Saturday, August 11, 2012

Let's Play Babies

We have a new game at our house. It starts with the following question repeated in chinese water torture fashion: "Will you play babies with me?" Translation: "Will you sit on the floor with me and do everything I tell for the amount of time that I deem appropriate?" It is really hard for me to ignore my child when she asks me to play. Sure, partly because it is sweet, I know she won't want to play with me in a few years, and I want to spend time with her. But also because she will follow me around and say it over and over, steadily increasing in pitch and volume until I crack and the dog is whining.

The Boss Mama at work
To the floor we go to play the babies. Let me start by saying there is not a lot to do with a baby doll. Much like there is not a lot to do with a real baby. Remember how you just sat around watching Law and Order reruns and Real Housewives holding your newborn, feeding your newborn, rocking your newborn? Playing babies is not so different. Lady Baby is a natural born mother. She carries her babies around, whispering to them, bouncing them and shushing us if we get too loud around her sleeping baby. Last Christmas she got the box of baby accouterment from Target--five rickety pink plastic pieces of baby equipment for $25.00. Super high quality stuff. Everything a 2 year old needs to take care of her litter. For months they were all named Baby Rachel (a double name like Mary Beth or Bobby Sue) and both names must always be said together. Recently you may have felt a shift in the atmosphere because all babies are now named Baby Zero. We know its bizarre. You don't question Her Majesty. 

So pento-mom has 5 Baby Zeros but you are only allowed to mother the one she hands you. She cares for another one (we can usually only find two at any given time). This is subject to change at any moment Little Mama deems appropriate, so don't get attached. There are only a few Alice approved activities that you can do with your baby. Feed, rock, diaper. I figured out 3 seconds into our first Play Baby session she only wants me there to be her micromanaged au pair. I get to do what she tells me, when she tells me, and have to stop if it looks like it could be remotely more fun than what she is doing. For example, she is diapering her Baby Zero with one of her old diapers. I am feeding mine air baby food, out of a used ground mustard seed container with a tiny spoon. Obviously the baby food is more exciting than the diaper. Duh. So she demands my supercool pretend baby food and tosses me her dog hair covered size three huggie. Spanks. If I am using the fake juice bottle and she thinks her baby wants juice, she takes it. If I have my baby in the crappy baby bouncer, her baby needs bouncing more than mine. Thank goodness she doesn't just take what I am playing with. Oh no, she tells me what I can have instead. It makes me feel kind of sorry for her friends. I can only imagine how she bosses them around. Not to mention her future husband.

If you need mothering lessons, feel free to leave a comment. I will be happy to send her your way. I would love to get a break from Playing Babies. And from the drill sergeant. Bonus: you won't have to make any decisions, she will make them all for you. You can totally give your brain a rest.

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