Almost 4 years after buying this house, I finally decided to patch that hole behind the front door the movers made.
I love having a little helper around!
That doesn’t sound right, right? It’s obvious when you say it, but little kids have shorter attention spans (and shorter tempers), and if you don’t plan our outings things can go down really fast. When you plan an outing, have a plan. More than that, though, be ready with a spontaneous contingency plan when the plan doesn’t work out.
This is Part 2 of a 5-part series on fun things you can do to entertain your toddler. Click here for part 1 of the series, where I talk about having fun with your kid when you’re too tired to do anything special.
Let’s face it, you’ve got a ton of errands to run and there aren’t enough hours in the day on weekdays for you to do it. You’re completely out of soap, toothpaste, face wash and hair gel, and the dog raided the pantry on Wednesday so you’re also completely out of bread and salt. But this is the only time you have to spend with your kid and you can’t really watch him and do that, right? And you can’t take him with you because he gets bored and cranky. Yeah, that excuse worked when he was an infant but he’s a toddler now–take him with you and make it fun for him! Yeah, you’re not going to be able to stand in the condiments isle and ponder on the differences between ketchup and catsup for 15 minutes like you do when you go alone, but then if a frog could jump he wouldn’t bump his butt every time he walked. Put him in the shopping cart and run through the empty isles pretending you’re racing him (and he wins). Play peek-a-boo by crouching down in front of the card and popping out. While you’re at it, drift the cart around sharp corners while making car tire screeching noises. Put a bag of chips over your head and catch it when it falls down. Go nuts–trying to entertain a baby gives you the license to be as nutty as you want. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking forward to grocery shopping trips!
And it’s not just fun with shopping carts–you can give him things to do. Let him pick out cans of soup for you. Bring a snack trap full of cereal with you and let him snack as you go through the isles. I have found that the more fun he has, the more time I have to shop. Our weekend grocery shopping trips usually go over an hour now, and there’s 0-fussing. In fact, “Jack, do you want to go grocery shopping?” usually results on big smiles and an enthusiastic, “YAH!”
I started writing this post and after four days of working on it, realized it is too long to fit it all in one place. So I decided to split it into parts. Here is part 1 of, what I hope to be, a 5-part series.
If you’ve ever had a toddler, you’ve probably struggled with this question many times: it’s 4 hours before lunchtime/naptime/dinnertime/sleeptime–what can we do? I struggled with this for a long time before I realized some things–things that may help save you some time.
When you don’t get a lot of time with your child, you want to make the most of the time that you get with him, so there is so much pressure that you have to make this time count. I know I put a lot of pressure on myself for the first year of my son’s life to make all my time with him memorable, which is why this one came as a shock to me–you don’t have to be doing something special for it to be something special to your child. Some of the fondest memories of my time with my dad are surprisingly simple things–where he was paying attention to me. On days when you come home too tired to take him out to play in the park or for a long walk in the stroller, you could just hang out around the house with him–read him a book or just sit with him and watch him play. Just the fact that you’re there, paying attention to him, may matter much more to him than a hasty trip to the park when your mind is somewhere else.
So go get a towel and play peek-a-boo with your kid. He’ll have tons of fun and you’ll forget about the crap you were dealing with at work earlier.
When Jack was born, I used to work on a support team at BP. As part of my job, I carried an on-call pager (or as we liked to call it, the hot potato) one week a month. Most jobs I’ve had have had this requirement, but we had a 30-minute service agreement here, which meant that I had to answer all calls and emails within 30 minutes, or face dire consequences. As if that weren’t stressful enough, I’m a heavy sleeper, and I was so worried about sleeping through a support call that I forced myself to stay awake through most of the nights during that week. This would result in me falling asleep and not realizing I had fallen asleep.
I often think back to my BP days and miss them–but I really, really don’t miss that support blackberry!
When Jack was much younger, I used to hold him and walk around the house to the sound of a Andrea Bocelli or a Josh Groban CD playing in the background. These little “dances” used to help him fall asleep. I have long since abandoned this ritual with the excuse of, “well he just doesn’t like me for sleeping–Daddy’s for playing.” While my wonderful wife has let this total BS excuse fly for over a year, Jack recently decided that his sleep time routine needs to involve a lot more daddy time. For the past few nights, Jack hasn’t been going to sleep after our usual bed time routine, so I have taken up dancing with him again. We turn down the lights, I put on Time To Say Goodbye, and the baby’s head goes straight down on my shoulder. I usually have the song on repeat and by the time the it’s finished playing two times, he’s pretty much ready to be in bed.
Except this time. Instead of repeating the song, we moved on to the next song. He raised his head and pointed to the ground. I put him down and he started dancing to the song. It was a sleepy dance, where he basically just shifted his weight back and forth, but it was adorable. After the song was over, he asked me to pick him back up and we danced some more. And then as usual, mama put the baby down. Good times.
You are currently browsing the archives for the Bonding category.