James is a marathon nurser and eater, which is good for him but bad for Annabel. She gets really bored while I sit on the couch with her brother. I finally had to make feeding time an “event,” because I was certain one of these days Annie was going to light the house on fire out of boredom. So now while I feed her brother, Annie sits next to me and we have “couch time.”
Couch time can be a bunch of things. Personally, I would love it if couch time was where we all lay down quietly and possibly nap, but that has only happened once so far. Usually, Annabel will bring different activities to me for us to enjoy. We’ve started working on phonetics with flash cards and iPad apps, and we’ve watched some of my favorite childhood TV shows on YouTube. Sometimes we’ll color, or Annie will cover me in stickers. But, our tried and true couch activity is reading books. We could easily read ten books a day while I feed James. I say easily because we usually only read one book, over and over and over. Annie gets fixated on books, and that will be the only one she wants to hear for weeks. I don’t know if that’s a three-year-old thing or a “my kid” thing (I tend to get obsessed with things, too).
Annie’s latest book obsessions are Not a Stick and Not a Box. Annie is very into pretend (or as she calls it, practicing, which I think is totally adorable so I haven’t corrected her), and pretend play is the basis of those two sweet books. The problem with Not a Stick, though, is that Annie asked me repeatedly for a stick she could play with. Annie with a long stick is a recipe for disaster, so instead I got her a box. Much safer.
Now when it’s time to feed James, we read Not a Box – only once – then she runs to her box to play while I finish with her brother.
…and it’s awesome. She’ll grab items from around the house and then yell, “Hey Mama, hey James, guess what I am!”
“I’m flying an airplane!”
“I’m wearing my gobbles in my swimming pool!” (Still pushing for her own pool.)
“Are you…riding a bike?” “NO Mama, I’m in a rocket ship!”
“Now I’m washing my hands!”
“I’m practicing I’m sleeping, Mama.”
That one was my favorite.
Oh my gosh, so adorable! The obsession thing is totally normal. When I was Annie’s age I had to be read Peepo by Janet and Allan Alberg several timed a day which wore thin on my parents! It’s actually a beautiful book set on London during the second world war and everything is seen through the eyes of the baby. I buy for everyone I know who us having a baby or for birthday and Christmas presents. Also be glad Annie had obsessions with books at the moment, when I was about eight o developed an obsession with a dolphin documentary that was taped on VCR for my sister. So my poor family had to sit through an hour long BBC documentary about communicating with dolphins at least once s week for over a year. Everyone was a marine biologist by six months in!
Such an imagination! She is positively adorable! I used to fix my little girl’s curly hair just like that when she was young…and she still let me touch her hair!! Miss those days…
She’s so smart and creative!
And I *love* her Time Out chair.
Jacquie Holley says:
I just love the imagination! Now…is it my imagination or is James going to have red hair like his mama? I wondered about that when he was born and you mentioned his hair was a little bit lighter than Annie’s.
What a fantastic idea while you are feeding James!!
Oh, she makes me want to be a kid again!
Michelle H says:
My kids are almost 7 & 8 and I swear an empty box is still the best toy ever!
It’s a young child thing. Especially with books. They make you repeat the same book over and over so they can memorize it and “read” it on their own. My daughter must have made us read “A kiss for daddy” and “Go Away Big Green Monster” a gazillion times. Now she “reads” them to us, and almost verbatim to the page. It’s cute!
I wouldn’t be surprised if Annie doesn’t start “reading” to James once he becomes more interactive. My brother used to do it to me. He also tried to teach me how to write when I was four and he was six (then my mom got involved and I was actually reading and writing by 4 1/2).
Just when I thought James looks like Annie, then today, I see Madeline so very clearly.
“It’s my not-a-stick!”
(Huge hit in our house, too. I really need to get Not A Box.)
What about a short pool noodle instead of a stick?
Have you tried nursing James while he’s in the wrap? A babywearing expert or babywearing-friendly LC might be helpful in figuring it out. I never learned, and it was a huge regret
It took me a while to get the hang of it with my first, but I was thinking the same thing. I might have no choice, myself, my kid definitely has a hard time sitting still and staying home.
But rather than a moby wrap, which I could never get the hang of, I got a sling carrier. Only drawback is that once they reach 20-25 lbs, it gets hard on your back, but by then they’re hopefully only nursing 3-4 times a day rather than the average 8-12 times a newborn feeds.
Generally, a Moby wrap is good to about 25lb while a ring sling should be good for 30-35lb. I don’t think I’d want to be walking around while nursing a 30lb baby in a sling though LOL (although by that age they are good at nursing and don’t need our help).
My kid was about 25 lbs. right before she got weaned at 14 months. Thankfully, by then we were only nursing before bed. I still had to occasionally carry her after that, because it took her a year and a half to decide the stroller was not an evil death contraption, and boy, did that hurt my back, whether she was in a sling or in an Ergo… Those guidelines are mostly about the kid’s safety being carried in them, not about how badly they will crush your back (after she got to 28 lbs. even her dad was straining to tolerate carrying her on his back for more than an hour or so, and unlike me, he’s built like a football player).
Tl;dr: my kid’s a giant.
Annie is so smart!
Boxes are THE best toys for little kids (and big kids too!) I’m so glad it’s working for you to have some time with Annie even when you’re tied to James’ mouth.
How creative and adorable she is! My kids would no doubt also LOVE box time, except it would quickly turn into “this is not a box, it is a pile of garbage to fight over.”