24-7 Kids Kids Kids

I sometimes think that we are the only family that spends all of our time either

  • actively entertaining our kids
  • grunting and getting up unwillingly to help with something or get something while trying to do something that appeals to you (like, say, reading the newspaper)
  • trying to persuade your spouse to do all the entertaining so you can hear yourself think
  • taking kids somewhere kid-appropriate, or at least somewhere to kill time.
  • Sam and Lily are 4 1/2 and 20 months. They don’t really self-entertain. Sam can be drugged or bought off with television. Lily cannot. She’s more likely to play on her own but asks for your participation every 2 minutes, although she accepts no for an answer (for two minutes).
    Did we do something wrong? Is it a symptom of our time, that we haven’t left them alone long enough to learn to be alone? Should I feel guilty?
    Because I do. I feel like I’ve failed the, like they need to be amused at all times and will grow up attached to a game boy or intravenous television viewing device, all because I never shoved them into another room to play while I did whatever it is people do under those circumstances (I’d work on the computer, but neither child can resist its siren call, and it’s not worth the hassle.)
    So: I feel guilty because I didn’t neglect my kids enough. You?

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