Thursday, January 15, 2009


Nothing much new. Still bummed that I was possibly hot and didn't know it. That's a lot of free stuff I missed out on.

Question. What comes first? The beauty or the mercenary need to swindle people out of things?

Anyway, I'm trying to cook while I type this. It will be a miracle if I don't burn anything.

The babeola is a billion different kinds of adorable. Since the New Year she's been bringing books to us and asking us to read. Although she's a fickle audience, if we bore her, she climbs off our laps and leaves. Which happens a lot so we must be really sucky readers.

Entertaining a one-year-old is hard work. It's a 'tween' stage, between baby and toddler. They can do so much, but know so little. The motor skills are only half developed so things that a eighteen-month-old can do are often beyond their reach. Worse, the baby toys are boring (or outgrown physically) and the toddler toys are too hard, and, at least in our case, are only good for starting tantrums born of frustration.

Oh, hey, look at that! I just bounced the laptop off the kitchen floor. And it still works! Yay! Probably should not try that again.

Anyway--yeah, I'm a little scattered today--it is not uncommon for message boards to feature calls for help when it comes to keeping 1yo babies busy. Even I have a hard time keeping us from climbing the walls with boredom, but here is what is working so far and what I plan to try.

1. Some kind of push toy. The babeola has a hard time finding the angle for pushing some of the toys, but, with momma's help, she loves to zoom across the carpet.

2.Beginner puzzles. The fine motor skills aren't there yet, but everyone has to start somewhere right? The babeola happily takes the puzzles apart and puts them together, a little less happily, with mommy's help.  A variation on this is hanging toys on the drawer pulls to the dresser in our living room--and she'll often do this one by herself.

3.Something to ride on. The babeola has no idea how to push herself on her riding toys, but she loves to climb off and on and try. Because she hasn't figured out how to propel herself along, this toy is only good for about 30 seconds of fun. Not enough to fill your day with. I currently have the neighbor girls trying to show her how to ride it in the hopes she'll imitate them.

4. Knocking down towers. Actually, I encourage her to build them, but she has zero interest in construction, she is all about destruction. We use the cardboard blocks that are big and chunky, yet also lightweight.

5.Playing ball. At this age, babies can begin to learn the concept of rolling or throwing a soft ball. Except, they can't catch so this activity really ends up being more 'mommy bounces balls off baby and then chases the balls around while baby looks at mommy like 'WTF did you just bounce off my head?' This activity only lasts as long as mommy is willing to chase the balls around, which, for me, is not more than a couple minutes. We only do this every few days because it seems kind of pointless and a little sadistic to hit my kid with balls.

6.Taking things out of bigger things. The babeola loves to find a bag and empty it, so I try to stash sturdy gift bags around the living room with random assortments of toys inside. Sometimes this keeps her busy for a half hour, depending on how much she likes the toys inside. Other times, she's underwhelmed. I have yet to figure out the key to toy selection for this activity.

7.Go to the mall. Since they aren't usually very fast at this age, take them to the mall and set 'em loose. The babeola loves to run free at the mall, which, in retrospect, I see how this could be a problem later on, but it's worth it. The most important thing is to go off-hours when the mall is not busy.

8.Ripping magazines and catalogs. The only downside, the babeola is a paper eater so I have to really watch her with this, but paper ripping will keep her occupied for a half hour on a good day.

9. Some kind of climbing toy and slide. This is on order and I hope the babeola will enjoy it. She needs a more challenging gross motor activity than just walking. Also, she wants to climb, but our furniture is too tall, the climbing toys at the mall are difficult for her as well, so she needs a climbing activity that she can do as a bridge to skills like getting up on the couch.

10. Rhymes and songs with accompanying motions. Sometimes I feel like motherhood is one long interperative dance set to nursery rhymes, but the fact is, babies love this shit. At a minimum, all good mommies must learn the following songs/rhymes and the movements that go with them;

--Eensy Weensy Spider
--If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands
--Three (or Five) Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
--Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
--This Little Piggy
--A horse rhyme that lets baby bounce on your knee (sorry, I don't know any titles)

Really good mommies don't mind singing and acting out these songs over and over again.

I am not a good mommie.

Anything I missed? I wouldn't mind expanding my repertoire!

Please, someone save me!


claudia said...

Geez! You are a better Mommy than I was. You are at least thinking about how to entertain/develop your baby!

P said...

The best way to entertain kids is to have more of them. Seriously, I don't remember what I did with kid #1, but now with kid #3 about 15 months, she just plays with kid 1 & 2. Makes my life easy.

That, and the tupperware cupboard. But then I have to clean it up.


Contest Chris said...

Watch those climbing toys. All three of my girls ended up hurt pretty bad from one of those.

Jen said...

this is a hard stage and I am right there with you. should we throw in the towel and just drink wine? ;)

Caitlin said...

The mall has saved our lives on MANY a rainy day. However it is murder on the ol' budget... :)