“Alrighty,” I said in my best daddy voice to the 9 kids stretched out in the lounge room. “Bedtime.”
As the girls were all sleeping exactly where they were at that moment watching tv, this simply meant I was about to turn the telly and light off.
There was just one little problem to sort out.
“Not you, big boy,” I said to Master8. “You’re in your room.”
“What?! Why?!” He looked stricken.
“Because you’re a boy.”
“So what? Why should that matter?”
I’ll just mention at this point that there were several junctions in this conversation where the first thing which jumped into my head wasn’t what I actually ended up saying. As such there were several pauses where I mentally went looking for more PG answers. Some of these pauses were heavily pregnant.
Part of the problem for me was I really wouldn’t have minded if he did sleep in the room with the girls. It’s not like I seriously felt there was going to be spit swapping if I left him there. But when people leave there kids at your house there are certain expectations.
So I decided, rather than wear all the blame myself, I’d bring these other people into the argument.
“Some parents wouldn’t approve of you sleeping in the same room as the girls,” I told him.
“Well, what age will they let me sleep with them?” he wanted to know.
Needless to say, this conversation wasn’t going the way I’d planned it. Bedtime. You in your bed. Telly off. Don’t wake us up too early. Lights off. Night everyone. Done.
Instead I had tears, tantrums and death stares.
“When you go on school camps they won’t even let the boys and girls sleep in the same buildings,” I said.
“This is so stupid,” he told me. “I bet if I was a girl you wouldn’t be kicking me out.”
“You’ve got me there,” I said.
“And anyway, this is your house, Dad. What age will you let me sleep with girls in your house?”
This pause had twins.
“Actually,” I told him as I tucked him into his bed and stood guard until I was sure he wasn’t going to make a run for the lounge room, “the thing is, the older you are, the harder it is to sleep with girls.”
I figured he may as well know now. Less disappointment later.
When not over here, Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page. Come join us 🙂
”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”