Our week of play, Social switch off.

A few weeks ago I started a little social switch off during the morning when it was just Matilda and I. Just us two, playing, no distractions.

I didn’t even plan it. It happened and it’s been oh so wonderful!

As well as being ‘socially switched off’ I’ve also tried not to do any tasks during this time. It is the easiest time for me to be able to get on with stuff but it’s also the only time of the day I get some quality time with Matilda.

I thought I’d write a little post about why I’m doing it, my thoughts and hopes for this special one on one time and also a little ‘play diary’ of what we’ve been up to.

Clue: most was done in our dressing gowns!

My hopes:

To bring on speech

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that once you’ve got more than one child the time you have to spend doing all the lovely one on one activities gets less and less. When Eilidh was little we had 4 years together without any other siblings to also entertain. Eilidh’s speech was excellent by 18 months. It’s looking back on things like that is when I realise how lucky we were to have that time together. We would have a full hour a day where she would bring me book after book (or sometimes the same book over and over, cause y’know toddlers!) Nowadays we’re lucky to get through a few books without one of them saying “I don’t want to read that book” or climbing off my knee in search of something else or trying to be there for a different activity that another one wants to do. It can be hectic and makes you feel guilty for not being able to split your time between them more - but realistically it’s an impossible challenge.

So Matilda’s speech isn’t cause for concern but she certainly doesn’t have as many words as the others did.

I will not compare my child to any other - even their siblings. Repeat to self.

I’m using this time we have in the mornings to sing her all the songs, read books she’s interested in but also using a technique I use when Eilidh was little which was to RE ASK a question. For Example;

Matilda, “More makk pease, mummee”

Me: “Would you like another drink of milk, sweetheart?”

Matilda “yehh”

Basically reiterate their sentence or question back to them, I try to use different words as to what they have used to increase their vocabulary and to help them think about more complex sentences.

To build our bond

Matilda has to put up with a LOT of shuttling around. In the mornings she’s forced (not literally lol) to get dressed and ready at the latest 8:30am to get her sister to school. She’s plugged into the car, while I do the standard ‘do you have everything you need for school today’ chat with Eilidh, she’s unplugged, on hip to get Eilidh into school, rushed back into the car, short drive, unclipped, back on hip into nursery and then back into the car again. It’s rushed, its hectic. There’s no time for her little curious mind to explore where she is or to stop and chat with the cat passing by or stop and watch the train going past. So it’s no surprise she gets frustrated.

By the time we’ve gotten home she’s fed of me pulling her in and out of the car, she lashes out hits out and cries.

I’d love to be able to change this or improve this time in the morning but I can't . The other two need to be at school on time and it’s always going to be a little rushed.

So, having a set period of a few glorious just her and mummy time I’m hoping that she’ll feel like she wants to spend time with me because right now she doesn’t have much time for me.

For her to feel nurtured and special

As mentioned above I just want her to feel like she as just an important as her older siblings.

To hear her giggle

Simple one really.

My Why:

Children spell love … T-I-M-E

- Dr. A. Witham

Found myself becoming distracted because it’s the ‘easiest’ time of day to get things done

Doing household tasks. Blah, blah, blah!

Found myself sneaking in self care, blog work or catching up on DMs or with friends during this window.

Just being generally distracted.

Outcome:

In just this first short week I’ve found our relationship much more loving. She’s a real daddy’s girl but lately she’s wanted me to settle her at bedtime which is lovely!

She has some new words and connects her words to now make short sentences. ‘More mak pease mummy’ {more milk please, mummy}

I’ve also become more relaxed as I’ve stopped looking for the chance to squeeze things in. So when do I do the things?! Once we’ve collected Oscar from nursery I’ll make us lunch. The kids are both really tired so I’ll pop a little programme on for them while I have a little whip around getting washing done, or dishes and tidy up some toys!

Our week of PLAY!

 

Since Matilda had her little accident we had lots of indoor or garden play.

I filled her little sink with some hand soap (so it was kinder to her skin) so she could wash all her dishes up. She used her old baby muslin as a tea towel. We spent such a long time washing and drying and chatting the whole time. Mummy had to do some dishes too as she watched on to make sure I was doing them properly!

A few weeks ago we made some play dough (click here to see my simple recipe). She loved squishing it all between her fingers and making sausages, she would call them snakes and put them to my face saying “Hissss”.

Matilda is a very affectionate wee soul. She adores playing with her babies, cuddling them into towels and tucking them up for naps. She set them up herself I just thought this was the CUTEST!

We took her easel out for some fresh air painting! I gave her a paint brush, a cut potato and she used her fingers. I didn’t give her any instruction, I just let her discover and create what she wanted. She loved adding the glitter into the paint!

 

We ventured out for a little walk to find some Autumn treasure, watch the squirrels, walk on the walls, oh and we popped into the cafe for a cup of tea and a scone. A little lady had some juice, crisps and a bit of mummy’s scone.

We had lots of lovely snacks together too. I mean look how happy she is to have some crisps!

 

I’ve so enjoyed this first week where I’m totally focused on Matilda. I would take this moment to reflect on how guilty I feel for not always managing to give her this time but as mothers we tend to make ourselves feel guilty about every choice we make!

There’s no one way to be a perfect parent;

But there’s a million ways to be a good one!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into our mornings together.

Karen x