I’ve not been sleeping well for the past several nights, and true to form, last night was no exception. Hubby wasn’t feeling well and between his snoring for a change (and not mine) and jumping in his sleep every five minutes – sleep was pretty much out of the question for me. I went to bed a little after 2 a.m. and gave up around 5:30 a.m. when a particularly bad coughing spell got me up to get a drink of water.
As I was coming down the hallway, the door to my eldest son’s room opened and he stuck his head out to see who was coming down the hall. While normally this would not surprise me (during the summer months I’m lucky if I can get him to sleep before sunrise), what did surprise me was the fact that (a) the bathroom light was on when I know I turned it out (b) his hair was perfectly combed and (c) he had his sneakers on. What child who is supposed to be asleep at that time of morning has their hair perfectly combed and shoes on for pete’s sake!??! When I asked why his sneakers were on, he didn’t have a plausible answer. He mumbled something about ‘going for a walk’ … but he wouldn’t say if he had already been for a walk or was planning on going for a walk (till I woke up and caught him). Understand that this is the son who is on house arrest for the next 30 days courtesy of mom and dad for something that he did. Being outside is NOT an option and NOT allowed … so now I have no choice but to assume that he has taken to attempting to go outside in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning when we are asleep.
What surprised me even more is a search via Swag Bucks of “how to sneak out of your house at night” brought up all of these web sites that tell children exactly that – how to sneak out of their houses at night without getting caught!!! What the hell dear internet?!? Do you not even consider the ramifications of what can happen to children out after dark, without parental supervision? Just the sheer thought of it makes my skin goose bump and my heart skip a beat!
I’m not going to sit here and lie and say that I never thought about it when I was a kid. I had a first floor bedroom, could have easily climbed out my bedroom window if I wanted to … but I was far too scared of what my mother and father would do to me if I got caught! That alone outweighed any fun that I might have had from sneaking out without their knowledge.
From 5:30 a.m. till 7:45 a.m. I sat on the couch … and every 35 to 40 minutes like clockwork, my eldest would pop out to see if I was awake or not, and when he saw that I was, come up with some ruse as to why he was out of his room. The first time was because his leg was bothering him (which I knew was a lie because it took him 14 minutes to spit out what was wrong with him and explain why he was out of his room … I could just see the smoke coming out of his ears from his brain working overtime to come up with something plausible) and the second time he was hungry and wanted some pizza and the third time was to check on me and see if I was okay. I walked to the store to get some coffee (a rare treat for me) and when I came home, he was hacking away on his brother’s computer … probably informing whomever he was supposed to meet why he couldn’t meet them.
Needless to say, I will be laying traps – to see if he actually has been sneaking out of the house. I won’t change my routine, won’t question him any more about the incident, but there will be some nanny-cams installed in the very near future as well as subtle little traps that only dad and I will be aware of. I will get to the bottom of this … and there will be consequences handed out worse than he could ever possibly imagine if he is sneaking out.
Have you had to deal with midnight slips out of the house from your pre-teen or teenagers? How did you deal with them? How did you catch them? What punishments worked best for you?
Until the next saga in the “life of a teenage boy” … I bid you farewell, and peaceful, restful slumber.