Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Totally unproductive

For some reason it takes me until about 3 every day to have any desire to be productive. I'm sitting here waiting for Katrina to wake up--she's just making little noises right now and I'm waiting for full-out babbling. I've had three hours of her naptime to do things and couldn't really even think of stuff to do, let alone get a desire to do them. So I read a book and enjoyed myself. Now I'm thinking about doing laundry, cleaning up the pile of clothes in front of my closet, getting dressed--nah, cleaning the highchair...

Today was another one of those days (which every day seems to be lately) that I just counted down the hours until naptime. I just don't know how to entertain this girl. It's still too hot to go outside. I try to get her to draw but then we end up with power struggles over her eating the crayons. I play with blocks with her but she loses interest quickly. We spend most of the time with me reading or being on the computer and her bringing me books to read to her. Then she gets bored and runs away to play, then comes back a few minutes later with more books. I feel like I should be playing with her more and maybe giving her some structured things to do but I have no idea what to do. The hitting problem continues. I hate timeouts, so I only save them for when she's really bad, like hitting me really hard in the eye today. Then I stand outside her door telling her why she was bad. (That reminds me, I need to look up "sorry" in sign language and see if I can start getting her to apologize--if she can learn please and thank you maybe she can learn sorry too). Other times I try to either turn her hits into "pats" or tell her she's lost her moving priviliges and restrict her arms. I tried putting her on my lap and hugging her tightly while holding her arms and telling her not to hit, but I'm getting bruises on my collarbone from her head banging on me, so now I just hold her arms and tell her to be nice and not hit. I'm trying everything except ignoring it, because I don't want her to think hitting is acceptable, but you know what? I might just try ignoring it and see how that strategy works.

What are kids this age supposed to do? I've always let her entertain herself for most of the time, but I am feeling like a bad mommy these days because I can tell she's bored. I think it would help if I actually did things. I clean as little as possible and save it for her naptimes, but maybe I can clean more while she's awake and then she can run around getting in my way, but having fun. Occasionally I'll think of something like letting her play with my scrap felt, but mostly I just don't have ideas. I actually have two books from my sister-in-law about how to play with toddlers, but last time I looked at them most of the games were beyond Katrina. I bet she would be better at them now.

She's a little more awake now, so I'm going to go get her. Thankfully she slept for three hours today, instead of the short, hour or hour and a half naps she's been giving me lately.


Elise said...

Ohhhhhh Tori, I hear you on this entire post. These were the hardest months for me with Everett. I'm sorry I don't have any advice to give, just sympathy and to tell you it gets better. All those toddler games are hard to instigate with someone her age, aren't they? I think it was about this time that I was really glad I had another baby coming along, because then I knew I'd be a little busier.

So, yes, I am no help at all :). The heat is what kills you, isn't it? Maybe try to get up the motivation to get out in the morning for a walk with her after breakfast? Let me tell you, it changes your whole day.

Let me know if you think of any good ideas and I'll use them for Ashley!

Evenspor said...

Yes, I seem to recall that being a difficult age to find something to do with. I think we did a lot with playing with train tracks and going out at that age.

Have you tried letting her help you clean? Toddlers love to help dust, sweep, make the bed, and wipe things (vinegar water in a spray bottle is a good safe all-purpose cleaner). It can be annoying at first, because it takes so much longer, but if you remind youself that you're getting something done, interacting with her, teaching her important skills and killing time all at the same time it might make you feel better.

Evenspor said...

Here is another suggestion for toddler activities. There is a blog called Chasing Cheerios where an amazing mom has been posting about activities she does with her daughter:


Her daughter just turned three, but she started her blog almost two years ago, so if you check way back in th archives, you should find some ideas close to Katrina's level.

Sarah GM said...

There are recipes for homemade playdough on the internet.

I strip Charlotte down to her diaper and give her a huge bowl of water with cups (in the driveway or in the bathtub).

We also have a super bouncy ball that Charlotte throws around the house and chases. It's small enough not to break anything and keeps her running.

And she loves to play hide and go seek (has to be very easy, she has to see where you ran to hide). It also helps them run off some energy.

Good luck. It must be hard to not be able to go outside as much you would like, nor have lots of resources at your finger tips. My best days with Charlotte are when we're able to get out of the house and go to the beach or a playground.

Amber said...

It's too hot to play outside here too. And I totally felt similarly with the not feeling like doing anything productive when I was pregnant. It just made me tired!
Megan really likes toys that let here play pretend--like we have a doll and a little stroller she can push around and play with.
We listen to music a lot and dance. Brite music (google it) has some really cute songs and you can download the MP3s for really cheap. Our favorite song is See Me Run. Giving her "jobs" to do is fun. She likes picking up the food she throws on the floor and putting it in the sink. Or helping with laundry (but this usually means I fold it 2 or 3 times).
Megan likes to hit too. If she says sorry and gives a hug than she gets to play again. If she doesn't than we do time out (but I feel like it's pretty ineffective--she likes sitting by herself and yelling) but it's all I've got right now.
I've learned that if she's hitting over and over again, she's just bored and wants more attention. So I try to put away anything else I'm doing and give my undivided attention for about 10 minutes. It helps if we go into a different room too to distract her. She then is usually able to go back to playing by herself at that point.
I hope some of these help you! These past few months have been really fun but really frustrating with Megan. We have some good days and some bad days, but between her growing up more and me learning to work with her, I feel like I handle it better lately. Prayer helps too :)