As I tried to fall asleep around midnight a few nights ago, Little Bird, my baby, woke up and decided she had something on her mind.
LB: Mom! Mom! You know how I’m the one who always gets to go grocery shopping with you?
Me: Uh-huh. Sleep.
LB: I love the grocery store. Everyone there talks to me!
Me: I’ve watched you. You scream at them if they don’t.
LB: Isn’t it great! I’ve noticed something. There’s all these magazines at the grocery store.
Me: This is true. Can we sleep now?
LB: Magazines! But they’re all for mommies. The Ballerina and the Engineer get a magazine too, from Great-Grandma. I want a magazine.
Me: There are no magazines for babies.
LB: None? Being a baby is really hard. There’s a lot to learn. Babies should be able to tell other babies how to do it. In the first day of a baby’s life they have to learn all sorts of stuff, like eating and pooping, and how to sleep outside of mommy. A magazine would really help.
Me: Ugn. Okay.
LB: So can I write a magazine to help babies out? Also, I need my diaper changed now.
We settled on blog space, since I have no contacts in the magazine world.
Baby to Baby: Articles for babies, by babies (with toddler guest posts)
How to Drive Mom Crazy
We know Mom likes to think she’s got it all together, or at least, likes to think that she might someday! As an experienced, professional baby, I know that keeping Mom on her toes is super-important! If she gets too complacent and comfortable with a routine, she might miss meeting your every need. If you notice your mom starting to lose focus–starting crafts, spending more than 5 minutes online at a time, being able to follow the plot line of an entire episode of Sherlock–then it’s time to remind her that the focus should be all on you. Here’s a few tried and true techniques to get you started:
1. Change your schedule. It can be tough, but put off your morning nap until you’re a screaming mess, sleep for twenty minutes, then take another long nap just before bed time. Be sure to wake up just as Mom is trying to shower
2. Playtime can be anytime. Make yourself super-engaging and cute the minute Mom starts to try doing anything. Mom wants to cook? Insist she play. Mom wants to sleep? Fuss until she holds you, then babble adorably and hold onto you toes. Don’t let her fall asleep until you’re exhausted.
3. Explore! Open drawers and climb in. Check out the bathroom, especially the toilet. Make sure to thoroughly check out the dog’s water bowl or the cat food dish (or the litter box–you’ll never have seen Mom move so fast).
4. Change your preference. Loved bananas last week? Spit them out this week. Clung to Mom yesterday? Today, ignore her for Dad. Be sure to switch back and forth frequently for maximum confusion.
5. Change your mind–constantly. Fuss to eat, but when bottle or breast appears, play with the nipple and gurgle. If Mom puts the food away, cry. Fuss to be picked up, then wiggle to be let down. Repeat.
6. Practice your Primal Scream in public. I once screamed at every person who walked past in the grocery store. Super effective. You can also try smiling at people, then bawling when they talk to you or move closer than ten feet.
7. Only play with non-toys. Really good items to play with are the ones Mom doesn’t let you have: her cell phone, the dirty diaper, Daddy’s mucky work boots, and Big Sister’s newest paper-and-popsicle-stick creation. Be sure to turn up your nose at any real toys offered, no matter how interesting.
8. Hide important things. The TV remote fits perfectly in a snowboot. Car keys disappear if shoved in couch cushions. Mom’s favorite dress shoes–the only pair she wears to church–go well under Big Brother’s bed or in the dog’s crate. (Bonus: you won’t get blamed!)
9. Pick an object of fascination. The bigger, clunkier, and weirder the better (My older brother chose a spatula–genius!). Take it everywhere. Sleep with it. Melt down if you lose track of it for an instant. After a few weeks, change your mind and decide on a different object–weirder and clunkier than before.
10. Gag yourself. Stick those fingers way back until you make the distinctive and heart-stopping noise guaranteed to make Mom (and older siblings) drop everything and run to you. Once someone picks you up, take the fingers out and giggle.
With these tips and tricks, you’ll have Mommy back at your beck and call within days, if not hours. Remember, this is for Mommy’s own good. She wouldn’t want to discover a new talent, start a new hobby, or see old friends at your expense. Remind her of her priorities before it’s too late!