Check out this essay by Tom Hodgkinson in the UK Telegraph.
Great piece on letting kids be kids and giving parents back their time. okay, I'm not going to jump into this right away; after all, my tot is only 15 months old and still lacks the common sense of a goose. He sits in puddles and will happily put mud in his mouth if I let him.
But last night, I let him wander around the house unsupervised while I read a book. I kept an ear out for him, and every 10-15 minutes, I'd go peek in on him. He found a toy box in his playroom with a shape puzzle that I'd thought was too hard for him. I'd shown him how it works numerous times, but he never got it. Maybe I was just too impatient with him and never let him really play with it. He sat and played with that shape puzzle for 20 minutes or more. I never let him see me, never made a sound to let him know I was watching. When he was done, he came and toddled back to the couch and made clear he wanted some attention. And I was happy to give it to him.