The big day has arrived and the event that mummy and daddy have been threatening you with for the last few months has happened. New baby is home.
New baby doesn’t do much- just sleeps and cries a lot- and to be honest they are kind of cute. But they do something that you must guard against from day one: they steal your spot on The Lap. One minute it’s your spot, and then all of a sudden every time you look up that baby is on there, sucking in the goodness and love of mummy and daddy.
So, here are some tips and strategies that I’ve used over the last week in making sure the parental attention is focused back where it should be: on Me.
It’s all about the timing. You will need to be hypervigilant to cues and identify moments of parenting weakness, such as when mummy and daddy haven’t slept or have spent some time dealing with Telstra or Centrelink. Start escalating those skills you’ve been honing over the last few months when you noticed that 100% of mummy or daddy’s attention hasn’t been on you, like when they are on an important business call, talking to someone or on the loo. Then, when you spot baby being lifted up onto The Lap, try the following:
1. Start simply by raising your voice and yelling “MummyMummyMummy” without drawing breath. If baby is crying, you will need to be louder than baby. You may also pre-emptively strike by starting when baby is sleeping and standing right next to their head when you start. Rest assured that baby will be crying soon.
2. Thrash around on the floor screaming “I’m a baby, I’m a baby!”. Another version of this is to yell “I’m a doggy” and start licking everything.
3. Up-end your toy box (es) and use hands, legs and feet to scatter toys in as many directions as possible. This is particularly effective when you have just spent half and hour being coaxed and helped through ‘packing up time’ and are just two lego pieces and a crayon short of having everything put away.
4. Sift through the piles of toys until you locate the wooden hammer (NB every toy collection has a wooden hammer). Go just out of view and hit things whilst yelling “Hammer, hammer, hammer”. I’ve found hitting the bottom of the metal bin, the glass door and grandma to be particularly effective.
5. Walk out of the bathroom holding the toilet brush. For added efficacy, hold mummy or daddy’s toothbrush in your other hand.
6. Clamber onto mummy’s leg or back and yell “Horsey time” then start vigorously bouncing up and down.
7. Ask for specific foods or drinks and, when they are handed to you, up-end them instantly and smack your hands into the mess to increase the splatter zone. This is great for milk -based drinks in particular.
8. Demand to be read a book. For some reason, mummy and daddy think it’s reasonable to be demanding about being read to.
9. Remove every single book from the bookshelf and throw vigorously onto the floor or at the wall. If this doesn’t prove effective, start tearing out pages. Works well with library or borrowed books.
10. Climb into the dishwasher.
11. Save this one for emergencies: Hide behind the couch until mummy is settled and take off your pants. Leap out yelling “Pooh Pooh” and simultaneously release the Velcro fasteners from both sides of your nappy. As the nappy dumps onto the carpet shout “Jumping on the bed time” and run towards their bedroom.
12. If all of this fails, go into your room and be really, really quiet. This one should only take about 2 minutes.
Hope these tips help and remember, be attentive to maintain attention!