I am pretty experienced at the whole hosting sleepovers lark. Providing midnight feasts (well, half past eight treats) and vetting appropriate movies, all the way through to ones involving alcohol and possible vomiting now the daughter is eighteen. But this weekend sees a whole new brand of sleepover.
The boyfriend sleepover.
In theory I am fine with this. She is eighteen. They have been dating almost a year. He is nice. She is sensible.
He is welcome to stay here, but in that way that as far as I am concerned my parents never have sex, neither does she.
As an abstract idea it is fine. I can talk to her about contraception and even new fancy pants, but I have to admit to feeling a little un-nerved about being in the room next door.
I think you have several ways of dealing with this as a parent :-
a) You can come over all puritanical, put him in a different bedroom and instigate a doors open, one foot on the floor at all times policy. (Which one of my friends Dad did when she was young. She had sex in a bus stop. No one should have to have sex in the vicinity of passers-by and McDonalds wrappers – unless that’s what does it for you, it takes all sorts!)
b) You can go completely the other way and provide a welcome basket of treats from Anne Summers and offer advice on positions. (But not being a kaftan wearing tantric fan this isn’t very me, plus I should imagine it has every chance of putting them off sex for life, and while I may be feeling slightly uncomfortable I don’t want that!)
c) You get all Phil Mitchell on his ass – pin him against the wall and mutter something like ‘You lay one of your grubby little fingers on my baby girl under my roof and you will be walking sideways into next Tuesday.’ (I think if I tried this the effect would be comical rather than menacing, what with my Guardian reading, slightly posh Dorset accent)
d) You just carry on as normal. You embarrass her with childhood stories, then pack yourselves off to bed early and make sure you leave the telly on in your room, loudly, so you don’t accidentally hear anything.
Obviously I am going for D. I have no abstract issue with her being sexually active. She is an adult, it is perfectly natural, we all do it. (Except my parents obvs, and even they do and I am glad they are happy together after 50 years, but you know – ugh!). I am going with the act as if it is normal for a boy to be sleeping in her room (which it is really, she has a gay BF who sleeps over regularly), and soon it will feel normal – I just need to get this first time over and stop being so prudish about it!
Have you been here? Did you manage to cope without feeling slightly odd about it?
Love Miss Cisco XXX