Stay at home Moms [fighting boredom/restlessness] - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-23-2004, 04:21 PM
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Hey all you stay at home moms!



I'm home with my 13 month old and we've gotten to kind of a rough patch. Lucas is incredibly incredibly active, walking, running, etc and I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do with him during the day. I live in a small apartment, and lately the weather has turned in Seattle and it has been very wet & rainy outside. Lucas has been getting very restless, and bored with his toys, and this makes it hard on me. I start getting bored myself. We go for walks at least once a day, and I also let him run around our apartment complex (keeping a very close watch!) for about 30 minutes every day. But there are still a lot of other hours to fill.



Any ideas for what kinds of indoor activities he and I can do? Any help would be appreciated!
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#2 Old 09-23-2004, 04:32 PM
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What about art projects? Maybe finger painting or making things out of salt dough. If you look on the net, there are resources for even the smallest kids. That is, assuming he won't eat the paint or the dough.



Maybe dance breaks? When the boys get uber restless we turn on the music and boogie. Dance with Lucas in your arms. He'll love the change of pace.
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#3 Old 09-23-2004, 04:37 PM
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hi there!! maybe if it does not drive you batty let him play with your pots and pans and a couple of safe utensils. the mall near me has a play area (indoors) with stuff for younger and older ones. plus, check out the library for all sorts of diff. programs. if it is warm enough with al ight rain, have him play outdoors splashing around and stuff. it is VERY hard to keep little ones busy without exhausting yourself! you could check for a local mothers club. they have regular get togethers/playdates and lots of good info! good luck!
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#4 Old 09-23-2004, 07:32 PM
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I sort of know how you feel. On cold or rainy days, I was stuck in a room all day with a bunch of one year olds. Some days we actually resorted to riding bikes up and down the hall. Your neighbors may not appreciate that, though.



Art projects were especially fun with the little ones! They just require lots of supervision. Finger paint, markers, and crayons are all appropriate. Just watch the 'its new I must put it in my mouth' response. A lot of times, I would take the kids art and make it into something else. In the winter, I'd cut out snowflakes, pine trees, stars. Fall was leaves, friendly ghosties, pumpkins. I'd dangle the shapes from the ceiling, hang them on the walls, or put them in the window. It was a great way for the kids to learn new shapes. They were constantly fascinated by the new decor. We also made cards for mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa. Maybe a 'welcome home dad' card is in order. You can trace yoru childs hand and make it into anything imaginable.



You can always go to the library. They probably have storytimes and other activities, if you two get bored on your own.



I'd also brainstorm about open indoor spaces nearby. The mall was already mentioned, but you may also look into a neighborhood community center, park pavilion, or church. My apt complex has an indoor court. It would be great place to run around and play ball, especially since it would deserted during the day.



Other at home stuff ... bubbles! ... homemade shakers! ... confetti bottles - soda bottle filled with mini items and confetti (not to be made with baby though) ... couch cushion tent! ... You can always go with the basics of learning body parts, animal sounds, etc. Good luck and have fun!
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#5 Old 09-23-2004, 07:59 PM
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at 13 months I remember spending some time each day doing a bit of each:



Going from room to room and pointing out all objects and saying their names. Sounds dull- but Bay loved doing that.



Reading books. We have a zillion books and every day we STILL read them.



Run errands (post office, grocery store, window shop)



Go to our local playground. Today we went there in 12 inches of snow and cold... it's a good spot to get rid of some wiggles!



Watching a wiggles video and dancing and singing to it.



How about story time at your library? Or a playgroup? Swimming lessons at your local rec center (we did this when Bay was 10months).



Good luck.
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#6 Old 09-23-2004, 08:08 PM
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OT: Holy crap Vegiemom, 12 inches of snow, in september, that's insane! Do you live in Greenland or something?
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#7 Old 09-23-2004, 08:16 PM
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I'm no longer a stay home mom (THANK GOD!!!!!!!!--no offense to anyone, but when they reach a certain age, they just don't need as much Mommy attention, and then it's either you start drinking heavily, or find a work you love doing).



But I do work with children daily (the work I love doing), and I have lots of resources online for crafts. I will post some links when I get a moment, which may be after the weekend.



B
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#8 Old 09-23-2004, 08:31 PM
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I've heard of some parents who taught their children sign language at that age. Or rather, they learned sign language with them. The thinking is that it engages parts of their minds that oral language doesn't.



Do you know another family in your vicinity who you trust to watch your son for an evening? Set up an evening every week--say, Thursday. Every other Thursday, you watch their kids so they can go out on a date. The opposite Thursdays, you and your hubby--are you married? I don't remember--get to spend time alone together. Even if you're not married, you still need time off of kid-duty. Kids love it because they have a standing 'playdate'. That is, assuming they like the kids they visit/have over.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
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#9 Old 09-23-2004, 09:05 PM
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OT: Holy crap Vegiemom, 12 inches of snow, in september, that's insane! Do you live in Greenland or something?



Colorado. Just outside of Breckenridge
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#10 Old 09-24-2004, 06:08 AM
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at the local waldorf school, they send kids outside regardless of weather. Sure, if it's dangerous, they're not outside, but otherwise, they tell parents to invest in good rain gear and good cold weather gear for their kids.



last winter, there was a freezing rain thing going on outside. At the waldorff school, all the kids were outside for most of the day--particularly the little ones. no one got sick, everyone was very happy and very muddy. is that too much for a tiny one? i know that the two year olds at waldorff day care go outside, but i don't know about younger ones because i don't have friends with younger ones (well, 6 to 9 month old).



the idea behind this is that being out in the weather is fun, it's a learning experience, and it builds their constitution and immune system.



This means, of course, that mom needs good rain gear and good cold weather gear too. if you contact your local waldorff school, they may have a list of people who are selling their old gear that their kids have grown out of. they recommend brands like "woolies" and "ski silks" as undergarments for cold weather, and the rain gear should include rain paints, boots, and jacket with a hood and a cinch waist. This should keep them dry.



i find duck ponds, arboretums (wooded areas), and flower gardens are particularly lovely in the rain. and there's lots of good mud and puddles and things.



anyway, another idea in the opposite direction.
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#11 Old 09-24-2004, 06:36 AM
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If you put your babe in a sling he can help you do all YOUR chores! My son just started enjoying the sling at around 12-14 months. Now he will ride in it for an hour or so and be perfectly entertained while I do laundry or dishes or cook dinner... and he can nurse in it too.
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#12 Old 09-24-2004, 07:34 AM
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101 activities to do with your toddler-



http://www-personal.engin.umich.edu/...ddler/list.htm



I know how you feel! Hopefully that'll help some. I will post more when I have more time!
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#13 Old 09-24-2004, 09:14 AM
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i totally empathize, colorful. it seems like just yesterday i was having trouble coming up with stuff to do with both my toddlers (one of whom is now seven and the other three). in fact a lot of times i still feel challenged to keep them from boredom! especially now that i'm homeschooling, the onus is on me to make sure they are kept interested and stimulated through much of the day.



13 months is a little young for this, but i wanted to point out that at a certain age (not much older than your cub) to "learn" to play on their own and entertain themselves. always having access to a tidy-ish room full of interesting toys and books (and that is "baby-proofed") and letting them just sort of run loose in there for a bit, imagining and creating, is really important. i was kind of...uh...overbearing when my son was wee, always trying to direct him and be right there suggesting games, books, toys for him to play with and playing WITH him, and when he hit the age of 3 i found out the hard way that he had a hard time playing on his own and felt he needed someone there the whole time, interacting with him. if i wasn't right there on the floor with him at all times, he would just follow me around "hanging on my shirt tails" and whining about being bored! that got old real quick.



with my daughter i took a more pro-active approach and at a sort of early age encouraged her to sit down in a safe spot with a wide variety of appropriate things to play with and go at it. she is now much more inclined to engage in solo play and some of the things i hear coming out of her imaginative little mouth crack me up! she creates her own little world and sings songs and has her dolls interact with both her and her other toy critters. my son, on the other hand, still needs to feel as though he's "not alone" when he's playing. if he can't have someone right there creatively playing with him he wants to 'shut off' and either play computer games or watch t.v. it's been a struggle!



again, i think 13 months is a little young to expect the baby to "play alone" very often but i'd suggest putting aside a little bit of time each day where you do your own thing (whether that's reading a book or doing dishes or whatever) while the baby is surrounded with toys and other activities that you don't have to be directly involved with. letting them "run wild" at the playground is great, and also, in our community, we have a 'drop in play center' that is free or by donation where there are baby-safe areas filled with toys and activities that you might not have at home. they also have structured times, like circle singing and directed crafts, that even the littlest kids enjoy. definitely research the family- and child-oriented stuff that your community offers. i'm sure in seattle there's quite a lot available. and if all else fails, try to connect with other moms in your 'hood who would be willing to meet up either in your homes or child-friendly public spaces where you can let the kids play together and spend some time with other adults.
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#14 Old 09-24-2004, 09:28 AM
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i totally empathize, colorful. it seems like just yesterday i was having trouble coming up with stuff to do with both my toddlers (one of whom is now seven and the other three). in fact a lot of times i still feel challenged to keep them from boredom! especially now that i'm homeschooling, the onus is on me to make sure they are kept interested and stimulated through much of the day.



13 months is a little young for this, but i wanted to point out that at a certain age (not much older than your cub) to "learn" to play on their own and entertain themselves. always having access to a tidy-ish room full of interesting toys and books (and that is "baby-proofed") and letting them just sort of run loose in there for a bit, imagining and creating, is really important. i was kind of...uh...overbearing when my son was wee, always trying to direct him and be right there suggesting games, books, toys for him to play with and playing WITH him, and when he hit the age of 3 i found out the hard way that he had a hard time playing on his own and felt he needed someone there the whole time, interacting with him. if i wasn't right there on the floor with him at all times, he would just follow me around "hanging on my shirt tails" and whining about being bored! that got old real quick.



with my daughter i took a more pro-active approach and at a sort of early age encouraged her to sit down in a safe spot with a wide variety of appropriate things to play with and go at it. she is now much more inclined to engage in solo play and some of the things i hear coming out of her imaginative little mouth crack me up! she creates her own little world and sings songs and has her dolls interact with both her and her other toy critters. my son, on the other hand, still needs to feel as though he's "not alone" when he's playing. if he can't have someone right there creatively playing with him he wants to 'shut off' and either play computer games or watch t.v. it's been a struggle!



again, i think 13 months is a little young to expect the baby to "play alone" very often but i'd suggest putting aside a little bit of time each day where you do your own thing (whether that's reading a book or doing dishes or whatever) while the baby is surrounded with toys and other activities that you don't have to be directly involved with. letting them "run wild" at the playground is great, and also, in our community, we have a 'drop in play center' that is free or by donation where there are baby-safe areas filled with toys and activities that you might not have at home. they also have structured times, like circle singing and directed crafts, that even the littlest kids enjoy. definitely research the family- and child-oriented stuff that your community offers. i'm sure in seattle there's quite a lot available. and if all else fails, try to connect with other moms in your 'hood who would be willing to meet up either in your homes or child-friendly public spaces where you can let the kids play together and spend some time with other adults.



**I agree. I think 13 months is the BEGINNING of learning how to solo play. My son co-sleeps so we never really set up "his own room". His toys were everywhere. I dediced he needed his own space so we gave him his own room to play and nap in and he was DELIGHTED. All his stuff is in there and only his stuff. Along w/ a couch and a baby chair. As soon as we created his own space he used it. This was at about 12 months.
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#15 Old 09-24-2004, 12:07 PM
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aw, I knew I would get a ton of good suggestions from all of you amazing ladies!



Gentlevegan - thanks for the list. Printing it right now!



Rincaro - I have danced with Lucas in the past but kind of forgot how fun it was. I did it last night and we had so much fun! He is starting to dance on his own...it's the cutest thing in the world! We loved it so much we did it again this morning!



Kreeli - Lucas has actually been a superstar at entertaining himself! He can get totally absorbed in his toys for about 30 minutes. We just finally put cabinet latches on the lower cupboards in the kitchen so now he can be in there while I am cooking or doing dishes, which he loves.



Vegiemom - I don't have a sling, but I have a baby bjorn. We haven't put him in that since he was probably 9 months old...I'm not sure he would still fit! where did you get your sling, and how did it work with a toddler? Lucas is probably about 25 pounds now, and very tall for his age.



skylark - we've been teaching Lucas simple signs, he can now do "more" and "all done"...he just finally caught on to those two last week! It's so cute!



bethanie - you always make me laugh!



Jinga & smedley - thanks for the ideas.



Zoebird - that's a good thought about taking babies outside in all weather. I let Lucas run around outside yesterday evening when it was sprinkling very lightly out. He had a great time. Except for all the piles of doggie doo we kept running into...grrrrr...darn non-bagger dog owners! I need to get Lucas some better cold weather gear. Fall has just sort of come crashing down on Seattle and we're not quite prepared!





The biggest challenge right now is adjusting to not having a car. I used to run tons of errands with Lucas, grocery shopping, post office, etc. and now it is much more difficult. I can walk to the grocery store but I can only buy what will fit in the basket under the stroller. I can take the bus, but when I get on/off the bus I have to carry my bag, the stroller, and Lucas...so...I guess everything is just more challenging right now. I still take walks and go places, but I think I have more time at home with him now and it is taking a little getting used to.



For all of you who have had little ones (or worked with them!), when do you think babies are old enough for playdough? My mom has a recipe for it so I could make it and not worry about all the chemicals in commercial playdough. The only thing I'm worried about is that Lucas is in the stage where EVERYTHING goes in the mouth. We tried giving him crayons and he just wanted to gnaw on them.
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#16 Old 09-24-2004, 12:16 PM
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playdough--a homemade recipe sounds like a safe bet. but only under close supervision. if he ingests a little, oh well!! my kids are 4.5, so they dont eat it but man, they make a HUGE mess with it. sooooo, in my house, play doh is allowed on daddys watch!! i clean up enough!!
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#17 Old 09-24-2004, 12:38 PM
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Hi again. I think 13 months is too little for playdough. But give the homemade stuff a shot. I worked w/ high risk infants and toddlers for a few years and one thing they LOVED (which I JUST remembered) is covering a work surface w/ an edible (something like pudding or whipped cream) and adding different food colorings to each "pile" of the edible and letting them draw and design in it... messy but fun.



My sling was made by a friend. But you can ebay for one pretty cheap or check your local hfs... 25lbs is still a skinny mini so he should fit in one fine. I know many mamas that still sling their bigger toddlers. Baylor is only 20lbs (at 18months!!) so he slings easily.Bay is tall too... over 33 inches and just 20lbs.... he didn't get it from me!!



Good luck hon!

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#18 Old 09-24-2004, 12:46 PM
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I would highly suggest joining a local mom's group. I belong to one and we have a monthly mom's night out, weekly playgroups, potluck lunches, etc.
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#19 Old 09-24-2004, 02:12 PM
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colorful- If you are interested in a sling, I just listed my maya wrap up on ebay about an hour ago. It's practically new, in perfect shape and comes with an instructional video. I bought it with the intentions of using it alot, but we moved and it got lost in the shuffle. I found it and it's like new. PM me if you would like the link. The couple of times I did use it, my daughter loved it!
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#20 Old 09-24-2004, 05:56 PM
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[QUOTE=colorful]The biggest challenge right now is adjusting to not having a car. I used to run tons of errands with Lucas, grocery shopping, post office, etc. and now it is much more difficult. I can walk to the grocery store but I can only buy what will fit in the basket under the stroller. I can take the bus, but when I get on/off the bus I have to carry my bag, the stroller, and Lucas...so...I guess everything is just more challenging right now. I still take walks and go places, but I think I have more time at home with him now and it is taking a little getting used to.QUOTE]

do you have a decent backpack? if not i seriously recommend investing in one! they're great for carrying all your stuff, plus snacks and diapers and groceries and its generally out of the way, leaving your hands free. when my daughter was little my mom got me one and i never used a diaperbag again.
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#21 Old 09-26-2004, 08:21 AM
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i would highly recommend a sling too, just because on observation it frees up hands!



a friend of mine and i went hiking with her 6 month old baby a couple of weeks ago. She had a sling and sat the baby up like buddha in the front. She had her hands free and she was wearing a back pack for snacks, water, and diapers and the like.



btw, it wasn't trail blazed, but a place with wooden walks and wooden stairs leading around waterfalls. you can do a 15 minute loop or a 2.5 hour loop, or combine and do about 4 or 6 hours--which is what we did. On our walking, there were lots of people there with their babies with this sort of arrangement: mom carried baby in arms and had to go very carefully down wet stairs. some stairs were steep and had to go slowly up stairs. Dad lugged the big stroller all folded and the baby-related bags. extended family went ahead and waited at rest stops for frustrated parents to coordinate baby-related equipment and such around.



with my friends "buddha baby" in a sling, we had no trouble getting around, the baby saw everything (that a 6 mo old can take in) and when we passed burdened parents, they would longingly look at my friend and her baby (with her sling, back pack and hands free), going--why didn't i think of that? many parents asked her: what are you carrying your baby in? at which time my friend talked about her sling, where she got it, how to use it, etc. ONe parent asked: so, do you have a stroller too? and my friend said: nope, when i need to go somewhere, we carry the baby! No bulky strollers to worry about. Often, when my friend and her husband are out together, they alternate sling duty so no one gets too tired.



i hope to be like them--a no-stroller family. i think that's cool.
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#22 Old 09-26-2004, 10:55 PM
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What about joining a mums n bubs yoga class?
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#23 Old 09-27-2004, 01:47 PM
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do you have a decent backpack? if not i seriously recommend investing in one! they're great for carrying all your stuff, plus snacks and diapers and groceries and its generally out of the way, leaving your hands free. when my daughter was little my mom got me one and i never used a diaperbag again.



Great idea! Thanks...I still have the backpack I used in high school & college and I can't believe I didn't think of using it. That would make the whole bus riding a LOT easier!





I think slings are a great idea and I fully intend to get one for the next baby I have. But I don't know if they would suit Lucas's personality. He is an extremely active little guy and he doesn't like to be held very much. I can just imagine him squirming like crazy to get out of it. I did use the Baby Bjorn quite a bit when he was younger, and that was great!



**Zoebird - I think it's a great idea to use a sling or other type of infant carrier so that you can wear/carry your baby when you have one. But don't underestimate how nice a stroller can be! We have a very small, lightweight, collapsable stroller, and I don't know what I would do without it. I go for at least one walk every day with Lucas, and I don't know if my back could handle carrying him every time. Plus the farther I go, the more stuff I need to bring along (diapers, snacks, change of clothes for him, etc)...and it's great to be able to stick that in the basket underneath the stroller. I think both is the way to go. Just don't get one of those huge bulky strollers...my husband and I call them the "winnebagos" of the stroller industry!**
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#24 Old 09-27-2004, 09:53 PM
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i totally agree with the sling. i didn't have one with the first child i worked with and it made such a difference with the others! i know where to get them online for $25 a piece, let me know if you are interested.

as for playdough, the answer to "will he eat it" is YES!!! so make it edible...



mix enough powdered sugar (or similar substitute) into peanut butter to make a dough consistency. add cocoa powder if you like to make chocolate peanut dough.



check out websites for preschool teachers, there are many...
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#25 Old 09-28-2004, 07:56 AM
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colorful:



those big strollers make me nuts. there's this really awesome german one that is very simple and efficient that works in a number of ways, just by moving hte direction of the seat and poles and wheels you can make it a high-chair type stroller, a regular stroller, a stroller that lays back and has a little rain cover. it's about $3000 though, beucase it's also an enegineered art piece. i think we won't get that one. LOL unless they mass produce it.
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#26 Old 09-28-2004, 09:56 AM
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ugh, today is one of those days!



Probably 80% of the time I feel like I'm doing well as a mom, but then these days come where Lucas just seems so incredibly bored and fussy, and I just don't have the energy to try to entertain him! This morning after breakfast, I played with him for a few minutes, then I tried to sit down on the floor and read my book. He just came up to me like a magnet and started pulling my hair. When I told him no, he just started screaming and crying and clinging to me. ugh...I just wanted a minute of alone time!! I felt so frustrated I needed a moment to myself, so I went in the kitchen, closed the baby gate, and got on the computer. He screamed bloody murder for about 5 minutes, then finally he calmed down and now he is on the floor playing quietly with his Jumbo Legos. I know this makes me sound incredibly selfish and inattentive, but I'm sure (well, at least I hope!) you other mothers have been here before, where you think you will go insane if you don't have a minute to yourself!
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#27 Old 09-28-2004, 09:57 AM
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If Lucas if overly clinging, I think it's good to let him "learn" to do some playing by himself. You have to break the patterns at some point. I think you did the right thing. He's obviously fine now.



Oh and I hate listening to babies holler too.
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#28 Old 09-28-2004, 10:55 AM
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colorful--i agree with rincaro. you did nothing wrong. attending to your needs is very important for both you and lucas. if you are not happy, and dont feel as if you should have a minute and more to yourself, you may very well wind up being very miserable and maybe even resentful of lucas. happy mom=happy baby!! hang in there!!
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#29 Old 09-28-2004, 11:07 AM
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Don't worry, Colorful. Its ok to take some time for you. The fact that he was clingy and fussy makes it sound like he needed some time to unwind himself. Lucas was fine and the end result was him playing happily with his toys. Sounds like a content little boy to me. Hopefully, the break did you both some good and the afternoon will be filled with lots of hugs and smooches.



PS - I can't imagine how hard it is to be a mom, but from everything I've ever seen you post, you sound like a very attentive caring mother. If everybody had a mommy like you, the world could be a better place.
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#30 Old 09-28-2004, 11:09 AM
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ugh, today is one of those days!



Probably 80% of the time I feel like I'm doing well as a mom, but then these days come where Lucas just seems so incredibly bored and fussy, and I just don't have the energy to try to entertain him! This morning after breakfast, I played with him for a few minutes, then I tried to sit down on the floor and read my book. He just came up to me like a magnet and started pulling my hair. When I told him no, he just started screaming and crying and clinging to me. ugh...I just wanted a minute of alone time!! I felt so frustrated I needed a moment to myself, so I went in the kitchen, closed the baby gate, and got on the computer. He screamed bloody murder for about 5 minutes, then finally he calmed down and now he is on the floor playing quietly with his Jumbo Legos. I know this makes me sound incredibly selfish and inattentive, but I'm sure (well, at least I hope!) you other mothers have been here before, where you think you will go insane if you don't have a minute to yourself!



**My son is VERY high needs. He has been physically attached to me (mama is god!) for most of his 18months on this earth. That said- I live FAR from all family. Do you or do you have family that can come in and give you a break? We're moving in 11 days... counting down is the best! ANd I cannot wait to live near my family and share Bay with them! It'll be such a break to have someone come into my home and play with him (with me still there- so he doesn't get too freaked out!) while I do OTHER things (like file my nails or pluck my unruly brows). ALso, what keeps me from totally losing it is the knowledge that some day VERY soon he will no longer need his mama so much... and as much as it drives me nuts for him to monopolize every moment of every day- when this time ends... without a doubt... I'll miss it.

Good luck again!

Kimberley
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