I don’t know how to play with my baby. Phew, I said it. I have feared this for awhile, but it has recently come to the forefront now that I’m home with Baby G all the time. So go ahead, slap me with the worst mom of the century award. I want to enjoy playing with her, I just don’t know how.
She’s in a weird developmental stage at 9 months, where she no longer wants to be held or cuddled all the time. She’ll crawl over to me and cuddle for a minute and then be off to go put dog food in her mouth. I follow her and take the dog food away and say “not for babies!” and then give her a Cheerio instead. I watch her explore, I watch her play.
Sometimes I get on the floor and watch her play more closely. Sometimes I guide her play by putting certain toys in front of her. Sometimes I read her a book, but the books she enjoys take about 45 seconds to read since they are about five cardboard pages. Sometimes we play Peek-A-Boo, or I crawl around on my hands and knees with her. She finds that pretty funny.
But I run out of ideas quickly. I find myself checking my iPhone while on the floor with her, or making excuses to get up to get something done.
It’s better when Joe (my husband from here on out will be referred to as Joe) is around, and we can sit on the floor together and laugh at her funny little antics and talk to her so the other adult can hear too. When I’m alone, I try to talk to her all day long like Smug Parenting Books tell you to do, but I find it challenging.
I’d like to be a more interactive mother that does more than just take stuff out of her hands (dirt, dog food, magazines, cables) before it gets to her mouth.
When I’d come home from work when my mom would watch Baby G all day, they’d be on the floor together with 10 stuffed animals spread around them, each with a different voice and personality. So now I’m the one at home with her and I feel like to make staying home worth it, I have to compete with that. Thanks, Mom.
Today I’m going to a play group, maybe I’ll probe the better moms there and find out how they play with their babies. I’ll get back to you on it.
Is anyone with me, or am I just a very wicked mother? Any ideas on playing with a creature that is somewhere between infant and toddler?