How do you hang out with your toddler?

It's raining.

I haven't heard thunder in Seattle in months. It's a rare thing here. And today, it is raining. We were supposed to have a photographer (former student of mine) do a shoot with us today. Sadly, we are going to have to reschedule. All this after Sean took a half day off of work anyway.

Feeling all motivated this morning Junia, Maggie and I walked to the park this morning. We were there for a good 10 minutes when it started raining. 5 minutes later it was pouring. Junia walked for awhile and then wanted to be carried. "No way," I said. "You can either walk or ride in the stroller." She didn't want either. So in the stroller she went. With her new found stick. Then she poked herself in the mouth.

All this in the pouring rain.

But then the question, what to do at home. I love the kid but her range of activities I don't find very fun. We sat down for 5 minutes or so and painted. Then it got old for her. So she started playing with the spool of thread on the table. Tell me...what am I supposed to do to engage her? I can only handle reading so many books. It seems like my best attempts at being really present to her are kind of a waste.

Wrestle, read, snuggle, and eat. Those are the moments she'll stay focused. Other than that we are kind of just hanging out in the same space. Sometimes I can sit with her and play, but the amount of energy it takes for me to 1. Be present. 2. No too directive. 3. and Enjoy. Is kind of a lot.

Grrr on the rain.
How to Stay at home parents do this?


  1. Playdough?

  2. Hi! Fun to find your blog! When J and I have days at home without going places and doing things I will often do things that I want to do and see what she comes up with. It's never computer screens, and I'm never unavailable to her but I may, for example, fold laundry and she can choose to "help" or do something else on her own or ask to do something that she needs help with. When she chooses to help that makes it take longer but we're doing it together. When she chooses to do her own thing I'm encouraging her to be independant but it's still companionable, and when I've determined she really needs me to do something with her is when we may start a puzzle, have a dance party, pull out the musical instrument box, try paint or markers, or play pretend with dolls. And none of those things ever lasts longer than 15 minutes, max. That's just what works for us, though! (We also go to the aquarium and the zoo alot.)

  3. Alissa, so fun to find your blog too! I saw you on offbeatmamas- and was like "holy cow I had dinner with that family and Stephen and Julia and they were great---but we never saw them again--" and then I scanned through your blog and was enamoured with your honesty, openeness, and desire for self reflection...beautiful...and thanks for your response to this post...affirming that doing my own thing doesn't have to mean checking out... Thank you.

  4. We get part-time jobs (haha) .... actually just a lot of multi-tasking, sharing space but doing different things. I'm cooking and he's eating and then pulling everything out of cabinets, I'm folding laundry and he's pulling things off the shelf in the living room. And then when he does want me to engage, I confess that I leave the TV on in the background a lot so my brain has some stimulation.


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