Friday, May 14, 2010

Self-Sufficiency Is a Beautiful Thing

Ever since he was born, I’ve said that Ryan is a very easy baby. He’s rarely whiny or fussy, and on the rare occasions when he is, he’s fairly easily comforted (or at least distracted). He’s delighted when someone plays with him, but he’s generally quite content to play by himself, especially if someone else is nearby to keep him company. But the older he gets, the more I realize how self-sufficient he is when it comes to keeping himself entertained.

Most mornings when he wakes up, he doesn’t immediately cry for one of us to come get him. He happily plays with the toys in his crib, or his toes, or rays of sun that fall on him. He’ll spend fifteen minutes just staring at the ceiling in fascination.

Sometimes when I put him down for a nap, he doesn't fall asleep right away but is content to roll around and snuggle with his blankets for a while before he drifts off. Even when I'm playing with him on the floor of his room, most of the time he doesn't need me to interact with him to be happy, as long as he can reach his toys and his rag. He's just very self-sufficient when it comes to keeping himself busy.

This comes in very handy when I'm making dinner, or trying to do housework, or working on some project. I can put him in his exersaucer and fold laundry in the next room and he's perfectly content to play with his toys, sing to himself, and look around the room. I can put him in his bouncy chair in the kitchen and unload the dishwasher, put away groceries, or make dinner without having to stop and entertain him. He's happy to just bounce away, occasionally stopping to gnaw on his rag or crunch his stuffed caterpillar or stare at his reflection.

Last night Herb and I were at a VFW hall we're using for a family function in a few weeks, and while we were checking dimensions and discussing the layout and the floor plan, Ryan was delighted to scoot across the hardwood floor (backwards, of course) and peer up at the underside of the table and chair. And of course, when Daddy plugged in one of the ficus trees that were wound with tiny white Christmas lights, Ryan was just in seventh heaven.

Having a self-sufficient child is such a blessing, and I need to remind myself of that every now and then. I'm afraid that sometimes I take it for granted, since he's just so easygoing. But the pleasant flip side is that on the rare occasion when he does need attention or a cuddle from Mum, it makes me feel extra-special.

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