Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Being An Only Child

I can only imagine how difficult and lonely it must be for Hunter, being that he's an only child.

When he's at daycare, it's okay. He has many friends he can play with, and he doesn't get lonely. He's well entertained, and his imagination is exercised. Soon, he'll start pre-school, and that too will be good for him. His mind will be stretched, and he'll hopefully begin to grow mentally in leaps and bounds. He will LOVE school.

But when he's at home? Or in the car? Or at a restaurant? Or... anywhere where there aren't other kids... he gets bored. He can't, or rather, doesn't play alone. He wants our full attention, wants us to play with him, interrupts us if we try to hold an adult conversation, jumps on us... the list goes on, and on, and on. We've tried to teach him to play alone, tried training him, we've even tried leaving him home alone. Okay. We haven't really left him home alone. That was just a lame attempt to be funny.

Ha. Ha.

Anyway -- imagine my joy when yesterday, he spent a good 20 minutes if not more... playing alone in the kitchen. Granted, he emptied every single one of my pans and lids out from one of the cabinets, but he had fun pretending to bake a cake, talk to it, fall on it, roll on the floor like he was writhing in pain, and pretend to die.

What can I say. He's a boy. And a drama-queen. But not a drag-queen. No, no. Let's not get THAT rumor started. Although, he did mention to the Pastorman on Sunday morning that he loves pink.

I don't think he really meant it.

Please pray that he didn't.

So, we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. He is slowly learning to play alone. Not alone-alone -- we're in the same room, but we're NOT on the floor pushing trains and dragging tractors around the room. We're having an adult conversation. Praise God.

Does any one have tips for this mom of one child?


LvlyRita said...

I think you're doing a fabulous job as mom. Samuel is being my attention-grabber right now, so even with multiple children, it's no guarantee they'll learn to leave you alone (when you need it, anyway).

Ranelle said...

We had an "only" for almost ten years. When she was small, it seemed as if she would never learn to entertain herself! But the good news is she did! It just took time, patience, and a lot of repetition; "No, I cannot play ________ with you right now, I'm doing _________. In a little bit I will come play with you. Why don't you do something else until then?"

If I could just encourage you, don't give up. My oldest is 12 now, and since she has two (much) younger sibs, she relishes her time alone. Also, her best friend is an "only" who never learned to entertain herself. She kind've gets on my daughter's nerves because her friend expects her to entertain her when her dad is busy doing something else!

Just remember, it's only a season.

Mommy Cracked said...

All I can offer is that it does get better with age. Little consolation now, I know. Hang in there!

Stacey said...

GiBee...I was blessed to find this post...

I, too, have an "only"...for the time being anyway! She is almost 4 and will not even entertain the idea of playing by herself for long at all.

My problem is this: I do the typical, "I'll be in there in a bit. I'm busy right now." or "Mommy and daddy are talking right now. Wait patiently until we finish and then we will talk or play with you." But, when grandparents come over, they of course give her UNDIVIDED attention and she has noticed that. So now she begs for them to come over all of the time. Parents can't just drop what they are doing though and play all day long.

I have been dealing with crazy guilt about possibly not spending enough quality time with her and her wanting to be with grandparents more than mommy and daddy and so on and so forth.

I am also an only child and my mother said that it was the same way for me. My grandparents had nothing better to do than play with me.

I must admit that to this day, I don't enjoy being by myself one bit! :)

So it is nice to know that I am not alone in this.