I am an only child.  When I was younger, I cringed when I said that to people, as I invariably would hear the same phrase “Oh, you must be spoiled”.  It always made me want to apologize.

Spoiled, to me, brings up images of the nasty girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I think that people can be spoiled in good and not so good ways, and I have tried to spoil my children and the people I love in good ways.

Our daughter is coming home for Thanksgiving. We haven’t seen her for six months.  Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday, and she has great expectations for her trip home.   Every year we “spoil” her by letting her plan the Thanksgiving meal.  She has old favorites, and likes to try new things as well. She doesn’t help prepare the food, but leaves it to us.  This year she has requested French bread, an apple crisp for desert,  cranberry salsa, a basic turkey dressing, butternut squash casserole,  mashed potatoes, a simple turkey that is covered in cheese cloth and basted with herb butter, and, of course, green bean casserole.  She also wants cranberry mimosas.

Daughter has also asked that she gets a down comforter on her bed, and has other favorite food requests for the 10 days she is home.  I think this is a very good way to spoil her.

How do you spoil the people you love?


26 thoughts on “Spoiled”

  1. i used to spill them
    today i try to cover the basics the best i can
    little things like gas in the gas tank
    an airplane ticket home for the holidays
    new tires for the winter
    potato chips in the cupboard
    not very extraordinary things
    sometimes just keeping up with things is as much spoiling as can be hoped for

    cranberries don’t belong in a mimosa

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My little pink bungalow had a a single small garage. The garage could hold her car or mine, not both. After a short debate we decided that the warmth and convenience of the garage belonged naturally to the person with the more valuable car. That was my erstwife. My old Volvo made me the logical person to face the terrors of starting that car early after a winter storm dropped and the car parked on the street had to be moved before the snowplows and towing trucks arrived.

    Then my old car needed to be replaced. My new car now was more valuable than hers. Did that mean my car would be garaged? Ah, no. One of us had a long morning commute whereas one of us was just a freelancer. It made sense that the commuter (my erstwife) should get the warmth and convenience of the garage because one of us had more time to move a car parked before the towing truck arrived to drag it away during a snow emergency.

    The secret to a long marriage is avoiding acrimony by making decisions like this based on rational factors.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No offense taken. You couldn’t tell that this was written tongue-in-cheek?

        As for “irrational factors,” I spent several years feeling guilty about using the garage even though someone else made the decision to move to Europe. That’s pretty darn irrational!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Daughter is an only child. She was determined to have more than one and had three. She did let me know at one point that she was reaping twice fold from her daughters…all that I had said about hoping she’d have daughters some day. Now they are young women, great friends and have a wonderful relationship with both their folks.

    I don’t think I ‘spoiled’ daughter in a negative way…one can’t spoil with love…and doing things together….plus reasonable declipline. However husband was not in agreement with my thinking & doing and daughter learned early on she could probably get from Dad what she might not get from Mom. When she was young there were no issues. But as a teen she and I butted heads a lot. Husband had always traveled much so then it became an almost “wait til you father gets home”. Daughter was taller than me, feisty and challenging…probably like most teens other than her height. (5’8…me 5’5+…granddaughters are 6′ &6’1)
    Daughter was DEFINATELY spoiled in the negative way…that is in my thinking…by Dad. A couple of examples;
    She only had to put $50 dollars a month into savings…trusting she’d be like him and deposit much more…no such luck = money went through her fingers like water.
    We got a car for her and he gave her a gas card…no limits…didn’t have to pay anything toward it.
    He gave her an AmEx Gold card we she left for college…I did not know this or would have vehemently supposed. Daughter went through a lot of money. Marrying became a monetary shock…with growing pains that I would have preferred her go through as a teen.
    Those things were vehement disagreements for me with husband and the worst time of our marriage,

    Her youngsters all work some during school year and thru summer. They have cars that they payed on with some help and they pay their car expenses.
    There is harmony and a positive spoiling in her family. I have a great son-in-law, grandchildren and of course daughter.

    And husband and I made it through those years….we’re on #48.
    I do spoil husband by waiting on him with meals that I know he likes…and I don’t eat…so I cook different menus most of the time. I like to cook so this is a very small way of ‘spoiling’.

    *I think cranberries would look lovely in mimosas…and I do like cranberry juice with orange juice…making a very orange in color beverage for Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My parents grew up with an abhorrence of “spoiling” children. They often clucked sadly about families with just one child, for they were sure that an only child would suffer through life as a spoiled person. And to some extent, I absorbed some of my parents’ concern about spoiling kids.

    My life experience has changed my thinking. Two families close to me had kids who were obviously spoiled. Those kids were poisonous at family gatherings, and I assumed they would have nasty lives of expecting privilege and whining when they didn’t get it..

    As far as I can tell, all four of those blatantly spoiled kids grew up, corrected their expectations and now are living as happy, effective young people. I don’t claim this proves anything. But I no longer think spoiling a child is such a big deal. It seems that a bright kid can grow up and get beyond being spoiled. And I’m taking advantage of my new thinking to make sure my grandson is spoiled by his loving grandfather.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m wondering how you’re defining “spoiled,” Steve, and if your definition is the same as your parents’? What do you do for Liam that you would consider spoiling him?

      I’m really struggling with the concept of what exactly constitutes spoiling someone. In the way Renee is using it in the blog, it’s a deliberate gesture designed to give pleasure to her daughter, and from which she, herself, also derives a great deal of joy; I love the concept of it.

      If one the other hand it is doing something for someone who either takes it for granted or doesn’t appreciate it, and perhaps causes resentment from the givers point of view, I guess I wouldn’t consider that spoiling someone.

      Hans’ mother doted on him when he was a little boy. For instance, she would put his down comforter on the radiator to warm before she’d tuck him in at night. It was a small gesture that still gives him a warm feeling when he thinks about it; it was a thoughtful way of saying “I love you” without actually saying it. Back then most Danish parents didn’t say such things to their kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. In the seventies there was a mini-movement that advocated having just one child, the rationale being that it took two parents to give a child all the love, attention, and support necessary to become a fully actualized human being. I don’t find anything about it on a quick google search that matches my learning from the couple I knew who proposed this.

    I believe parents who “spoil” too much a single child would do the same with multiple children. I’m pretty sure our son wasn’t spoiled in that way, but I’m sure there were those who looked at him and thought he had advantages… As an adult he was a generous and caring person, and I admired the person he had become.

    I sometimes spoil those I love by taking on whatever project needs doing – we’re coming into the home stretch on moving our friend and selling his house. With Husband, there are hundreds of little things, but, happily, I feel that that goes both ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember that movement, BiR or at least a similar one. As I recall, it was called ZPG, for Zero Population Growth. It urged parents to have no more than 2 children; just enough, in the grand scheme of things, to replace the parents without further bloating the global population. We did have only 2 children and to a certain extent, ZPG may have influenced that. However, we only had one planned child; daughter #2 defied medical odds and was conceived with an IUD in place. Thank goodness she defied the odds, our life is so much fuller and richer with her in it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A cousin named Jim who lived in California was sometimes identified as a kid who was unquestionably spoiled. I remember one story from when Jim was about seven.

    He came to his mother and announced “I haffta got potty!”

    She said, “Well, you’re a big boy now. You can do that.”

    “You come with me,” demanded Jim. And she did.

    In the bathroom things got quiet. Finally my aunt said, “I can’t go for you, Jim. This is something you have to do.”

    “Pull my pants down,” ordered Jim. And she did.

    Nothing happened for a long time, then Jim said, “Sit on it. I want you to sit on the toilet and warm it up for me.”

    And she did.


    1. I hope that’s a family legend rather than a true story, Steve. In my book, that’s not spoiling the kid, that’s abdicating all parental responsibility. If that story is true, it must be your aunt who has told it. Was she proud of the fact that she was raising a boy who at the age of seven couldn’t go to the bathroom by himself?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I will be specific about the person I spoil. My Grandnephew. He is brilliant. At age 2, he was giving us lectures on the “epidermis”. His study of skin was so profound, I used it as part of a standup comedy routine. Dylan was not present to play his part so I had to stand in for him. My monologue took me, with him, to the Columbus Zoo. We were in need of a map and “found” a lady with full body tattoos of the facility. The planned course was R rated. Again, I emphasis that Dylan was NOT there but I shamelessly used his interest in human skin to comedic advantage. (Maybe someday I will get up to the Twin Cities for an open mike night and reprise the whole bit)
    At any rate, Dylan is brilliant and also becoming a chess master. I spoil him by playing out the openings contained in the book, Modern Chess Openings by McKay Chess Library. We go so far and then he is on his own. I have never lost but that comeupance awaits.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. When I was about 10, my father had taught me to be a competent, but far from brilliant, chess player. He had one friend in particular who he played with regularly. Dad and I spent many hours memorizing some famous chess game, and one night when his friend Bob came over for an evening of chess. Dad asked him to observe offer constructive criticism on how well my game was coming along. We played out the whole thing, with Bob occasionally trying to coach me, and get me to not make a move I seemed to be considering. I valiantly ignored him and soldiered on, taking my time so as not to look rehearsed. When I announced Check Mate, Bob was floored and I don’t think Dad let him in on the truth until several chess nights later. It was both fun and funny, but never repeated.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. So much resonates with me here……..with only having an older brother, I campaigned for Mom to make a sister for me. I never got one and still, to this day, wish I did have one.

    My three kids grew up and between them have had 12 children even though my long lineage only had two kids. Because mine grew up in an almost poverty level household meant that they’d have to work hard, save, and buy what they wanted. All I could do was meet their needs. Each one of them bought a car when they turned 16, paid for insurance, gas, and any repairs.

    As a result, their work ethic is over the top, and all three have very successful careers. That may be the only thing I contributed to their future success, and that’s only because we were poor. When I see kids from well-to-do homes, I’ve observed that they’re usually entitled and aimless as young adults. Having so little money turned out to be a blessing in terms of who they’ve become.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. I don’t spoil my one and only very often. If I do, it’s the occasional root beer or caramel apple (her favorites). I do offer up my time whenever she wants to do something together (zoo, apple picking, fawn-doe-rosa, movie); I always cough up for the admission fee.

    She is quite unspoiled – I know most parents of single children say this, but I’m sure she’s very mature and responsible. She’s held a job since she was 14, is putting herself through school and helps A LOT around the house. She raked 18 bags of leaves over the weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Your post really warmed my heart! My daughter, an only child, sends me food requests before coming home for a holiday, too 😀. I don’t consider fulfilling her list to be a case of spoiling her, because it gives us both a warm, happy feeling.
    I remember, when she was a little kid going to school early in the winter mornings, my husband used to re-iron her clothes so she could be warm. To some, that was Spoiling the child. Some 20 years later she still talks about it with love.
    I have always felt that inconsiderate behaviour, meanness, bullying etc are the qualities of a spoilt child. What you and I and many others do is love, care for and indulge our children, while ensuring they grow up as good human beings.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.