Do you let your child do sleep outs?

I am sure that this subject fills you with dread as much as it does me. Brace yourself, this post does not get any better.

Connor has a select group of friends that he is “allowed” to sleep at.  There are about four friends who sleep over at our house, and he generally is “allowed” to sleep at theirs.  I am not thrilled with the idea of “sleep outs” but I try and roll with them, because you know I am a cool mom and stuff.

Georgia is in grade one, and we are not really ready for her to sleep out.  But with all “rules of parenting” there is always an exception. Georgia has a friend Cara, and that is the only place she is allowed to sleep out at.

Kennith chatted to me a few weeks ago, and he said that he is not comfortable with Georgia sleeping out ANYWHERE and could I please stop agreeing to sleep outs.

Georgia ♥’s Cara. I feel that she would be robbed if she was not allowed to sleep at her home, and I would “awkward” if I asked Cara to sleep here, but Georgia was not allowed to sleep at Cara’s.

Cara has slept at our home a few times. Both girls are 6, and I am sure that we are both the exception to each other – just because the girls are such good friends and I trust Cara’s parents emplicitly, as I hope they trust Kennith and I.

I am always on the alert that I am going to become one of those parents that wrap their child in cotton wool, and can only function if the umbilical cord is in tact, and if their child is not in actual sight they cannot function.

I am a total paranoid freak at heart, but I try to not let this control my children’s lives.  I try.  I fail often, but I try.  So shit that makes my haemorraids leak, I try and smile, and just loosen my g-string a bit.

About two months ago I had asked a friend from school to do a favour for me.  Initially she did some work, but then I did not hear from her again.   I thought I had offended her, and ran over what I had said and done.  I felt uncomfortable to ask again, as she was doing me a favour, and I was sure she was just busy.  I would just wait it out.

She sent me a subsequent note to explain that her daughter’s best friend’s father had been molesting her daughter on sleep overs.  This had happened more than once.

She trusted  the family, and of course they were devastated. They were thrown into Hades and were dealing with the legal and emotional fall out of the issue.

How does one even start to say “how sorry I am for what you are going through and wish I could arrange a kangaroo court to shoot the muther-fucker” – is there a card you can send for that – if so, please do let me know.

I felt like I had been hit in the stomach with a cannon ball, and felt violently ill.  For her.  For her daughter.  For her family.  For me.  I started wondering if it was a case of “when” it would happen to my kids, rather than “if.”

It made me stop and rethink any sleep outs I might have thought were fine.  It made me wonder if I should homeschool {excuse me as I pull sawn off barrel from my cupboard}, and I wondered if I could let my kids out into the world.

Keep them at home, protect them forever!

This morning on CapeTalk they were talking about children who were molested always by “people the family knew well, or family themselves” and my stomach did a heave over.  Like dry apricots on my dashboard heave.

A person came on the line from a Child Abuse Centre and she wanted to motivate how prevalent child abuse was.  And how important it is to address “inappropriate touching” or “someone who makes you uncomfortable” with your child, or toddler, as early as you could – don’t wait, talk about it now.

I dry heaved a bit in my mouth.

Again that phrase of “are we teaching our children not to be raped” rather than “to be comfortable with who they are” – and then I realised that our society is fked – metaphorically and physically.

I am not a big fan of “street justice” as I understand {intellectually} the problem.  But please ask me if I have a problem with every perpetrator of rape/molestation is burnt in the road with a bit of petrol and a bit of a car tyre, and I would be hard pressed to not pull out my petrol card and suggest they put it on my tab.  Hard pressed — really hard pressed.

When I fetched Georgia today I started talking to her about how if anyone touches her in the “places her costume covers” she should tell me, because NO ONE WAS EVER ALLOWED TO TOUCH her in those places.

If anyone said she was bad and had to keep a secret, she must immediately tell me.

If someone said that I would be cross with her, because of something she did or something someone else did, then she must IMMEDIATELY tell me, as I would never be cross with her.

Secrets are not good.

No one – repeat in bold – no one is allowed to touch her in her costume area, no matter what the situation.  She must ALWAYS tell me.

How totally crappy is our world that I am having this conversation  with my six-year-old, because I might not be able to protect her?

I feel sick.  I want to drive heave.  Actually I did a bit.