Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Out of the box baby games

The Pod is currently a disaster area. The Gymini is splayed in the middle of the room, assorted teethers and rattles dot my path. Lately, the toys that used to entertain the Babe are no longer interesting to him.

These days he is preoccupied with his fingers. He interlaces them only to unwind them again. He spends minutes staring in contemplation at his thumb before plunging it into his mouth to rub against his funny little gums. I figured I could put him down on his mat to conduct this investigative work, and I could free my arms for a blessed 15 minutes. This worked for a couple of days but when he grew wise to my plan he started to fuss. I thought maybe he just wanted to be upright so I sat him in his bouncer. This worked for just one day and he started to squirm and wriggle his way out of it. To save him from his contortionist ways, I unbuckled him and propped him up in the Boppy on my bed. he had full view of the goings on in the Pod, and he could even see out of our big window.

Still, he squirmed and fussed.

In part frustration, part exhaustion I collapsed onto the bed beside him, my face just a few inches from his. He began to babble melodiously. He rolled part way over to face me and grabbed my chin with one hand and graized my cheek with the other. I guess he just wanted my full attention, the type of interaction that doesn't come in a box. We laid there for about 20 minutes chit-chatting. Then I sat him upright against my knees and slid them up and down - he gave him a wide, toothless, drooly grin each time I raised him up. Such easy entertainment!

I've worked these little games into our routine, along with a few renditions of Itsy Bitsy Spider (full disclosure: I had to google the words and stumbled on this slide show on BabyCenter) and Wheels on the Bus. We even invented a game of stare down the closet doorknobs in which he stares at the shiny silver knobs for a few seconds and then lets out a screech. Priceless. Literally.

Mommyhood is an intensely humbling experience if you ask me. I thought by reading books and having stuff that I'd be able to take care of the Babe well. I didn't realize that I could give him more joy with so much less.

I've found a few helpful resources on the web that describe "games" to play with babies:

BabyCenter's weekly list of games
HUGGIES Happy Baby

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