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Would you go to sleep already so I can watch (insert: inappropriate show)?

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Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Jessica Miglio[/caption]

There are many ways in which one’s style is cramped when one is a parent. One, for example, should not stomp around cursing whenever one feels like it. One should ideally model good eating and grooming habits, as well as proper manners and values. In short, one should make all “good choices” in the vain hopes that one’s children will do the same.

These standards, unfortunately, also apply to one’s entertainment. Only “appropriate” television and movies should be on the small screen while one’s children are within earshot. When my kids were small, this was not a problem. We would put them to bed at 8, and then my husband could Spartacus it up and I could take in any number of  BBC America shows, from Skins to Gavin & Stacey. These days my 10-year-old daughter is still in bed by 8:15, but now that my son is 12, he has informed us that we need to get a grip. He won’t go to sleep until 9:30! This is a problem since I can’t stay awake past 10. So Mama doesn’t have enough time to watch her shows!!

This past Sunday evening, I solved this time deficit problem by staying up later than I wanted. See, I had to watch Girls. The kids must be dead asleep before I cue up the Lena Dunham, because you never know what that one is going to do. If her characters aren’t having gross sex with boys I never want my kids to date or be, she’s doing cocaine off toilet seats (gross!), or sticking a Q-tip deep in her ear canal, which I have repeatedly advised them against. Still, I need to see what the girls are up to.

Luckily, Girls is a short enough show to stay awake for. What if I want to watch an hour-long show with adult content, like House of Cards (which I don’t, because I don’t like it, but you know what I am saying)? What then? Must I give up everything for these children?