Flea has got this down pat.
My adorable offspring went to bed at 7pm tonight, as usual. Ten minutes later, I can hear her crying, so I go upstairs to find her sitting on her bedroom floor, sobbing her heart out.
“Honey, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”
She does that spluttering thing kids do when they can’t quite talk, but she manages to squeak out a plaintive, “Oh, Mummy…” that tugs at my heartstrings.
I scoop her up and sit down on the bed, cradling her, trying to work out what's happened. “What is it? Did you fall out of bed?”
“How did you fall out?”
She takes a deep breath. “They pushed me.”
I follow her gaze and see her bed is filled – stuffed – with soft toys. Teddies, crocodiles, a couple of rabbits and a dog that’s almost as big as Flea herself.
Glaring at the offenders, she adds: “I was in bed but there was no room for me, and I fell out.”
Hmm. “Maybe you could take some teddies out of the bed? They could sleep on your bedside cabinet?”
She looks at me doubtfully. I decide that firm action is needed. “Come on, you get into bed, and Floppy, Rabbit, Max and Toby can sleep on the night-stand,” I say.
Before she can disagree with me I say, brightly, “Look how comfy they are!” and ruffle her hair, give her a kiss and whisper, “Sleep well, darling.”
Congratulating myself on how skilfully I’ve solved another parenting crisis, I head off for a shower. Ten minutes later, I walk into my bedroom to find a four-year-old asleep on one side of my bed, and 10 teddies on the other.
You've got to sort of admire her logic.