Thing 3

Sometimes They Need A Little Spoiling


This kid is a SLEEPER. I mean, I have yet to meet a kid who sleeps more than this one. I find this entertaining as I’m the one usually up by 5:30am on the weekends, yet MY kid sleeps until 9am. OR LATER.

“Oh, Kim. He must go to bed late then, right?”

7pm weeknights. SEVEN O’CLOCK. Sometimes we let him stay up until 8pm on the weekends, but usually that extra hour makes him cranky. So, on the weekends, he goes to bed around 7:30 and sleeps until I WAKE HIM UP. If I didn’t wake him up? He probably would sleep until 9am. One day, when Donnie and I had a race and E was in charge of getting up with the kids, we came home around 10am and Wes was STILL ASLEEP.

“Oh, Kim. He must just not take naps then, right?”

3 hours. THREE HOURS. On the weekends he takes AT LEAST a 2 hour nap, but most days it’s three. And some days I even have to wake him up at 3 hours. So, he sleeps for at least 15 hours a day over the weekends. (Less on the weekdays as I have to wake him up around 6:30am for school.) Or, you could look at it as, he is ONLY AWAKE NINE HOURS a day. MAXIMUM.

While this is 90% awesome as a parent, it does mean that I have to be very understanding when he can’t get all the sleep he needs/wants. Which was YESTERDAY. Weekdays are already a little sensitive as he has to get up early for school, but yesterday his teacher said he only napped 30 minutes. Not that she had to tell me, his crying for me when I got to school told me everything I needed to know. He’s usually quite laid back, so I know something’s up when he’s irrationally upset.

And he cried for the better part of the night.

This is usually one of those moments when, as a parent, I lose all patience. I often send him to bed when he’s irrationally upset, but last night? I knew it was just because he was tired. So, I held him all night. Even while I was cooking and cleaning. I let him watch TV, I pampered him at the grocery store. Just about everything he wanted, I complied with.

This is one of those many times where parenting is NOT black and white. My parenting was wrong by all definitions of spoiling. YOU DON’T GIVE IN TO EVERYTHING. EVER. Just about every normal parenting method tells you that. But sometimes, as a parent, you just know. You just know what they need.


16 thoughts on “Sometimes They Need A Little Spoiling”

  1. Kids that are hungry, tired or sick are granted a wide berth in our house. πŸ™‚ Besides, it’s not spoiling if just done once in a while. Seriously – I know full-grown adults (COUGHhusbandCOUGH) who can’t function when hungry or tired. I don’t expect my kids to be happy campers, either.

  2. MY 10 month old is on track to follow in his footsteps. She goes to be between 6:30 (on a bad night) to 7:30 and sleeps until basically we wake her up which is usually around 7 or 7:30. She also naps.

    We are like you though. Early risers! So if we want to go somewhere early on a Saturday then we get to decide if we want to wake her up.

    I really love this post! Even the spoiling part πŸ™‚ You sound like an awesome mom!

  3. My son’s sleep sounds pretty similar to yours, but he’s more of a 7:30 to 7:30 kid. But naps on weekends … 3 hours! I love his weekend naps. I’ve almost forgiven my kid for the sleep deprivation he caused for the first 9 months of his life. Almost.

  4. My kid is a sleeper like this! I’m glad to hear some one else’s kid is the same! Everyone tells me how easy I have it, but she NEEDS that sleep so there isn’t a lot of flexibility in our family’s schedule. Dinner is delayed an hour? disaster. Want to stay somewhere and visit longer? No, not unless you like a flailing, biting child of rage. Girl needs her sleep. Period.

  5. That is some amazing sleep! He’s obviously very busy growing and dreaming. πŸ˜‰ It’s true – sometimes they just need YOU. They just need to be held. I don’t always see it, if i am feeling busy or impatient, and then I feel terrible, when I just sit down and hold my girl for a few minutes, and she gives this long, ragged sigh, and is still. It is nice to know what they need and be able to give it to them.

  6. I am jealous, too. My son is up with the sun (or before). We had to put a lamp on a timer in his room when he was younger and tell him not to come slamming into mommy and daddy’s room until the lamp came on. It doesn’t matter what time he goes to bed either; he’s still an early waker. It works out well during the school year but not so great on weekends or vacations.

    On an unrelated note, I have some questions for you about Nikki’s camera. Can I just send you an email about it?

  7. I totally get this. If you’ve built a strong foundation as far as boundaries and what he can expect on a typical day, I think it’s fine to have a “spoiling” day every now and then. Good for you!

  8. We have sleepers here too. I’m not complaining!

    And yes, sometimes they need a little pampering. This has been that sort of week, with the 5 year old starting kindergarten. It has been a HUGE transition for all of us and most evenings he’s a sobbing mess over EVERYTHING because he’s just so mentally and physically exhausted. So I’ve let him snuggle more on my lap and have told everyone else to just give him a break. Poor kid!

  9. On the “spoiling” part, my 16month old son gets spoiled more than my two older girls. Not because he’s a baby, well, maybe it is because he’s a baby. But more because he’s a baby who can’t tell us what’s wrong and his response to everything is to cry. Sometimes I let him cry but just like you said, I KNOW when he needs me to just hold him. I have held him cooking dinner before and he would just lay his head on my shoulder and be still and watch me cook. Yes he’s heavy, but that’s exactly what he needed at that moment. My husband sometimes doesn’t get it and will let him cry and pitch a fit. If I’m home, though, the instant Eli’s in my arms he’s all better. I don’t do it every time, only when he needs it.

  10. Ha. Ha. Hahahaa. πŸ™‚ When my Dad retired, people asked him what he was going to do, and he said “My goal is to sleep 15 hours a day.”.

    And he did. (until my mom made him stop!)

    When my #3 child (daughter) was born, and everyone with half an eye could see that she favored my / my dad’s side, it was no surprise that she went to bed at 8 PM as a baby and child (and would as an adult, if she didn’t have a job to work and a kid to raise). On the other hand, #4 child (daughter) is fey, sleeps when she will which is not often, and would always have an eye open watching you no matter what time of day or night it might be….

    So, never mind what THEY say. Those who need sleep, need it. That’s not “giving in” by my definition!

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