Dear Tell All: I'm a married guy with a 6-year-old son. It hasn't been easy for my wife and me to find time to have sex since he's been born. But we've recently instituted a once-a-week Saturday morning ritual that works out pretty well. The key has been starting early enough so that my son is sure to be sound asleep throughout the whole thing. His bedroom is just down the hall from ours, and naturally we don't want him hearing anything or walking in on us.
The problem is that we can't count on his sleep schedule the way we used to. He's liable to get up early, which can lead to some tense moments in our bedroom.
The thing is, I'm much more freaked out about him catching us than my wife is. I insist that we stop whatever we're doing at the slightest sound from his bedroom, but she's maddeningly cavalier about it. And she gets really mad at me when I shut things down. The whole situation is causing a lot of unhappiness, which isn't doing wonders for our sex life.
I don't want our 6-year-old to see something that will traumatize him for the rest of his life. Am I wrong to be concerned?
Dear Dad: There's a happy medium between your wife's underreaction and your overreaction. If your son walks into your bedroom at an inopportune moment, he'll either notice something going on or he won't. If he's old enough to wonder about it, then it's a good time to talk to him about the facts of life. After all, sex is a normal activity between a mom and a dad, and there's no reason to go to extraordinary lengths to hide it. If he sees you, and asks a question, explain as much as you need to in a low-key, positive way. You'll do more damage by communicating shame than you will by being open and straightforward.
I could ramble on about child-rearing strategies, but if you just want a quick-and-easy way to enjoy Saturday mornings with your wife, I can solve your problem with three words: Get. A. Lock.
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