Summer presents many challenges to the positive parent – not least how to keep your child in bed so that you can drink beer and watch movies without interruption.
Flea has decided that while it’s still light enough to read a book, she’d rather be reading than wasting her time with any of that sleeping nonsense. And while reading she likes to take occasional breaks to find a new teddy, get a glass of water and generally wander around the house.
A couple of nights ago, I went upstairs at 10pm to find Flea on the landing outside her bedroom.
“Do you KNOW what time it is?” I squeaked at her.
“No Mummy,” Flea replied, giving me her patented I’ll-explain-this-slowly-for-you face. “I don’t know how to tell the time.”
Well, ask a stupid question.
Last night, though, I got tough. No five-year-old is going to get the better of me. So at 8pm, when I heard Flea wandering down the landing, I raced upstairs.
“What are you doing?”
“Getting a glass of water.”
“Well, get the water and go back to bed and STAY there until the morning, okay?”
Flea considered her options.“What if I need to go the toilet?”
Pah. I had an answer all ready for THAT question. “Well, go the toilet now and then you won’t need to go again, so you can stay in bed all night, can't you?”
Flea raced to the bathroom, raced back and jumped into bed.
Congratulating myself on another textbook parenting moment, I said goodnight, gave my little angel a kiss and reminded her that she was now to stay in bed, no matter what.
"What if I'm thirsty?"
"There's a bottle of water on the nightstand."
"What if I need a teddy?"
"You have two teddies here, you'll be fine."
“What if I need the toilet?”
“You won’t. You’ve just been, haven’t you?”
There was a pause. I smell victory in the air.
“You know sometimes if you have a urinary infection, you need to go the toilet a lot…..”
Sometimes it's easier just to admit defeat.