December 18, 2006

Play Baby Time

From a Parent:
My younger daughter, age 4, has been asking me to do things she is perfectly capable of doing herself, such as demanding that I put on her shoes, that she sit on my lap at meals, that I carry her places, that I wipe her bottom when she poops. She told me she knows she is 4 but 4 isn't really very big and so she is still really a baby.

So, Play Baby Time was created. I told her that I wanted to pretend she was a baby and would do all the things a mom does with a baby, but not always. I asked her to pick a day of the week when we would have PBT, expecting her to say "All of them". However, she chose only one. I then asked her how long PBT should last. Her 6.5 year old sister suggested 3 hours and fortunately my "baby" thought that 1 hour would be fine. So, we now have PBT on Wednesdays from 6-7pm. During that hour, I feed her, let her sit on my lap, and do whatever else she thinks a baby should get. During much of the hour, she forgets and does things for herself, though I do make a point of reminding her that this is her time to be a baby if she wants.

The best part of PBT is the rest of the week. The other day, we were in a rush and I started to put her shoes and socks on. She said, "Mom, are we in Play Baby Time now?" "Oh my goodness," I said. "I made a mistake. It's not PBT until Wednesday! Well, you got a free sock there." She laughed and put her other sock and shoes on. No demands for me to do things she can do herself. If they arise, I plan to say, "Let's write that down for the next PBT."

Out of PBT has come a request, from both my daughters, for "Play Grownup Time". The girls would like to pretend to be adults, which in their eyes means drinking "coffee" or "wine", "driving" the car in the garage, working on the computer, and talking on the phone. We will iron out the details at our next Family Meeting. Maybe they'd like to pay a few bills while they are at it!

No comments: