Play

My daughter loves to play – as long as you’re playing with her and not just leaving her to play alone. God forbid.

Tummy time is still a bone of contention in our relationship. She hates it. I make her do it.

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She still loves me. I swear.

I really feel play is essential to proper development. For those who don’t know, I used to be a guidance counselor in a school for difficult, challenging students. Students that their regular schools didn’t want or were afraid to keep enrolled. They were great kids. I can’t emphasize that more. I loved them. I went home and thought about how I could help them. I would go to work every day excited to see them and hear their stories.

But what I noticed was that without that essential time to relax, let loose, and play, it was near impossible to get them to focus, trust or work. And I’m talking high school students. It was so vital to make sure they got creative time and recreational time.

I think the same is even more important for babies. Just the other night Scout’s daddy and I were talking about how when we were kids we were given G.I. Joe’s or Barbies, they didn’t talk, they didn’t make noise, they didn’t have flashy lights. If we wanted them to “be” something, we had to give them voices, move them ourselves and imagine a whole world for them that didn’t exist. I remember playing quietly in my room by myself, talking to my dolls, pretending.

Hopefully, I can get Scout at that point, too. I worry she is growing up in a world where children expect to be entertained by something or someone 24/7. I worry that she won’t be satisfied with simple toys or learn to enjoy solo hobbies such as drawing, painting, reading. Once upon a time I would grab my watercolors, bring them to the kitchen table, and paint without anyone’s insistence, and put everything away when I was done. It was lovely.

Here’s to raising a self-sufficient, happy, imaginative, creative child!

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