Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Independance

I was thinking about this last night before I fell asleep. I often think of great blog topics at that time of day, but by morning I am in "get Kyra to school mode" and I forget all about it. Gotta start writing stuff down!

Last evening, after dinner and before the kids went to bed, we were all doing our own thing. Kyle was on the kids' computer playing "Bailey's bookhouse" (CD that teaches kids alphabet, 3-letter words, etc. ), Kyra was playing in her room, I was sitting in the living room stitching, and Toni was on the main computer installing something that we probably don't actually need. I realized that this is a fairly common occurance in our house. Even right now, Kyle is on the other computer doing Bailey's bookhouse again. He is obsessed with it and now knows how to spell "tub". We got a book from the school library today and read that when we got home. The kids are pretty good at being left to their own devices, something Toni and I have encouraged. If you have imagination and can amuse yourself you are never bored or lonely. I think since Toni and I have that kind of personality though, the kids are like that as well.

When my sister and I were kids, my mom never sent me to my room as punishment because it never worked. I would be like "see ya!" and disappear for 2 hours to colour, or read, or play Lite-Brite, or whatever. Kristi, social creature that she is, couldn't stand it if she was sent to her room. She would last 5 minutes and then be asking Mom if she could come out now. Her 16-month-old son seems to be following in her footsteps. Part of it is just his age, but he has always squawked if you happened to be talking to someone else and not looking at him! Now he cries if she leaves the room. Again, partly age, but also personality.

Last evening, I thought if a stranger was suddenly dropped in our midst 45 minutes or so after dinner, what would that person think? Maybe, "These people are ignoring one another!" Yes we were all in our own area of the house, but we were still all in the house together. And we weren't totally separate the whole time either. Kyra came by to see my Winter Queen progress before going downstairs to watch TV. I took a stitching break to see what Toni was up too, and to hug him and kiss the back of his neck while he sat at the computer.

Sometimes I think parents can get too concerned with "DOING THINGS WITH THE CHILDREN" and a) don't give kids their own space or b)don't give themselves any space. We did things as a family all the time when I was kid. But also if my mom was reading a book and wanted peace and quiet Kristi and I were fully expected to go away and leave her alone for a while. Sometimes we were allowed to "help" Dad build something. Sometimes we asked him 25 questions too many and were told to "go find something to do" or "go bug your mother".

Toni has always been happy with his own company too. But when you are born when one sister is almost 15, your brother is 13 1/2 and your other sister just turned 10, you kind of don't have any choice. So I guess that is another area where we agree and get along. We love each other but are not joined at the hip. The kids seem to be figuring it out now too.

Comments:
Kelley, my family is very much the same way. We all tend to do our own thing despite being in the same house together. I don't think it's a bad thing at all! I have friends who will complain they're bored if they're home for an evening by themselves, but I enjoy the time to myself and am rarely, if ever, bored. That's not to say that I'm anti-social, but I like my "me" time. I also like that if I want some company, I can go find it.
 
Great post today Kelley! I enjoyed reading it.

I enjoy the time my kids give me by playing by themselves. Or even if they just play beside me, but are in their own little world.

Andrea
 
What's this? A deep post from someone who swears that she is not deep! I am so agreeing with you. I wouldn't know what to do, if the kids couldn't play on their own. Family time is great but it is nice that they can entertain themselves too. A valuable life tool.
 
Amen to you sistah! I go to some peoples' houses and their kids demand all your attention all the time or else they'll get into trouble to get it. Drives me insane - I can't talk to their mothers for 5 seconds uninterrupted! Neil and I are very much independent creatures, so hopefully our kids will be too :)
 
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