Taking the 30 Day Toddler Play Challenge

I always worry about being a good mom.  I worry about toddler language delay and if Norton’s lack of toddler talking is my fault.  I worry that I don’t spend enough time engaging Norton in toddler play, even though I’ve already learned that he has an Own Agenda Communication Style (thanks to reading It Takes Two to Talk).  Really, I just worry and I’m always out to be a better mom.  I know that I’m also my own worst critic.

My big stumbling block is that with Norton’s Own Agenda Communication Style, he’s perfectly happy with keeping himself engaged in toddler play.  He has little interest in playing with me, and when he does, he climbs on me or plays peekaboo with me to let me know.  And so there’s that vicious cycle of wanting to play with Norton, failing or feeling like I’m “doing it wrong”, and the feeling like a flop as a mom.  I always tell myself that I need to do better, but I just don’t know how.

While I was doing my usual blog surfing this morning, I came across a challenge by Hands on as We GrowThe purpose is to get us down on the floor and just playing with our kids.  The 30 Day Hands On Challenge seemed to be exactly what I needed.

For today, it’s essentially to come up with your mission statement of what you’re hoping to get out of this challenge.

I’d have to say that my mission statement would be pretty simple:

I hope to learn how to play with Norton and engage him.  I want to be better at gauging his needs and interests so that I can help him with his communication.  Really, I just want to enjoy being Norton’s mom without the pressure to perform.

Since there’s no activity drawn out today… we’re just going to go for random.

After Norton woke up from his nap, I fed him lunch.  (He ate his lunch today, even, so that was a nice change of pace.)  After lunch, I decided we’d try mixing our guaranteed fifteen minutes of toddler play with practicing one of his words.  We blew bubbles in the dining room.  For about five or six minutes, it went rather well.  But ten minutes in, the linoleum got slippery from spilled bubble solution and excessive bubbles from the bubble gun.  We ended up moving into the living room after Norton started to cry because he couldn’t keep his footing.  In the living room, we played with blocks for a few minutes, and then Norton giggled when we practiced “up” (another toddler talking homework word) with the animals from the Fisher Price Little People Zoo.

We played a little longer than fifteen minutes, and I’m glad we did.  My usually non-affectionate toddler rewarded me with a hug as we wrapped up toddler play time.  That’s the best reward that I could have hoped for.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I like this post for your honesty. There is a lot of pressure to be the perfect parent, and it is maddening to worry so much. I am reading a book that will help you worry less and help you be the best mom you can be. It’s called “Free Range Kids” – and it’s awesome! I was able to find it at my local library.

    • I *know* I worry about it obsessively. I’m always open for things that will either help me do it “better” or worry less about screwing up. 🙂 I’ll take a look for the book. Thanks!


  1. […] s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1); })(); EmailOn Tuesday, I came across the 30 Days to Hands on Play challenge.  It was perfect.  Something daily to just get me to focus on toddler play with Norton.  No […]

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