Lies I Tell My Daughter

The Gate Guy

If you don’t get back into bed, I will call the gate guy and he will put a gate on your door and you will only be able to get out in the morning.

You’re probably saying, “Whoa, that’s harsh.” That’s hours (okay, feels like hours) into me begging my daughter to stay in her room.

The hardest part of my day is getting my daughter to go to sleep. We have a nighttime routine where I give her milk, her dad and I take turns reading her a few books and she gets a star if she was a good girl that day. Ever since she got a “big girl bed”, she has this new found freedom that lets her open her door and walk in and out of her bedroom and into mine demanding desserts and “surprises” at nighttime like some third world leader at the UN.   I explain to her that it’s bedtime and tuck her back in and say goodnight, and the moment I check what’s on my TiVo, I hear the door open and she’s back.   And back.  And back again.

After weeks of frustration, I concocted this lie that I was going to put a gate in front of her room to stop her from running in and out.

One day we had some painters at our house and they were painting our front gate.  Sunny kept suspiciously eyeing this person and being really quiet.   She’s usually really friendly, almost dangerously friendly with strangers so it finally made sense when she then whispered in my ear, “Is that the gate guy?”

“UM YES, it sure is.”

Fear took over her face.  Pure white fear at the site of this painter whose name I did not know.   So now every time Sunny gets out of bed at night, I pick up the phone and start pretend dialing. “Oh yes, hi, is this the gate guy?” She pleads with me to hang up; she promises she’ll go to sleep.  A lot of times, when my friends are over for dinner, they hear this all take place and once she’s back in bed with the door closed they’ll lean in and whisper to me, “Who’s the gay guy and what’s he going to do to Sunny?”