Monday, June 23, 2008

Independent play

I have always been proud of the fact that Marcus is able to play independently since he was about 8 months. Through our conscious efforts to encourage him, he used to keep himself busy with toys, books, drawings, humming his own tune and just moving from projects to projects of his own while I sit nearby doing my own things.

With Nicholas I got a little worried initially as he seemed to demand more attention and wasn't able to focus for a long span of time. Partly I think the maid was constantly following and playing with him, even when I told her to just keep an eye on him and let him play alone. Now that we are without a maid for almost 2 weeks, I realise to my delight that my baby is able to play independently for an impressive length of time.

I usually take it relaxed and easy in the morning after Marcus and E leave the house and make my plans for the day while sipping my coffee. Nicholas would usually be very happy just playing on his own nearby. And from the moment Marcus returns from school, the boys will play together while I fix lunch and after they are fed, they continue to play together till baby naps. Then it is my special bonding time with Marcus when I try to play with him and chat about his day and whatever little topics he comes up with. Once Nicholas wakes from nap, it is bath time for both if we don't head out. Then I settle down to fix dinner while the boys continue their brotherly bonding.

These days, Nicholas would tell Marcus "share" if he wants to play with the same toys and Marcus has learnt to play more harmoniously than before with his sibling too. He assumes an older brother's role automatically and would warn his baby bro' of the dangers or alert me whenever he thinks Nicholas is doing something that is to be discouraged like trying to climb the sofa.

So far, the routine has been working out fabulously and it is wonderful to see the boys bonding so well in the little pockets of time throughout the day, which didn't seem to be so before when the maid was around to watch them while I cooked. So change is great!

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