Thursday, October 2, 2008

How to entertain a toddler

This morning, after I had freed Olivia from her high chair and was finishing the breakfast dishes, Olivia wandered off into the living room. Two seconds later I heard the variety of scream that means "Mommy, come quick! I have been attacked by living room furniture!"

By the time I reached her, she was beside herself and bleeding. At least, there was some blood on her lip. But it wasn't coming from her lip or from her face. She kept putting her hand to her mouth and moving her tongue around inside her teeth, but she WOULD NOT LET ME LOOK. So my guess is that she bit her tongue or hit her gums and made them bleed. I was able to confirm that all six of her teeth are still intact, so apparently it was more painful than it was permanently damaging. I wasn't able to identify the offending piece of furniture as she was sitting in the middle of the floor, but something obviously got the best of her.

Anyway, after cleaning her up with a cool washcloth and calming her down a bit, I let her suck on an ice cube. This is one of her favorite things to do, and in this case had the added benefit of soothing what I assume was the injured area. I sat her on the floor and watched her as she kept dropping the cube and chasing it around the kitchen floor.

It occurred to me that this is great entertainment for her, and why don't I do this more often? We typically only resort to ice cubes when she's crying because the cold cube distracts her and makes her happy. But it is a good way to keep her in the kitchen when I'm trying to finish clean-up. I would only recommend it, though, if you aren't squeamish about your baby sucking ice cubes that have been all over the kitchen floor.

Another popular form of entertainment for our toddler is pulling clothes out of her drawers. Socks are her favorite, so we have lots of socks randomly scattered around the house. This doesn't bother me much since there wasn't much organization in the sock drawer to begin with. More difficult for me is dealing with her newfound skill of opening her dresser drawers. This morning I found her throwing her long-sleeved onesies onto the floor. This wouldn't be such a bad thing if she wasn't also in the habit of throwing things into and taking things out of her laundry basket. Now we have clean clothes and dirty clothes mingling all over the floor of her room. I've had to start checking her laundry basket periodically for things that don't belong. Last week I inadvertently washed two small stuffed animals and a cow magnet that made it into her basket.

Olivia has recently decided that it's fun to go into her room and close the door. Since I've finally removed anything that I don't want her to destroy, I let her have her fun. She will usually wander around for a few minutes and then decide that she's tired of being in there alone. To let me know that she wants company (or to be let out) she knocks on the door. It's very cute.

Life is never dull around here, my friends. Sometimes it's a little slow, but it's never dull.


Jen said...

My dogs like to lick ice cubes too. Personally, I think a few kitchen floor germs are good for the immune system.

Brian said...

You're getting into the fun part now. The first year is very sweet, but once they start walking, it gets FUN.