Since this was an All-Boy Sleepover, I kept the rules simple and concise:
1) Do not eat the hamster.
2) Do not whack each other with the wide array of Intergalactic weaponry. (The light saber may have been a "more refined" weapon for ObiWan Kenobi, but in the hands of any male aged 9 and up, it's the perfect Plastic Whacking stick made all the more interesting and amusing when lights and sounds flicker upon contact with other light saber-bearing males.)
That being established, let's have a gander at the rules that eluded even Honorable Mention:
1) Thou shalt eat like a human being. We, as parents, spend so much time and energy teaching our children correct behavior in social situations. Table manners are the first to dissipate in the face of an All-Boy Dining Experience. Seafood becomes the favorite word as gaping maws display partially masticated Sesame Chicken and rice. Belching is not only an occurrance, it is encouraged and fueled by carbonated beverages of all kinds. (Although, I now have it on good authority that rootbeer is by far the best material for burping.) Reciting the alphabet in Belch-ese is practiced with great gusto. Flatulent activity also gains points, especially if delivered in the proper tone and timbre.
2) Thou shalt flush and wash thy hands. Okay, that aside, let's discuss Aim. One would think that when approaching a target roughly 12"-14" in diameter, the ability to direct one's aim at 6" away should be dead on. Au contraire! 9-year-old boys have better luck hitting the proverbial broad side of the barn. (I rather wish I had a barn right now ~ clean-up wouldn't be such an issue.) Now that my bathroom resembles a road-side restroom, the bushes are becoming an attractive option.
3) Thou shalt not dispense Wedgies. 'Nough said.
And the Queen Mother of All Rules that left the building . . .
4) Thou shalt commence slumber at a reasonable hour. We need to modify the term "Sleep Over." No one ever sleeps over anything. In fact, the hosting parents get the least amount of sleep and are seen the next day in a coffee-induced zombie-like state dragging reddened eyeballs and their baggage on the floor. Having imbibed coffee does little to help this state ~ only a proper nap followed by more sleep is the cure. No, "Sleep Over" needs desperately to be redefined. A more appropriate term might be "Boys-Up-All-Night-Making-Disgusting-Noises & Smells Over," or "Perpetual-Gaming Over," or a "Snigger-All-Night Over." I can attest with a fair amount of certainty, that the Sandman gives "Sleep Overs" a wide berth.
Nonetheless, despite the Missing Rules, Ian had a memorable birthday party with four of his Best Buddies and his older brother. And, really, that's just what any kid turning 9 years old needs: memories to bank on when see-food and belching are socially unacceptable, accuracy of aim increases, Wedgies occur naturally in embarassing situations, and sleep becomes sacred. I'm happy to report there were no injuries . . . Wait. I take that back. The assault on my living room isn't pretty and it may take the bedroom a week to recover. The cats are lining up for double doses of nip and the rabbits are flopped over in nervous ticks and exhaustion. The only critter seemingly unphased by the All-nighter is Strawberry the Hamster.
Later this afternoon, we will be going to the theater, buying tickets and popcorn and probably slumbering through "Wallace and Grommet." Therefore, I won't be able to tell you one thing about the movie.