The Big Bedtime Stink

“Daaaaa-aaaaaad,” came the mournful moan from Master8’s room. “Daaaaaaa-aaaaaaad!”

I looked at Tracey to see if she was going to go.

“Seriously?” she said, cocking an eyebrow in my direction in a superior way I’ve never managed to emulate.

“I was already going,” I scoffed at her. We both knew I was lying.

“What’s up, buddy?” I asked my number two son. He was lying on his stomach with his head buried in his pillow.

Actually, quite aside from the fact he was calling my name, it was only right I took this one. This was all my fault.

I was the one who broke up the week long sleepover in the girls’ room and demanded everyone sleep in their own beds tonight so I guess I had this coming.

“Why can’t I sleep in the other room?” Master8 wanted to know.

“Because you all need some catch up sleep,” I told him.

He knew this. I’d explained it to all the kids when I settled them all into their beds. But then we got to the real issue.

“Why am I the only one who has to sleep alone?”

On the one hand, he’s right. Everyone else in the house has to share – me with Tracey, Miss1 & Miss3, Miss5 & Miss9. On the other hand…

“I don’t understand,” I told him. “When I was a kid we all wanted our own room.”

This is what’s known in parenting circles as a big, fat lie. We had our own rooms. What inevitably happened was my little brother would sneak into my room and sleep in the spare bed. And I loved it. It wasn’t until the teenage years you really want your own space. Kids don’t want their own rooms – parents want to separate the little blighters so they stop talking and go to bloody sleep!

“You want to share a room? Fine. Move over,” I told him, and I lay down with my boy and managed to take up most the bed and squash him up against the wall. “This is a great idea. Your mother hates sharing a bed with me because I fart all night.”


“It’s true!” came Tracey’s voice from the lounge room.

“Yep. Got one ready to go now too. Pull the edges of the doona down, mate. You’ve got to plug the holes or it gets out. That’s the mistake your mother makes – she lets them get away. You bring the doona up to your face like this-”

“I think I’m fine now, Dad.”

“-and when you want a whiff you just lift it-”

“You can leave now.”

“-and *sniff* suck it in.”

“Dad, get out!”

Yep, he’ll be fine. Tracey and I have promised to reconsider adding the bunk back into the girls’ room so the three of them can share.

Plus now he’ll have a nice moment to recall for when his psychiatrist tries to work out why he refuses to share a bed with his partner.

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