Duplos & Cheerios

A Wednesday Momming-Around Entry

As Z has grown, so has her tolerance of (I won’t say “joy in” because that’s too much of a stretch) independent play. I think I got a full hour of computer time here in our basement office yesterday, while Z shuffled around her Duplo collection, “read” a couple of books, and only once or twice pestered me to see pictures of “Wab” (Rob, her godfather) on the computer.

While she tolerates playing on her own, I revel in this time, because while it isn’t solitude, it’s as close as I’m going to get until she goes to school and hypothetical Number Two (who I am banking on being a big fan of sleep) takes marathon naps.

At the same time, Mommy-Guilt is starting to rear its ugly, multifaceted head and roar at me that I’m taking advantage of my daughter’s new-found independence. I’m selfishly checking email, critiquing work for other writers, and, if I feel gutsy and Z is particularly focused on her Duplos, working in some last revisions to Savage Autumn.

How much independent play is too much? I know it isn’t my job to talk to her every second of every waking moment, and I know that it’s good for her to know how to play by herself. Do I interrupt that play (and my hard-earned separation from her–I am not lying when I say she had to be ON me 24/7 until she was about six months old) to read to her, take her outside, invent trips to the store so we can get out of the house?

Right now I’m thinking an hour is good for both of us, unless she tells me otherwise–and believe me, she will. Loud and clear. I can really use that hour. Lately I feel as if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with writing groups, this blog (which I just cut down to three days a week), and various other things-going-on.

Well, apparently I’m not hurting her chances of life joy. I just came out of my writing reverie to hear her say, “hap-py, hap-py!” as she hurled the Duplo box lid across the basement floor. Guess we’re doing okay, then.


  1. Dana · March 3, 2010

    I would think independent play would be a good thing. Teach her to entertain herself. It’s very annoying sometimes being with people who do not know how to entertain themselves when you just want a break and read.

  2. Randi · March 3, 2010

    Tree, apple…tree, apple! You enjoyed independent time, and look at you!! You have nothing to feel guilty about, oh best beloved! You are a great mom (and daughter!)

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