Wednesday 21 January 2009

Ads doesn't have school today - HELP!!

Okay, the one thing that you need to know about my son is that he can't (and won't) play by himself. I can count the instances where he has played all by himself in the last year, on the fingers of one hand. The malady actually seems to be getting worse.
Today was a Tuesday, hence no school. In my more active and pre-Yukta days, I would have simply taken him to the park, to while away a few hours until lunchtime and naptime. But nowadays....well, I should really get out and about more often.....So anyway, there we all were, stuck at home and the ordeal began at 7 am, right after he'd had his milk and the routine cuddle with me. He began asking for someone to play with him. I told him that everyone is very busy in the mornings so can you please play by yourself. He began appealing to my mom as the most pliant and sympathetic of us all. They seemed to reach some sort of bargain - she would work in the kitchen, fixing breakfast and starting lunch etc for 10 min, then she would play with him for 5 mins, then go to the kitchen again - some complex arrangement like that. I ignored him. My theory is that he has to learn to amuse himself independently and the only way he will learn is if he knows that no one has the time to play with him especially at busy times like the mornings.
Within half an hour, he tired of not having a constant companion and started whining again. I went about my business, feeding Y and myself, giving her a bath, doing laundry etc, surfacing every now and then to bark at Ads, telling him not to bother anybody. At some point in the forenoon I found myself with free time and took pity on the bored little boy. I sat down with him and we played with his train set. The thing with Ads is that you don't necessarily have to do anything when he asks you to play. All he needs is someone to sit next to him while he plays. That someone however should never ever try to multi-task by reading a book/magazine or making a phone call. Just sit there dumbly and answer when he talks to you - that's all. It drives me crazy!!!
After the ritual of lunch, pre-nap tantrum, nap, and post-nap tantrum (the tantrums themselves largely motivated by boredom), we started all over again....SIGH!!! Sometimes it seems that all I say during the day is "Play by yourself Advaith". This is inspite of making a very conscious effort to spend time with him reading and playing, with the clear understanding (obviously it is only me who understands anything, not him!) that he should occupy himself the rest of the time. I know the obvious solution is to involve him in chores and such but this strategy only works with him about 50% of the time.
He is definitely ready for preschool 5 days a week. If it weren't for his nap, I would plump for sending him for the entire school day i.e. 9 am - 3 pm. I'm hoping that he slowly learns to amuse himself without leaning on anybody for help. I guess it should happen naturally as he grows older.

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