Recently I managed to take some time off work to deal with a few pressing personal matters. During that time off I managed to steal away for a few days and spend them with my toddler who is barely two years now. Yes, he is at that stage I have now labeled the “non-stop play”. He just always seems to be on the go, physically, verbally and even mentally. He is always running, climbing, dancing or rearranging things around the house as if he is on a mission to find the ultimate challenge for his new found motor skills.
He is fascinated with trying to lift heavy objects or at least pushing them. And all the time he is at work he is talking baby gibberish, laughing out loud at intervals or humming/ singing to himself.
Watching my toddler’s antics was heartwarming and incredibly emotional too. But having to keep up with him, staying alert, letting him explore and at the same time making sure he did not hurt himself was somewhat exhausting too. He seemed to have way more energy than I had bargained for. I needed to slow him down a little so his activities were closer to my pace, a pace I can handle while trying to take it easy.
So what did I do? I decided that we could at least enjoy an animated cartoon together. This worked out just fine for about 30 minutes but no more. And when he started to fidget I started to feel a little guilty that perhaps I was boring him. I worried that my son would get bored at home with me and with the same toys. He was well stimulated in his current environment, exploring and learning new things. He was enjoying his surroundings. And what do I do? I restrain his active little mind and try to mould him to my will all because I am tired and cannot keep up with him.
I am not super mum and I am tired, mentally exhausted and in dire need of a holiday and “me” time. I am desperate to be a good attentive mom, not a controlling one.
I want an independent, creative child, not a dull narrow-minded ignorant child. I am so afraid of making the wrong decisions but more than that, I am afraid of boring my child!
But instinct, maternal or other is a wonderful thing – It kicks in just when you need it! Suddenly I had a “Eureka!” moment while I watched my child at play, humming to himself merrily. He was rearranging things, pulling down books from the shelf and stacking them up on the floor.
And as I watched him thinking how much work he was creating for me, I realized that to him work was play. In fact there was no difference between work and play for him. He enjoyed it all, took the time to clap for himself when the whole stack was completed.
I realised that rather than come up with a list of activities, the best way to deal with your concerns of boring the child is to try to think a little differently.
Try to remember that you’re not a walking toy designed to entertain your child during her every waking moment. Give yourself a break and just be.