Saturday, July 21, 2012

One on One Time

I've been a little scatterbrained lately.  I think coming back from vacation, plus having life toss us a few curveballs in the past week, has really just made me disoriented.  And sometimes when I get this way, I find that I don't pay my kids the attention that they deserve.  So, this evening, when Cat was having a meltdown and screeching as loudly as he could in his jumparoo, and Bug was crying and throwing himself on the floor, I realized that I wasn't doing a good job as their mother.

So, I yanked myself out of the introspection and spent some quality time with each kid.

First, I took Cat upstairs (leaving Bug with Jon) and gave him a bath, and sang and cooed to him.  He immediately relaxed (well, except for the part where he kicked and splashed all the water out of his bathtub), and when I got him dressed he was already starting to look drowsy.  A quick feeding and a snuggle, and he was drifting off peacefully as I stuck him in his crib.  (Tonight's the first night I'm trying the crib.  Will let you know how it goes!  He has officially outgrown the cosleeper).

Then, I came downstairs, cuddled up with Bug, and we read stories for almost an hour.

When I told him I was done reading (quite honestly, I was starting to drift off), he gave me a kiss and then went off to play quietly with his blocks.  No more whining, or crying, or self-punishment.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the day-to-day survival that comes from having two children that I forget to treat them as individuals.  Luckily with Cat, I usually get some alone time--he still takes two to three naps, and I always give him his bath (Bug is usually bathed by Jon), and of course he likes to be cuddled during the day--but sometimes it's harder with Bug.  See, since Bug can self-entertain, I occasionally neglect him a bit in favor of cleaning up the kitchen.

But I don't want to do that, and normally I don't--normally we do stories, painting, coloring, building with blocks, etc.  But sometimes I fail.

A good thing to keep in mind is that when your kid is acting up, it's usually because he or she wants attention.  Taking your child out of the situation where they are acting up and suggesting a different activity is NOT giving in to tantrums, but rather showing them that you recognize that they want to spend time with you.  And spending extra time with your kid is definitely a good thing.

It's hard to juggle everything--and really, there's no balance, just a juggling act--but if spending some cuddle and quality time with your kid will stave off tantrums, I'm all for it.

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