Extreme sleep-overs by Jo

[advert:mpu]Who would have thought that my six year old son is accumulating more air miles than his decrepit mother? Not satisfied with a simple play-date at a mate’s house round the corner, Barney has upped the ante and has taken sleep-overs to a new level – the international sleep-over or what one might call “Extreme sleep-overs.”

Get this – Barney is going to Berlin accompanied by Avi for a weekend jaunt to his mate, Charlie, who has recently moved to Berlin. He will be there for little more than 36 hours. When I say "accompanied by Avi" that is stretching the truth a bit. It is far more exciting than that. Avi is merely the escort, only there to ensure that Barney arrives at his friend’s apartment safely and in style. Actually his only function is his height. Without the addition of stilts I’m not sure that Barney would be able to be seen at the check-in desk. I reckon Barney is savvy enough to get himself to Berlin otherwise, especially now that he can finally read fluently (perhaps this is the incentive that children need to read. “If you learn your phonics, you can run away by yourself to any destination of your choice!”). Anyway, Avi is going for work to Berlin, and we thought that it would be a good opportunity for Barney to visit his friend. (Of course it never crossed my mind that I could use my six-year-old as a covert spy to ensure that this was really a business trip!).

In truth Avi and I have recently been a bit at a loss at Barney’s testosterone driven machismo behaviour and thought that a one-to-one bonding session (well at least the flight) with his Dad could be just the ticket.

Barney has always pushed boundaries, but he seems to be pushing rather a lot these days (perhaps political analysts ought to take note – surely the fourth superpower should be made up of six-year-old boys. Imagine the scene at the UN security council as the six-year-old simply would not take ‘no’ for an answer.

They would continue to push and push, until the US, Russia, China, France and the UK simply caved-in due to the sheer relentlessness of these four foot tall tenacious creatures. On the flip side they could be easily won over by a simple bribe, the only collateral you would need is unlimited access to match attacks cards. I hope this trip will be the making of Barney. I hope it will empower him (not too much), and make him realise that we do understand that he is growing up.

But even empowerment has to have limits. We have already put parental controls on the computer, to the Easyjet and Ryan Air Flights, and have hidden our credit cards. These UJITS - there's no stopping them.



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