Don't let anyone tell you differently— playing with a baby is HARD WORK. Mazzy is not a mellow child. She doesn't relax in my lap with a book. No matter where I go in the apartment, Mazzy is right behind me, using the bottom of my pants to pull herself to standing. If she could talk, I imagine she'd say something like, "I finished lunch at noon and nap time doesn't start 'til precisely 12:30pm which means we've got a full half hour— you better have something good planned!"
The only way Mazzy is content is when she is being entertained by her favorite circus monkey, ME. Singing, dancing, puppeteering, whatever. As long as I am giving it my 100%. Mazzy knows the difference between Max Bialystock played by Nathan Lane and Max Bialystock played by Tony Danza. She does not accept half-assed performances from someone who should never have been there to begin with.
The baby's need for constant entertainment is compounded when, god forbid, I am trying to accomplish something for myself. I'm not talking pilates or learning how to crochet a sweater— I'm talking eating, peeing, showering. If I make a sandwich, I have to pretend its a cooking segment on morning television. If I'm getting dressed, it's a full-on broadway show. (The hair drying finale is fantastic). I don't know whether she finds all this genuinely entertaining or she has set up a hidden camera in hopes of using the footage as an extortionary tactic at some point in the future. (In which case, I am screwed).
I love Mazzy more than anything but that doesn't change the fact that when it comes to keeping her happy, busy and stimulated, I am running out of ideas. And since she turned the seasoned newborn age of nine-months last week, I feel like developmentally, we have reached a playing turning point. Hair drying extravaganzas are fun but they are not going to teach the baby the color green. Which is why I have enlisted the expertise of my sister. (That's Dr. Sister to you). Sis has recently completed her doctorate in school psychology specializing in early childhood development. The two of us are going to start a feature we have named "Games Good Parents Play". The goal is to put together a list of games that are very simple but also good for your baby's development.
These games might seem obvious to some people, but not everybody has the 'playing with the baby is a breeze' gene— myself included. We're talking peekaboo while doing the laundry, not "Your Baby Can Read ". Watch for it.