Feeling: Grateful for help
So I’m normally alone at home with the baby throughout the week, save for the one precious day of “rest” I get when my mum comes over to help me out.
Discounting obviously the weekends when my hubs is off from work and gets his turn at baby bonding, the bub and I only get to see him at the end of the work day and time is soooo limited!
We have a bit of a schedule worked out so that papa can squeeze in as many activities with the bub until he goes to sleep and so I get a little breathing room to eat food at my own leisure and etc.
Basically papa takes care of the whole bed time routine – the bath and storytelling and even a little night feed with a freshly expressed bottle of milk.
I get to take a bit of time of with a nice shower and to clean up the house and finish up last bits of work that I didn’t have the chance to touch up during the day. And just be alone with my thoughts a little bit.
And I think the break is well deserved. What I’ve been realising lately is that I’ve been steadily running out of things to do with the bub.
If you remember that I posed this question a while back on what exactly SHOULD I be doing with the bub and that there’s only so many times I can sing twinkle twinkle little star? Well like the topic of the day states, there’s really so much for me to learn about entertaining a a child!
Like if you gave me a baby to babysit for say an afternoon, I don’t think I would have a problem? The problem with this is having to do an encore every single day. With no idea what else to introduce!
I’m actually really sad to say this, but sometimes I resort to shoving a toy, preferably something chewable, into the little bub’s lap while he sits in his bouncer in the attempts that he will miraculously figure out how to use it. All in the hopes that I can get those few minutes to myself to do some work.
Even when I don’t have work to do, I don’t seem to have much in my repertoire to bring out when it comes to playing with the baby. I make voices and talk to him and coo and make eye contact and all that, but it seems like his attention span is just so fleeting, it really is a challenge about what to do!
At times, I’ve put the bub on his tummy so that he can figure out how to flip from the front to the back and vice versa. And that keeps the little bub busy for a few minutes. But it doesn’t keep him entertained for long…
It also doesn’t help that we’ve decided not to let him watch videos or youtube until he’s way older as much as we know that there’s good
respite merit for doing so. So we’ve backed ourselves into a corner about keeping him occupied.
It truly makes me think about what would happen if I send the little bub to infant care.
I’ve heard stories about how the staff are so busy running around cleaning and sterilising milk bottles and quieting the fussy babies that they have no time to run a program or entertain the babies. So much so that they end up just staring blankly at a wall.
I shudder to think about how mushy my bub’s brain is going to be after coming back from that kind of environment. I mean at the very least, you could let the babies people watch or something right?
Anyway, I know that kindergarten and nursery classes will be a lot different because there is an actual proper curriculum for the bubs to follow. But even so, that’s like 2 years in the future and a loooong way to go!
So what to do in the meantime?
As I was saying, my mum comes over once a week and we have swimming lessons the day she comes over. It’s a wonderful excuse to come out of the house and into a mildly heated pool for a little under an hour where we kind of just soak and splash around while being given instructions on HOW we should splash around.
And it’s a real joy to see how far my bub has come with swimming. From squealing and wailing when in the water to nary a sound when near diving under.
And we’re lucky that after all this dipping and diving, the little bub is usually all tuckered out enough to sleep for a 3 or 4 hour nap and if we’re lucky, until papa comes home.
So that’s one day in the week taken care of…. What about the other four?
What I really wanted to post about was that I usually switch off and really buckle down to getting work done on Mondays when I pass the bub to my mum to have her grandma bonding time. And I barely take a break because of the precious little time that I can get some dedicated computer time save for nursing the baby every few hours and giving him a little kiss and hug when he’s off for naps.
But just the last week, I had a bit of break from assignments and so I decided to just come out of my hole in the study to see what my mum and the bub were doing and I was just amazed at how she was able to entertain him!
I mean singing and walking around and tummy time and all that I know. But looking out the window to watch the cars and people walking by and playing catch with his toys, pumping his legs and helping him to do actions along with some kiddy songs were really totally beyond my scope of thought!
I was truly amazed at the amount of ideas she had to keep him enraptured in what she was doing and he was all smiles and loving the attention!
When I play with the bub, we both get frustrated with each other coz we get bored of doing the same motions over and over and over again! So it’s no wonder that he loves the fresh ideas that my mum brings into the mix.
And it’s really got me thinking whether it’s a generational thing that we just don’t think too well about what to do with ourselves.
There’s the TV and there’s the internet and that pretty much settles everything doesn’t it?
It’s not about to make me go on a technology strike, but it really makes me think about what I need to be doing as a mummy to make nurturing the bub more interactive and exciting while restricting the introduction of electronic devices unless perhaps as a last resort.
I’m sure there are lots of websites that talk about what you can do, but at the same time they advocate that you shouldn’t try too hard to entertain your baby either.
“Just hearing mummy’s voice and seeing what mummy does is enough to make baby happy.”
Uh-huh. Have you never had a baby before?
Anyway, moving on, when I praised my mum for being so resourceful, she told me that there really was nothing to it. She had just thought to herself about what she needed to do to keep the baby busy and got down to talking to him.
It’s amazing how that little insight into how my mum tackled a problem that the current generation would take to Google to solve has made me truly want to rethink about how I need to pay attention to my baby when we’re spending time together.
There’s just so little time that we have together while he’s young and I should more than definitely start to look for more things to do that will challenge him in different ways and help him explore himself. Perhaps I will resort to the interwebs to look for tutorials on what new activities we can do to entertain the bub besides the reading and toy-jiggling and baby talk.
But more importantly, start to take lessons from my mum, oh wonderful guru of baby entertainment!
Times like this, I truly thank God for my mum 🙂
So much to learn,