Hello seeker! Time to climb the clouded mountain and enter the dark cave where Ask Dad dispenses wisdom on the ways of big kids. Be quick with your questions! The master's time is precious!
I'm a single mother to a 5-year-old and I've been seeing a guy for a few months. My kid adores him but I've never had a man spend the night before. How soon is too soon?
First, I'm going to assume that your boyfriend does not resemble, is not related to, and does not share a dentist with this guy.
Also, have you held him up to the sun to make sure he's not a vampire? Cause once you invite one of them into your house, you're pretty much screwed. Though maybe they all take the sweet-and-gentle Pattinson path now.
So if you do trust him, I say open your door. The bedroom one, not just the front one. A 5-year-old is still going to be helpfully clueless about the situation. There is no reason they need to think of it as more than a fun-and-friendly sleepover. Chances are they'll like the idea. Even if they are sharp enough to recognize romance in the situation, that doesn't mean they'll find it troubling. Just keep your kid radar up.
There are a few pitfalls you'll need to keep in mind:
- Take it easy on the sexual shenanigans at first. You'll probably be too nervous anyway. Yes, parents have been getting wild while the kids sleep in the house -- or even in the same room -- since children were invented. But because the situation is a bit delicate, you may want to keep the erotic swing and handcuffs in the closet for now, in case of walk-ins or door knocks.
- If you do sell it as just a fun slumber party, be prepared for everyone to hear about it: your ex, your ex's parents, your parents, your kid's teacher, grocery checkers, homeless guys on the subway .... This is just the price you'll have to pay. Do not go down the "don't tell daddy" path. That leads to madness.
- Be prepared to learn a lot about your beau. It's easy to be great with kids at parks and restaurants. It's something else entirely if he's waking you up at 3 a.m. because he's seeing imaginary spiders or drowning in his own pee. Your kid I mean. If your man has those problems, you may want to rethink the relationship.
What do you think? When is it okay to let loverboy sleep over?
Image via RichardRiley/Flickr