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Entertaining tots during winter days

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It’s become harder and harder to entertain Olivia as the weather gets colder and we’re limited to being indoors.

I have to admit, the past two winters have been relatively warm, at least by New York standards. I remember our first winter together; I took a walk outside with her every single day. We’d bundle up and I’d strap her in my Baby Bjorn. She’d be fast asleep by the time I got up the block, but it was our special time. I look back at that time fondly.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be taking too many walks this time around. Not only is it twice as cold as past winters, but I’m also finding it increasingly difficult to convince my toddler that it’s time to go inside. I didn’t have that challenge when she was just a baby. So, I have to be creative with how we spend our time.

I’ve been feeling a lot of mom guilt the past few weekends because I’m not doing activities with her, at least not outside of our home. During the week, she’s at day care with other toddlers and being stimulated constantly, so I feel like I come up short. There’s only so many shows (educational ones, of course) and reading we can do before I feel like a bad mommy.

Last weekend we did a lot of reading, coloring, cooking, and her new favorite game — hide-and-seek. She’s also taken an obsessive liking to playing dressing up. From wearing my heels and scarves to emptying out her closet and trying everything on.

I love that she’s such a girl and she acts this way all on her own. That’s the fun part of spending free time with her. I get to see her personality and the little person that she’s becoming. I’m usually so concerned with what we should do next — ballet or figure skating? A cooking class or music lessons? What’s the new “it” toy that she could learn from? And as great as all those things are, I’m realizing that sometimes it’s just when her and I are sitting on the couch talking where I get to see how she’s really growing. Everyday she surprises me with the things she says and the things she knows.

So, I may look at snow days a little differently now and stop beating myself up for having lazy, winter days, but I’m still looking forward, like the rest of New Yorkers, to some warmer weather.

Updated 4:38 pm, December 9, 2016
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