Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Am I a f*cking awful parent?

I need some feedback here folks, so I hope someone out there is going to provide some!  It's a parenting dilema.  Or debacle.  Or complete cock up.  Or something else.  

Noah is ten - actually he's eleven in two weeks.  He and I are very much alike; or whatever the current euphemism is for often butting heads.

An ongoing issue involves Noah going to bed quite happily, then an hour or two later I go to the bathroom (we live in a bungalow) and hear some scuffling noises.  I wait outside his door for a minute and then clearly hear him flick his light back on, so I open the door to find him ... (no, not that...yet!) snuggled up in bed reading.

Yes, I'm glad he likes to read.

Yes, I know that I'm lucky he isn't swearing at me, or stealing from shops, or torturing the cat, or slamming doors, or mugging old ladies in the street - but that's not the point!

He's not supposed to be reading, he's supposed to be sleeping!

We've taken his bedside light out of his room, then put it back a week or two later.  This has clearly not worked.

He has stacks of books, so moving them out of his room isn't feasible.

So this morning, I asked him why he was reading when he knew he was meant to be going to sleep.
His response?
I was bored.
You were bored?
Bored of going to sleep?
That's not good enough.
But I get bored!
And then I said those fateful words ...

 I'll show you bored

That was around nine thirty this morning.
It is now *quickly checks clock* just after seven.
And he's still sat in that chair.

He's joined the rest of us in the kitchen for meals, he's had a shower and watched a film (it seemed mean to make him leave the room when Petal and Smiler wanted to watch Tinkerbell and the Secret of the Wings...)

Apart from that, he's done nothing.  He's fallen asleep a couple of times, and I've woken him up.

And he's made me a couple of cups of tea.

Just to break up the monotony.

And every time I've told his brother and sister that yes, they can play outside; yes they can play cards; yes, let's play with the Lego, I've told him 
if you hadn't read when you were supposed to be sleeping then you could have joined in.

And every scowl, every mumble, every sigh from him, I've told him to 
try and remember exactly how that feels and how annoyed you are about it, so next time you're laying in bed, being bored, you can remember this exact situation and give serious thought to whether it's really worth picking up that book.

And I have had to hide a big wide spiteful grin every single time.

So, marks out of ten for my parenting today, with one being a bit on the slightly unkind side and ten being absolutely fucking terrible you bitch ?



  1. Oh this all sounds familiar. We actually have our oldest's bedtime an hour later than he believes it to be - and this seems to work lol.

    1. That sounds like a good idea - but I don't know if I could cope with letting him think he was getting one over on us...
      But then again, if his greatest crime is reading, maybe I ought to think about choosing my battles...!

  2. I really like the last comment you made about choosing your battles. While never one to tell others how to raise their kids since each young life is so individual, I do agree there are hills worth dying on and then there's the rest of life :) So much good comes from reading, I hope you can get this worked out well for all of you! And I love that you call Noah's orange hoodie a jumper :) You all have such interesting terms for things! Lisa- Julia's Mimi

    1. Hi Lisa! I think you're right - it just makes me so angry, but I know that is probably more my problem than his! And he does love to read - it feels really wrong to stop him from reading!
      Hope everything is going well for you these days,
      Take care
      L x


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