A Family of Clappers

Once upon a time I shared with you mommy’s attempt at teaching me how to clap my hands. The outcome was not quite what mommy had expected. Instead of clapping my hands, I grabbed onto mommy’s hands and clapped those instead. I have been clapping other people’s hands ever since.

Now that I’m such a big girl, I know how to clap my own hands. I love clapping my hands! That doesn’t mean that I have abandoned the notion of clapping other people’s hands. I still love doing that. The ability to clap my own hands has simply given me more clapping options.

Clapping is a lot of fun. It feels funny, it makes a sound, and people pay attention to me when I do it. The only thing better than clapping my hands, or the hands of other people, is when we all clap together at the same time. That’s the best!

Most evenings after we clean up the mess we made at dinner mommy, daddy, and I spend some relaxing time together in the living room. Sometimes we watch TV, other times we play a game together with or without my toys, we might just sit around and talk, or we could do any combination of those things. I think I like the games best of all.

Lately one of my favourite games to play is the clapping game. I walk over to mommy, pick up her hands, and start clapping them. Eventually mommy catches on and continues the clapping on her own. I then go over to daddy, find his hands, and get them clapping until daddy takes over on his own. Then I stand in the middle and clap my hands too.

Baby girl looking to play with mommy

Where are your hands?

I love it when the three of us are clapping at the same time. I get all excited about it. It makes me so giggly! It’s such a great family activity and I do love family time.

Mommy and daddy have short attention spans and they often need a little reminder. When one of them stops clapping I come over and get their hands going again. Sometimes it’s difficult as there are two of them and only one of me. I can’t be everywhere at once!

There are times when I find myself running from one to the other and then back again trying to get both mommy and daddy clapping at the same time. It can take a little while and it can be an exhausting process. If mommy and daddy are unusually uncooperative I sometimes get frustrated about it. I yell and that often gets mommy and daddy to smarten up and pay attention.

After a particularly difficult time of getting mommy and daddy on the same page, once I do succeed the rewards are even sweeter. I run back to the middle and start clapping with a grin. Then I giggle and stomp my feet in excitement. I just love the sound of six hands clapping!

Sometimes my feet get so excited that I have to do a lap or two around the baby zone just to get some of that exhilaration out. I race around clapping and laughing as I go. Sometimes I get so carried away that I go plunkers but I just pick myself back up and run around some more.

The problem with mommies and daddies is that they get tired pretty easily. They don’t have boundless energy like I do. After a while their clapping begins to get sluggish and half-hearted. I always try to get them motivated again and sometimes I succeed for a while, but there is a point when I know I’m pushing them too far.

It’s always a bit sad when the game comes to an end. Sometimes it makes me a little upset but a cuddle, a toy, and the promise of playing the game again real soon help me get over it. I wish we could just clap our hands forever but I know that I have to be realistic. There is more to life than clapping.

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The Pitter-Patter of Peachy Feet

Yesterday I had an extraordinary adventure. Not only was I permitted outside of the confines of my baby zone, I was actually allowed to roam around with only limited supervision. Usually when I’m roaming free, mommy or daddy follow me around closely. Yesterday both mommy and daddy were busy and could only keep an eye on me as I walked around among them.

The downstairs floor of our home consists of a living room which has been transformed into the baby zone, a small dining area behind the couch, and a large eat in kitchen. Mommy was in the kitchen putting dishes into the dishwasher, while daddy was sitting on the stairs and talking on the phone. I’m not allowed to go on the stairs and I suspect daddy was sitting there to make sure I didn’t get any idea.

Between mommy and daddy they were able to see the entire downstairs of our house and I knew they could see me wherever I went. It was still good to have a bit of freedom and I made the most of it. I ran around the kitchen island for a while and then pushed my high chair around. Then I headed into the other room and explored there for a bit.

By the time I got back into the kitchen mommy had the dishwasher open and I was eager to get involved. First I helped mommy take everything out of the dishwasher. Mommy seemed a bit concerned when I started reaching for the glasses but I didn’t drop a single one even though mommy was snatching them out of my hands. Mommy worries too much.

Once we were done and the dishwasher was nice and empty, mommy started putting things back in there! I proceeded to empty the dishwasher again. Mommy told me not to do that and she rolled the bottom rack into the dishwasher and out of my reach. I tried to climb in there after it but mommy stopped me.

I gave up on the dishwasher. Clearly mommy didn’t know if she wanted dishes in there or not. I left mommy alone to sort out her thoughts on the matter. There was still plenty more to explore and a lot of things that I wanted to get my hands on.

toddler with questioning expresision

Do you need help with the dishes today?

While I was exploring our kitchen table, something caught my eye. Sitting there by the patio door was some sort of bowl-shaped object. I walked over to it and got down on all fours to take a look. There was something in there and I suspected that I knew what it was.

I reached my hand into the bowl and splashed it around real good. It turned out to be water just as I suspected. Then I noticed an identical bowl sitting next to it so I put my other hand in there and gave it an equally good splash. Right around the time that I noticed the second bowl mommy started getting excited about something and tried to get daddy’s attention.

Daddy jumped up and ran for the paper towels while mommy attempted to find a safe place for a stack of dishes she was holding. I don’t know what mommy and daddy were up to. I was way too busy discovering and experimenting.

While mommy and daddy were causing their own commotion a thought occurred to me. There were two bowls and I have two hands. Of course! They must be hand bowls! I plunged a hand into each bowl and splashed with as much vigour as I could muster.

Suddenly daddy’s hands were under my arms and I was being hoisted up into the air. I got handed to mommy and carried off to the washroom where my hands were thoroughly washed. By the time we got back to the kitchen daddy had most of the water mopped up and the hand bowls were on the counter and out of my reach.

This morning at breakfast I noticed that the hand bowls were back on the floor again and there were two other bowl as well. Imagine my surprise when Daisy came over and drank from one of the hand bowls. Silly Daisy doesn’t know a hand bowl from a sippy cup. Next time I’m let loose in the kitchen I’ll have to show Daisy how to use a hand bowl correctly.

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Young and Modern

Wooden blocks and pull along toys are fine, but I’m a baby of the 21st century. I have to stay on top of advancements in technology to remain competitive and relevant in this world. A modern baby simply can’t afford to fall behind. These are not simple times.

When mommy needs to take care of mommy related activities, she brings me my tablet. As soon as I see it coming, I get impatient to get to work. I run over and yell while mommy pokes at the device. After what seems like an eternity I get my hands on the tablet and I get to work.

Mommy goes about her business leaving me to concentrate. This is a sophisticated piece of technology and it requires my full attention. I hold it carefully in both hands as I place it flat on the ground before me. I get comfortable next to my tablet and I give it an intense look.

I see nothing but a matte grey surface. I immediately realize that something isn’t right. I flip the tablet over and with a thump the screen is revealed. That’s much better. Now I can get down to business.

The screen is covered in colourful shapes with silly faces. I touch one and it dances about while a cheerful tune plays. I smile and clap my hands. I do like music. I listen and watch the shapes jump around on the screen.

As the melody fades I tap another shape and a new song begins. This is followed by more clapping. I repeat this process several times to test for consistency. Every time I touch a shape, a brand new tune begins just as I expected. So far, so good.

Next I deploy my pincer at one of the shapes and I try to pick it up. The shape jumps out of the way and dances around. I follow after it and try to pincer it again but it darts away for a second time. I abandon the pincer and go for a full on grab.

Baby playing a game on a Samsung tablet

I’ve got you!

I look at my now closed fist with high hopes. I turn my hand over and slowly open my fist, but it turns out to be empty. Even though I’ve had the same result every time, I still feel a pang of disappointment. I keep hoping for the day when I find a smiling shape sitting in the palm of my hand.

I look at the happy shapes dancing on the screen, and I pounce on them with both hands. Nothing. I pounce again! Still nothing. I smack the screen repeatedly with both hands and it explodes with lights, sounds, and dancing shapes. I watch all the animated activity with satisfaction.

As the music stops and the shapes go back to their more relaxed state, I repeat the two-handed smacking procedure. The results are the same and the shapes dance around in the midst of lights and sounds. I wait for the show to end and I try it again, but this time I get one foot in there with a few kicks.

All the sounds stop and the screen goes dark. I give the tablet a tap with my hand. No effect. I try a little nudge with my foot. Nothing changes and the screen remains dark. I do a double slap and kick combo. No change.

I shriek at it a little but still there is no reaction from the tablet. Then I shriek at it a lot but that has no effect either. Getting upset now, I howl in mommy’s general direction. Mommy is significantly more responsive and arrives promptly to assist.

Mommy picks up the tablet while I look on with concern. She works her magic and within seconds I see the illuminating glow reflect off mommy’s face. I immediately get impatient that I don’t have the tablet in my hands yet. Mommy ignores my grumbles and fidgets with the tablet while I grumble louder.

Then I hear the music of the dancing shapes come on again as mommy hands the tablet back to me. There they are on the screen just as colourful as I remember and they’re all smiling at me. I put the tablet back on the ground and prepare my pincer for deployment. I think I’ll catch one of these shapes this time. I have a really good feeling about this.

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Babies Have Feelings Too

I don’t have many friends. I’m good friends with mommy and daddy. I have a relationship of sorts with our two cats. I like to think that you, my readers, are my friends. I have a long list of acquaintances that come to visit me from time to time. That’s pretty much everyone I know.

None of my friends and acquaintances are playmates of my own age. I want to have friends to play with and I am very friendly. I generally like to meet new people and I enjoy socializing. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by large, boisterous groups, but once I overcome my initial fears I’m a very social.

Mommy knows that I’m a social baby and that I often seek out the company of other babies. This is one of the reasons why we have been going to the part almost every day since the weather has improved. It’s a very busy place with a lot of activity and it is exactly the kind of thing that I find a bit intimidating. I enjoy going to the park and exploring, but I have been too shy to do much socializing.

The park is full of kids of various ages, although most are older than I am. They are fast and move around a lot which makes it impossible for me to get anyone’s attention. Occasionally I spot another baby but they seem just as bewildered and overwhelmed as I felt the first time I found myself in the midst of all that action. There hasn’t been any opportunity for me to introduce myself to any of the other babies.

Yesterday I was walking around the park looking for treasure as I often do, when I found myself next to a little girl who happened to be standing calmly next to her daddy. She was a bit older than me but she wasn’t running around with the other kids and she noticed that I was there. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and see if she would be my friend.

As she was already observing me, it wasn’t difficult to take the first step and make eye contact. Next I introduced myself and attempted to initiate a conversation. She didn’t seem to understand me but she did smile and speak to me with the kind of words that mommy and daddy use. I felt like it was going well and I was encouraged to continue.

Crawling baby girl

Will you be my friend?

I reached out my hand to the little girl and offered her the rock that I was holding. She did not react and I figured she didn’t see my gesture of friendship. I took a step towards her and held out my hand where it was clearly visible. She took a step back which I assumed meant that she didn’t understand. I would have to be more direct.

I took another step towards her and nudged her hand with the rock, indicating that she should take it. She let me deposit the rock into her palm and I beamed with pride. That’s when her daddy said something in a low tone. The little girl opened her hand, allowing my rock to fall discarded, landing on the ground with a small thud.

I was confused and dismayed. I looked at the rock laying on the ground and I wondered where I went wrong. I thought our interaction was going well. I had never been rejected this way before. I didn’t know what to do so I stood there staring at the rock that had been so carelessly thrown away.

Within moments mommy was leading me away from the little girl and her daddy. Mommy said that I was a very sweet peach and that I did nothing wrong. She told me that it wasn’t my fault and not to feel bad. Mommy claims that some people don’t appreciate rocks like we do and that some little girls are not allowed to touch them.

I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t like a rock, but even if that’s the case surely there are more tactful ways to refuse a gift. I’m just learning how to make friends and trying to find my place in the playground. I fail to see why any daddy would encourage their daughter to hurt a younger girl’s feelings and shatter her confidence. It seems unnecessarily cruel.

I’m trying to not let the experience get me down but I would be lying if I said that I’ve managed to shake it off. Today at the park I didn’t have the confidence to approach anyone even though we spent more time there than ever before. I found a lot of treasure and I had a good time but I felt more comfortable avoiding the other kids.

Maybe I’ll feel better about it at the park tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll regain my self-esteem and make a friend. Or maybe I’m too little and just not ready for friends at the playground yet. I’m going to have to be patient and take this one day at a time.

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Sticks and Stones

I am a treasure hunter and I’m really good at it too. All I need is the freedom to explore my surroundings and I’m sure to find something amazing. My collection of treasures has been growing steadily and I plan on continuing to build my stash.

My new-found hobby began with the arrival of the warmer weather. Now that it’s not as cold, mommy and I get out of the house almost every day. Since I’m a big girl now, I get released from the confines of my stroller whenever we arrive at a destination that mommy considers baby friendly. As soon as my feet touch the ground, I set off in search of treasure.

I didn’t always have this freedom. It all began at the park only a short while ago. While taking my first steps outside, I discovered that the ground is littered with all sorts of fascinating things. On my first outing, I was surprised to find some pretty rocks right at my feet. Sadly I was an inexperienced treasure hunter then. I didn’t take the time to secure my find and so I lost my beautiful rocks before I could get them home safely.

Baby bundled up and ready to to outside

I’m ready to hunt treasure

The second time around I was better prepared. That’s the day that I discovered the beauty of sticks. It didn’t take long before I had both hands full of treasure and there was plenty more just lying around. I knew I needed to free up some space in my hands and I began searching for a solution. The answer wasn’t far away.

Every time I get to explore the outdoors, mommy follows me like a shadow. Sometimes mommy insists that I hold her hand and I’m alright with that as long as I have a hand available. I figured that if mommy was going to insist on sticking to me like glue, she might as well make herself useful. I reached up my overstuffed fists towards her and deposited my treasure into her outstretched hands.

Now we have a system. I search for treasure, pick it up, and give it a look. Then I turn to mommy and pass her my finds. Mommy then proceeds to put the treasure safely into her coat pockets while I resume my search. When daddy comes home I get mommy to show him all of the neat stuff I found.

My pile of treasures has been accumulating on the table behind the couch. It’s beginning to look like an impressive collection. There are rocks of various shapes, sizes, and colours. Some are sparkly, others are smooth, and a few are rather plain. There are sticks of varied lengths and dimensions. Some are straight, others are oddly shaped, and some may not be sticks at all.

For now my treasure trove is limited to sticks and stones but I’m hoping to build on this. I know there are other forms of treasure to find. I have noticed some other interesting objects scattered around the park. They may not be as common as sticks and stones, but they are still rather plentiful. I just need to expand my search beyond my immediate surroundings.

The other day, I spotted an unusual object on the ground before me and began to stoop in its direction with my pincer aimed towards it. Mommy sprang into action with an unusual sense of urgency and snatched it up before me. She tossed it beyond the playground area where I am not allowed to go. Mommy called it a cigarette butt and said it wasn’t for babies. I haven’t been able to find another one like it yet.

The life of a treasure hunter is an exciting one. The world is covered in riches just waiting to be discovered. I’m going to rescue every bit of treasure out there and give it a home. I think we’re going to need a much bigger table to house my collection.

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Becoming One of Them

Last summer I told you about my outings with mommy to the park down the street. That’s where the big kids play and I’ve always enjoyed watching them run around. I was always too little to join in. I was always in the stroller or on mommy’s lap, quietly observing and waiting to grow.

In the fall mommy said that I would be big enough this summer. We’ve had a bit of a cool spring but we have ventured to the park a few of times already. It’s still quite cool and as a result, the park hasn’t been as busy as it is during the summer months. It gets a lot more visitors once the water park is open.

Each time we’ve gone there have been only a couple of families sitting on a few benches. I don’t mind that it’s quiet. It makes it easier for me to keep track of things and we get a great bench every time. I have also noticed that when it’s not so busy is when the smaller kids tend to be there.

I can’t help but notice that even the smallest kids are still a bit bigger than me. They are not that much taller but they are stronger and much more stable on their feet. I can walk on my own now but I still go plunkers sometimes. These kids rarely fall down at all.

Most of them seem to be further along with their words too. I only know how to say a couple of words but these kids know how to make their needs and feelings known with words alone. I like watching them play but I have been hesitant to join in. It’s a bit intimidating.

Baby in a stroller enjoying the outdoors

Me at the park last summer

This week has been a particularly good week and we went out every day except for yesterday because it rained. I was disappointed by the rain because the day before was an extra good day at the park. Mommy took me out of the stroller and carried me around! I actually got to explore the play sets, swings, and slides!

Mommy let me touch stuff and look into things. I really enjoyed myself. At one point mommy set me down on the ground, but I got nervous and I quickly sat down. Mommy let me sit in one of the play sets and together we discovered the activities on the walls. There were letters, numbers, and shapes etched on one panel and a maze game on the other. They were fun to explore.

The last part was the best. Mommy brought me over to the slides and after letting me have a good look, mommy sat me down on it and I slid down. I would have been scared but mommy held me the entire time and I realized it was really fun. It made me giggle.

After a couple more trips down the slide, mommy said it was time to go. I wasn’t ready to leave. I wanted to do the slide some more. I cried when mommy stuffed me back into the stroller. A handful of Cheerios helped me calm down and we went home.

That’s why the rain yesterday was a big disappointment. I wanted to explore the park some more. Today I got my chance. After watching from the stroller for a while mommy let me sit on her lap. This was nice for a bit but I soon began to feel restless.

Mommy set me down on the ground and I stood there a while holding mommy’s hand. I took a cautious step but I didn’t want to go alone. Mommy came with me and she let me hold her hand while I walked around the play sets. There were some bigger kids playing there and I didn’t want to intrude so I stayed on the outside and watched.

Adorable baby girl

I felt a little shy.

Mommy stayed with me as I walked around exploring at my own pace. Then something caught my eye as it moved past me. I let go of mommy’s hand to chase it and I managed to successfully catch it. I suddenly realized I wasn’t holding mommy’s had anymore so I sat down in a hurry.

The object I captured was secure in my hand. I took a good look at it and after a thorough investigation I discovered that it was a dry leaf. I let the wind snatch it out of my hand and carry it away. Mommy gave me her hand again and I stood up for more exploring.

Mommy walked me over to the smaller play set where there were fewer people. I was just about to head for the slide when I spotted something sitting on the ground. I walked over to it and picked it up for further analysis. It turned out to be a rock.

I walked over to where the benches are and I sat down on the ground with my treasure. It was an extraordinary rock and I was fascinated by it. After a while mommy tried to put me back on my feet again but I was perfectly content sitting on the ground with my rock.

Shortly afterwards mommy picked me up and put me back in my stroller. I was very unhappy about that and I cried loudly. Mommy said it was time to go home and have a nap, but I wasn’t done having fun yet. Mommy told me we would come back another day and she offered me some Cheerios. That helped as I had worked up quite an appetite.

On the way home I realized that I had lost my rock somewhere. I think that in the thick of crying, I had forgotten it at the park. I hope we go back tomorrow so that I can go get my rock. Maybe I’ll even work up the courage to interact with one of the other kids. Perhaps they would like to see my rock.

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Better Than Chocolate

Did you know that inside of every box of chocolate there is a toy? I wouldn’t joke about something as serious as playtime. There really is a toy inside every box! I discovered this only recently when we finished off one of our many boxes of chocolate left over from Christmas.

For the last three months I have watched countless boxes of chocolate be opened, consumed, and then thrown away. So many lost opportunities to play. Luckily there is still a small stack of Christmas chocolate left and I have high hopes for those boxes. No box of chocolate will be tossed on my watch.

The toy inside each box is a game. Before you can play with the toy, someone needs to get rid of the chocolate. Most of this task goes to mommy and daddy but I have been known to help on occasion. I think it would be faster if we just dumped the chocolate out on the floor but mommy and daddy disagree. They never want to try things my way.

Once the chocolate gets removed, the playing surface is revealed. What you are looking at is actually the underside of the game board. The next step is to pop the toy out of the box and shake out all the chocolate crumbs. When you accomplish this, your game is ready to play.

Next you will need a flat surface to place the game board upon. I like to use the tray of my high chair. It’s big enough and I can sit comfortably while I play. I’m sure you could use a table or even the floor if you prefer. Any surface that is firm, flat, and big enough for your entire game board will work.

Place your toy on the flat surface with the bubbles pointing upwards. Now you’re all set to have some fun. Ready to play? The object of the game is to press down all the bubbles. Try to make the game board as flat as possible. Don’t worry. It’s not as hard as it sounds.

Baby playing with packaging from a box of chocolates

It takes a bit of concentration

You can take your time and press each bubble carefully with your preferred pressing finger. Or you can speed things along by mashing the bubbles down with the palm of your hand. You could use both hands if you’re feeling adventurous. Or you could even use another object by holding it tightly and smashing it down on those bubbles. A wooden block works great for this.

Whatever method you decide on, each attempt to flatten the bubbles will be rewarded with a delightful crinkling sound. That’s how you know you’re playing the game correctly. If it crinkles you’re on the right track and you should keep up the excellent job. If it doesn’t crinkle you might need to reevaluate your strategy and try a different approach. Don’t give up.

Once your game board is thoroughly flattened, you might think that the game is over and playtime is finished. No need to worry. Simply ask either your mommy or your daddy to pop the bubbles out for you and the game is reset back to the beginning. You can play forever! Or until you get bored. Whatever comes first.

Every box has a different game board inside. Collect them all or swap with friends. With a stack of boxes you could get the whole family involved. Smash your bubbles and then trade game boards and smash bubbles some more. It would make a great family night.

The next time you have a box of chocolate lying around, hurry up and get rid of that chocolate. Before long you will be able to give this fantastic game a try. You won’t be disappointed. It’s a great game and is sure to provide hours of fun. You’ll like it even more than the chocolate.

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