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.

it's not a box

…and it’s awesome. She’ll grab items from around the house and then yell, “Hey Mama, hey James, guess what I am!”

not a box airplane

“I’m flying an airplane!”

not a box pool

“I’m wearing my gobbles in my swimming pool!” (Still pushing for her own pool.)

not a box rocket

“Are you…riding a bike?” “NO Mama, I’m in a rocket ship!”

not a box bathroom sink

“Now I’m washing my hands!”

not a box bed

“I’m practicing I’m sleeping, Mama.”

That one was my favorite.