Oh the days of wild abandonment! Do you remember those, parents? Those passionate evenings when you could lock the door behind you, leave your underwear hanging from the chandelier and… well, you know the rest.
I was watching the TV the other night when the advert I’ve included appeared on screen. I was at once laughing out loud and quite shocked at the same time. Laughing because it’s something embarrassing that has probably happened to lots of parents, ans shocked – not because I was in any way insulted, but because it was a topic I didn’t think you’d find appearing in an advert on TV. Shocked also because the voice is from a kids perspective, which makes it a little awkward to watch.
And then it got me thinking, this is something that affects nearly all parents, but … shhh, we don’t talk about it.
But why not? Once parenthood arrives ‘it’ suddenly becomes much more difficult, especially once the kids are old enough to ask questions. Wild abandonment is replaced by routined (is everyone asleep?) hushed discretion. The cross-eyed expression on the face staring at you is not caused through ecstasy, as it once was, but simply because your partner has one eye on you and the other on the bedroom door. It’s almost like having a secret affair.
If your kids aren’t old enough yet, don’t laugh. It will happen. You will experience that moment half way through when you hear a murmur in the next room and both of you freeze, legs akimbo, desperately hoping it’s a one off or whether your moments of intimacy have come to an abrupt end and you have to pretend to be asleep by the time the bedroom door opens and your child walks in, teddybear over the shoulder, looking for a cuddle. True ‘coitus interuptus’
Unfortunately for the women, it’s always they who have to get up and deal with the kids in these moments. Nature’s effect on men means it would be far too embarrassing to climb out of bed until things have, let’s say, calmed down a little. You can’t use the excuse that you’re pretending to be a Dalek.
As the kids get even older and understand what sex is and how it happens, it can only get worse. I’m sure most of us have at least one nightmarish memory from our teenage years when we heard our own parents giving the bed springs a workout. That ‘urgh’ sensation as the squeeks got faster at the end. Now try to imagine your own kids having the same sensation. Yeah, here comes that ‘urgh’ again, this time from the different perspective. Quite discomforting. No wonder when we go to buy beds, the first thing we look for is not how comfortable one is, but how quiet. Parents don’t lie on them, they bounce. Take a look next time you go past the bed section in Ikea and see the glances they give to each other at a rattle free bed.
It’s no doubt a problem that has phased parents for many a generation. God knows what it was like in centuries bast when the whole family slept in the same room. Judging by the big families they had back then, nothing stopped them. I suppose they took opportunities, planned accordingly and were experts at the art of keeping quiet. In a sense, we have it easier, but those good old days, well they are over til the kids move out and by which time, well, I’ll probably be past caring!