Monday, 3 February 2014

Night Shift

When bear was tiny we used to split the weekend night feeds.  DH would do Friday night and I would have a night of uninterrupted sleep and a lie in.

When he was a little older one the split continued, so on Saturday mornings DH would have the first change of nappy and make the baby porridge.

As bear got older the split was on Friday night I slept in a bed while DH had the couch and would field bear at 6am Saturday morning.

When I moved up into my own bed the split was who would get up when bear coughed politely outside the bedroom door at 7am to get someone to make his breakfast.

We are moving on to a new phase.  Bear is making noises about making his own breakfast.  To be honest, there is no reason why a sensible, intelligent child could not pour milk on cereal if I left a bowl out (bear would have to climb on a chair to get the bowl from the cupboard and that makes me nervous).  Bear is also making noises about making his own toast.  Leaving bear to make his own cereal makes me feel like a bad and neglectful mother, but bear making his own toast makes me extremely nervous.  I can't put my finger on it.  A toaster is a relatively safe piece of kitchen equipment, and bear is very sensible, but I just don't feel comfortable with it.

I don't suppose I'll get let off much morning duty though.  Last Saturday morning bear wandered quietly downstairs and played minecraft until DH got up at around 9am, then they went off to have breakfast in town.  On Sunday bear woke me up at 7.45am as he couldn't find his pen top.  It's nice that I'm still needed.

4 comments:

  1. My eldest grandson is now two and a half and his little brother is three months old. Yesterday, we were discussing with my eldest son (their father) how old he was when he started making breakfast for himself and his younger brother. We guessed he would have been between three and a half and four years old. We used to leave a bottle of milk, cereal bowls and packets of cereals on the kitchen table and they would help themselves. He always got up at 6am, which has never been my best time of day especially when I've been up several times in the night breastfeeding other children. By the age of six and a half he was getting his little sister (she was around 1 year old) out of bed and taking her downstairs and giving her her breakfast in her high chair by himself. His brother had to fend for himself but always slept until 7.30am or 8am because he had a totally different body clock. My advice with Bear is to trust him. Leave things out where he can get them. I wouldn't suggest toast until an adult gets up. It's always more difficult with an only child but they have to look after themselves eventually (unless you're intending to do his cooking, washing and ironing until he's 50!). ( The latter is a true story. When I was a trainee counsellor, I discovered an elderly lady in her 80s still doing everything for her newly divorced son but doing nothing for herself which brought her any joy or fulfillment. Life is too short to serve everyone else except yourself in my book!)

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    1. Thank you, that's a useful insight. DH cannot iron, has broken the washing machine each time he used it and literally lived on pot noodles for the first term as a student until he discovered the instructions on frozen fish/chips. I don't want bear following in those footsteps! WS xxx (also, I don't blame DH, he never had a chance)

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  2. Given your comment about DH, I should continue my story of my eldest. Once our youngest was three, I was working fulltime and teaching piano after school. My job also involved several evening meetings and with three children learning two or more instruments, swimming lessons, scounts, guides etc, timings were crucial. I also cooked from scratch and we had a cooked meal together every evening. When my eldest was 15 he was given the ultimatum of either he cooked for the family's evening meal that night or no-one would eat. He set to in the kitchen and I gave instructions from the front room where I was teaching. He turned into an excellent cook and now cooks for his family, provides sandwiches for luch for himself and wife when she's at work. He could also wash and iron his own clothes before he left for university and taught girls in his hall of residence how to iron and work washing machines when he saw they had no clue. I should add that our other two children also left home for university knowing how to cook basic, sensible meals for the whole family and could wash and look after themselves. The middle one still relies on the magic washing basket when he's visiting us, but he does live successfully on his own the rest of the time.

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    1. Thank you, it's really helpful. I am determined that when bear flies the nest he will be able to keep house, regardless of what his father did. DH has learned about cooking but not much else. I feel I have a duty to bear's future wife. I also feel strongly that my job is to give bear the skills to be an independent, capable adult who doesn't need me (except for hugs, of course) WS xxx

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