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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Being inclusive


I'm finding that I'm getting better about including Mira in whatever it is I need to do. When she was first born, I'd wait till she was sleeping to do a lot of things. Like chores, working out, reading, blogging, showering, making phone calls, or eating. But as she started sleeping less and less during the day, I was growing more and more frustrated about not finding enough time to do the things I wanted/needed to do for myself or the house. Finally, I had a revelation: I was just going to have to find a way to multi-task. So I started with my morning shower. Instead of trying to shower super quick while she slept and praying that I wouldn't step out of the shower to hear a crying baby, I tried putting her in her bouncy seat and taking the seat into the bathroom. Now we play peek-a-boo behind the shower curtain and Mira thinks it's super funny when Mommie has her head all covered in shampoo suds.


Since discovering that I can multi-task in the shower, I've been finding more ways to include Mira in my activities. When I work out, she sits in her swing and I make funny faces at her while I jump around the living room doing my aerobics. When I do the dishes, she sits in her bouncer and watches. I can do the laundry while she is doing tummy time. I can read a book while she nurses. I prop her up so that she can see out the window while I check my email and read blogs. She sits at the table with me while I eat and I explain the way I use utensils and she marvels at the way things seem to disappear into my mouth.


It all seems so easy now and so obvious, to just do everything that I need to do, but *with her* rather than alone. But I remember not so long ago being in a place where I felt like the only time I could do anything for me was when she didn't need anything, and the only time she didn't need anything was when she was asleep. I even felt guilty sometimes for not giving her 100% of my attention. I'm so glad that I have realized now how rediculous that is...

9 comments:

Lindsey said...

Yay!! This is a major mom milestone I think. I'm having to relearn it so I include R in cooking and cleaning activities.

Donna Kinney said...

Mira is SO LUCKY to have you as her mom!

Marcy said...

Remember that it's also good for her to learn how to entertain herself! Very important skill to learn and foster.

I find that we go through phases-- there are times when I'm able to leave Donovan to play or set him up somewhere so I can get other things done while he's playing, and then we'll go through a phase where he needs my constant attention (like when he was learning to pull up and stand on his own, and would constantly fall). And something that used to entertain him well, will suddenly not work one day... and vice versa.

Laura said...

Marcy- First I have to work on just getting her to play, then I figure I can work on getting her to play by herself. Right now, she can't sit up unassisted and she doesn't really reach for things intentionally yet. To her, "play" consists of someone holding up a toy for her to examine, someone placing a toy in her hand for her, or staring up at a mobile. So yeah. We're getting there, but not to that developmental stage yet.

Laura said...

Oh yeah, and she also enjoys peek-a-boo, bouncing in someone's lap, or watching faces... but those activities also require another person to be involved.

Marcy said...

Do you have a playmat, the kind with toys that dangle from up high? I got Donovan one of those at 2 months. He had fun just looking at the toys (it came with a mirror, too), and eventually would reach up to grab them. I also had a few big board books that he liked the pictures of, and I'd prop them up open beside him when he was lying down, and he'd lay there and look at the pictures. This also works great with pictures (like a framed picture of you, Brian, or other family, or anything else that might be interesting), and mirrors are also great for this. I sometimes would take out our full-length mirror and prop it up horizontally against the bed or wall, and he would look at himself in it.

Of course, different things work for different babies and Mira might not accept these forms of entertainment, but could try them and maybe get a couple of minutes free at a time. ; )

Marcy said...

One last thing-- I just remembered that I also had a few small sheets of white paper where I drew patterns with a black sharpie (lines, dots, a face, etc)and he also liked staring at those. I'd put one in front of him and his eyes would go WIDE, so funny. =P

Marcy said...

How I got breakfast in most mornings. =P

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mightymarce/2439861329/in/set-72157604355234535/

Laura said...

Great ideas! Thanks! I think I need to buy some picture books. All the books we have are story books. Good for reading to her, but not so good for her to learn the names of things from.

She spends some time everyday in front of the mirror in her chair while I shower. So I think she gets plenty of that. But maybe I need to get one of those mats... I have a mat designed for tummy time, but not one designed for laying on the back.