In the mornings while I shower, S watches a dvd. It used to be Dr Seuss, which I really didn’t mind; now it’s Baby Jake, which I kind of really do mind a great deal. Being a single mother, my options for 5 minutes’ peace for a shower in the mornings are somewhat limited. Therefore, I take half an hour of Baby Jake in the mornings as a necessary evil: it usually means she sits quietly on the bed watching it, rather than marauding around my upstairs, occupying herself with mischief (we are literally days away from her figuring out how to open the stair gate).
Just recently, whenever we come downstairs, S demands Baby Jake again. On nursery days, I have a strict rule of no TV; we put the radio on, make breakfast, and it’s usually not mentioned again before we leave the house.
When we come home, JAKE! is usually S’s first word when we come through the door. Sometimes I try to trick her into watching Tinker Bell or something on CBeebies, on account of the fact that I am beginning to hate Baby Jake with a passion previously reserved only for Coldplay. Either way, she ends up watching something on the old gogglebox.
Ever since I stopped breastfeeding her seven months ago, S has gone to bed with a dvd on. This started when she was teething with a terrible cold, and I needed to soothe her to sleep somehow. Until recently, it was Despicable Me; now, it’s Baby Jake. It bothers me, but I need something to block out the noise from outside, and children love predictable, familiar things. So the same thing over and over again is good for that. But I’d rather she not have the blue light from a TV screen shining on her when she’s supposed to be going to sleep. Just lately I’ve been suspicious that the dvd was actually keeping her awake rather than lulling her to sleep.
Any way, I digress. Yesterday morning, I decided enough was enough; time to actually spend time interacting and playing, without being distracted by that irritating baby giggle and the weird space travelling hamsters. So as soon as we came downstairs, I switched the radio on. We made breakfast, and S asked for Jake. I said no, we’re going to listen to some music today. Weirdly (thankfully!), Jake was not mentioned again all day.
We went out for a wander around the shops in the morning. Then S had a nap, and then we had lunch. We passed a lovely afternoon together playing with her new camera, drawing and making a mess. I made the rookie error of replacing some batteries in a terrible singing pull-along horse, and we played with that.
Here is a photo we took with S’s new camera:
The camera has a swivelly bit on top, so you can see yourself when you take your selfie. We love it. In fact, I should probably organise myself and write a post just about the camera.
Any way, it was a really nice day. We both had more of each other’s attention; we spent more time playing; S definitely giggled more.
It was a peaceful day, with just the two of us and no intrusions. The radio was on, but only as background noise. The strangest part of the day came at bed time, though.
We had the radio on during shower time, and sang songs together while S got ready for bed. S asked for Jake and I said, “no, no Jake tonight; you’re going to bed with just the music on, ok?” I laid S in the cot, gave her Ted, put the blanket over her, and left the room. Half an hour later when I went up to check on her, she was fast asleep.
I can’t help but think the lack of TV throughout the day (not just at bed time) made a big difference to S’s ability to just nod off when she laid down. I might try this more often!