My grandson is having a friend over to their house for a sleepover on Saturday. The boys are both 5. It will be the first time a friend has stayed over without a parent there and it will be the first time the little boy will be away from home for the night. It should be interesting. I am sort of, not more than sort of, glad that I won’t be the one watching them that night. I watched the little boy this afternoon while I was babysitting Anderson and Spencer. He’s either a lot less immature than Anderson (and even than 2 year old Spencer) or he is borderline ADD. I think it is the latter. The good thing is that the boy’s family live here in the same mobile home park, just around the corner from my daughter’s house so if there is a problem, it is easy to get him home.
This all reminded me of the year my daughter, Tina, had her 6th birthday party. She was in kindergarten. She invited 6 girls over for dinner, cake, a movie, a sleepover, then breakfast before going to afternoon kindergarten the next day. I knew all the parents except one set. I spoke to them all on the phone and offered to have them come get their little girl just before lights out so they wouldn’t miss anything if they felt their daughter could not be away from home. The all understood that and no one took me up on the offer. All the parents said that if there was any problem, I should call them and they would come get their daughter.
The party was a blast but when it came to going to bed, one of the little girls began looking sad and sort of freaked out. I asked what was wrong and stayed close to her for extra comfort and support. She finally said she wanted to go home and see her mommy. She had never been away from her parents for the night like that. She was a little younger than the other girls, having just turned 5 (the others were all just about to turn 6). I called her parents. It wasn’t that late, maybe just before 10. I explained what was going on and the mom said her daughter had to spend the night away from her sooner or later so she wasn’t coming to get her and if she cried, let her because she had to grow up. Well, I understand the concept but I also think that was more than a little unfair to the rest of the girls who had to sleep and get up and go to school the next day, not to mention me! I had to supervise them all and keep them happy and then get my son out the door for school by 8. Well, as luck would have it, the little girl cried all night long. Did I say ALL night LONG? Yup. All night. I sat next to her and rubbed her back and cuddled with her when needed the whole night through. I managed to keep her from keeping the others awake all night but she whimpered and sniffled all night long. When I got her quiet and tried to leave to my own bed, she grabbed my arm and began to cry again. So I was stuck. The next morning, about 8, the mom called to check on the little girl. When I told her how she had cried all night, she said she would come over and pick her up so she could sleep. And she did. She stopped by about 9 that morning and picked up her little girl and took her home and kept her home from school so she could sleep. The rest of the girls, went on to have a fun Denny’s breakfast then to school, even though they had not slept well because of the other child’s crying.
Sometimes parents really amaze me. Yes, there are different styles of parenting and no one way is correct or incorrect, however, in my opinion disturbing others for one’s own convenience really isn’t very considerate to others.
We’ll see how Saturday goes!