Wednesday, May 11, 2011

An Argument for Neglecting your Children

Or, a less funny, but equally as accurate alternate title: "An Argument for Having Multiple Children, Relatively Close Together in Age"  
Or, possibly, "An Overbearing Mother's Argument for More Free Play Time"

BlogFriends, I believe I have, at some point, outed myself to you as an organizer. A scheduler. A planner.

I just really like predictability.  And control. And, since I am at home all day long (no, really, it's been really important for me to treat my job as... well... a job.  With specific tasks, and routines, and responsibilities.  It helps me to stay on top of things. It helps me feel like a worthwhile human being. It helps me to meet everyone's needs before they morph into disaster-level-I-need-you-right-this-second-screw-those-other-kids-screaming-tantrum-fest needs.

However, recently, I have experienced great results with just forgetting the schedule and ignoring everyone for a little while.  JUST A LITTLE WHILE!!! Don't call Social Services just yet! Hear me out!

We still stick to our schedule/routine for eating meals and snacks and bottles and napping and going potty and changing diapers and going for our walk and having circle time, but occasionally, JUST OCCASIONALLY, I really need to get some crap done.  Whether its folding the laundry, or prepping something for dinner, or clearing out my inbox, or making a phone call, sometimes naptime is just not enough time and I really need 30 extra minutes to wrap a few things up.  And, in the past, when this happened, I would usually set A up with some sort of craft or playdough, and set K and Henry up with some toys and books, and just hope and pray that that would get me 20 minutes or so.

This is no more. Henry walks. K crawls REAL fast. And A, well, she's only 2 (almost 3!!!) so her attention span is still, well, 2 year old sized.

What I'm trying to tell you is that NO ONE  STAYS WHERE I PUT THEM ANYMORE.

But, with this increase in mobility and agency has also come an increased ability to entertain themselves. Especially the three of them together.  Unbelievably, the three of them together. Hilariously, the three of them together.

I have compiled some photo evidence for you so that you can, 1) see what bizarre things they think are fun, and 2) become inspired to neglect your own children and see what they come up with to entertain themselves! Come on, it'll be fun!

Awesome Things To Do When Your Mother/Caregiver is Otherwise Occupied:

Pull all of your blankies out of the blankie box. Commence a giant game of peek-a-boo.

Use the laundry basket as an awesome cage.

Terrorize the cat!
 (Okay, this doesn't really count as neglect, because I WAS out there with them, but I was watering the flower beds, so it kinds counts. Plus, look, THEY MATCH!)

Pull out all of the glass nesting bowls from the cabinet.  See what a great clinky-clanky noise they make when banged together.

Pull out all of the blankets you can find, and commandeer the throw pillows. Make giant bed on living room floor.  Convince babies to let you 'put them to bed.'

Keep an eye on the neighborhood.

See? Apparently, I no longer need to constantly entertain them!  When the book reading/song singing/game playing/block building/mommy-provided entertainment ceases, they just come up with their own stuff to do!

I mean, I still do those things. Just with slightly less frequently. THEY LIKE IT THIS WAY, I SWEAR.


  1. I am a firm believer in ignoring kids and allowing them to play by evokes creativity, independence, and allows them to use their imagination...right?! At least that is what I tell myself. :-) Seriously, you do circle time?? WOW, I am impressed!

  2. Ahh- those moments of parent-free-play- the best!! I personally love sitting back and watching the kids play by themselves- it's also a chance to build important self-entertainment skills!

  3. This is an AWESOME post. I feel like I am queen of free play and am very unscheduled... maybe I should experiment with some structured play. What do you do with A during circle time?