This past Saturday was the first time Bug (2y) has ever spent the night away from us.
Papa and I were going out of town for a conference, and the boys were
staying with their grandma. When Josh (8y) was younger, his first
sleepover was full of anxiety for me. I packed his things, took him to
grandma's, and tried to sneak away without him seeing me leave so he
wouldn't be upset. Of course when he realized I was gone he was distraught, and when I came back he was angry with me.
So with Bug we did things differently. We got him a Clifford sleepover
book from the library (he loves Clifford!) and read it all week. I told
him repeatedly he would have a sleepover at grandma's on Saturday. That
morning we packed his bag together, and again I told him repeatedly he
was having a sleepover. We got to grandma's (a place he's already
familiar with) and went back to the room where he'd be sleeping with his
aunt (my little sister who still lives at home). We hung out on the
bed, talked again about how Mama and Papa were going to go while he and
Josh stayed. When we left we gave him big hugs and kisses and he watched
us walk out the door from grandma's arms.
He did really well
with it. When we came to pick him up the next morning he was happy to
see us, but not in an "OMG where have you been?!" kind of way. In fact,
neither of them wanted to leave to go home.