This week I bumped into a mum I have chatted to on a few occasions at our local soft play.
For writing purposes, I will call her Two Sheds.
For those who don’t know what this means, a ‘Two Sheds’ is named so because you may be having a conversation about anything and whatever you have they have one more or theirs is better.
Me: “We have a lovely little shed”
Two Sheds: “Well we have two sheds; one houses an Olympic-size pool and the other a chocolate factory”.
You get the gist.
We were talking about the children and holidays and all sorts and she came out with one simple line that got me thinking.
“My children are not spoilt. I never spoil them, I would never do that”.
So growing up reading books by Enid Blyton and others written in an older age, being spoilt was a negative thing – it indicated bratty behaviour, a naughty child and all sorts of old-school negativity.
Let’s all have a ginger beer and a tongue sandwich and have a bally good time, chaps, pip-pip.
“You don’t spoil the man cub” she said, “you are really firm with him”.
But I do spoil him. He is spoilt ROTTEN.
I always wanted children and was devastated when we were told we wouldn’t conceive naturally; yet when we discovered the mancub was growing in my belly, it changed our lives forever.
I wanted him to have the best of everything – that didn’t necessarily mean the most expensive but it meant I wanted him to live a life where he wants for nothing.
I am firm, I am hard on him, I know I am – I’m concerned that as an only child he will turn into a spoilt brat.
But from an early age, I want him to know that nice things have to be earned and I will not tolerate bad behaviour.
If we go out, we have a little chat about how we are going to behave. If he behaves and listens to mummy and daddy, he can have nice things.
Unless I’m hungover or ill – that’s different… Am I guilty of buying a cheap car or toy in town or the supermarket to shut him up? Yes… don’t judge me.
Birthdays and Christmases he is absolutely ruined. Will I threaten him with being on the naughty list – yes, probably.
But to see his face when he opens presents and is so happy – the overtime, penny-pinching and daily tantrums are totally worth it.
So yes, Two Sheds, I do spoil my child. And I’m proud that I do – is that such a bad thing?