Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pampered Childhood

I was a spoiled child when I was young!

When I was growing up, I was grandma's pet and I was so spoiled by her that I was the 'untouchable' one among all my cousins :) My parents were separated when I was very young. I was about 6 years old I think. One day my mom decided to pack up, take me, leave my dad behind and go live with my grandparents.

My grandparents were living in another state and my mom's sister and her kids also lived with my grandparents. So it was kind of a huge family living under one roof. I was the only child of my parents unlike my mom's sis who had two kids and my mom's brother whose kids (2 of them also) were living with my grandparents too. My grandmother was like this great big baby sitter ... hehehe ... don't be fooled by this, she was one strict lady. Fearsome even ! Imagine Cruella De Ville here!

I really don't know why or how I became grandma's pet grandson but I sure as hell wasn't complaining :) There were loads of benefits with being the pet grandson. It was probably cos I was an only child and seeing as how my parents separated she was more protective of me. No one in the house could say anything to me or even scold me, cos I would just scream 'grandma, so-and-so did this or said this to me' and she would come to my rescue by scolding whoever pissed me off ... hehehe ... even my own mom couldn't discipline me (not that I was really a brat mind you) cos grandma would scold her back! Like I said earlier, I was the untouchable :)

Whatever I wanted, and if my mom didn't wanna get it for me, grandma would. She would give my mom some stern lecture about not getting what I wanted and grandma would buy it herself for me. I do feel guilty about doing that to my mom now.

Times were tough those days and we were not a rich family. And my mom had to raise me all on her own. In fact my mom worked her butt off to put me where I am today but to a pampered little child like me, I didn't for one second think about stuff like that. So, I'd always sulk and complain to grandma and in the end I always got what I wanted.

God, how my cousins hated me. I always had things my way. Grandma would always see to that. There was this time when my cousin got a bicycle for his birthday. I was so envious that I wanted one instantly. My mom said 'no Nicky boy! You'd have to learn to have patience and wait for your birthday like everyone else' but I wasn't buying that. I sat on the chair in the hall sulking all day, not talking, not wanting to eat, not moving from there until grandma came to my rescue and bought me a bicycle that very same day! That was how horribly pampered I was those days.

With grandma, I was always more special and I enjoyed that extra special attention I had, abused it at times even. Even with it came to allowances for school, I always had more. My cousins would have a weekly allowance of RM10.00 for the entire week, I on the other hand would have RM5.00 a day for my allowance. Whatever my mom gave me, grandma would always topped it up with extra. Even when it came to food, everyone would be eating what was cooked for the whole family for dinner, except me. Grandma would always make something extra for me.

Then one day, when I was around 14 years or so, grandma passed away and I was terrified out of my wits. Her death affected me so much (you can probably guess why). How was I gonna be special without her around? Who was gonna be there for me when things went wrong? God, all my cousins are probably gonna kill me now! LOL!

The strange thing is no one actually held anything against me. They were all more concerned about how I would cope. They knew I was extremely close to my grandmother and they all basically gathered around to fill that void that was left by grandma. And here I thought I was gonna be ostracized by them.

Well, I eventually 'learned' to cope without having the protective shell that my grandmother used to provide. In fact, I think I learned to be more independent since then. I had to learn to do things on my own and face whatever consequences that came with it. It made me a stronger person as I grew older. Yes, I was more of a loner who kept things to himself while growing but I was more capable of doing things on my own. I'm proud to say that I'm no longer a spoiled brat, stubborn to the bone maybe, but not spoiled :)

Now with a family of my own, and two fast growing kids, I look at life from a different perspective. Would I spoil my kids the way I was spoiled? Would I give them everything they want? Would I shelter and protect them the way I was to the point where I couldn't really function on my own? Yes and no.

Yes, I would protect them with my life but no, I won't spoil them the way I was. I would love to give them the world if I could, but I'd like for them to know that to have the world, they sometimes have to work for it. Then it makes having that world all the more meaningful. I did have almost everything I wanted when I was young but if you ask me now was it meaningful and I'd say 'no, it wasn't cos it was not earned'. That's the truth.

Who doesn't want the best for their kids? I do, that's for sure. But I'd like them to grow up to be strong people. To know the value of things. To know a little what their parents had to go through to get food on the table and a roof over their heads. I'm proud to say my younger son is a very independent boy. At 8 years old, though he's a hyper active brat (LOL) he can think on his feet pretty fast. He's creative, he tough (tougher than I was when I was his age), he's intelligent, he's bossy (especially with his older brother who, btw is an absolute joy to have cos he doesn't ask me and the wife for anything at all). He can understand the term, 'be patient and wait till we buy you that toy' or 'you have to get good results in school before you get that toy' (though he will bug you everyday until he eventually gets it ... hehehe).

I'd like to think he'll grow up to be a better me. I'm pretty strict with him to the point that he complains to the wife that I don't love him, but that is far from the truth. I do love him with all I've got though sometimes I don't show it all that much to him. Old age must be getting to me ... LOL! But he knows he can count on me, especially when he gets into mischief and does something wrong. The first person he'll come running to is me cos he knows I won't scold him if he tells me what he did wrong. He knows if he goes to mummy first, he is so gonna get it ... LOL! That's our brat boy for you. (brat boy is our endearing name for him ... hehehe ...)

I've got high hopes for him and I know he'll make me proud :) Just as long as he doesn't chose a thankless job like going into advertising, that would be fine with me ... LOL! So, tell me what you were like when you were growing up? Did you get the full pampered treatment? Or did you go through life the hard way? I'd love to hear your tales.

48 comments:

  1. Nick, I was pampered to death growing up as a child. I had everything given to me, even ones that I hated - I had ballet, hawaiian dancing, swimming, volleyball camp..... But, my dad made me buy my first car. Made sure my grades were not below an A (yup, he was only a cool dad if I got A's), and made sure that 10% of all my paychecks during my first few jobs went to a savings account.

    I'm still in the process of turning up into something :) But at least, when I do have kids - heck they are not going to be in advertising either :) or blogging ..... or sales.

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  2. This was a great post, Nick. I was surprised, just as you, that when your Grandma passed, the rest of the family gathered round you, rather than putting you firmly in your place! I also love that as an adult and a parent now, you can look back and say that althought it was a great life for a child, to have everything go their way, it isn't realistic and it isn't the best lesson for a child on what life is all about. It sounds like you are doing a great job of balancing love and learning with your kids. Mine, too, were raised to know the value of money and how much more we appreciate things when we earn them.

    My post tonight was in some ways about my growing up years too - check it out.

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  3. Really an enjoyable article! I am the apple of my father's eye. But till now, I still feel that my mother loves me least among my siblings. Am still trying hard to get her approval in my life and yet still am dissapointed sometimes.. *sigh*
    Life's tough.

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  4. Sharon, the good thing is I was never forced to do what I didn't like. As a child, I made sure I got to do things my way. And in a way my grandma made me feel all powerful. I've learned my lesson and am now a different person to what I was when I was young.

    Yeah, keep 'em away from advertising. LOL!

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  5. Josie, thanks. I guess family will always stick together when it matters. I have to agree with you that we need to instill the realistic side of things to our children so they can be better people when they're all grown up. I'll definitely check your posting out later.

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  6. cbenc12, well, don't stop trying! I'm sure your mom is proud of you in her own special way. Maybe she just doesn't know how to show it to you like how you are the apple in your father's eyes.

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  7. Your post reminds me that I am my grandma's (my mum's mum) pet grandchild when I am younger. he will secretly buy dresses for me & hide from my aunty who is staying with her & only passed to me when I visted her. She is so old now & now that I'm married. WE only visit her once every yr during Chinese New Year. I just felt so bad I should have gone over to see her more often.... what is happening with me :(

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  8. Janice, looks like most of us were pampered when we were young weren't we? I guess you're married now and with you family and the 2 boys, it's hard to visit your grandmother too often but at least you still do visit her once a year which is more than a lot of other people who don't even bother to visit, rite?

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  9. Aw Nick, what a story...well, I bet it was a very hard time when you lost your grandmother. You seem to have weathered it all very well and come out the other side a really great guy and a wonderful parent - Well done!

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  10. Great post Nick. There was never much money when I was growing up so we weren't spoiled with material things but we always felt loved. I can't seem to say NO to my own daughters in many ways but when it comes to pocket money, they get what they earn. If they don't do any chores, they don't get any pocket money. We went on a holiday about 6 months ago and they saved all their own spending money. It gave them a lot of pleasure that they could do whatever they wanted with it because they had earned it themselves.

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  11. You guys are lucky. My grandma was a stern woman! She was so disciplined, like an army general. I was never pampered:( Bless her soul!

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  12. My mother bought me anything I wanted, when I wanted. I have six older siblings, they alienated me because of it...probably still holding some sort of resentment. I was the youngest. I was the manipulator.

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  13. Nick-
    Great post! I was cracking up when you called yourself the 'untouchable' one! I had the same experience with my grandparents.

    When my mom divorced, we moved in with my grandparents and they over compensated. My older sister had died just a few years before that so that might have had something to do with it too! Anyway, my grandma was the same way, although more Muder She Wrotes, Jessica Fletcher than Cruella DeVille. Although, 50% Scottish and 50% Irish, she had one HECK of a temper. And God help the person that picked on her grandkids, or her kids for that matter! An iron fist in a velvet glove would describe her well!

    I am a bit surprised your cousins didn't stage a coup when your grandmother passed away. The allowance alone would have made me one mad cousin!

    I am sure your kids know that you love them. Like you said, you are the person they turn to first when they are in trouble, that shows they know they can trust you! I bet your a great daddio! Take care buddy! Keep up the great posts!

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  14. No pampering from the grandparents for me. My grandmother and I had a strong dislike for each other I'm afraid. I did have an "aunt" loretta that treated me like a princess though.
    Every child should have SOMEONE who thinks of them that way!

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  15. Lavender, it was hard at first. I came to depend on grandma for everything and when she was gone, I was in a state of depression for awhile, but thankfully, I came out of it eventually. I do try to be a better person and parent to my kids and I do hope I'm doing it right :)

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  16. Gypsy, we were never rich when I was growing up too, but somehow (or maybe I just didn't care how) grandma always got me what I wanted. It's great that your kids save up for things that they want, like the vacation spending money. I wish I could get my kids to do the same :)

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  17. Nessa, My grandma was the same too just that with me, she was all that much nicer. Everyone else saw her as a great domineering person. She was the head of the household. Her words were final and no one really did fight back. I guess if I was in my cousins shoes and saw things from their point of view I would have seen her as some dictator of a General ... :)

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  18. Hey Bun Bun, welcome to my blog. you sound just like me. Well, my cousins don't really hold anything against me (I'd like to think that) and we do get on pretty well when we do meet up. I guess we're all grown up now and see life from a different perspective. But it sure did feel good to be the lucky one ... LOL!

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  19. Barrett, always glad to see you here. I guess you're right when you say 'my grandparents and they over compensated'. I guess mine did the same too, probably because of my parents separation, they or rather grandma felt, I had to have that extra bit of love from her. When you're a kid of that age, it feels good to be the 'special one'. But I'm sure it didn't look that way to my cousins.

    Maybe they wanted to stage a coup but I guess death puts a different feel to people.

    My kids run to me when things go wrong cos they know mommy's not so patient with their mischief! LOL!

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  20. Menopauseprincess, you know the strange thing is though my grandmother treated me like a king, my grandfather wasn't really very fond of me probably cos he got scolded from grandma if he didn't cater to my needs ... LOL!

    Yes, I have to agree, every child SHOULD have someone like that.

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  21. It's nice to know that pampered kids can turn out into a sensible adult like you. Sometimes I worry whether I pamper my kids too much too. Well, there's light at the end of the tunnel I guess...

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  22. I used to spoil my son. But, I know a lot of that had to do with the guilt I carried around for the way things were in the past.

    It took awhile for me to let go of my baggage and get strict with my son.

    I realized I was doing him a disservice by spoiling him. My job as a parent is to mold him into a well adjusted INDEPENDENT grown up.

    Sounds like you have a wonderful family. Consider yourself one of the lucky ones!

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  23. nooooo, my grandmothers were either nutty or scary and certainly NOT into spoiling. I've become the GRAND spoiler to my nephews and it's a great job. I take it very seriously. I call them up and say "It's time to take Auntie's wallet out for lunch" and they laugh. Because they know the good times will follow.

    I've also promised to be there when they need $$ for college and the important things too, but for now... it's fun.

    I love this post and I'm enjoying the commentors, too.

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  24. Blur Ting, Adult maybe, sensible, not sure ... LOL! We all want to pamper our kids, we just got to make sure they're able to function on their own when we're no longer around, that's whats important.

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  25. Meleah, yeah, that's really whats important, making sure your kids are able to stand on their own 2 feet without having to run to mommy always. Like I mentioned to blur ting, we're not gonna be around forever.

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  26. Anonymous boxer, gee, I envy your nephews, I'm sure they see you as some kind of Santa Claus ... LOL! It's good to know they have an aunt like you who's always looking out for them ...

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  27. LOL! Nick ... the question is ... how much of that mischief did they get from you?! LOL! Take care buddy!

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  28. Barrett, I was never mischievous! How could you imply such things ... LOL! And Buddy if you believe that, I have another spaceship in my back yard that I'd like to sell to you ... LOL!

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  29. Hi Nicky Boy (you know, I have a friend that I nicknamed that!)...tsk tsk tsk...u were a spoiled brat weren't you? He he... I had a good laugh imagining lil Nick sulking, refusing to eat, sitting alone by himself until he got his bicycle! Nakal nya!!!

    I was my grandmother's favourite too but I sure didn't get all the xtras that u enjoyed! I had to work for the things I wanted but sometimes I do get pampered, not all the time like you la! My younger sister was the spoiled brat, which I think she still is until today! :):):)

    PS. I love the bit about the "thankless job" ;)

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  30. Hello,

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  31. Hey there my 'pampered pal!' LOL! Wanted to drop by to let you know I gave you an award today! I may have tagged you on a meme! I am really to tired to remember! Take care!

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  32. Cool growing up story, Nick! We always want something different for our children than we had for ourselves. Your experiences growing up made you the parent you are today. It's all good.

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  33. Hi Nick @ The Untouchable,

    Wow, what a great story into your life! I kinda missed out on all that grandmother love thingy due to the fact that they passed away when I was so little. I guess if they were around things would have been just like yours since I was their youngest grandchild. But luckily, I had the 'worlds best sister' to compensate for that loss.

    Looks like your two boy's are exactly similar to my two son's as well, overall we must be having the same old 'routine' regime happenin in the home front.

    Thanks for this great post, Nick :)

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  34. Nick, You've been awarded the You make me smile award! Come by A Nice Place In The Sun, and pick it up!

    Congrats- :)

    Ann

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  35. I can't say that I was spoiled as a child. Shoot, I didn't even get that Easy Bake Oven I always wanted. lol

    I don't think I spoiled my kids. Sure, I wouldn't let the wind or rain at them but I tried to provide the environment for them to develop their independence. That's a hard thing for a parent - finding that balance. On one hand you want to do things for them and on the other hand you know that if you don't allow them to experience their own failures and successes, you may handicap them for life.

    Parenting is not for the faint of heart.

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  36. I wasn't spoiled at all..I had everything I needed but my mom stayed home with us so there were never anything extra, my dad worked real hard to be sure she could.

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  37. Marzie, you know I hated the name Nicky, made me sound like a little girl. Yeah, those days I sulked a lot till I got what I wanted. Looking back, I really think it was the wrong thing to do. Glad I'm more 'sane' nowadays ...

    Thankless & advertising go hand in hand ... LOL!

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  38. Mike, thanks for the offer to be interviewed. Will check the link you attached.

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  39. Barrett, you can't remember if you tagged me? Boy, you're getting old before your time ... LOL!

    Thanks for the award pal :) Always an honour receiving anything from you.

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  40. Micki, glad to have you visit my blog. I'd really like to think my experiences while growing up had actually made me a better parent. I guess only time will tell ...

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  41. Nihal, nice to see you here. Yeah, I was the untouchable right up to my grandma's death, then I was just a normal commoner ... LOL! I guess all grandparents would always favour one granchild a little more.

    Yup and all boy's are probably the same ...

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  42. Ann, thanx for the award, will drop by to pick it soon.

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  43. Nick!! Come and get it!!http://mariuca.blogspot.com/2007/09/someone-loves-my-blog.html

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  44. Barbara, thanks for visiting. Yes, being a parent isn't for the faint hearted ... LOL! I believe in letting them feel the joys of success and the pains of failure on their own unlike how I was spoiled by my grandmother.

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  45. Diamond, at least your parents made sure everything was provided for you without the spoiling part of things and I'm sure it made you a better person.

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  46. Marzie, thanx for the award. I'm seriously gonna have to buy a new award cabinet ... LOL!

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  47. Oh yeah! Get ur cabinet first, and I'll follow suit! IKEA is having a sale btw! ;)

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  48. Shhhhhhhh ... don't let the wife know there's an IKEA sale going on, Marzie ... LOL!

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