Wednesday, 2 October 2013

8 household items that double as toys for babies

Why is it, when you have a house full of toys, your kid only wants to play with your toothbrush or the timer on the oven?  Here are 8 things I let my son play with that wont scar him for life (literally and figuratively) and give me a little piece of my sanity back:
  1. My glasses. Usually while I'm changing his nappy. It's easier to do it blind than have him squirm, roll over, kick, whinge, play with his poo etc etc. The bonus is I can now change a nappy in the dark.
  2. My toothbrush. He likes to clean the drain in the bathroom floor with it. I like a pee in peace and not have to stop him from eating toilet paper, or pulling the whole roll on the floor, or trying to climb into the bath. It's a reasonable trade off.
  3. The Tupperware drawer. He pulls pieces out, one by one, and tosses them over his shoulder. We just give things a little wipe before we use them; it's more efficient than washing everything that comes flying out of there every day.
  4. The baby gates: Mostly he just rattles them and licks the bars. I hope that's as close to prison as he ever gets.
  5. My phone. Yeah, yeah, the screen is bad for his eyes. His generation is all about the screens, anyway. I'll make sure he grows up to work in eye-ball medicine and pioneer a way to counteract the damage done by using high res tech from a young age. The real pain is working out what the hell he has done once I get the phone back. Also, the screen is always grotty. Ew.
  6. My feet. They're less of a cootie-fest than my shoes (see below). Apparently they taste quite nice, and are hilarious when the toes wiggle.
  7. My shoes. He can play for hours (okay. Minutes. 10 at best) with my shoes, tasting the soles, tasting the laces, putting his fingers in the tread then tasting his fingers... It's a delicious wonderland of cooties.
  8. The TV remote. We used to let him play with the PS and sound system remotes until he worked out how to take the batteries out. We can barely manage the TV remote, so it was deemed safe. Nath wants to stop him playing with the PS console, but I find popping him in front it buys me at least 5 minutes to make a phone call or a cuppa. Plus, O updated the firmware for us. Handy.
I do draw the line at some things. I've busted him trying to jimmy the oven open. I've dived over and snatched the laptop cord away just as his mouth was starting to close around it. Eating the cold chicken nugget on the floor in Ikea was a "Nooooo!" situation (and no, no-one on our table had chicken nuggets for lunch). The other day I heard "rustle, rustle, rustle" and thought, "hey that sounds like a plastic baaaaargh!". Seriously, the damn thing was only on the table for a minute before I was planning to put it away (yes mum, in the laundry, and with a knot in it).

I tell you what, though. In all my time as a mum, I have stayed awake while my little fella played. It's been tempting on more than one occasion, particularly during his 3am parties, to curl up on the couch and doze off. But I never have. Mamma Instinct wont let me.

Daddy Instinct, however, didn't get that memo... I came out after a lovely sleep in facilitated by my husband taking our jumping bean into the lounge at 6am, only to find a torn up novel, the head phones on the floor and washing strewn around. By this stage, Nath was in the kitchen making coffee.

Me: "Um, honey, have you seen this?"
Nath: "Seen what? Oh. Shit."
Me: "Yeeeeaaah, any chance you fell asleep?"
Nath: "Huh. I guess I must have"
Me: "The first rule of Parent Club is: You don't ever fall asleep when they're awake, honey" 
(Brad Pitt says it better. However, unlike Fight Club, there are heaps of rules in Parent Club. There's definitely one in there about not letting babies play with plastic bags).