“Mum, I have a girlfriend.” “Do you darling, that’s nice”. “Can she stay over, in my room?” “Of course she can, no problems, and I’ll bring you both breakfast in bed the next morning.” Okay, that’s NOT how the conversation went. But imagine if that’s what I had said to my 15-year-old Man-Child. He definitely would have thought I’d completely lost my mind – he knows I’m not that liberated.
Seriously though, we did have the conversation recently, whilst on holidays. Man-Child II innocently lobbed this fact over the dinner table to me whilst out a restaurant (I think he was using a public place to ensure I didn’t completely lose it given how the questions unfolded). I told him I thought he already had a girlfriend, but now it seems it’s “official”. It is a girl I have met. In fact it’s the girl who lied to my face a few months back…..no wonder she’s kept a low profile. Anyway, I can move on!
I was initially thrilled that he had chosen to share this with me, however as the conversation progressed, it became clear why. It was so he could quite seriously ask if it would be alright if she stayed over some time. But not just stayed over as a friend would, but stayed over in his room, in his queen size bed, with the bedroom door closed. (I’m hyperventilating now just thinking about it again).
As I mentioned, we were in a restaurant, so I couldn’t lose it. I didn’t want to give him an outright no and appear totally unreasonable (just yet), so I asked a few more questions whilst I tried to collect my inner thoughts. One of which was “Are you having sex”!!!! His answer was no – and I have no way of knowing if that’s the truth or not, but I am happy to believe him. I also asked what her parents thought of her staying the night – they hadn’t been asked. Hmmm. I suspect they were optimistically going for the “Man-Child’s mum thinks it’s okay, so do you too”?
I know my son has stayed at her place before, but with a whole host of boys and girls, and he assures me he slept on the couch. I recall speaking to the mother at the time who told me the girls and boys were well separated and her bedroom was in between – excellent arrangement!
Of course I grew up with fairly strict Catholic parents, who didn’t allow my boyfriends to EVER sleep at our house. And my parents-in-law finally let me and Father of a Man-Child share a room at the beach house once we were engaged (oh and I was allowed to call them by their first names then too – yep, a tad old-fashioned and conservative).
So back to the decision. I told him I wasn’t really keen to have girlfriends staying in his room just now, mainly because I didn’t want to condone sex amongst teenagers who aren’t even 16. (No probs if she was to stay in the spare room downstairs). He went to his father for an opinion, who was for once even more assertive than me and gave him a very flat NO! Yay. Man-Child continued to badger us for a couple of hours that night, reminding us that at 16 he will be able to do what he wants, but we haven’t heard about it again since. I did sound like my parents when I said “It’s our house, and while you live in it, you abide by our rules”.
I’m sure at some stage we’ll agree to a girlfriend staying over in his room, but for now, it’s not on. I even asked about his mates – he assured me half of them hadn’t even kissed a girl, so they’re years behind our man-child. Great, we get the early developer!!
So what do you think? Are we right? Or are we too prudish for our own good? When do you think it’s okay to have “sleepovers” of this kind?
Read about the lying incident here: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.