Andrew’s dad and step-mom were visiting us this week. We took Arianna to the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY and she had a blast (so did we). She shopped her heart out in the grocery store, rode the Mr. Roger’s trolley, and took a stroll down Sesame Street. Her favorite spot to hang out (she went there twice) was 1 History Place.
1 History Place is a kitchen, dining room, and living room from the turn-of-the-century. The kitchen has an icebox and a hand pump for water, the dining room has a piano and a set of teacups, while a real mantel frames a blazing fire (made of construction paper) complete with the family entertainment of the day: a train set, a trunk full of dress-up clothes, a doll house, black and white family photos, wooden toys, a library of children’s books and a collection of old dolls.
I found it very interesting that we all felt most at home here — lingering for more than a half-hour. We adults all sat down in the wingback chairs, grabbed some picture books, and started reading while Arianna contentedly played with the dolls. It was very refreshing not to hear an electronic synthesizer or see flashing lights or be surrounded by constant motion. Everything inside 1 History Place was peaceful, yet everyone was engaged.
Andrew and I were laughing about our old-fashioned daughter, but I’d like to believe that she preferred 1 History Place over the other exhibits because it reflects our own lifestyle. We prefer non-electronic toys that stimulate creativity and try to engage Arianna in real-life experiences rather than watching TV.
This has seemed a natural outcome of our Attachment Parenting perspective. Wearing Arianna in a baby sling or carrier has helped us find ways to include her in our everyday life as opposed to seeking other methods of keeping her busy.
This is in vast contradiction to an article I just read, entitled Pampered Audience. I can’t find it on the Internet, so I’ll have to paraphrase it for you. . . tomorrow!
Oh, my blog now has a new home at: http://www.thrivingbabies.com/blog/