight?” little six-year-old was thrilled and oh so impressed. Someone reportedly made it and that’s good enough for her.

Best of all, they all got along and everyone slumbered.

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