Once again the dilemma of “how much screen time” is being played out in our house. I’m really not a fan of Little Bear watching too much but some days it feels like one of the only options left.
The summer holidays have been a bit of a washout so far and although we’ve managed to get out every day it’s not always been for as long as either of us would like. And as many times as I’ve thought, “When does playgroup start again?”, Little Bear has said, “I miss playgroup”…so we feel each other’s pain!
I was talking to a friend the other day and I said that no matter what I do, I end up feeling guilty. Today we have painted, cut out pictures, built, read stories, played shops, done puzzles, writing practice, explored playdough and made lunch together. Some of this he managed to do on his own (shops thankfully, and playdough, although I joined in uninvited with this) but the majority we did together whilst having some wonderful conversations. And yet, at 4 o’clock, I still feel guilty about turning the television on.
I guess the problem is that Little Bear won’t play on his own for long. And because of this I get bored of playing, get tired of reading the same books time after time, get frustrated by the constant “mummy play with me”, and because I’m bored I give in to television. If he played on his own more, then I could easily wait until after dinner for the television.
So the truth is, although it can make me feel hideously guilty, I actually do it for my own sanity! Which just makes me feel guilty all over again…viscous circle!
For the last 9 days I’ve been following a cleanse programme to help me think about my eating habits with the added bonus that it results in some speedy weight loss.
It’s really not been as hard as I was expecting, even when Little Bear insisted on cooking an extra fish finger for me, or left half a packet of Pom Bears from his lunch. But today, day one back to “normal”, he asked to make a cake!
Now, I’m not a massive cake fan and don’t bake that much so I found a quick four ingredient recipe and we set to work. Little Bear is doing more and more of the measuring, pouring, and mixing every time we cook and he’s really enjoying it.
Once cooked and cooled it was snack time and, obviously, he wanted some of his cake and I had to have some too. He was most insistent and I wasn’t up for an argument, but Little Bear, I’m trying to be healthy and that didn’t help…at least it had raspberries in it!
Today marked the beginning of the second week of the summer holidays and the sun decided to shine – thankfully!
After a morning at the park catching up with family I treated Little Bear to an ice cream before heading home. On the way back he wanted to buy a magazine and chose one with a Police Kit on the front – badge, phone, keys, notebook. Very fitting as he had just labelled himself a detective for finding his cousin’s lost car.
After completing the magazine, and playing Police and Robber (apparently I had stolen the jewels and had to get locked in his bedroom) he set out all his new toys on the floor then ran off. As he was away I hid one of the objects. On his return he loved trying to guess what had moved.
Suddenly I remembered Kim’s Game and asked him to find a couple more objects. With seven items out we each took turns removing an object and getting the other to guess what was missing. Then we upped the challenge and removed 2/3/4 items at a time.
Little Bear thought it was brilliant fun, and itvmade him feel like even more of a detective. At the same time he was unwittingly practising his memory skills, his counting (how many missing?), and his letters (“I’m stuck mummy, what does it begin with?”). We probably played for nearly 20 minutes before he started to lose interest. It’s definitely something I’ll be doing with him again and hopefully it will help to channel some of that mental energy he’s building up!