I was bored Tuesday, looking for something to fill the hours since everyone had gone back to work after being home for the holidays. I didn’t want to continue relying on screened devices to pacify us until 4:00 EVERYDAY.
As angry and confused as it made my tot, I made the tv, iPad and phones “unavailable.” I set my phone in another room and only checked it if my text tone or ringtone went off since my hubby is the only one who contacts me, on a day-to-day basis. I put the iPad up on the bose system and put some Tibetan singing bowls on for background noise, because I do not like dead-silence.
I’ll have to admit it is not easy going from heavily relying on screens, to cutting them completely out during the day. It’s forced me to find new ways to fill the seemingly endless hours before someone comes home.
Usually we do a bit of baking each week, tidying, laundry, go for a walk; but those things only seem to take up a microscopic amount of time, still leaving a huge chunk of our day to be filled. I thought to myself about how I and many other people often say “I wish I had more time so I could do this… or that.” And here I was with time but, nothing to do? That didn’t seem right, so I decided that i wanted to spend more time doing an art project or reading… well reading novels is, let’s say ‘difficult’ with a curious toddler around. Heck, everything is more difficult with a curious toddler around. Which is why lately I’ve opted for audio books. Currently I’m “listening” to ‘essential essays by the minimalists’ as well as their podcast in which they often read excerpts of their books, in addition to their main topic and answering audience questions. I have found tremendous value in these and have re-evaluated so many areas of my life after meaditating on the various topics discussed. I plan to listen/ read the free PDF copy of their new book “Everything that remains” that they gave out during xmas. While I’m on the topic, I LOVE,LOVE, LOVE when artists give out free copies of their work or share pieces because it allows you to get value out of the content without being obligated to expend monatarly. Artists who do this I support by sharing their work with my friends, family and followers who I feel will also get some value out of it; and when I can I donate to them.
So, in deciding to add more art into our daily routine I had to choose something that would engage both of us. So, I pulled out my art box, and much to my surprise I found 3 coloring books a had forgotten I even had, (which says a whole lot in itself.) So out came the pencil crayons and one of the coloring books and I sat on the floor coloring away as my son played with blocks and puzzles. It didn’t take him long to notice and immediately wanted to be apart; Not wanting him to add his own flare to the page I was working on I thumbed through to find something that would be of interest. A monkey. So, now he will go in the playroom, and point to my desk indicating for me to get the book, and colored pencils down, so that he can continue to color his monkey.
He doesn’t like keeping the pencils in any container I find; and ends up dumping them out on the table, or floor and grabbing a handful at a time.
Another thing that seems to have grown on him this past week is swinging in the hammock, and vacuuming the house. *happy dance* I love, that he loves, to clean. Hallelujah.
Being home all day-everyday is definitely a challenge. I’m a creative person but, sometimes I just can’t think of anything that both of us will enjoy that will result with minimal toddler antics. One big goal for this year is definitely to finish getting my American license!
Additionally, we are working on potty training and hygiene. We previously were doing some elimination communication, but after being on multiple back-to-back holidays where we were driving hours on end Cas had lost interest in sitting and would just fuss and scream. I slowly warmed him back up to it by getting him to take me to the potty, using the sign. Now he does the same thing for me to know he wants to try the potty. I’m not in a rush for him to be trained, I just want him to know he has the control and discipline to do so in a respectful manner. He’s super good about washing his hands/face and brushing his teeth.
These all help to fill what seems to be an eternity before daddy comes home.
I’m unsure on how I’m going to proceed with the amount of screen time he will get, as he does have educational/ religious apps we allow him to use. [Eric Carle collection and JW broadcasting– animated series for children] whatever the case having a reduced amount in his day-to-day has helped with a lot of the behavior issues that were starting to arise. He also gets more of our undivided attention which he picked up on right away. Personally, I have noticed that he has his own mixture in the the way he communicates, words, partial words in English and Spanish, sounds, sign language and gestures.
The days are long but the years are short, and I don’t want to loose out to a screen.
The best present you can give your child is your presence. – Jesse Jackson
Enjoy the time,