Something magical has happened at our house recently, friends. I hesitate to even write about it, lest I jinx it. BUT… I think I have seen the beginnings of “quiet, independent play” going on.
Many of you who have children with different temperaments may read this post and say to yourselves, “Ha! My kid did that ages ago!”. Well, while Owen has been ahead of the curve in many areas of development, playing alone has not been one of them.
The kid is an extravert through and through. He wants to talk through what he’s seeing and experiencing. He wants to SHARE it with you. He wants you to share your every thought with HIM. He wants you to sit right next to him and talk and chat and ask questions and have them answered and sing you a song and have you sing a song and make funny faces and bring you toys and ask you how they work and investigate them right next to you and tell you what he’s figured out but DO NOT DARE GET UP AND WALK AWAY BECAUSE THAT IS AGAINST THE RULES.
He’s never been one to sit on his own and flip through books. No, he wants to sit right in your lap and have you read and point and ask questions (about a million “What’s dat?”s per page, which has now morphed into “What’s his/her name?”s). To Owen, there is nothing interesting about a book until someone is engaging with him about it.
Believe me. I’ve tried.
We are constantly trying to “work on” this skill. I love Owen’s personality and his amazing mind and his ability to connect with people in an incredible way, even from a very young age. I love watching him learn new techniques of asking a question so he gets the right answer and I can clearly see that all of this talking and engaging we’ve been doing has helped him grow and learn in countless ways. But! However! Sometimes, I need a break. And sometimes, there are times when there just isn’t someone around to engage and entertain and play and read and share and sing. And those times with Owen can be a struggle.
But recently I’ve seen some growth in this area. Granted, all of these pictures were taken when I was sitting right next to him and engaging when needed (and things like painting need quite a bit of supervision at this age). But I have been making a conscious effort to find activities that I can get him started on and then back away slowly. He’s beginning to spend more time on certain activities and once he’s wrapped up in them, I find I can extricate myself and he barely notices. This could be the beginning of a beautiful thing.
Baby steps, people!
Reading on the train:
Stickers on the train (this book of reusable stickers by Melissa & Doug has provided many hours of entertainment so far!):
Painting with dotters (these “do a dot art” things are amazing for toddlers, by the way!):
Playing various games with “memory” cards:
We have a long way still to go on this skill, but I can already seem some wonderful things about what being 2 years old will bring.
Longer attention span? Check!