Posted by: allisonbarton | January 23, 2009

The Adventures Begin

I have been a stay at home mom since Alex was born. From September through December after his birth, I was with him almost nonstop. I would get a break here and there from Zach, who was still a student at the time, and my mom would come over to let me nap or shower during the day.

For many months, he pretty much just slept. He slept most of the day, and when he wasn’t sleeping I was either busy nursing him or trying to get him to go to sleep. There were small periods of time where I would “play” with him: shake rattles, show him books, take him on walks, etc. Then he got older.

He’s much more demanding in some ways now that he is quickly becoming a toddler. Looking back on the baby days, I almost miss them. He would lay on the ground, batting at toys, or sit in his chair looking around. He was fascinated by everything and anything would entertain him.

These days? We are beginning to bore each other. We play the same games every day: chase, tackle, roll balls, stack things, put things in and out of other things, point to body parts… mostly, he just wants me to watch him play. He doesn’t really want to interact with me so much. He knows what I can do, how I can entertain him, but most of the time that is not enough for him. He wants new.

So, instead of him making a mess because he’s bored at home, and me being bored because he won’t really play with me, I’ve decided that we are going to find more things to do.

There are so many opportunities for kids and their parents, but unfortunately most of them cost money. So my choices are limited, but I’m finding that they are not nonexistent. And once the weather is better our options will expand drastically by the simple fact that he can run around a playground.

Yesterday, Alex and I went to the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library. That place is absolutely wonderful! There is every toy you can imagine: slides, things to climb on, blocks upon blocks, balls and more balls, doll houses, large train sets, mini kitchens, and more. He loved it. He ran around playing with everything he could get his hands on. He even, dare I say it, interacted with me. And other kids! (If you asked Alex, every kid he was playing with was a “baby!”)

There are other activities that I have been meaning to try with Alex for a long time. Our local libraries offer story times for babies and toddlers, and as I recently learned on plurk our Children’s Museum has a lot to offer toddlers.

So, Alex and I are going to enjoy this time we have together before he eventually has to start daycare in six or seven months. We won’t be bored any longer. We will go on adventures.

Alex staring into space


Responses

  1. He is a beautiful boy! BTW, what is your suggestion for a crib? Did you get a convertible kind to grow with him? My daughter is looking for cribs. I have one of those camelbak backpacks for walking or running. Of course, I haven’t done either in quite a while. We built a garage and I am moving my exercise equipment out there along with my bicycles. I hope that might encourage some use of those things. I must get motivated!

  2. We went to the Toy Library for a birthday party and my girls had a GREAT time.

    I’ve been meaning to go back.

    When he is a tad bit older you can try the carnegie library in Oakland they have a HUGE children’s section, I think they have free storytelling sessions – check with your local library (many, if not all of them offer this).

    So do many of the bookstores, Joseph-Beth on the Southside has this:

    Storytimes!
    Saturdays at 11:00 am
    Storytimes are fun for all ages with songs, finger plays, and even special guests!

    Toddler Storytimes!
    Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11:30 a.m.
    Every week, we enjoy songs, finger plays and stories for the littlest of listeners. Recommended for children preschool age and younger and their caregivers.

    Introducing
    Baby & Me Storytime!
    Fridays at 11:30 am
    We’re starting up a story time for the littlest of listeners! Join us for fun board books and songs designed to create a lifelong love of learning in your new baby!

    http://www.josephbeth.com/Default.aspx?tabindex=4&tabid=154&storeId=9

  3. hi allison!

    I am really enjoying reading your blog. Although I am not a mother myself (yet), I worked in a kindergarten here in germany for two years, and my favorite “cultural difference” was that the kids play outside and on the playground here ALL YEAR ROUND!

    Every child has a snow suit in the winter and a rain suit the rest of the year. And every day, no matter the weather, we went out.

    So when the story hours do get boring… maybe try a winter hike or explore the icy slide and swings! Matching snowsuits are SO in :)

  4. I’m so glad you figured out that outings are key … When I read the first part of your post, I was thinking, “Dude – take him out!”

    I also suggest Chuck E Cheese (look online first for coupons). My son (17 months) LOVES to go there.

    Also, if there are any nearby children’s museums … and sometimes YMCAs have classes for toddler that are much cheaper than places like Gymboree.

    Oh – but of course – Gymboree class is GREAT for that age. My son loves it. If you can afford it, that is.

    Also – TOTALLY take him to the park. I swear kids don’t get cold like the rest of us do.

    Good luck!

  5. Story time at the library is such a great activity. I did that with my little one from the time she was 1 until she started preschool this past fall. She loved it and it was free. Sounds like he’s growing up fast. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

  6. I miss those days of trying to find something to do to keep Alexis busy. It’s a challenge, for sure. but a good sort of one.

  7. It’s tough. I understand your frustration, because I nearly went batty trying to find things – have you considered a stroller fitness class? The cold weather does limit, but I wish you luck finding outlets.

  8. Good luck, Mama!

    There was one thing that popped into my mind as being helpful or encouraging:

    If you try one activity and Alex not “into” it…. try it again a little ways down the line. One thing I have learned from my experience teaching swimming to young children is how quickly kids’ skills and abilities change, and how willing they are to revisit challenges that they may have previously rejected.

    But I’m sure you already know that. :)

  9. Going out breaks up the day SO MUCH, too! I’ve been trying to take Pufferfish out almost every day, since she was a baby. It stimulates their little brains and bodies so much more to get out of the house… AND isn’t so monotonous for the grown-ups! (I can’t stand just sitting in the house!) If you haven’t already, check out if your library has anything. A lot of libraries around here have started special baby/toddler storytimes where kids aren’t expected to just sit and listen, but have more chances to toddle around, interact, etc.


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