When a perfectly good Parenting idea completely backfires

In a bid to have a lie-in this morning Etienne came up with (what sounded like) a great idea:
The child that sleeps the latest gets a surprise.

We were taking bets on who would be awake first (Daniel or Isabel) and would was the likely winner (Mignon. That child loves her sleep).

At 6:00 this morning Daniel is in our room. Can we please put the duvet back on his bed, he is NOT awake yet.

At 6:15 Isabel comes waltzing in and climbs in on Etienne’s side, sniffing and sneezing.

At 6:20 Mignon crawls in on my side.

At 6:23 I give up and get up. Mignon ‘can’t get up, her leg is sore’. So, off we go to the lounge, me carrying Mignon. As we pass Daniel’s room, there he is, lurking in his doorway. A clear winner.

So I congratulate Daniel on being the clear ‘winner’ and he beams happily from his bedroom door.

Chaos ensues. The girls are sobbing: they also want to be winners. Why aren’t they winners? They must also be winners. All accompanied by the most heart wrenching crying, all before 6:30 on a Sunday morning.


Having an existential parenting crisis explaining the concept of winning, keeping the ‘un’-winners happy whilst not taking away from the ‘winner’. All before 6:30 on a Sunday morning. Not ideal.

So, we have agreed that Daniel gets a bigger ‘surprise’ than the girls and now everyone seems happy.

Pass the coffee please.

4 thoughts on “When a perfectly good Parenting idea completely backfires”

  1. Eish! The best laid plans of mums and dads! In our house we have the concept of 1st and 2nd winners (and even 3rd and 4th winners if need be). That way there are no losers – only winners!

  2. the secret is to allow them to be up late the night before… and they SHOULD sleep late the next morning.
    On weekends Carys gets to stay up late and i really can’t complain cuz on most weekends i am awake before her. When i look at the behaviour… they are all so alike. C also ALWAYS wants to win, specially when it comes to meal times. Or when we are eating ice cream. And she doesn’t eat fast or lick fast enough. the sore leg is a very common problem. I am also ‘told’ i need to fetch her portable dvd player on a weekend morning cuz she’s also not awake YET to fetch it herself. Drew the line last night when she became very tantrummy about me not wanting to pick up any of the toys she scattered all over her bedroom floor (cuz she’s now too tired to pick it up) and that i HAVE to do it or help her.. and i spent the entire weekend in her room cleaning out all the old clothes and old toys (and filled 5 black bags). So i wasn’t having any of it and “BURN” (the wooden spoon) came out. The power of the wooden spoon. 5 min later the room was tidy and she was asleep in my arms.

  3. Oh good heavens yes, I had the same winning thing yesterday – about painting, believe it or not. Exhausting. Actually we struck gold by just persisting in getting them to play in their own rooms on weekend mornings. The idea is they can come and say hello, but thn they need to playin their rooms. Amazingly enough, the idea has caught on and some mornings they do not even come for the hallo part. It stretcheds getting up from about 6 to 7 which in my book is a clear winner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *