Now that my freezer is well stocked, I have more free time to funnel into projects. Does anyone else out there have a list of projects for the home, the kids, self…? Although, “time” is a relatively subjective term. Lest you think I am a spoiled housewife with hours of leisure at my fingertips, let me remind you that I have 2 kid under 3 and only one of them naps. The non-napping child is a wonderful little guy, but even I need a break from the wonder of him. :) Honestly, I don’t think he’s really ready to give up his naps, but I also am not willing to spend 2 hours fighting with him to get him to sleep. Eventually, I came on the idea of quiet time.
My mother instituted quiet time (QT) in our home while I was still very young. I remember it being one my favorite times of day as it actually continued even while I was in high school. My mother homeschooled us and was also a SAHM so she needed a break. We all needed a break from each other. (I used the time to read and write in my journal) The thing with being the mom who is always the on duty parent is that you are tired. I felt terribly guilty when I realized this at the beginning of last month. We were in our third week of Matt not being home or available until after the kids went to bed. Fourteen hours of just mom every day, every diaper, every tantrum. QT was necessary since I had always relied on naptime as the moments when I ate lunch, showered, did laundry, exercised or even sat quietly outside.
This post isn’t Earth-shatteringly genius, I know. But it’s what works for us. I love my kids, but in order for me to be a calm parent, I need half an hour of quiet. In order to accomplish this, I have four baskets. They stay in my hall closet until Liam is ready for his QT and are brought out on a rotational basis. I also have a large basket of library books that I find are the most interesting to him within the first few days of our trip. I keep the baskets put away so that his interest is still there when I need them. His favorites are the one with the wooden trucks and the felt book. Actually, we haven’t done much beyond either of those two baskets, yet. (I do have another basket that has a “mess free” paint set that I bought without realizing that just because the color isn’t going to show up off the paper, it doesn’t mean that a toddler can’t still make an epic mess with it. However, it is very handy as part of our tot school activities, so it wasn’t a total waste.) The total cost for me to do this project was less than 6 dollars. I bought the baskets at the dollar store for another project, but didn’t wind up using them and the Curious George coloring kit was a stocking stuffer I forgot to give. The clock was a birthday gift for Sylvi, but since she puts everything in her mouth, Liam is getting more use out of it. Generally speaking, Liam will stay in his room anywhere from half an hour to 45 minutes depending on his mood and interest in the basket contents.
Periodically, I’ll have to change the basket contents, and I do really look forward to the days when I can put legos in them. Liam and I spend a lot of time together reading, playing, doing his therapy assignments, talking and just being, but I think it’s good for him to have a break from me as well. As of yet, I cannot tell if he’ll be more extroverted or introverted. He really enjoys communication, but since he’s still learning how to talk about his feelings and how things make him feel inside, I have to work hard to get to the root of the matter. Whatever the changes that come, it’s nice to have something that holds his attention so much that every now and then, he asks me for his QT basket and a closed door.
**Of course, he spent the morning busy as a bee with me, did his QT and then asked to watch a movie. I put on a set of read aloud Scholastic dvds that is barely animated and not very busy… he’s out cold on the couch. He’s just beautiful.