Monday, October 8, 2012

Alone Time

I rarely get to spend one on one time with my youngest.  My oldest has a big personality and so many wonderful things to say that I feel like my toddler gets lost in the mix.  Sometimes he wakes up a bit before his brother and I grab onto the chance to really be engaged.  I sit with him, read to him, get out baby puzzles and toys.  When he receives this unexpected surge of attention, he promptly looks at me then crawls away to be by himself.

At first I was worried.  Do we have trouble connecting?  Does he feel ignored?  But the other day, instead of pushing him, I just sat back to watch.  I had filled a pitcher with water so that I could water the plants then got distracted.  He found it along with a few sand toys and started stirring, tasting and laughing.

He was there for 20 minutes while I watched his game evolve from stirring to pouring to splashing.  Eventually he offered me a "sip" of his creation and he delighted in the pretend play.  

What a gift that I have a child who really enjoys playing alone.  He wants me to be nearby, but he isn't interested in having anyone interfere.  The best thing I could give him was space.  He must be so happy to have time to explore without a three year old taking over or changing the game.  He is someone who, just like me, appreciates time to explore and think.  Don't we all?

How do you encourage independent play in your house? 

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