Friday, October 12, 2012

Staying at Home with a Toddler Is No Fun

Life lately has been really boring, because R has been sick for the last week with a bad cold. She infected me too, so the two of us have mostly been hanging out around the house feeling sick and fretful. I had to cancel everything this week (that's two afternoons at school, one swim lesson, one trip to the zoo, two playdates, and "free play" afternoon at the Reggio Emilia atelier).

R is fairly good at amusing herself, but only for limited periods. Let's say she spends 30 minutes looking at her books, 30 minutes playing imaginary games, and 60 minutes doing "house explorations" (stuff like running around with the mop pail on her head). If we are at home all day, that means the other eight hours of waking time are still unaccounted for: yet R is now bored of her own company. We couldn't even really go outside, either because she was too ill, or because the pediatrician told me she was probably infectious and should avoid other children.

I amused her by letting her watch much more TV than usual (I introduced her to Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and My Neighbor Totoro, which are both incredibly awesome and wonderful for small children). We also did a lot of coloring, reading books, playing with light/lanterns left over from the festival and playing with water (R loves water in all its forms, from washing hands to swimming, sadly off-limits currently). And there's always "helping" me with house chores (R is very enthusiastic if not skilled).

But I am not a fan of this variety of stay-at-home parenthood. I honestly wonder how other parents do it without going insane (because I know our usual jam-packed schedule is rather unusual).


  1. I these are the times that having a huge suburban house would be great. Throw them in the backyard or in the front with some chalk and a bucket of water.

    If I'm sick and T is sick, we make daddy stay home to care for us. If just T is sick and not sleeping all day, I usually take him to the park (not playground) or beach where there aren't kids but he can run around.

    1. That's true, didn't even think of that (as I've never lived in a place with a yard as an adult). Sadly my husband doesn't really get sick time so unless it's an emergency we just have to muddle through.

  2. I can't imagine :( I hope she feels better asap!!!!