Last night my three year old went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a sleepover. Not for the first time, but for the first time in quite a while, and for the first time by himself. Because we’ve got four kids, it’s rare that any of them get one-on-one time with parents and grandparents, but at the end of March Break my husband’s parents had offered to take the three oldest for a sleepover for a couple of days. Unfortunately that was at the height of Andrew’s ear problems and he had not only his pre-op appointment for his tubes, but another ear infection which needed to be treated, so he ended up staying home while his two older sisters went for a few days away.
Grandma and Grandpa felt badly about this, so they offered to take him for his very own sleepover last night. I have to admit, it hadn’t even occurred to me that he might get homesick. He adores Grandma and Grandpa, so I was more worried about my separation anxiety than his. However, at 11:20pm last night my MSN went off, with my mother-in-law telling me that they hadn’t gotten Andrew settled down yet, and wondering what they should do.
Andrew has never been a great sleeper, so I honestly thought he was just having too much fun to sleep, but after a few minutes I realized that no, he was just plain homesick and scared. We called to talk to him, but all he could do was cry. My heart was breaking. My in-laws live 30 minutes away, so going to get him wasn’t out of the question, but it was getting awfully late. The idea of my husband going and just staying there for the night was floated. We wondered whether or not to just let him “tough it out”. As I hemmed and hawed about what to do my mother-in-law finally told me that he was snuggled up with Grandpa in his LazyBoy, and looking a little bit more relaxed. I suggested that they just turn the lights off and see if he fell asleep.
My husband, who’s a bit of a night owl, was still awake a couple of hours later, and talked to his mom again. Apparently they were still snuggled in the chair, and Andrew still wasn’t quite asleep.
Homesickness is so hard to deal with. Andrew is very young, which is why I was really questioning whether or not we needed to go and get him, but it can happen at any age. My oldest wanted to go to sleepover camp last summer, but I really hesitated because of the fear of having her get there and immediately change her mind. Maybe we’ll try it this year.
I haven’t heard from Grandma and Grandpa yet this morning. I’m hoping that means he’s asleep, and still sleeping. I’m fighting the urge to call and check because if he is sleeping I don’t want to wake him up, but my baby was hurting last night, and I wasn’t there to make it all better, and I just want to know that he’s okay.
So who do you think homesickness is harder on? The kid, or mom and dad?