Cooking with Mommy

Most days daddy spends the day at some place he calls work, while mommy and I stay home or go out for adventures. On the days that daddy works, mommy and I usually get dinner started before daddy comes home. Making dinner is hard work. That’s why I always help.

We begin the process by opening the refrigerator and looking for the food we’re going to make. I can’t get the refrigerator open by myself, but as soon as I see mommy open it I get right in there to help make the important decisions. I grab the yogurt and salad dressing while mommy picks her own items. Then mommy takes my things from me while I close the refrigerator door.

Next mommy brings our things over to the sink to get them ready for cooking. Mommy gives me an onion to examine while she cuts the fat off the chicken. I get a bit bored and I go into the living room. Once I’m there I realize I’m still holding the onion so I put it down underneath the coffee table.

I hear the water running so I rush back into the kitchen to see what mommy is up to. It looks like mommy is washing the vegetables and I want to help. I squeeze in between mommy and the sink and I get up on my tippy toes but I’m still too short to reach. Mommy gives me a green bean to hold.

I decide to take my green bean for a little run. I do three laps around the kitchen island at a fast jog. Of course a run isn’t really a run unless you’ve got your siren on so I make sure to yell the entire time. Then I get a little tired and I sit down on the floor. This gives me a good opportunity to take a closer look at my green bean.

Half a minute later I’m back on my feet looking for some way to make myself useful. I watch mommy for a moment. She puts the chicken in the oven and heads to the pantry cupboard where she takes something out and closes the door. I decide to get involved. First I look in on the chicken for a moment and then I head over to the pantry. I fling the door open and consider my next step carefully.

Peachy checking on the chicken

Is it ready?

I pull out the bags of pasta and look at them with satisfaction. Next I see a box full of pouches that I recognize. It’s the fruit baby food that gets added to my oatmeal. I take them out of the box and scatter them among the bags of pasta. Finally I go for the jug of vegetable oil. It’s a bit heavy and I struggle with it a little but I manage to work it loose, get it out of the cupboard, and put it with the noodles and baby food.

Time for a little break. I head to the living room and over to the bookshelf. I sit on the floor and pull out some books. I like to turn the pages and that keeps me occupied for a few minutes. It’s nice to have a break after spending all that time helping with dinner. I decide that mommy could use a break too. I grab a book and go to look for her.

I find mommy at the stove putting vegetables in a pot of water. I walk over with my book and hold it up for mommy. She doesn’t notice so I nudge her with it a little. Mommy thanks me for the book as she takes it and puts it up on the counter. That was quick. I decide that mommy needs another book so I head back into the living room and repeat the process.

A dozen books later I figure mommy has had enough reading for the time being. Mommy tells me I’m being very helpful and that I’m a good girl. She says we both earned a break and that we can go in the living room for a bit while the chicken and vegetables cook. We play with my toys for a while.

After a little while the phone rings and mommy answers it. Mommy talks on the phone for a minute or two while I climb all over her and try to press the shiny buttons on the phone. Mommy gets of the phone, gives me a kiss, and heads back in the kitchen. I follow closely.

Mommy unlocks the cupboard with the pots and pans. While mommy searches for the small gravy pot I try to get in the cupboard. It’s not easy to get around the big soup pot. I almost manage to push past when mommy finds what she’s looking for, lifts me out of the cupboard, and shuts the door.

Mommy reaches into one of the drawers and pulls out a whisk. I like the whisk and I reach for it. Mommy gives me a slightly bigger whisk to play with and I’m satisfied with that arrangement. I sit on the floor behind mommy and we both whisk for a bit. I’m done whisking before mommy and I start looking for something to do.

I decide to try the pot and pan cupboard again. I walk over and try to get the doors open but they won’t budge. They’re stuck! I start to get frustrated a little when mommy hands be a cooked green bean and tells me to taste it. I put one end of the bean in my mouth and give it a nibble. It’s pretty good. I like beans.

I’m about halfway through my bean when I hear a noise in the living room. I peek around the corner and I see some commotion at the front door. I get a little closer and I see that daddy is home! I run over to say hello. Daddy scoops me up and snuggles me for a bit. I tell daddy about my day and show him what’s left of my bean. Daddy seems fascinated by what I have to say.

By the time we get back into the kitchen mommy has dinner ready on the table. It smells yummy! I’m suddenly very hungry. I don’t protest while I’m strapped into my high chair. I look at all the delicious food and I’m amazed by what mommy and I can do with just a few basic ingredients. Such a perfect feast and it all started with yogurt and salad dressing.

Toddler Humour

I have a great sense of humour. Laughter is an amazing stress reliever and everyone should strive for as many good laughs as possible. I make sure that I get my dose of the funny stuff every day. Very few things make me feel as good as a thorough giggle.

As I grow, I find that my taste in humour matures. When I was tiny I found it hilarious when mommy would stick out her tongue. As I got slightly bigger seeing daddy dance for me was the funniest thing. Then blowing raspberries was the big hit. These days my sense of humour is much more refined.

It may not be as easy to get me laughing these days, but there are several things that are sure to put a smile on my face. Here are ten of my current favourite activities for a good laugh. Favourites may change without notice.

Happy Peachy

Here come the giggles!

1. Tickles

I am putting tickles at the top of the list because this is a timeless classic. Nobody can resist a good tickle. My favourite tickles are those delivered by the tickle monster. My tastes may be maturing but I know a good thing when I see it and tickles never go out of style.

2. Being Naughty

Sometimes being just a little bit naughty can be really funny. The secret is to make sure that you don’t cross the line and get into actual trouble. You want to be just a little bit naughty, not a bad baby. It’s great fun when you get into something you shouldn’t, forcing mommy or daddy to get up and stop you. Then you run away only to return to the forbidden activity as soon as mommy or daddy sit back down again. If you haven’t tried this game already, you should give it a shot the moment you have the opportunity. It is a real riot and you’ll be giggling in no time.

3. The Pink Elephant Dance

I can’t help but giggle when mommy makes Pink Elephant dance. He hops from one foot to the other as his ears flop around and the rattle inside his head makes so much noise. The dance is great but when really pushes it over the edge is the song that accompanies it. It’s my favourite and it always makes me laugh.

4. The Airplane Game

This is another timeless classic which I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember. The airplane game only gets better with time. The bigger I get, the more flying around I can handle. I’m practically unstoppable now!

5. Chin Kisses

I can’t help but giggle when I get kisses under my chin. It feels so weird and giggly. Chin kisses come out of nowhere when I least expect them. One moment I’m on my back trying to see the tv behind me, and the next moment I’m rolling around in hysterical laughter.

6. Pillow Bonk

This is a new one that I have discovered only recently. It all started when I brought mommy one of the chair cushions from the kitchen. Mommy took it and said thank you as usual. Then she brought it up over her head and said “bonk” as she bumped her head with the cushion. It was funny, so I giggled. Then mommy did the same thing but with my head and it was even more funny! Now I bring mommy the cushion every time I want to play the bonk game.

7. Being Corn

This game is best when played with daddy. He picks me up on my side and calls me a tasty looking piece of corn on he cob. Then daddy nibbles my ribs. Next daddy says I’m delicious corn and he must give me a taste. This is followed by more rib nibbles. It’s great fun.

8. Toe Nibbles

If we’re going to talk about being eaten for the sake of comedy, we can’t leave out toe nibbles. There is something immensely satisfying about having one of your feet pretend eaten. That’s good comedy.

9. The Hat Game

When I’m in need of a good giggle, I like to wear random objects on my head as a hat. Usually mommy helps me with this game, but I have been known to play it all by myself. I am a big girl and big girls don’t always need help.

10. Sound Effects

I’m well aware that mommy and daddy can use their mouths for talking, but they can also make some very funny sound effects. Some of the sounds they can make are downright silly. If they can manage to make faces at the same time, it’s twice as funny. I especially like sounds and faces that I don’t remember seeing or hearing before.

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10 Ways to Cope with Rules

Every day while mommy and daddy are in the kitchen getting things ready for dinner, I get some free time to play and explore. One of my favourite ways to pass the time is to reorganize all of our possessions. I’m unbelievably good at making our home more functional. I keep very busy and work up quite an appetite.

I bring all the books and DVDs from the bookshelf in the living room to the kitchen, because books and movies can be enjoyed anywhere. I pull out all the plastic bags from the kitchen cupboard and leave them in a heap in the corner, because searching for the perfect bag at the back of a cupboard is just not very convenient. I scatter the cat food cans all over the kitchen and living room for easier access. I sprinkle my toys throughout because there is always time to play.

Playing safely in my baby zone is fine, but being free to run around all over the house is infinitely better. I have been getting more opportunities to experience this freedom and it has been incredible! The only downside is that the more freedom I am given, the more rules mommy and daddy have for me. If it wasn’t for all these rules I could be so much more productive.

“The cutlery drawer is not for playing in.” mommy tells me. “Don’t pull the tablecloth off the table.” daddy says. “Get your arms out of the garbage can.” I hear. Why? Nobody was using that garbage. Why can’t I have it? All these rules are really slowing me down.

Peachy doesn't like rules

Rules are meant to be broken

If you feel the rules in your life are proving to be a burden, here are ten ways to cope with those pesky rules and the people who make them.

1. Follow the Rules

The most obvious answer is to follow the rules. The good news is that this strategy is very effective at getting the rule makers off your back. The bad news is that with this option you don’t get to do what you want. If the activity in question didn’t mean that much to you to begin with, you might want to go with this plan.

2. Pretend You Can’t Hear

The secret to this strategy is to make no reaction whatsoever. Don’t look up, don’t hesitate, don’t even blink, and above all, don’t make eye contact. If you play your cards right you can usually get at least a few seconds into an activity before someone comes over to stop you. Plenty of time to pull that tablecloth onto the floor.

3. Ignore and Disobey

If your body betrays you and it becomes clear that you heard, you can always blatantly defy the rules. In this case it’s best to make eye contact and continue with your activity. This gives the rule makers hope that you will listen. Suckers! Chances are that you will hear the rule repeated several times before anyone makes a move to put an end to your fun. Use speed to your advantage and empty out that cutlery drawer as quickly as you can.

4. Scream in Outrage

This isn’t the most effective strategy but it does make me feel good! When I know I have no chance of getting my way, I voice my displeasure loud and clear. To really drive my point home I may even stomp my feet while I scream. I may not get what I want but at least I can take comfort in the knowledge that everyone knows how furious I am.

5. Cry

This strategy is similar to screaming in outrage but has a slightly larger chance of success. When you don’t get your way, simply cry. Make sure you cry loudly so that everyone can hear and squeezing out a few tears can only help your case. It might not work but at the very least you can make people feel guilty for making you so desperately sad.

6. Run Away

If the project you are working on can be picked up, your best bet is to grab it and run. It’s going to be a while before you get caught. You might not be able to put much focus into your project as you race around the room, but the chase itself has its own advantages and can be a lot of fun.

7. Persistence

This strategy is one of my personal favourites and I use it on a daily basis. When you get caught doing something you shouldn’t be doing, pretend you are planning on obeying the rules by promptly ceasing the forbidden activity. Move on to something else until nobody is watching. When you’re sure the attention is on something other than you, quietly go back to what you were doing. You’ll be armpit deep in that garbage can in no time.

8. Whine

Whining can be an effective tool but you have to be determined enough to keep it up for a while. This is not a quick fix, but rather a slow grinding away at the willpower of the rule makers. The party which persists the longest will persevere. If you have time and energy to spare, this might be a good option for you.

9. Have a Fit

This technique combines the screaming in outrage and crying strategies. Combine them with throwing yourself on the ground, kicking, punching, and hyperventilating. Pull out all the stops and make a good show of it and don’t forget to be as loud and animated as possible. This tactic has the greatest chance of success in public spaces.

10. Turn on the Charm

If all else fails put you sweetest and most innocent face on and use your cuteness to break their resolve. Sometimes a snuggle, sad smile, and longing sigh is all you need to get the job done. Nobody can resist a sweet and cuddly baby.

There you have my 10 methods of dealing with rules and the people who make them. Which method is your go to strategy?

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Peachy Makes a Trade

Last week mommy, daddy, and I went out to the playground. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was excited to go out and play. As we neared the playground we began to hear the sound of children playing and once we arrived we saw that it was quite busy. Nevertheless, I was confused and disappointed as we passed right by the playground and continued on.

Our favourite playground is situated within a larger park area with grass, trees, and several fields for various sports. We looped around the playground and took one of the paths heading back towards home. I was sad at the thought of giving up on our outdoor adventures when suddenly, my stroller veered off the path and we went right through the grass!

Soon we found ourselves in a nice grassy spot with a hill on one side and a fenced in paved area on the other. It was a nice and sunny day but a little windy. Between the hill and the evergreen trees that surrounded the place, the wind wasn’t very strong in this particular location and the sun soon warmed us up quite nicely.

Mommy pulled a blanket out and placed it on the ground and I was promptly released from my stroller and placed on the blanket between mommy and daddy. The plan was to have a relaxing time sprawled out in the sun followed by a little picnic. I thought that was a terrible idea. I wanted to explore!

I hoisted myself to my feet and I was off. Once I got about halfway up the hill, mommy was in pursuit and I found myself being scooped up and carried back to the blanket. I was plopped back down in the same place with mommy on one side and daddy on the other. I could already tell this would take some persistence.

I was on my feet again within moments and heading for adventure. I was almost up the hill when I turned back to see daddy getting to his feet and heading in my direction. I picked up the pace but it was no use. Daddy had his hands under my arms and I was being lifted up into the air again only to be deposited back on the blanket. I sighed loudly. This was going to be one of those days.

Up again I went and off as fast as I could go when suddenly, I spotted something underneath one of the evergreen trees. I stopped in my tracks and turned to take a closer look. This was definitely something that did not belong here. I walked over to it and got good and close for a thorough investigation.

It was round and brightly coloured so I gave it a little poke with my poking finger. It rolled a little and I followed it until it settled down again. I poked it once more and it rolled again as expected. I picked it up but it was unexpectedly fuzzy causing me to quickly drop it. As it hit the ground it proceeded to roll away.

Peachy found a tennis ball

My fuzzy treasure

I did not anticipate that it would feel that way but I wasn’t about to let its fuzziness deter me. I went after it and picked it up once more. This time I was ready for its strange texture and I held it tightly in both hands. I examined it closely turning it over again and again in my hands. Clearly, I had found treasure.

I brought it over to the blanket where mommy and daddy were still sitting and proudly showed off my discovery. Mommy said it was a tennis ball and that it came from the fenced in paved area behind us where people play tennis. Sadly there was nobody playing tennis at the time so I was not able to observe how this treasure came to be underneath the evergreen tree.

Mommy invited me to join her on the blanket so that we could investigate the tennis ball together. I got comfy between mommy and daddy and the three of us took turns analyzing my treasure. It behaved much like all the other balls that I have except that it was bouncier and much more fuzzy. Mommy said that since nobody was there to claim the tennis ball, I could take it home with us.

Mommy pulled my snack out from the basket under the stroller and I ate happily while petting the strange fuzz on my tennis ball. I had banana pancakes with fruit and some water to wash it down with. I was too busy with my tennis ball to really know if I liked my snack but I was rather thirsty and found the water quite refreshing.

After I ate and quenched my thirst, mommy and daddy let me walk around a bit as long as I didn’t go over the hill. At that point I was more accustomed to the place and the sense of freedom it gave me. I was happy to explore between the blades of grass and underneath the trees in sight of mommy and daddy. Besides, I left my tennis ball in their care and I wasn’t about to lose sight of my treasure.

When it was time to go mommy realized I was missing one of my hair clips. Mommy and daddy searched in the grass for it as I wandered among them trying to figure out what we were looking for. The hair clip was never found. It was too small and the grass was too thick. The missing hair clip did buy me several extra minutes of outdoor time and a tennis ball so I think the trade was in my favour.

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Hearts and Flowers

For the last couple of days I have been cooped up indoors. We have been experiencing daily torrential downpours of rain which have put our daily outings to the park on hold. I have grown to love our playtime at the park and I miss my outdoor play.

After many months of winter, being able to venture out into the warming rays of spring sunshine was initially a bit bewildering to me. After all, last year I was too little to do much and spent most of my outdoor time strapped into my stroller. I still ride in my stroller each time we go out, but when we get to where we’re going mommy lets me out.

This has opened up a world of possibilities for me. It has allowed me to explore, see things I have never seen before, play in brand new way, and even socialize with other kids a little. It’s really not surprising that I’m hooked on our outdoor adventures. It’s even less surprising that all this rain is making me miss the outside world.

On the last nice day before the rain came, mommy and I had a great time at the playground. It was a little cooler than the previous day and the playground was almost deserted. This rarely happens. Most of the time the place is crowded with kids, parents, strollers, and the occasional dog.

It’s difficult for me to play when there are so many people around because most of them are much bigger than I am. They are fast and busy with their games. Mommy keeps me close and insists that I hold her hand so that I don’t wander into their boisterous play. She worries that I’ll get trampled because I’m so small.

It’s hard to explore when mommy doesn’t give me much freedom so when the playground isn’t busy, we take full advantage. Mommy lets me loose and I run around all by myself! I can go wherever I want, touch anything that strikes my fancy, and make use of all the interesting playground equipment. It’s amazing!

The last time we went was the best. I was in an exploring mood and mommy thought it would be good to take some pictures with our cell phone. Although it was a bit cool, it was a bright day and there weren’t many people around to get in the way. It was a great day for park photography and we got some great shots.

Mommy and I have been starting to work on our Instagram presence. It’s been slow going as most of our photos are in the camera and not on our mobile devices. I hope mommy got some good shots to share. There was one that I know mommy was excited about. I hope people like it.

We posted that photo on Instagram as soon as we got home. Mommy said she hopes it will get us a lot of hearts. When people like an image on Instagram they have to press the heart icon. When mommy and I get a like we say we got a heart from someone. It’s a bit of an inside joke.

Peachy's Instagram feed

I’m on Instagram!

That day at the park I found something very pretty on the ground. It was yellow and fluffy and I couldn’t help but pick it up. I can’t believe such treasure was just sitting there on the floor. I just knew it was a very special find.

After giving it a good look and petting it’s fluff a little, I turned to mommy and offered it to her in an outstretched hand. Mommy always accepts my gifts graciously but she was particularly pleased with the pretty, yellow, fluffy thing. She called it a flower and thanked me profusely. I think I’ve heard that word before but I’m not sure when or where.

After posting our latest photo on Instagram, mommy put the flower between two pieces of paper and placed a heavy book on it. She said she would save it to put in the book that mommy is making for me. The book is all about me, my firsts, special moments, and fun memories. Mommy has been working on since before I was born.

When daddy came home mommy showed him the flower and she told him that she is saving it because it’s the first flower I ever gave her. Daddy said the flower’s name is dandelion and he said it might not count as a true flower. Mommy disagreed and carefully put the flower back under the heavy book. I suspect daddy is jealous of mommy’s flower. I’ll have to find him one of his own just as soon as this rain lets up.

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The Greatest Game

Being little is hard and involves a great deal of work. When we little people have a bit of time to spare, we like to unwind from a busy day of exploring and experimenting by having some fun. Playtime and games are a necessity for us.

In the wold of babies and toddlers, there is one particular game that we can’t get enough of. It’s a very popular game and most of us love to play it. I certainly enjoy it. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s called Peekaboo.

All you need to play are one other person and a blanket. It doesn’t even really have to be a blanket. Anything that you can drape over your head will work just as well. I often improvise with a sweater I find sitting around. The other day I grabbed the kitchen cloth that hangs on the oven door and I used that.

The rules of the game are very simple. You put the blanket over your head and wait for someone to start looking for you. After a while you pop out from under that blanket and surprise the other person. That’s when they realize you were there the whole time.

Sometimes hiding isn’t that easy. The blanket can be tricky to manage. It can get folded funny or bunched up all weird and then you can’t hide yourself under it very well. That’s when you have to work with it a bit to get it straightened out again.

My favourite person to play Peekaboo with is mommy but I’m willing to play with anyone. I like to play with mommy best because mommy really tries to find me. I can hear mommy looking for me. She walks around saying “Where’s Peachy?” and “Where did Peachy go?” while I’m hiding under the blanket.

Baby girl playing Peekaboo

I’m about to become invisible

When I pop out mommy is always surprised and she says “There’s Peachy!” while I laugh. Mommy is always excited to find me and I’m equally excited to be found. As soon as we’re done being excited about me being found, I hide again. I never get bored or tired of playing Peekaboo with mommy.

I’m very good at playing Peekaboo. When I’m under the blanket I become invisible and completely imperceptible to the outside world. It’s like a different dimension under there. Nobody can find me while I’m hiding.

One of my favourite times to play Peekaboo is when mommy folds my laundry. I watch from my crib as mommy puts my clothes away. When I get bored with watching, I pick up the blanket and put it over my head. Mommy always looks for me and I can hear her searching in different areas of the room.

If I find a sweater or my travel blanket in my baby zone I play a different version of the Peekaboo game. I throw it over my head and then I walk around. Not only does it make it that much more impossible for anyone to find me, I can also move around the room without anyone seeing me.

The only downside to walking around with my head covered is that I can’t see where I’m going. I always bump into things. Sometimes that just makes the game funnier and I laugh as I repeatedly walk into stuff. Other times I fall over and it hurts a little.

Every once in a while mommy takes a blanket and puts it over her head. This is funny but mommy isn’t as good at hiding as I am. I can still see where mommy is. She doesn’t become invisible like I do. It’s still fun when mommy pops out but it’s not as much fun to look for someone when you know where they are.

Peekaboo really is a great game and it’s not surprising that all the little people love it. Have you tried it? Did you like it? If not you should give it a go. All the world’s little people can’t be wrong.

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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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