A lot of parenting seems to revolve around setting rules. We decide on things that we think are appropriate, attempt to implement them and do our best at enforcement. These rules evolve as our children age, edicts against stuffing food up their noses turning to eating everything on their plate turning to washing dishes and after dinner clean up. For every expectation applied there seems to be a compensatory refusal to comply. It’s probably too late for most of you reading this, but if you don’t want to spend your life arguing with a smaller version of yourself about every aspect of their life, you might want to consider dog ownership as an alternative way to satisfy your need to nurture.
There has been a new rule decided on here, one that I have debated for a while and finally decided needed to be be made. Barring special circumstances, previously agreed on exceptions, or sleepwalking occurrences, after a certain time of night the downstairs has been declared an “adults only” zone.
That’s not to say that there are hedonistic, drug fueled orgies happening here. No “key parties” or naked parties in the sauna. We actually do have a sauna in our basement, it’s proven to be a great place to store Christmas decorations and hide presents. It’s been about eight years since it’s been used for it’s intended purpose and about the same amount of time since I’ve been nude outside of the bedroom.
Nowadays “adults only” means freedom to speak, to gossip, to talk about work and even the kids in ways that we might not do if they were sitting on the other side of the couch. It means wings that we might not feel like sharing, language that we don’t want them to think we use, alcoholic beverages and peeing with the door open. It means a few hours a week when we are a couple and not partners in parenting. Some nights it might even mean a bit of sexy time on the couch.
The six year old is in bed by 8:00, the teenager’s assumption that this rule is directed at her a correct one. If she’s reading this I’ll reiterate that it’s not personal. We still like you, still want you around.
Just not right now. You may be sick of hearing this, might think it’s an easy excuse, a cop out, but trust me on this, on all our apparently unfair and ridiculous rules that you’ve spent your whole life fighting: one day you’ll get it, you’ll understand.
If this isn’t persuasive enough, refer back to that bit about possible sexy time on the couch. Do you really want to see that?