Recently la suegra (my boyfriend’s mother) went to visit her daughter in another town. This prompted the question from my boyfriend’s nearly nine year old son “Who am I going to sleep with?”
D has shared a bed with his grandmother since he was three and came to live with his dad. D also shared this bed with his aunt until she married and moved away. For him, having his own bed, let alone a room to himself, was not something he was used to.
D had devised all sorts of sleeping arrangements that revolved around him not having to sleep by himself and most often left mi novio and I in different beds. However, we were firm. He would be sleeping by himself until his grandmother returned.
The first night, as I enforced a 9:30pm bedtime, there were tears. He sat in the chair, crumpled and crying about having to sleep on his own. When I asked where he thought he would sleep when he’s 16 he replied “With my grandmother” and again when he’s 20 apparently he will still be sharing a room with his grandmother! Trying a different tack I asked him where he sleeps when he goes to visit his mother and he said “With my grandmother.” I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him always sharing a room with his grandmother as I remember sharing with my brother and sister at his age and itching for my own room.
Finally, due to the sternness of his father we got D to bed. We moved in a lamp from our room so he wouldn’t have to sleep in the dark and removed the doll which stared down at him from above the cupboard with a ghoulish smile. Mi novio promised he would stay with him until he went to sleep and that he only had to tap on our door if he needed us during the night.
Mi novio kept checking on D during the night and then got up to his calls at about 5am that he was cold. In the morning when asked, D said he had slept fine. No problemo! Each night thereafter followed the pattern of mi novio waiting with D until he fell asleep and there were no more tears at bedtime.
A week later, la suegra arrived and the first thing D said was “Grandmother, you’re back! Now I don’t have to sleep on my own!”