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55 posts tagged kids

the newbie: Individual Playtime


By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

June recently inherited a dollhouse from a friend, and she is smitten. She loves the working doors, the ringing phone and the little people who she can move from bed to chair to kitchen. It’s pure 18-month-old bliss!

In fact, I’ve been able to leave her alone in her room while I’m right next door in myown folding laundry or reading or answering a few emails. I can hear her happily buzzing as she talks to the toy dog, as she opens the tiny doll door to let someone in, as she piles everyone into the bathroom all at once (her favorite move, for some reason).

This is the first time she’s truly played on her own, with no interactions from another adult or child. It’s amazing! But it’s also making me feel guilty, like I’m not supposed to spend that time away from her, like I should be there making her doll play more… I don’t know, educational?

Even seeing myself write this, I feel silly. Individual play is good for kids, right? It’s not all about interactive games—a variety of play styles is healthy. So why is there this twinge of guilt at leaving her to her own devices?

Have any other parents experienced this? What do your little ones play on their own?


the newbie: Late Walkers

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

June is almost 16 months old, and she’s still crawling. She stands up regularly, takes a step or two when encouraged (sometimes), but mainly she thinks the whole walking thing is overrated.

This means a few things for me:

First, her clothes are all insanely dirty. Muddy pants, sloppy sleeves, shoes that look like they’ve been run over by a dump truck. Forget the cute dresses in her closet—they cannot be worn until she’s upright.

Second, I have to handle the “Is she walking yet?” question with finesse. “She’s not,” I say. “But we’re not worried.” Because the thing is, we’re mostly not. She’s a healthy, happy kid with fine muscle control. But lots of people seem to think we should be concerned. Everyone has an anecdote about the kid who walked late, but most people say it with a little gleam of worry in their eye (or maybe I’m projecting).

Third, I’ll admit it: I just want her to stand up on the playground and toddle off with the other kids. And I want to make use of those cute dresses.

Anyone else have a late walker?

the newbie: Volunteering with Kids

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

Our beloved New York City got hit very hard with Hurricane Sandy, but luckily we live on high ground in Brooklyn and our neighborhood was spared the brunt of the storm. We feel so lucky to have power, water and dry floors, and we’re looking for ways to help our neighbors deal with the destruction they’ve faced.

This particular moment has caused me to look for opportunities to volunteer with baby June. Surely there are things we can do together—cleanup in the park, visiting nursing home patients, caring for animals in a shelter. But what I’ve found is that kids aren’t allowed to come with their parents to volunteer. I’ve applied to a few places, asked around, and searched online to no avail.

I will try to find time to help out when she’s with her dad, but does anyone have any tips on how to volunteer with kids in tow? Or do I just have to wait until she’s a little older?