Learning to play alone

There’s more to playing on your own than meets the eye. It’s a skill, like any other, that takes practice. And sometimes, it’s really dull.

As he gets older, J is learning how to do it. He’ll hold a toy truck in one hand and crawly-walk around the house for upwards of half an hour, just going from room to room, utterly content simply with the freedom to roam, and the delight of ownership over his cheap plastic toy. For him, it’s new. It’s adventure. Repetition is a good thing. Entering a different room of the house is an Experience. He makes me feel very ungrateful at times.

For the first year of his life, both mummy and daddy were home all the time with him. It’s easy to brew up a bit of marital resentment when you’re so privileged – petty things become volcanic, when you know other couples would scratch your eyes out for the chance. Lack of gratitude is all too common. We love to complain, us humans – like work and the time available, so our grievances swell and bubble to fill the void, even in the absence of anything to really complain about. How lucky we are to have such concerns.

I’m learning too though, now. Now OH is back at work, and I’m doing what nearly everyone else did 2 weeks into their babies’ lives. Learning to be alone. And I like it. I knew I would; always have. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a social person, but I need time to myself as well. I’m comfy when it’s just me and J. But it can still take practice, some days more than others.

The pleasure I see from filling a box with crayons, or working out that one cup fits inside another, or that a certain drawer is full of things that can be removed and replaced indefinitely…. it’s quite something. I have a lot to learn. One the thing I hope for is that in his endless roaming and searching, he will find the key to the imagination I had years ago, and that he will set it free. And then we can be equals in a world of exploration.

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~ by DelightingintheDetail on April 7, 2010.

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