This morning, after being awake half the night with Miss Annika, Jim and I decided that we needed to try to keep her awake in the evening so she would sleep at night. We were trying to think up ways we could do that, and decided that we needed to invent games to play with her. But newborns are not all that interactive. The games ended up being ways that we could keep ourselves entertained while in Annika's presence. I give you "Baby Games."
1) Diaper Race
Try to get the clean diaper completely on the baby before she soils it or the changing table or her clothes or you or all of the above. Half credit if you get the diaper on her with at least one side sealed and she soils it then.
(While writing this post, I lost the above game and am now washing the changing pad cover and Annika's onesie ... a word of advice for new parents-to-be: you need at least 3 changing pad covers; we bought our third yesterday. See Survivor, #6, below. I'm thinking we might need to buy more. Or maybe we'll get better at this eventually).
2) Who Does Baby Look Like?
In this game, you look closely at the baby and baby's actions and try to figure out where she inherits them from. For example, is that blond hair or brown hair coming in? Does she have ticklish feet? Where did she inherit that propensity for passing gas at inopportune moments? (See "Diaper Race," above).
3) Chase the Garbage Truck
The winner of this game is able to either remember to put out the trash the night before the garbage truck comes, or, after a sleepless night, is still able to successfully catch the garbage truck in time for it to take his/her trash. This is a particularly important game because soiled diapers do not get better with time.
4) Name that Baby Noise
Stay awake at night and try to figure out if the grunting that's coming from the cradle is a) a normal baby noise; b) a sign of hunger; c) a sign that Annika has been replaced with a baby seal; or d) Annika is actually in distress.
(So far, we've only had experiences with (a) and (b), thankfully).
5) Juggle the Accessory, or, Grow a second pair of hands
Babies may be little, but you have to carry around so many accessories for them. A normal outing includes a diaper bag, filled with all sorts of goodies, a car seat, many blankets, and ... oh yeah, the baby. I'm not sure we'll have enough room in our car for all the accessories involved in a weekend trip. So, the winner of this game is the one who is able to carry around the most accessories and still find room to carry the baby.
6) Survivor, the Baby Store edition
The winner of this game is able to spend the most time in Babies R Us or other baby "super"store without: a) running out of the store crying; b) getting lost and having to ask for directions to the exit; or c) yelling at a sales associate. Bonus points if you actually find and purchase the item that you came in the store to buy, and even more bonus points if you accomplish all of the above while carrying around your baby in the infant carrier.
(As a side note, our crib was delivered today. It was the only time in our lives that the deliveryman showed up earlier than the set time frame to make the delivery. It was also one of the few times in our lives when we would have preferred him to have been late, since we were trying to get caught up on our sleep).
7) Find that Spit-Up Cloth
It never fails. You are in the middle of feeding the baby and you realize that the spit-up cloth is in the other room. The winner of this game remembers to have a spit-up cloth in hand before feeding the baby.
8) This is Your Life, or, Most Extreme Makeover: Baby Edition
In this game, you recall your pre-baby life, which in our case was only a few weeks ago, and you marvel at how it seems like about 100 years ago. This is often triggered by a phone call from your job, a visit from friends, or other evidence of your prior life.
That's all for now, folks. But look for a second edition of this blog post in the near future.