As a parent, I had a lot of ideas and ideals. Some were good, others probably needed thought through a bit more. Our firstborn was an experiment, and it's a wonder that she lived through it. (Sorry, hon!)

The really ironic part is that I was determined not to spoil my children. And yet I spent every second of the day doing just that. I rocked Becky to sleep for every nap and for bedtime for an entire year. Sam caught onto this shortly before her first birthday and tried putting an end to it. That didn't go well for either mom or daughter. My favorite line was, "I have nothing better to do with my time." And I meant it.

The boys were different. Josh wanted nothing to do with snuggling when he was tired, and he would cry until I laid him down in his own crib. He relished being alone. By the time Luke came along, I didn't have time to rock a baby to sleep if I'd wanted to. That's what swings were invented for.

Micah was different. We were really hoping for another daughter, but regardless of what God chose to bless us with, we knew we were done at 4 kids before he born. Sam reminded me constantly that just because this last child was the baby of the family didn't mean that we'd spoil him. "Well, duh. Like I'll have time for that."

After Micah was born, things were different. He was different. He needed to know that his mama loved him. I needed to hold him close to remind myself that no matter what differences he had, he was still a baby in need of his mama's love. And I never put him down. Sam reminded me that we weren't going to spoil our last child. "You're right, we're not. I am."

Even now, we sit with Micah as he drifts off to sleep. Sometimes he needs to touch us, to reassure himself that we're there. Sometimes he wants to be by himself. And either way, it's okay. It's all about what he wants. The bedtime routine is one of the most precious times of the day. His gentle touch, his sweet smile, his soft breathing as he drifts off to sleep.

Who else gets to have one foot firmly in the sweet bliss of toddlerhood while the other is marching right into the school years?

Spoiled is exactly where I like to be.


Karen Deborah said...

yep, exactly, of course, *sigh*, awh...schucks..so sweet.

Michelle said...

Ahhh, the best laid plans ;)

I personally like Little Miss's line the best, "But, Mommy, Grandma's are for *spoiling*!"

Brandie said...

Sounds like the good kind of spoiled to me! Lucky boy :)

Suburban Correspondent said...

The only way not to spoil a child is to have another one. But someone has to be the caboose!

HalfAsstic.com said...

Oh, I SO completely agree with you! I rocked Kessa a million miles in that rocking chair. I loved every one of them.
There wasn't as much time for rocking her sister when she came along, but she HATED rocking. She was cuddly enough, but she wanted to go. to. bed. So she did. It ended up working out great, cause by that time Kes was going to bed to fall asleep as well.

caramama said...

I prefer to look at it as providing what they (and I) need rather than spoiling. It makes me feel better. ;-)

Debbie Yost said...

Yeah, but the experimenting is not done with Becky. I remind MA often that I have she's my practice kid and my the time I get to the other two I've got a better handle on things. I make most of my mistakes with her. Oye! No wonder she's such a pain sometimes.

Roger said...

I love rocking the kids to sleep, although Benjy doesn't like it as much - something about being 15. :)

Seriously though, I would love to rock Timmy to sleep in a chair. Unfortunately, he has some sort of altitude problem - in fact all the kids seemed to have the same problem, to a degree. He likes to be rocked from a standing (mine) position. Jenni can get him to sleep by rocking him - I think Timmy likes his momma better than me.

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

When Sissy was about 18 months, I had an epiphany and announced that we had not held her enough. She had hit her can't-sit-still-for-10-seconds phase (that still hasn't ended!) I promised that I wouldn't have that regret with any other children we might have. 6 years later, Lucky was born. He is now rushing towards his 3rd birthday in January and has yet to go to sleep (except in his carseat) without being held or snuggled. He never bonded with a blanket or toy or snuggly - despite our best efforts. His snuggly is someone's "goosel" (an Alabama term referring to the soft spot on your neck extending from under your chin to that little dent between your shoulder blades.)

Yes, it is challenging at times. Yes, it is wonderful every single time. (well, not so much when he needs his nails cut.)

Go and spoil Micah. One day you'll look back and wish for more snuggle - no matter how much he gets now, you'll always wish for more. He'll outgrow it soon enough.

Excuse me, my big little boy needs my goosel.

Viv said...

We do not now, nor have we ever owned a rocking chair. It is what I want most for Christmas. I want to be able to rock this one while she is still small enough to want me to. My husband thinks I'm crazy, your post suggests that maybe (just maybe) I'm not!