“Again?” I ask
Although our oldest did not spend a single night away from us for the first year of her life, it seems like lately she could live with her grandparents full time and just visit us occasionally.
Now first let me state, I am thankful and we are very blessed to have so many family members that love our children and are comfortable enough to have them spend the night. I am very happy that our parents are able to live close to their grandchildren and have bonded well with them.
But, now it seems that Audrey loves her grandparents so much that I feel second best. And I am kind of embarrassed to admit to such a childish feeling.
I can see the benefits for Audrey.
1.) One on one attention. Man, there are not many children around that would turn down the opportunity for individualized attention. She gets to be the center of their world.
2.) Rules are different and more flexible. She is at grandparents house where there is definitely some spoiling going on. However, we have tried to agree upon the basic rules and we have discussed that a nice, kind, non-ego-centric, sharing, child is a much more pleasant to be around. So, indulgence is okay, however over-indulgence is not.
3.) Something different. Although it feels like she is over there, or wanting to go there, more than she is at home, in reality we are talking one or two nights every week or two.
Then there is the guilt I feel because there are definite benefits for me:
1.) I get to focus my time and energy on only one child for a few hours. Ethan then becomes like an only child and I can actually pay attention to his growth and development, his endearing smile and how quickly he is growing into a toddler!
2.) Sometimes I can ask another grandparent or friend to watch Ethan. Then Jeff and I have a date night. A full evening of uninterrupted adult conversation, half of which still centers around our children.
Overall I think that these slumber parties are a good thing, for Audrey, for her grandparents and for me. She is still young and busy schedules are not interfering. And, I have veto power if I really just need some snuggle time. So, I will share first place with her grandparents occasionally, hey maybe I will even be second best every once in awhile. I will count my blessings!