Matching Game

matching game (Small)

I read too many blogs by talented stay-at-home-moms and homeschoolers. Too many great, colorful photos of kids painting, coloring, using glitter and glue, and learning and exploring in new and interesting ways. It gets me down. I never seem to have enough time or energy at the end of my work day to think up new things, or collect “ingredients”, or frankly, deal with paint all over the furniture or sidewalk.

Instead, we fall back on familiar bike rides to the park to throw rocks in the river, read books in bed, cook together, and do all kinds of fun, wonderful things that I hope will instill happy memories for my boy, and not just me as his mommy.

If I ignore blogs altogether, I think of myself as a good mother who adores her little boy, talks to him nonstop, works with him on sign language, and helps him explore all kinds of new foods (hence a toddler who loves potato masala, spicy pickled carrots at the taco stand, all the raw veggies at the salad bar, crushed coriander seeds, and sesame-crusted salmon).

But I’ll admit that it’s hard for me to think of age-appropriate learning activities. Even when I find ideas that use “items you have around the house”, I don’t usually have those things (I’d have to specially purchase milk in a carton, or cereal in a box, or glue sticks).

So when I hit upon this idea last week, it was perfect for us. I’m sure it was inspired by the blogs I read, but I don’t remember seeing it exactly. Zach and I went around the house finding small items that would fit into a muffin tin. Two of each thing. We put one into the tin and one into a small bowl. Then we asked the Boogedy to put the mates together. It was a hit for three games, then I moved everything to a new spot in the tin. He had such a hard time finding each thing after it was in a new location. He LOVED naming each item as we went: Bah-bee pin! Yeyow Dog! Guitah pick! Yittle spoon!!

matching game2 (Small)

I just ordered a book called “The Toddler Busy Book.” I checked it out once from the library and found it to be full of good info. Here’s hoping I’m inspired rather than overwhelmed.

Do you have this kind of mom-guilt, like you’re not doing enough? What do you do about it?

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4 Responses to “Matching Game”


  1. 1 Jeaka July 10, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I think you are a marvelous mother. You spend quality time with your Boogedy. He is smart as a whip from all that talking you do to him. You’ve also encouraged all his talking making it very fun for his Aunt Jeaka and Nana to take him home. Get over the guilt that’s just a waste of time. All he’s gonna remember of this time is how you smell.

    On a side note, I really enjoyed having Boy on Thursday. I put him down for a name and his sweet baby smell put me right to sleep with him.

  2. 2 husband July 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    I usually just put on a movie and figure disney knows how to raise kids.

  3. 3 maria July 15, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Isn’t part of being a mom thinking that you’re no good at it? I mean, I think I’m a pretty bad dogmom all the time. I don’t take Zero to the park enough, or take him on enough walks or give him enough raw steak. Whatever. ButI don’t think I ever COULD do enough of those things. At least not as far as he’s concerned.

    And you should totally make your own pickled carrots. I did, and they are AWESOME. How to? Equal parts vinegar and water, couple tablespoons pickling spices, couple cloves of garlic, some sort of chili pepper sliced in half, pinch of sugar. Bring to simmer. (If you want them HOT, use a hot pepper and simmer the whole time you’re cutting carrots.) Allow vinegar mixture to cool a little, so that the liquid isn’t so hot it will break your jars. Then put cut carrots into jars and pour liquid over them. Delicious.

  4. 4 smoothpebble September 14, 2009 at 10:31 am

    well for the love of pete, guilt is my middle name. you have no idea how much tv, computer, and video games i’ve left my kids to lately. and blog reading can make you crazy in the head. frankly it looks like you are doing a great job! i think most moms suffer from that feeling of never doing enough, and maybe we need to be a little gentler with ourselves. modeling for our kids what we would hope they would do for themselves – to be okay with doing our best, and letting go of uber expectations. okay, so that’s what i’m telling myself starting today! 🙂


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