Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coveting

Life is getting pretty intense around here. With three little people who can think, "Wow! That's cool! I want it!" and possess the ability to go get it, I feel like I'm on constant referee duty. And contrary to popular belief, more toys do not equal less fighting. At our house, one toy ends up being the most prized item while everything else is just debris on the battle field. I keep forgetting that sibling battles are almost always a sign that I need to get more structure into our day. They are just to little to be expected to play nicely by themselves.

One of the newest challenges is that Christiana no longer takes a morning nap. That means there isn't that break in the morning where Amanda and I do school, do a project, cook, or catch up on chores. If I'm not directing Amanda in a creative task, she'll come up with one on her own. That usually means a very large mess!

So here's my strategy:


First, I packed up most of the toys into their bins and put them out of reach in my room. Unless I'm sitting on the floor playing with them, they just dump the bins out and ride the bins around like cars or use them as diving platforms. If I need to spend focused time with them I might as well be teaching them how to do a chore.


Second, when I'm nursing Tali, I'll have Amanda sit with me and read me a story or look at books. It's a little tricky because Tali gets distracted, but if Amanda's on my chair, it's easier for me to protect her from Christiana. During that time, Christiana will just wander around and occasionally snuggle with us or stroke Tali's head. It gives her opportunity to play by herself without Amanda's interference.

My third trick is strategic babywearing. After nursing Tali, I can put her down to crawl around and play with a few toys on the floor. I can then wrap Christiana on my back and do some cooking or kitchen clean up. Once Tali goes back to bed I can do a chore, read stories or play with the little girls. Amanda and Christiana fight over who gets to help me unload the dishwasher. Amanda can unload most of the dishwasher by herself. Christiana is just a little to short to reach most of the drawers so she carrys items over to the right locations and I put them up for her.

I have also been known to use my wrap as a leash. Amanda loves to play puppy and be tied to me. She requests to be my puppy almost every day. While it's a bit annoying to have a puppy crawling around after me and between my legs, at least she's not off harassing her sister or making a mess in another part of the house. Christiana also requested to be wrapped up in the leash but did not like the game once I sat down to nurse Tali and she couldn't wander off to see what Amanda was doing. She eventually cheered up and played with the toys that were within her reach.

Finally, I try to get out of the house at least once a day. Usually that just means going for a walk but sometimes we are more adventurous and go to the farm for milk and eggs or some other short errand. I may even venture out for a visit with friends I haven't seen much in the last eighteen months. :) That might be nice!

1 comment:

Davene said...

You are so right that more toys do not equal less fighting - that's absolutely true! I can't even count how many times one of my boys has not been the slightest bit interested in a particular toy - UNTIL he sees one of his brothers playing with it. Then you'd think the sky was falling, the way he starts fussing and carrying on about that toy! It's ridiculous! :)

But I guess I might have done the same thing a time or two when I was a young girl. ;-)