Entertaining me entertaining you

Feeling: what else is there to do now?

So after the TERRIBLE drama last weekend, I decided that maybe I should let my bub put his hands in his mouth for the whole day and see whether that would make a difference in the perceived satisfaction of my child and I’m glad to say that besides smelly, grimy and slimey saliva-ey hands, seems like there isn’t much ado about doing or not doing it.

Of course the bub seems to let his hands wander towards his mouth more often than not but it’s my prerogative to tell him not to do it and to ensure that he doesn’t.

cry if i want to

But I’ve been hearing from some friends who have decided that they are okay with letting their babies put their hands into their mouths that they’ve actually been rather good babies after.

Apparently hand-sucking, fist-sucking, thumb-sucking is supposed to be a sign of “intelligent” children who have learnt how to self-soothe.

“If your baby begins putting his hand in his mouth, and then you discover that it has gone from his hand to just his thumb or a couple of fingers it means that your baby has found a way a way to help calm himself down. You should be happy about this as it means you may have some more free time on your hands.”

https://www.babiesonline.com/articles/baby/handinmouth.asp

Reading that, I was excited for a minute. The past few weeks I’ve not really been doing much besides juggling his eating times and getting some work done on the computer and I really have not been able to just. PLAY with my baby.

Sure I’ll give him a few minutes of attention and tickle his tummy and read him a story. Sing him a song or thrust a toy at him and make him grasp it but it’s not true quality time spent learning each other.

We’ve discovered that the bub loves to babble and gurgle at us and just giving him our time so that he can “talk” to us is precious enough.

But as it is, I still need to bring money home for the family in a way and do my part although I’m still on “maternity leave” so that means, that I need the baby to self entertain himself for the better part of the day while I stretch the fingers and do some typing.

knuckle cracking

And again there are a fair amount of articles out there that will tell you about how self entertaining babies are okay. That you really don’t have to worry too much about what you do with you bub at this age. Honestly if they hear your voice and know that you’re there, they’ll pretty much take care of themselves.

Take this article for instance:

“When my son Henry and his cousin Brian were 4, Brian would often go missing at family gatherings. Not really missing, of course. But we’d all be eating or talking or chasing after kids, and someone would ask, “Where’s Brian?” When we’d look around, he’d always be right there, quietly and happily entertaining himself with a Matchbox car or some other toy he’d found.”

Now wouldn’t you really just want that for yourself and your kids? I would love for moments to myself not having to worry about what kind of mischief my children are getting into and knowing that they are fully capable of doing something on their own to get past a few minutes of the day without me.

This is an excellent resource for how best to entertain your baby or at least transition into it:

“Just as it’s up to us to instill the habit of self-directed play (which most babies end up loving even more than the adult generated kind), it’s also our job to ensure that our babies are developing motor skills organically, if that is something we value. Although both are innate desires, we have to pave the way (which usually means staying out of the way).”

While making sense, this also explores the flip side of too much intervention in playing with the baby. With all the good intentions that we have to stand the baby up and assist them in learning things in a certain way, we might actually be interfering with the natural progression of things and the natural way which babies learn.

I am a little worried and hesitant about leaving the bub alone for too extended periods though, regardless if he’s happy.

I’ve heard about only child syndrome where the child really starts inventing imaginary friends and starts talking to himself and/or his toys.

Can you say ghosts? And can you say CREEPY?

scared b&W

ANYWAY MOVING ON.

I struggle every day with wanting time for myself and time to play with the bubby. How much time DO I need to spend with him anyway? How will I know what’s a good balance?

I remember while I was pregnant that I wanted to always read him stories and bring out the flash cards and get him to look at letters. I wanted to sing all the nursery rhymes and just expose him to everything that is possible to expose him to.

But something seems to be stopping me from doing it.

I don’t want to be the parent who is never available for their child. That I’d always need another minute, another hour to finish up what it is that I’m doing so that I can spend time with my child.

I read somewhere but forgot who the character was, somebody famous for sure, about this person who was the daughter or son of this said famous character. And it was somebody REALLY big. Like the president or something. And it’s struck me enough for me to remember that whenever the person wanted time with his/her father, he/she would peek into the door, scared of disturbing this big important person, but the father, would put down his pen and whatever he was doing and ask his little boy/girl to come in.

He would sit him/her on his lap and ask. “So how can I help you today little sir/miss?”

And no matter what it was and whatever issues were weighing on his mind that day, he wouldn’t show it to his child. Because there shouldn’t be anything more important than being with your baby should there.

nothing is more important

That’s what I hope that I can achieve when my bub comes looking for me. To never be impatient with him and to always have a minute to spare.

But right now while he’s so young and impressionable, I find myself fighting to make myself available to play with him and give him the attention that he needs. And trying to balance all that enforce teaching him to self-entertain so I (again) can have a bit of time away to rejuvenate myself without him seems to be important too.

It makes me feel so guilty.

I’m truly glad for this portal that helps me pen down and organize my thoughts to solve the issues like this, and while I’m typing this, it seems to me that the thing that needs to be done right now, is to schedule things in.

At the very least to ensure I have a good solid hour or two in the morning and in the evening with him. Give him a bit of a tiring out and then put him to sleep. There’s more than enough time while he’s taking a nap for me to get a fair amount of work done right?

fast typing

Well, we’ll give that a shot soon for sure. Right after I just finish this article…

Kidding.

No more procrastination,
Jess

 

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