See You Tomorrow…

Christmas was fab for us as a family this year, and already seems like ages ago, even tho it was only 3 1/2 weeks.

It was great for all the obvious reasons, but something else happened on Christmas Day – my daughter had her first sleepover away from Mummy and Daddy. Yes, it was with her cousin who is still family, but it was the first time in her life that she woke up without either of us there to greet her. I’ve had nights away and so has my husband but never both of us together.

The question is, why hasn’t this happened before? When is the right time? Have I been a ridiculously overprotective, control freak parent? I’m not sure exactly, but I think I’m probably to blame. For the first couple of years of her life I definitely wasn’t ready to be apart from her overnight, the whole idea just scared me so much, despite the fact that a few of her friends had begun to do this, I knew I couldn’t. I now wonder whether this was quite selfish, but I’m pretty sure that she wasn’t really that bothered and neither did the need arise.

Peppa Pig however has turned sleepovers into the ‘Holy Grail’ of treats, and now she longs for them. On Christmas Day, she and her cousin who is 9, begged us to let her sleep over. With quite a bit of wine in my system and the prospect of a lie in, my anxiety and maternal attachment seemed to fly out of the window and she did it. As soon as I woke up, my husband phoned to see how she was, to which the reply came “Oh, they’re still asleep!” She didn’t actually wake up until 9:30am. Why does this never happen at home?! When she eventually did get up, she was so full of the excitement she didn’t even mention us or miss us, and when we turned up later she barely acknowledged us! Did this tug at my heart strings? No it didn’t at all. What I’ve learnt from this is that I needed to let go a bit, and realise that even at 3, I’ve made a little person with her own thoughts and opinions (and boy are they strong ones!) so this is all just another part of her growing up and the learning curve that is being a parent. She’s already got 2 more sleepovers booked in over the next few weeks, has practise packed her Trunki on a daily basis and is looking for us to buy a second one for her beloved ‘Bunny.’ Her poor brother also gets laid in her bed so they can play sleepovers too!

I’m not sure that I’m ready to go off on some Caribbean holiday without the children, I don’t think I ever will be until they’ve left home themselves, that’s not why we had children, but I do feel like I’ve gone through a rite of passage now, getting the first sleepover out of the way! And if they really are that much fun perhaps I should be indulging in them myself now I know the kids’ll be ok, where’s that five star hotel brochure?!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kirsty
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 15:24:32

    My 2yo stays over at Granny and Grandad’s every Saturday night. The first time he went, he was 19 months and he had to go because I was in hospital giving birth. I was worried about him and wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have to. But of course he was fine and now that it’s developed into such a regular arrangement it’s great as it gives us a break and bait of time with just the baby. Hopefully I’ll have the babu staying over a bit earlier than he did, as I’ve a wedding I’m going to when he’ll be 15 months and I’d like to have the night free for that. If I hadn’t had to let the bigger one stay out, though, I’m not sure when I would have done and my attitudes might be different.

    I know of people who’s babies have stayed out from a few months, and some who never do. There’s no right or wrong way, just whatever you’re comfortable with and works for your family.

    Reply

  2. Mummy's Little Monkey (@Jax2000)
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 22:05:46

    Love the mental picture of her ‘Practice Packing’ her suitcase!! Sooo sweet!!

    Reply

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