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<p>somewhere over the past several weeks dd went from getting no screen time to 30-60 minutes a day <img alt="bag.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/bag.gif"></p>
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<p>how we got here is not as important as how we get away from here... quickly. i'm trying to think of special activities or toys i can have for those times when i need dd happily entertained so i can cook, or work, or what have you. she is so clingy at home, and makes it nearly impossible to get anything done. the tv provides an effective distraction, even though she doesn't sit and watch it (she'll read her books or play with her toys). ideally it would be something i could keep away except for those times. but what's age-appropriate? i've tried crayons/markers — she's over them already. i try letting her help me if i'm in the kitchen but she'll be appeased for only a few minutes and then wants to be held. she isn't happy to hang out in the ergo. </p>
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<p>my stance on the tv (or videos, as we don't have cable) has certainly lightened up but i just hate that it's become such a crutch. and she throws fits for it, which is exactly what i wanted to avoid in the first place.</p>
 

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<p>We don't do any tv but these are what works for me when I need similar minutes. LO is 16m and DS is 3. We have a portable high chair that includes a table top. We don't usually do snack these but I will if she is clingy and I need her safe and contained. It will be a snack I dole out it in small bits. Or something like water play. Or play dough that I will allow her to play with if I can watch her.</p>
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<p>She also loves her ball track, wonderworld posting house shape sorter, box o' tampons (put in box, take out of box), big ball, anything with a lid and the container, disposable wipes, and lately, music CDs. These all work better for other people though because I work FT and when I am home she is on me like glue, especially when she is teething which is...always.</p>
 

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<p>My DD is 17 mo and this is what I have been doing when I need to work in the kitchen.  I lay down a towel, take out the little dish tub and fill it with water, and set it on the floor.  Then I take DD's clothes off and give her a few plastic toys.  She can easily spend HOURS playing in that tub, which is JUST big enough for her.  She asks me to refill it with water when it gets too cold.</p>
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<p>I also noticed she loves being eye level with me, whether that means standing on a chair next to me, or me sitting on the floor with her.  We can be doing different things, as long as she is on the same "level" as my attention.</p>
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<p>Likewise in the kitchen, I let her help me with lots of stuff.  She can also stand on a chair next to me while I do dishes/cook.  She is pretty good about not touching "HOT".</p>
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<p>If I am cleaning, she cleans with me.  She gets a rag and wipes the floor, or holds the  dustpan, or pushes her popper (she just started doing this on her own a week ago!) etc,</p>
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<p>Finally, I recently sorted all her toys into different clear boxes.  She gets one box out at a time.  This seems to have made the toys more interesting. </p>
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<p>Oh, and she has a little riding toy. </p>
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<p>I also let her play with tough veggies and fruits like lemons and carrots, and a plastic bowl.</p>
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<p>So getting housework done with her is 100000x easier than it was when she was a bit younger.  Worst case scenario, I pop her on my back and she falls asleep.  But most housework we get done by me explaining to her everything I am doing and her helping.  She even helps me scrub the tub.  I'm cleaner now that I have her as my little helper than I ever was as a single person!  She LOVES cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, mopping... we mop like every morning... etc. at least half because it is an activity she enjoys.  Believe me I probably would not clean nearly as much otherwise.... <span><img alt="Bolt.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/Bolt.gif"></span></p>
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<p>As for work on the computer... I got nothing.  I strap her in her high chair seat and that buys me 5 minutes tops before the screeching starts.  I work from home and have no childcare, and all computer work pretty much has to get done when my BF is home or she is sleeping.</p>
 
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