Sunday, February 17, 2008

Playing with your infant

Rachel is so old that I found myself referring to the good ol' days as "when she was a baby" to Maria at church today. She is still a baby but Maria's baby is so much younger makes Rachel seem so grown up.

Anyway, some other mothers were talking at church at how awkward it is to play with their babies. I had to agree that it was rather awkward for me at first, too. Here is this lump of a baby that doesn't look at anything and doesn't do anything special and we're expected to stimulate it. It's a hard job!

What really helped me was having Emma to babysit. She was a year and a half old. She reacted (sometimes) to things I said, and at least knew how to play a little bit. I'd prop Rachel up somewhere to watch and Emma and I would talk and play and try to involve Rachel. We played a lot of games where we'd stack blocks on Rachel and things like that.

Eventually I just got so used to giving a play-by-play of my life that when Emma stopped coming I continued to do this for Rachel. As she's gotten older it's been easier to "play" with her but she still doesn't "play" well. Mostly she just sucks on things. I'll try to play with her and still just give her a play by play of what I'm doing.

"I'm finding all the red blocks. Is this block red? No. Is this block red? Yes! Yes it is! Where is another red block?"

I do the same thing when we read a book,

"Wow! Look at all the stars. How many stars do you see on the page? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5..."

Sometimes I feel like a lunatic because I talk in this patronizing voice all. day. long.

"Mommy's making pizza dough!" (I always speak in third person. I don't know why.) "She's measuring ONE cup of flour, TWO cups of flour! See how it puffs into the bowl. Now she's mixing. Mix, mix, mix, mix, mix. Do you see her spoon? You want the spoon, don't you? You can't have the spoon..."

It's enough to drive a person mad but I actually enjoy doing it now. It's even more fun when Andrew is home and will answer all my silly questions in a high-pitched baby voice.

Anyway, I don't know. How did you guys play with your babies when they were only a few months old?

On an entirely unrelated note...Rachel has been SO good the past few days. She hasn't cared when I walked out of the room and even played all by herself for like TWO HOURS straight yesterday!!! I hope this is a continuing trend. I might even get something accomplished!

And...I found this site. It's Fisher-Price online learning games. Rachel loves to type on the keyboard so we're going to try it out tomorrow. I think she'll enjoy it.


Rosie said...

With Allison when she was tiny we'd play "So Big" and kissing games to get her to smile and giggle. I hear you about the third person running commentary on life though... you feel so silly at first, but then you can't stop. =) Now its peek-a-boo and we roll balls bach and forth. Still pretty simple, but she's getting so fun (well, different fun...she's always been fun)

Krystal said...

I also narrate everything we do--not that it's too much yet. . .