Since becoming a parent there are obviously new things that I’ve acquired for my daily routine such as getting up early for feedings, changing diapers, and a solid extra 20 minutes each evening picking up all the various toys and books I’ve set out for Cash to play with throughout the day. We all pretty much know when we get pregnant these are things we’re going to be doing everyday for the next 2-3 years and we don’t mind because ultimately it’s totally worth those tiny daily adjustments to have such extraordinary creatures in our presence and get to call them our own. I remember the first time Cash was actually smiling because he was happy not gassy, he was about 4 weeks old, and luckily I was able to capture the moment.
Since the day I saw this sweet smile I knew I would do anything and everything to keep it on his face. Here are some of the activities that have joined my daily routine all just to see this sweet angel’s eyes light up and hear his cooingly-cute laughter.
1. I sing everything
I mean everything. If Cash is getting fussy while I change his diaper, I’ll start singing in the most ridiculous opera voice about how clean and fresh I’m making his butt. If Cash is already smiling and happy and I want to hear him laugh, in a funny voice I’ll sing about how adorable and handsome and smart he is and how much I love him. I pretty much sing everything all the time now, they don’t tell you in What to Expect to expect your life to turn into an episode of Glee, but it basically does.
2. Playing with Toys
This is pretty much to be expected, but obviously I’ve started shaking rattles, using various stuffed animals as puppets, and finger painting. Along with this I pretty much can’t wait til he’s old enough to play with racecars and Legos, and we recently just started blowing bubbles all the time, which I’ve found to be oddly enough a great source of mommy-stress-relief as well as fun for baby. Nothing like seeing the world through the eyes of a child to make you feel like a kid again.
3. Have full on conversations when baby makes ANY noise
Now I’m at home all day, most days, with Cash and while I have things to keep me busy, like part-time recruitment work, the blog, 6 seasons of MadMen to watch, etc…there’s nothing I’d rather do MORE than hang out with my little bud while he’s awake. Cash is just about 5 months old now (I’m not one of those mom’s that keeps track of weeks), he started making a coo here-and-there when he was around 2.5 months and by 3 months was having full on coo-conversations. Naturally, it’s the cutest thing in the world to me, when he coos or screams with excitement or just babbles here and there, so I do what I can as long as I can to encourage him to keep making the noises, and yes this means having a full conversation with the noises. This is how it usually goes:
Cash: oooo yoyoyoga oo
Me: Oh yea? Tell me more, I’m intrigued.
Cash: nnnana ooo oh
Me: That’s really interesting, but I’m not sure I see your point good sir.
Cash: mmmsss (usually at this point he’s lost interest and starts looking at something or eating his hand)
Me: Are you ignoring me now? That’s just so rude I can not even believe you, I hope the finger tastes good. *fake cries*
Cash: (looks at me with confusion, as if his eyes are saying “What are you talking about crazy lady”)
Me: Do you think I’m being silly? Am I acting all crazy?!
Cash: (eyes light up, huge smile and a big laugh)
Me: satisfied at the laugh and trying for another one I repeat, “Am I acting crazy?!” until he’s over it.
4. Dancing feat. a ton of Jazz Hands
Cash thinks it’s hilarious when I dance around, usually there’s singing involved too, I told you life becomes crazily similar to an episode of Glee. I dance by myself while he watches or I’ll dance with him around the house, step-ball-changing and twirling and yes, even dipping him extremely carefully. Anyway, I’ve come up with some pretty awesome moves, but most of what he loves is when I dance with my hands. He’s so curious about them, occasionally he’ll even lift his hands up and study them with such intensity, almost as if he’s trying to figure out how to wiggle his fingers like mommy’s doing. It’s really fun to watch, and he giggles a lot when I dance, so I’ll funky chicken for him while he’s having tummy time. No problem.
5. Getting slobbered all over my face
Cash is at the age where if he can put his hand on something it goes in his mouth. The cuteness of this is actualized when you hold him facing you and he starts feeling it and then proceeds try and eat your nose. I start cracking up and because I’m laughing so hard, baby usually starts too. It’s so fun, besides happy baby drool is like such good medicine for the soul.
There’s plenty of other things I come up with to get Cash smiling, or at least attempt to show him something new, we’ve smelled the spice rack, I started using the weirdest accents to speak in, and I try to make games out of the most random activities (ex: let’s see if mommy can beat the clock and try to get Desitin and Baby Powder on your behind before baby pees in my face. On your mark, get set, GO! I win this one more than I loose thankfully). I know things are only going to get weirder, more creative, and more fun as he gets older, and this mama is happy to play along.
What are some fun things you do to engage and put a smile on your little ones’ face?
Little Einstein and Graco,