My kids are 4.75 and 2. We're still pretty young. When my son was little we did tons of stuff--puzzles, collages, painting, games (we played by his rules) etc. I offered him so many opportunities for things to do at home and he loved it and flourished. Plus we went somewhere every day. I tried to have one outing planned each day. Maybe storytime or preschool open gym or a parks and rec class or just meeting friends at the park.
Enter baby number 2. I just didn't have the energy for so many at home activities. And as she started getting older, I didn't have the money to pay for the two of them to do open gym or whatever. I did just enroll them in a parks and rec class (she's finally old enough for that.) Even though they love to paint at home, she never wanted to participate in the class and he is kind of a homebody who would paint, but didn't really want to go to the class.
So, when we're at home, mainly the kids play. Which I'm a big supporter of. I just don't do a lot with her that I did with him. I don't pull out the shape sorter or puzzles or whatever. I'm feeling guilty that I'm letting her down. I just saw video of him at 18 months. He was an expert at puzzles. She's 26 months and is barely competent. (Each kid is different and he is really fast, but still...)
Our place on the unschooling spectrum is heavy into strewing. I buy the sonlight books. We have a nice supply of art supplies. We have costumes, musical instruments, tons of really great open ended toys. (Other than flashlights, I can only think of one toy, a shape sorter, that has batteries.) I just introduced him to starfall.com and he loves it so we do lots of identifying letter sounds in the course of normal conversations (I'm not into rushing reading, but thought I'd see if he would enjoy letter sounds and he does.) We start our day reading (our daughter has an amazing attention span for a 2 year old,) we read throughout the day, we finish the day reading. We go to Spanish playgroup once or twice a week and storytime when I remember. She does musical play once a week (he doesn't like it, but chooses to go with us rather than go to his dad's work.) We get together with friends for playdates.
But I just don't have the energy to do with her what I did with him. Mommy guilt is probably normal for kid #2. It is especially high with this one as I have concerns that she is going to need a lot more repetition than he did to learn stuff and I'm not giving her as many opportunities. Our outside home and friend interactions are fine. I just don't play with them/her like I did with him. He's very good at entertaining himself. At 2 she still has times when she gets whiny when she's bored.
What have other folks experienced with kid #2. Did they grow up fine without too many tics and drools?lol Any suggestions for finding a bit more energy deep inside so I can give her the attention I gave him?
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing and living as gluten, dairy, and cane sugar free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.