I Told My Son He Could Sleep in the GarageBeth Anne Ballance
I sighed. I love my son, but it was 9pm and I felt tapped out. He had flannel sheets, a warm blanket, lovies, books, bedtime kisses…there wasn’t a thing more he needed. I think it’s fair to say (and I don’t think it makes me a bad mom to admit) that once my son’s bedtime comes, I’m ready for adult time with my husband to talk or have a glass of wine or watch Bones.
“Mommy, I don’t want to sleep alone!” he hollered. “Can I come sleep with you?” I knew that part of this complaint is because he’s used to napping with his friends at daycare and he loves when he gets to sleep by our bed when he’s sick. But despite my sympathy to his plight, I needed him to sleep in his room without whining every night.
So I answered back, “Well, bud. I’ve only got two places for you to sleep. Your room or the garage!”
My husband laughed beside me. “What the heck are you going to do if he says ‘the garage?'” he asked. I answered that I was just going to roll with it.
“I want to sleep in the garage!” my four-year-old answered. My husband rolled his eyes and winked at me, almost daring to see if I’d follow through.
“Okay, buddy. Come on down!” I hollered back up the stairs. A patter of feet and fleece pajamas appeared at the top of the stairs, lovey in hand. He came cautiously down the stairs, asking about blankets and beds in the garage. “Nope,” I said. “No blankets or beds in the garage! But if you want to sleep there, you can!” I led him to the laundry room and opened the heavy door to the garage. A cavern of cold darkness stared back at my four-year-old.
“Oh,” he said. “No, thank you. I’ll sleep in my bed.”
The patter of feet up to his bed came in rapid staccato and I kissed his forehead and told him I loved him as I tucked him back into bed.
We haven’t heard a peep about sleeping in our room since.
Parenting is easy.
*disclaimer: I hope y’all know there is no way in hell I would have actually let my kid sleep in a freezing cold, dark garage. I was banking on calling his bluff and I am just glad it worked!