we’ve been working on gus doing quiet time after lunch for about a month or so now. maybe two. i forget. boy how time flies and you lose track of things when you are at home with the kids. like, i usually know what day it is, but not exactly small things like when was the last time i showered or bathed the children. the answer is usually “probably not very recently” in case you’re wondering.
but anyway, we started out with 15 minutes of quiet time at first, to ease him into it. because he hated it. i was prepared for that, though, and so i was consistent and firm but i also tried to at least be pretty understanding about it when i was enforcing it. after a few weeks we moved up to a half hour. gus had moved beyond hating it to general reluctance and bargaining (could quiet time be after computer time? after dinner? after any other activity that will be likely to make you forget about it perhaps mama?). this was a tougher stage, because often i would think, well why not move it really? i don’t really care when gus has quiet time, just that he has it. i think the time to play by himself — the time during which he has to entertain himself and practice being alone with himself (he’s allowed to be around calum and me but he’s not allowed to play with us) — is important, but i only have it right after lunch so i can use computer time afterward as an incentive to complete it. but the fact is, 3 yr old’s wily with their testing ways, and if i gave in once, i would set us back weeks and weeks for dealing with the quiet time schedule, so i always stayed firm.
and now we’re at the point where gus actually asks to do quiet time. yes, partly it could be due to the fact that we’ve been pretty busy jam-packing our schedules with holiday outings and activities lately and maybe he just needed some down time. but part of me hopes that it means that he is actually starting to enjoy the time to read some books to himself or play a shape stacking game by himself or just generally is starting to learn how to just be, a little bit.
and for a busy kid like gus, i’d say that’s a fairly big accomplishment.