A few weeks ago, my 5 year old son, Bency told me he never wants to become an uncle.
I briefly closed my eyes, took a deep breath and prepared for what was coming next. I’m used to these kinds of statements. They happen frequently. They involve long stories; sit down discussions and lots of mind power on my part.
I asked why he didn’t want to become an uncle.
Bency said, “Once you become an uncle you die. It’s all over with. That’s it. I don’t want to die so I don’t want to become an uncle.”
I realized Bency had no idea what an uncle was so I explained that an uncle is the brother to one of your parents. I gave the example of his Uncle Bruce, the guy he sees pretty often and calls….”Uncle Bruce”.
Instead of setting his mind at ease, this explanation had him putting his head down, covering his eyes and shuddering, “Oh no, NOT Uncle Bruce! I didn’t know he was an….UNCLE! He looks more like a dad to me.”
Repeat me closing my eyes and taking a deep breath to prepare for delving in deeper with this issue.
Bency’s been like this forever. He thinks a lot. He makes himself scared a lot. In turn, this causes him to get scared in the middle of the night…a lot.
He has snuck into bed with my husband and me almost every night of his life like a stealth ninja. We wake up and there he is, all nestled in by us.
I haven’t made a big deal of it because I understand what it’s like to be scared in the middle of the night. I snuck into my parent’s bed plenty of times as a kid. The only difference between Bency and me is that I used to pee the bed so not only did I disrupt my parent’s sleep but they also woke up wet. Bency has never done this, so this does help his cause somewhat.
Regardless, I still try to offer incentives for Bency to stay in his bed all night. We had some luck when he started Kindergarten. I told him Kindergartners were big kids so they couldn’t sleep with their parents anymore. This did keep him at bay for a week. I thought my plan was a success. It wasn’t. Bency said, “I’ve been thinking about it and I think Kindergartners can still sleep with their parents. I’m really pretty small yet.”
Two nights ago, I set up a small Christmas tree in Bency’s room to hold all the ornaments he’s ever received. Bency decorated his tree all by himself and really thought it was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen.
At bedtime, Bency requested that his bedroom be rearranged so he had a better view of his tree so he could look at it all night. I wasn’t about to rearrange his bedroom but his enthusiasm for his Christmas tree gave me an idea.
I said to Bency, “Now Buddy, make sure you stay in your bed all night so you can protect your tree so no one comes and takes this beauty.”
Bency’s eyes got HUGE and he gasped, “WHO would come take some little kid’s Christmas tree out of their room? There are no bad people in the world that would do something like that….IS THERE??”
My heart skipped a beat and I mumbled, “No, uhhh, ummm, no, ummm, I didn’t mean that. I just meant someone might want to come and look at it, because it’s so beautiful.”
In a high, squeaky, shaky voice Bency asked, “You mean people might be sneaking into my room tonight?”
My stomach turned, I wanted to pound myself with a hammer over the head. As much as I wanted to hit the rewind button and erase what I said, I couldn’t. So I said the only logical thing left to say, “Hey buddy, do you want to sleep with Mommy tonight?”
Awwwww… he has such a vivid imagination. A little TOO vivid perhaps? I put Christmas lights in both of my kids rooms that they have up year round. Ezra has multicolored lights and Brynn has purple (imagine that). It really helps them be comfortable at night.
Tell him the Grinch used to take trees but doesn’t anymore because his heart grew and he’s nice now, therefore no one takes trees now. Oh wait never mind, he’ll probably worry about someone’s heart growing and exploding! Oh kids!
haha!!! Oh yeah, thanks for helping me think that one through!! I would have said it and of course he would have been worrying about someone’s or HIS heart exploding!!!
My son is very literal, so I totally get that. One day I said I had heartburn and he was verrrrry concerned.
Ahhhh, motherhood. I really enjoyed this post, and can soooo relate. Thanks!
Thank you!! Oh yes, it sure has so many fun moments!!
This really cracked me up. The only effective way I found to get kids not to sleep with me was to have another kid so that they would be crowded out. I was in a dilemma with Sam, seeing as I had gotten my tubes tied after his birth. If Gary hadn’t come along along with my posse of dogs I fear he would still try to snuggle in from time to time. I actually kind of miss it, though, and every once in awhile I go watch something with him in his room on Netflix. (We usually end up in one of those deep, Bency-like, philosophical conversations, too) And of course there’s always Quentin who will snuggle up with me for an afternoon nap occasionally. Enjoy it, you will miss it someday.
Yeah, it’s pretty sweet! I just worry about the repercussions of sleeping with your parents until you are 17. I’m just not sure I’m ready to explain to his girlfriends why he still sleeps with us!!
I like his Christmas tree — especially with the plaid ribbon curling down the sides. Very creative. Do the other kids have their own trees too? Love that!
Okay, here’s the deal on the Christmas trees! I bought a small Christmas tree when Iris was born because she received so many ornaments as a baby and our tree is the living room was already very full. At the time we had a lot of extra room in our house so I thought this was a great idea! Along came Bency and of course I had to get one for him too, to be fair. Everything was going fine until our third kid came…now we have a serious lack of space in the house. Iris’s Christmas tree had to go in the dining room this year because her room is too small and full of stuff to have a tree in it. Bency’s room is fine for his tree but we will soon be moving Cesar in with him so I don’t know what we’re going to do next year when I’m sure Cesar requests a tree of his own too!!! I clearly was not thinking this all through when I started this tradition!!
Isn’t it funny how these traditions take on a life (and space!) of their own?! We all have our own ornaments too, but they mostly go on the “main” tree in the living room.
A couple of years ago, my husband (whom I shall call “Mr. Christmas” from here on out) bought a cheapie tree on clearance so that the kids could have a separate tree downstairs in the family room to put all their toys around, make Lego-man villages, race cars under, etc. etc. He said it was for the kids, but really it’s for him. That man is crazy about this holiday.
My husband is the leader of Christmas Spirit in our house too! I had a few Christmas village pieces when we met and every year he adds to it. I told him we do not have any more room for additional village pieces but… Anyway, I told him last year that maybe we shouldn’t set up the village because we were so short on space but alas, he did it anyway and it takes up the majority of our dining room as it gets bigger and bigger every year…complete with ponds he makes, roads…it’s his FAVORITE toy!!! LOL!!!
Oops. This was so, SO funny.
Thank you!! It’s much easier to laugh at it the next day!!
Oh! you are a sweet mommy! 🙂 I like that you invited him to your bed! 🙂 I used to sleep in my parents bed for a while too, I was always scared (I am still scared of the dark ;-)) and loved that my mom never complained to me about me asking to sleep with them! 🙂 with my baby boy (he is now 18 months),every night around 3o’clock in the morning he wakes up and begs us to bring him to our bed, I don’t mind, my hub doesn’t like it too much but I love it when he hugs me in bed and I get to cuddle with my baby boy! 🙂
Yes, the husbands are definitely not the keenest on the idea although I must say we are both pretty used to it now and my husband is quick to get our 2 year old and plop him into bed now with us when he wakes up in the middle of the night….if nothing else we are warm!!! LOL!!
If I had a dollar for every time I wanted to “hit myself with a hammer” for saying the wrong thing…. ! You left me hanging with the Uncle theory. What’s Bency’s train of thought there?
That’s really the beauty of Bency and an added bonus…he can never tell me where he comes up with these ideas. I can only surmise that he had Grandpas and Uncles interchanged because he said since Uncle Bruce didn’t have gray hair and wrinkles he looked more like a dad than an uncle. So in all reality, I think Bency meant once you’re a Grandparent you’re life is over…nice!
Oh, this story made me smile–my two have very vivid imaginations and also keep me on my toes with their questions (little A. asked me yesterday out of the blue, “when do we die?”–not ready for that one, but I was able to deflect the question and remind her of the beauty of each day we have together and the even greater beauty of Heaven someday). I used to climb into my parents’ bed often, as well, but I think I pretty much outgrew it during my elementary years–so most likely it will be a temporary thing for you, too. I still have an annoyingly vivid imagination, so I’m pretty sympathetic to bad dreams, scary thoughts, and all those things!
I have not gone so well with deflecting these questions lately. My daughter, who is also a Miss A expressed her concerned that we were all going to die before she grew up. Her teacher told me that around this age kids find out about mortality etc and that these questions aren’t necessarily related to my health. She said she wished she could have a crystal ball like my brother and could see into the future. I think he has something decorative. My daughter poses these questions every night qat bedtime and my cynical husband believes it’s something of a ploy to keep me with her she isn’t alone.
The kids have never come into our bed as we used to have a waterbed and it wasn’t safe. We had a single bed in the nursery and I would sleep with them in there instead. I do have some lovely memories but I also value my sleep.
Yes, that may be another reason L. does not come into our room–we have always gone to him, and now to A. as well. For L., we just found a cozy spot on the floor (how oxymoronic!) next to his crib when he was little until he had re-settled. For A., I have a very soft blanket on top of a recliner, where I curl up like a kitty next to her bed when she calls for Mommy. We tried one night when we were anticipating nasty weather to have both kids in between us in our bed…not good. I’m the only one who doesn’t wiggle around a lot during the night! I think whatever way we can make our children feel constantly safe and loved, it may have many different forms–but it is so good to be able to reassure them. Answering tough questions is only going to get trickier (L. heard the word “suicide” from a classmate yesterday…ugh), so press on, mommies. We’re all doing our best!!
We recently checked out the book Heaven Is For Real, kids edition and Bency absolutely loved that book and it really set his mind at ease about a lot of things! I guess for him sometimes it’s better to get information from a book rather than me!!
I’ve heard of that–will have to check it out.
Oh Bency – he makes me smile. I love the way his little mind works. (Mostly because I can relate. I have TWO like him.)
I hate it when I step into “it” like that. I can so relate to the sensation of wanting to hit myself with a hammer or cut out my own tongue. And why do they never miss our slip-ups?
Bency never pays attention when I tell him to go pick up his room…it requires 6 times in order for him hear but lo and behold I tell him that someone might steal his Christmas tree and he is all ears!!
Well yeah. You always hear the “important” stuff….
You are so much sweeter than me! haha! I’ve finally managed to get my 5 year old to stay in her room during the week by allowing her to snuggle with me on either Friday or Saturday night…..then enters the crazy 2 year old that can’t stay still whether asleep or awake and always ends up in our bed because I am too tired (lazy) to do anything about it. The madness continues as I wake up with a foot in my face! 🙂
You’re lucky you only get a foot…I’ve woke up several times with a butt in my face…and yes, I agree I am lazy on this matter. I did so much better with the first kid when she woke up in the middle of the night. I actually went in her bedroom and sang her a song or something to stop her from coming into our bed…with the last two I’m just too burnt out so anything goes!!!
I know the feeling! I gave up long ago. I’m told that when my kids become teenagers they will barely even talk to me, so I decided to give up some space and cherish my little visitor. Fortunately for all of us, we wake up dry.
haha!!! I’m really not convinced yet that Bency won’t be in bed with us when he is a teenager…I just can’t see the tides turning!!!
Loved this one, Melissa! I can’t tell you how many times I wish I could hit the “rewind button” with my daughter. She is just like Bency. A thinker, always worrying about the what-ifs in life. I would’ve done the same thing and offered my child the chance to sleep in my bed. My three year old is still in bed with us. I don’t see any relief in sight!
Your little Bency looks like an angel when he sleeps! 🙂
Ditto on wishing I could press rewind sometimes!
I really try to take as many sleeping pictures as possible…it really is when they look the most angelic. When I’m old I’m just going to look back on those pictures and try to erase all of the memories of whining and crying!!!
Thankfully my son has outgrown most anxiety issues, but when he was 5-7yrs old he would become VERY worried/sressed/scared about the most random things and it was a HARD job to bring him back down to calm. He and his sister shared a room so he didn’t come to sleep with us. Ironically, last week he DID want to sleep with me because he had a bad dream. I let him, but the next night he was scared he was *going to be scared*, and wanted to know could he sleep with me again if he woke up scared. I said we’d set up the sleeping bag on the floor, next to the bed ,and IF he woke, he could come in and sleep there. He didn’t wake and the next night he didn’t either. He knows the sleeping bag is there if he needs it, but so far he hasn’t again.
I once set up a little bed on the floor for Bency….at some point in the night not only was he in bed with us but so was the extra pillow and blankets!!!
Bency and I have the same pj’s! We are, as I’ve long suspected, soul mates!
I really need a picture of you in red reindeer footy pajamas!!!
OH, mine don’t have feet… but they look otherwise the same. LOL.
I am in love with him and your sense of humor about the situation. He’s great, and one day when he stops crawling into bed, you will miss it. Cuddle in and enjoy!
I will admit last weekend my husband was out of town and not one of the kids came into my bed…it was such a weird feeling having the whole bed to myself for a whole night…I think I got less sleep that night!!!
Bless his little cotton socks his thoughts much older than his years it seems. I laughed out loud about hitting yourself with the hammer..though I felt your pain, lovely post Mel.
I wish mine were younger again so that I may write of their antics…alas grown up now and all that is behind me…until grand children… taps the desk very impatiently with her fingers. 🙂
Oh, thank you very much! I don’t really know what I would write about if I didn’t have little ones running around!! I think my life would be pretty boring!!
Boring? Hmm no just different posts, perhaps more concentrated on you that’s all 🙂 and you are welcome.
I love everything about this story. Especially how it ends. What a wonderful little boy and what a wonderful mama he has. xoxo
Oh, thank you very much!! I guess you can only try!! My attempts are never too good though!! LOL!!!
Love this! My youngest would always end up crawling in bed with us some time during the night. I do miss it! The ending is so sweet. I would have said the same thing!
Thank you! I make this mothering thing so much harder on my self at times!!! LOL!!
Hi Melissa! I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award: http://sugarandspicebaking.com/2012/11/30/very-inspiring-blogger-award/
Thank you so much!! You are too kind to me!! I really appreciate it!
Well-deserved as always!!
I love this, it gave me a real laugh. Bency sounds a lot like my son.
Thank you! Glad you got a chuckle!!
What a sweet story of the tests and trials we go through as mothers. Isn’t it wonderful that 99% of the time a kiss on the forehead, or another night in mommy and daddy’s bed can make all of that go away for the time being. I love the fact that our babies love us so much, we can easily correct our simple errors with love 🙂 My daughter Cyriah reminds me of your son Bency…she has such a vivid imagination and I find myself carefully walking a thin line so I won’t say the wrong things. My husband on the other hand just blurts things out! He has become a bit more self conscious of his words because he finally noticed that when he messes up it could potentially mean 1, 2, or even 3 babies in the bed with us 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! Oh, your husband and I have something in common! I too have tried to think things through a bit better because there have been nights that we have all three in bed with us and that’s just no good for anyone!!! LOL!!!
Amen and shut the front door! I have had these very conversations with my son with the very same results. Good read.
Thank you so much!
Funny story. I’ve been there many times wanting to take back something I said! When we moved into my friend’s house my daughter went through a phase of crawling into bed with me. Now we’ve been here for several months and she is much more comfortable. Surrounded by her stuffed animals she makes a nest and they guard the door.
Oh, that is so sweet! Bency does sleep with numerous stuffed animals. Now if only I could get him to build a nest…I sure he would find a way to be freaked out about it though!! LOL!!
Your son sounds so sweet! My children are 2 and 4 months. We all co-sleep and are far from explaining why big kids sleep in their own beds, but I feel your pain here. I certainly look forward to my husband and I having our bed back. 🙂
haha!! Yes, it can get a bit crowded! At least now Bency doesn’t move to much and is quiet! He went through a phase where he tossed and turned and we would end up getting kicked in the face in the middle of the night!! That always makes for a restful nights sleep!! LOL!!!
Pingback: I Go Out Walking After Midnight, Out in the Moonlight | Motherhood Is An Art