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Attention Baby Disorder

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Guest blogger Dani Klein Modisett: All this non-verbal playing with my 1-year-old is not my thing.


"That's right honey!" I say to my one-year-old who just stacked one foam block on top of another. My face is frozen in a smile so insincere it would rival Miss Runner Up's in any pageant. I look at my watch. Thank God my babysitter will be here in 20 minutes. My babysitter. I love my 1-year-old more than anything in life, except my 5-year-old. And the great thing about him is, he can talk.

Tossing a fabric-covered ball back and forth makes me want to eat a box of Twinkies 'cuz I'm so bored. I know I should be enthralled and I know intellectually watching the wonder in my boy's eyes is very cool. But I can't help it, my mind wanders. I start thinking about all the things I have to do, how the bedroom is a mess and really we need more closet space and how are we ever going to pay for that if I don't start making some decent money soon...and...DING DONG!

"COURTNEY IS HERE! YIPPEE!" I yell through the front door, unlocking it.

"How are you?" I love our twentysomething babysitter who's kind of an actress and kind of works for a music production company and gives my baby her undivided attention.

"Hi Gideon," she sings, lowering her eyes in a mock flirt. She takes him in her arms. "Come on, buddy, let's go build some blocks!"

If she looked at me like that I'd want to build blocks, too!

Maybe I should pretend I'm a twentysomething actress/student/vegan and allow myself to really enjoy my son like Courtney.

Do you ever get bored while playing with your kids?

Dani Klein Modisett is the mom of two and producer/director of Afterbirth...stories you won't read in Parents magazine. For more info, visit her site.

next: Back to School: What NOT to Buy
12 comments so far | Post a comment now
sblondon July 27, 2008, 2:32 PM

oh yes! But playing with them is part of being a good parent!! Suck it up.They watch and learn from us. I don’t play with them as often as I should I admit!!

tom July 27, 2008, 9:04 PM

Since your child is one year old… I will forgive you.

If you’re bored playing with your kid when they’re 2+… you have some issues.

Ku July 27, 2008, 11:10 PM

I can agree that playing with them can be ‘boring’ but I just enjoy being with my son. I forget that I am ‘playing’ with him because I see it as so much more. The smile alone is worth it. I should really play with my baby more then I do. *shrugs* To each their own…

Me July 28, 2008, 9:12 AM

I can completely relate and have spent many an afternoon doing just what you described. To those that disagree, this woman is taking the time to play with her child. She recognizes how wonderful he is. So, cut back on the judgement and ask yourselves if you want to be real or just pretend that you are the perfect mom in every living, waking moment of your life.

Anonymous July 28, 2008, 12:41 PM

Spend an afternoon with someone who lost their child at 1 year. That’ll change your perspective and you might have fun with you child out of gratitude.

Suzanne V. (Yarnhog) July 28, 2008, 2:17 PM

I nearly died of boredom when my kids were tiny. I suffered a five-year identity crisis after my first was born. I went from a high-powered career overseas to being stuck in a little house with no one to talk to but an infant all freakin’ day long—who wouldn’t get bored? The mark of a good parent isn’t loving every minute of it. It’s doing what’s best for your kids even when you don’t love it. But to survive it with your sanity intact, you need to find ways to keep yourself engaged in adult life. I went to law school at night when my kids were babies. My mom babysat them while I was in school, and it fostered a fantastic relationship between the kids and their nana. I don’t think they ever missed me, and I came out five years later with well-adjusted kids and a law degree. My kids are 8 and 11 now, and they’re awesome little people. I work at home (as a lawyer), so they still don’t miss me, and I have my sanity.

Oh, and all those people who don’t understand? Don’t worry about it. Everyone is different. It doesn’t mean you’re not a great mom or that you don’t love your kids. It just means you have different needs, and you have every right to satisfy them (and can do it without any damage to your kids).

Mother Chaos July 28, 2008, 2:49 PM

Eh, personally, I think there is a HUGE difference between being bored with playing the for the 172,769,028th time TODAY, and finding your CHILD boring.

My children (ages 10, 8, 6, and 4) are a source of endless fascination and amusement to me. I don’t get tired of THEM, pretty much ever.

But sometimes, when they get on these kicks where they want to do NOTHING ELSE except this One Thing (Hi Ho Cherry-O…I hates it…I HATES IT…), for days and weeks and MONTHS, EVEN…and they don’t want to play with EACH OTHER or with DADDY, they want YOU and ONLY YOU, to play ONLY this Cherished Game…AGAIN…again-again! again-again!…



Mom in RI July 29, 2008, 1:44 PM

Maybe it is because I am a first time Mom or maybe because my son is only 16 months and for the most part a very good little boy, but either way I love playing with him. It gives me a chance to act like a kid again too. I love to spend time with him and watch his eyes light up when he discovers something new. I will admit that sometimes my mind wanders to the housework that I must do but then I realize that he is only going to be this small once and the laundry & housework are always going to be there. So what if I run around like a nut when he takes his naps, the time spent with him is so worth it.

Joan July 30, 2008, 9:34 AM

Try to imagine what the world is like for your baby. Everything is new and exciting. Make your baby a part of everything—mealtime, bathtime, cooking, laundry time. Talk to your baby about what you are doing and what he/she is doing. That’s the key to keeping him learning and growing.

Melissa W August 7, 2008, 7:23 AM

maybe you shouldnt have had another baby.

rulsgrl August 14, 2008, 10:09 AM

WOW! I thought I was the only mom who felt like that! My daughter is 1 and I had the EXACT same feelings and thoughts.
Some advice from someone that has been there, get out of the house and/or have more structure to your day. Go play in the back yard everday from 2-3, or let your child splash in a baby pool everyday for 30 min, etc, you get the point. Having things planned out a little more will help a lot with the “I’m bored just sitting here doing the same thing all day long day after day”.

Alicia August 20, 2008, 11:06 PM

I love my children but reading the same book 15 times or singing the ABC’s 10 times in a row gets boring and I do drift into dishes, laundry and pick up the toys he is not playing with. Sometimes though I love playing with him and I am glad that he likes books at such a early age of 19 months but other times when I read the SMILE book over and over I want to find something else to do. Luckily my youngest child is getting to where they can play together and I can play with both of them or run and put laundry in the washer which is about 2 feet away from them or do some dishes which is very close to them to. But I do know how you feel when you get bored of the old routine and drift away. Thankyou for making me feel like I am not the only one that does that.

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