The past two weeks Mac has taken a bunch of major steps on the road to toddler-hood. He’s sitting up all by himself. He’s really into play time. He’s nearly ready to crawl. He feeds himself much more competently. He feeds the dog much more competently. Mass quantities of slimy avocado last evening at dinner. . .which was beyond disgusting I might add.
The disturbing thing about all this “progress” is I wonder if I’m boring the hell out of him. He doesn’t have a ton of toys – which I still think is fine. He happily plays with whatever is in front of him nasty sneakers, onion skin, and a used sock most recently. He loves reading and I do everything I can to encourage that while simultaneously discouraging his apparent love of eating paper. We have been spending a lot of time outdoors walking around checking things out since the weather has been wonderful. . .
But am I doing the right stuff? Is he getting an appropriate amount of stimulation to ensure his continued development? Swear I’m not just asking this because I caught him eating a piece of dog kibble off the floor this morning while I was unloading the dish washer. In his defense, the dog food does resemble Cheerios.
I’m curious how much play and activity is too much and what’s too little? Not just for a 9 month old. . .even for a 9-year-old? I think children should have quiet time. But I also remember saying “I’m bored” about 800 times a day when I was a kid. Granted, probably 60% of the time what I should have been saying was “I’m too lazy to think up something to do that doesn’t involve getting sent to my damned room for time out.”
I don’t think my parents were overly concerned about this sort of thing. My Mother did very cool things like teach us how to use acrylic paint and watercolors, and sew doll clothes and took us swimming all the time. Yet, riding a tricycle and beating one another with sticks for 5 hours was still an acceptable play date.
I get the sense there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on parents these days to provide structure and learning and crazy assed play dates where toddlers are served sandwiches styled to look like some kinda’ gawdamned palm tree or something. Don’t even get me started on the preschool admissions process in our area. Preschool!!
Do we really need to be gluing pom poms and popsicle sticks to the kitchen counter every waking minute? Is it acceptable to just sit by the water and watch the ducks without the pressure of mastering the pincher grip or multiplication?
How do I make sure my child finds balance without being bored as hell? How do you especially with summer coming?