Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Playgroup does not a bad writer make

I have five articles, two novel edits (mine and one I'm doing for pay), and a bunch of PR writing going at once. You'd think I'd be all over trying to get it done sooner rather than later. Well, no.

I've been wanting to take my son to our neighborhood playgroup for months. The timing never worked out: either he'd be sleeping right up to its 9a.m. start time, or he'd wake up early and need to nap at its 9a.m. start time. Yesterday, the timing worked out perfectly: he woke at 8, meaning he wouldn't have to sleep till 11. So I dropped all 7 projects and headed out the door. I rationalized that I probably wouldn't get much done anyway because he'd get bored and want me to entertain him. And hey, maybe I'd get lucky and there would be another self-employed mom there.

Well, no one else showed up. I called the group leader and she said interest had dropped off over the holidays and she herself was sick. Hey, at least she was responsible enough not to show up. In the meantime, my son discovered the communal toybox and all the toys we don't have. Way cool, mom!

I'm not much of a player. At his age, toddlers still parallel play - they don't play *with* anyone else. And I find this terribly boring. Don't get me wrong, I love watching him arrange his refrigerator letters and his wooden blocks. It's just when he wants me to watch unceasingly - or "help", which really means deconstructing everything I do - that I start wondering whether something is inherently wrong with me. What mother finds it boring to play with her child?

Bringing him to playgroup, however, taught me a couple of valuable lessons. Ones that I think will keep me going back.
  1. Toys we both find interesting are good. (I just love showing him how those wire-and-bead mazes work.)
  2. New environments are good. (We went for a long walk around the clubhouse's rooms.)
  3. Getting out of the house is good. (Not only was I not distracted by the computer, but focusing on play actually freed my brain so my work was more efficient that afternoon. Who knew?)
I'm excited by this. It means that just because I'm bored by one type of repetitive activity doesn't mean I'm bored by child's play in general. It means that just as I have strengths and weaknesses as an adult, I have them as a mother too. And I can learn to capitalize on them. And this will help me as a writer, which of course will feed back into mothering. A happy mommy is a good mommy.

I can't wait to take him to Story Hour today - provided he's not sleeping through it.


Blogger Jean said...

Excellent observations.


2/2/05 7:49 PM  
Blogger said...

Kids are two full time jobs. I do believe it whole-heartedly. Good luck!

2/2/05 7:58 PM  
Blogger pregnancyweekly said...

I hope that people showed up to Story Hour. :)

3/2/05 3:34 PM  
Blogger Christa M. Miller said...

Thanks everyone. Unfortunately, he did end up sleeping through Story Hour. Someday we'll get it right. In the meantime, it's been in the 30s here, so at least I can bring him outside!

4/2/05 3:44 PM  

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