Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Let her play...

Each morning a familiar sight greets me as I enter Rosalind's room: a pile of stuffed animals, books and blankets on the floor and a grinning baby waiting for me.

Several months ago, Rosalind began getting up bright and early but by 8 o'clock was acting like she'd just finished the gushiest romance novel ever and simply couldn't stop weeping. It was exhausting for both of and simply had to stop!

So we began implementing a change. After putting her back to bed consistently each morning and enduring many a pitiful cry, a wonderful new routine developed. Now, she gets up around 6:00 and after breakfast and a bit of cuddling, back to bed she goes. Most mornings she doesn't even sleep, but instead looks at books and plays with her animals.

The quiet time alone does wonders for her attitude. She emerges from her room realizing that the entire world doesn't revolve around her every whim and is learning to entertain herself. Then when I go to get her up, she is full of smiles and kisses and hugs.

I love it! While sweet happy noises emanate from her room, I can read, blog, tidy the house, start laundry... or get a bit more sleep. :)

A question for more experienced moms who may happen to stumble across this post: This routine works for us at this stage, but does it work to have a morning quiet time as children get older--say four or five? (Minus the pile of animals on the floor of course!)


Anonymous said...

Hi! My daughter is 2 next month. So I'm not one of those experienced mothers with an older child you were asking, but I thought I would let you know that we kind of do the same thing! My daughter gets up usually around 7:00 and she plays happily in her crib for about an hour. At eight I get her up and we have a quiet morning with breakfast and such. She used to go back to bed within an hour of waking up. However, within the past month she has decided an extended early afternoon nap is the best for her. But I think that that quiet time that she has with herself in the morning is good for her too!

a'yi said...

It sounds like such a good idea. You know, even young people need their quiet time.:) And you get such sweet smiles from doing it.

Suzanne said...

I,too, have a 2 year old, so I'm not really an experienced mom, either! I have found that on days when my DD refuses her afternoon nap, that instead of struggling with her, I'll make her have "quiet play time" in her room with the door shut. I can still hear her playing, but I can also get some things done around the house. Even though she is missing her naptime (that she really needs!), she is still better behaved the rest of the day.

Anonymous said...

ANNA! I don't know if you remember me, but this is Holly Little. I went to church with you five years ago. I found this and just by reading it I knew it was you! I miss you all so much and I am so glad to see you're doing well.

God bless you always!

Anna said...

Holly! Wow! I just love the internet-- and am excited to get back in touch.

Well, both of you moms have more experience than me :). Rosalind's just 16 months. Thanks for the encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Anna, after reading your post, I remembered a radio broadcast that inspired me greatly. It was Elizabeth Elliot's program called:"Gateway to Joy". I know it will inpsire you and others as well and will help you to continue to have a quiet and peaceful home. Here is a portion of the broadcast titled, "A Mother's Prayer Time":

I would also strongly suggest that you have a quiet time in the middle of the afternoon if you have small children. And my daughter has managed to have this quiet time set aside every afternoon. It doesn't mean that everybody takes a nap and it doesn't mean that everybody reads the Bible and prays.

It does mean that everybody has to be alone in a quiet place--alone, if possible. Now, right now they don't have a house big enough for each child to have separate bedrooms, so they have to sometimes sit on the sofa in the living room, be in their rooms, be somewhere alone where they're quiet. And it is perfectly well understood that each child must learn to occupy himself for a solid hour.

If this seems impossible to you, let me tell you what I saw with my own eyes when I was there some months ago. Quiet time had come. Valerie goes upstairs and takes a nap, at least for 20 minutes or so, and everyone in the house was quiet. The children could read or play quietly with their toys or puzzles or paper dolls or something. But it's understood that nobody talks, nobody traipses up and down the hall, nobody can come to Mommy and say, "Mommy, what do I do now?" And it gives Val that saving grace of a quiet hour in the afternoon.

But I was standing there ironing in the family room and Valerie had set the four-year-old and the six-year-old on two ends of the same sofa, and they sat there for the entire hour. Valerie had put a timer on the coffee table in front of them, and those two children, four and six, did not open their mouths. They sat on that couch until the timer went off. But, of course, you have to start early enough to train them.

Mrs. Hardin

Anna said...

Wow Mrs. Harding! Thanks for sharing... as the noise of our home increases as more children are added, I'm sure a quiet hour in the afternoon would sometimes be nearly a life saver! Thanks for the encouragement to work with Rosalind now, so that someday managing a larger household will be easier! :)

Rebeckah said...

I can't remember any more, but I am SO glad you found something that works for you and your happy baby girl : ). Very cool! God bless!

Anonymous said...

What a fun morning for her:)Give her a kiss for me please!

Love you!