Date nights for you and your boo have been few and far between for a laundry list of reasons (although the laundry itself thankfully isn’t actually one of them). So when y’all quiet the household, tuck in the children, and steal away to your boudoir for a long overdue night together, it's full of unbridled romance and passion — until your 8-year-old opens the door and sees you, his mother, tangled up in an act of naughtiness.
Get the therapist on line one. Pronto.
You’ve managed to shield him from those types of scenes by forbidding him from after-hours shows on HBO and Cinemax, but here Junior gets a bird’s eye view in his own home of his own parents doing the deed that brought him into creation. He sat through The Talk about the birds and the bees, but never did you ever think you’d have to include Mommy and Daddy as visual aides.
Now, what do you say to a kid who’s been an eyewitness to his parents having sex?
I read a blog recently where a young man who had the misfortune of coming home from school early only to catch his mom and dad gettin’ it on in their bedroom feared he may be emotionally scarred. I laughed, but I don’t blame him. I was raised by a single mother who, to my knowledge, didn’t date the entire time I was growing up, so that was never a threat in my house. (I’m just going to pause here for a resounding ‘thank you, Jesus!’) But I heard horror stories about kids walking in on their parents all the time.
And now that I actually am a mom, it’s creepy to be on the other side of the game.
When kids are young, you can play it off — as so many parents do — by telling them that Mommy and Daddy were playing a game or simply send them packing with a pat on the head and a cookie to distract them. Unless they give you a play-by-play of the unfolding action like this way-too-attentive little girl:
Of course, your first inclination is to have all of your calls forwarded to a nice, isolated spot under your bed, where you’ve crawled to avoid any and all eye contact with your child. But I think openness is more in order to help smooth the situation over. You can give them the talk about sex being natural, about the two of you being in love and that’s what people in love do, about it being an expression that comes along with being an adult. Key word: adult, since we want to try and stretch abstinence for as much and as long as it’s worth.
Is it humiliating? Probably. Awkward? Most definitely, for everyone involved. But leaving that massive matzo ball hanging out there — much like your behind when you were suspended in mid-air on that fateful evening — isn’t serving to make the situation any less uncomfortable. It gives the kids a heap of unanswered questions and a reason to look at their mama and papa with that weird kid side eye.
Have you ever been caught in the act? What did you say to your kids?
Image via Alex Schweigert/Flickr