Thursday, July 28, 2011

Unexpected Day Off

So we're having a terrible storm that has robbed Tot's Montessori of power, which means though I have a complete day of teaching along with a department meeting nestled between my two classes today, I'm home with Tot. So many things are power struggles with him lately that I'm not as overjoyed for the unexpected day with him as I wish I were and, of course, feel a bit bad about that. (Lest y'all think that we're terribly traditional in the Absurdist Household, Absurdist Lover did offer to stay home, but he's got this huge deadline at work tomorrow, and I'd rather that he just go and deal with the mountain of work he's got rather than let the stress mount even more. For me, getting behind in my classes by cancelling today is just an annoying and unwelcome wrinkle.)

(Another power struggle over whether putting one's feet on playing cards one has just dropped is a good idea. We do a lot of threatening time in his playpen these days. It's easy to feel like a terrible parent. I lose my temper often.)

But the upshot is that I can blog. Unfortunately, I feel like I have little to say. I'm teaching, doing service work (wow: it would be great if I could make some headway on this report I meant to start but didn't yesterday), and trying to work on the major revision for Article Slightly Outside My Field. For that article, I've been putting some very odd things together, but I knew before that there were some Australian researchers putting them together too. Now I see they have a book due out next year. I can't figure out whether I feel bad about being scooped or relieved to know that I'll be able to simply gesture to them as evidence that putting these things together does make sense. I wish the book were out now. But as much as I went nuts researching and ILL-ing articles that I could find from these researchers, this aspect of things is a small part of the overall argument. (That is, this is theory while the main thrust is application.) Why is it so easy to get all obsessed about one difficult part of one's argument rather than focusing on that which is going to get the most pages? Of course, there's lack of self-esteem and imposter syndrome in the mix, but is it also, in this case, that I'm more interested in delineating that theoretical argument than the main thrust of the chapter, which includes both application (which is okay) but also a specific kind of analysis that I'm not really thrilled about doing?

It's foolish to think I'm really going to get a lot done today, when keeping Tot out of trouble is already a major never-ending project. If anyone has great ideas about specific indoor activities to do with an extremely active tot of 2-3/4 years, please let me know.


Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I, too, feel like I don't have a lot to say these days. I'm making progress on school, but who isn't? Hmph.

Hope you enjoyed your time with tot.

Anonymous said...

"It's easy to feel like a terrible parent." It IS. But you're not. You're awesome.

Tiger Mom PhD said...

I second what Ink said!!!

I only have a just-turned-2 yr old so my ideas may not be good for Tot but here are a few suggestions:

TV :) haha...kind of serious as in let Tot watch more tv than usual if he will. Rent some Sesame Street or Dora or whatever he likes.

Playdough (although you have to have a space to play with it) and a cookie cutter and rolling pin.

The color wonder finger paint.

Give Tot a deck of cards that can be ruined and let him do whatever he wants with them - have him separate them into colors, shapes, pictures, whatever. He can throw them in the air over and over.

Build a fort for him to play in out of sheets and pillows under the dining room table. Have him bring toys and animals in there to hang out with him. You both can enjoy snacks in the fort and he can feed his "friends" snacks.

If you have any plastic Easter Eggs, hid them and have him find them in the house. Maybe give him a surprise in some of them. Give him a bucket or basket to put them in.

Make sock puppets together and then play with them.

Play computer games together (Sprout Online or Disney Junior both have fun games for young kids but you will probably have to play with Tot)

Play board games if you have some that are 2-3yr old friendly. Or play Match.

Have a dance party - put on some kid fun music and dance together.

Cut out some shapes from construction paper and let him glue them with a glue stick onto computer paper.

Good luck.

Earnest English said...

Thanks everyone!

And Tiger Mom, these are all excellent ideas! (I think we ended up doing only TV and cards, as it happens, but since I have Tot in between work and evening every day, we're going to do some of these!)