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I am painfully aware of my shortcomings.  I am bad with money, have a temper, get cranky when I’m hungry, and really lack patience.  I thought that when I became a mother, I would suddenly become wonderfully patient, but alas – life does not work that way (I actually think it’s the opposite…).  The ‘count to 10 trick’ gets used a lot.  A lot.  Especially yesterday.  I counted to 10 so much that I started counting in Spanish just to mix it up.

 

You see, there is nothing like a sick baby + a sick momma + a rainy day to light anyone’s fuse.  Not only mine, but Henry’s too – he seemed so frustrated and pissed off all day long.   I kept asking him, “Is this really how you want to spend your last day on Earth?” (the world was going to end today, after all), and he just screamed back at me.  Uno, dos, tres.  At one point, I found myself Googling, “Things to do with a bored baby.”  Thank God for the Internet.

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We ended up making a really sweet sheet fort under the dining room table.  And then we banged on Tupperware.

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The fort provided an entire hour of entertainment.  An hour is a LONG time in babyland. 

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Cuatro, cinco, seis. 

 

After the hour was up, we baked Coconut Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies.  Obviously, H can’t eat cookies, but he does like touching the bowls and spoons and putting his hands underneath the water.  Another thirty minutes of entertainment – wahoo!

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Siete, ocho, nueve, DIEZ!

 

And then I went to bed really, really early to prepare for a long, long night.  Wise move.  I think he’s feeling a bit better now, though.  I do, too.

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And hey… the world didn’t end.  That’s always a good thing. Winking smile

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It’s your last chance to vote for the Scary Santa and Sweet Santa winners!

 

Two questions:  How do you entertain your bored baby?  And if the world really was going to end today, what {ridiculous} thing would you do?  I think I’d go streaking down the street.  I’ve always wanted to do that for some reason. 

{ 53 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat December 21, 2012, 10:22 am

    Counting in Spanish is hilarious. Way to go with the fort idea! Was that a Google suggestion?

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 10:23 am

      Yes!

      Reply
  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries December 21, 2012, 10:27 am

    We have pretty similar shortcomings. ;) You are a great mama though. I love your ideas to keep Henry occupied! Hope you guys continue to feel better!

    Reply
  • Abbey December 21, 2012, 10:27 am

    Have you seen sensory bags? They’re super easy to make and great for keeping babies entertained.

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 10:29 am

      ooo will google.

      Reply
  • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas December 21, 2012, 10:34 am

    I don’t have a baby, but my best friend is a stay at home mom and she always has the baby out and about. They’re at the library, play groups, baby swim class, baby music class, or any baby friendly event she can find online. I know Henry was sick yesterday and couldn’t really do out of the house stuff but it seems like you guys are home a lot! Maybe getting out more would make the days at home less boring for you guys :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 10:36 am

      We are carless Tuesday, Wed, and Thursday but usually I drive Kristien to work on Thursday and go to a playgroup. One other day, one of my friends will come over. I think this week was so BORING because I felt like I shouldn’t take him anyway and expose other people to our sickness.

      Reply
      • Liz December 21, 2012, 11:12 am

        I think you need a second car… ;)

        Reply
        • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 11:13 am

          tell me about it!!!!

          Reply
  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance December 21, 2012, 10:36 am

    I’m pretty sure the title of your post will now have me humming that tune for the rest of the day!!!!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras December 21, 2012, 10:38 am

    Hah, my friends and I used to go streaking in high school! Only in the dead of night though. I don’t know why we got such a kick out of it, but it was quite a rush. I’d probably find some way to hang out with an elephant. I don’t know how, but if it was my last day on earth, I would make it happen.

    Reply
  • Sheryl December 21, 2012, 10:44 am

    A recent bored baby discovery… taking the crib mattress out of the crib and laying it in the middle of the nursery. She crawls on it, bounces, and rolls around laughing simply because it’s so different. It’s at least 20-30 minutes of awesome.

    Reply
  • JenP December 21, 2012, 10:45 am

    When my boys were babies we took lots of walks. And took lots of trips to Target (the bucket seat put them out every time).
    If I really thought this was the last day of the world, I guess I’d be at home with my husband and kids rather than at work. We’d make and eat a ton of cookies and just hand out all day.
    Feel better!

    Reply
  • Becca December 21, 2012, 10:51 am

    I am all those things as well! Bad with money, bad temper, lack of patience. But it seems to me like you always handle those short comings pretty well! Good for you for being a creative mom!! Those skills will definitely continue to be useful… :D

    And if today was the last day on earth, I’d probably go home, make the Trader Joe’s box mix for Chocolate Peppermint cake and watch the last couple episodes of Homeland… boring, but hey, at least I’d die eating delicious cake…

    Reply
  • Jessica December 21, 2012, 11:17 am

    I’m sorry you had a rough day! I’m in general a pretty laid-back, patient person (although I certainly have my faults as well, ha) and I have to say that I’ve found those traits absolutely invaluable as a parent, especially a parent of a baby. I’ve always enjoyed meditation and trying to be mindful, and that mindset is magnified exponentially as a parent, finding the simple joys in watching your baby try the same thing over and over and over; I like to think that it’s their version of a mantra, and it’s an honor to watch. For a while, I was getting annoyed that my daughter was taking so long to nurse to sleep at night (at least 30-45 minutes). Then I realized: she just wants to be close to me. And it’s like a switch was flipped, and I now look forward to and relish our nightly routine. Because really, what could I possibly being doing instead that is more important than being in the moment and spending time with her? Watching TV? Goofing off on the Internet? Cleaning the house? Becoming a mother has made me rethink so many things in my life, in such a profound and powerful ways. One of the great joys in parenthood is that it does force you to become a better person, I’ve found.

    That said, daily ennui does have a way of trying to set in, and the things that I’ve found that have helped are a (flexible) daily routine so we’ve never at loose ends, getting out of the house every day (it’s why I LOVE living in the city, I wouldn’t trade it for the world – we have two museums, a kid’s coffee shop, a library, three parks and many friend’s houses within an easy walking distance (I don’t have a car during the day either)), and a long list of reliable baby games and activities that I can go through when my girl is being antsy. Those things really help!

    I hope that today is better for you both, and I hope you both are feeling better!

    Reply
    • Jules December 22, 2012, 8:17 pm

      Perhaps sharing your `long list of reliable baby games and activities’ would be more helpful/constructive than a laundry list of the benefits of your neighbourhood? That was, after all, what Caitlin asked :)

      Reply
  • Jackie December 21, 2012, 11:18 am

    How do you decide such a young baby is “bored?” Just curious…(not at all in a condescending way). It’s a term I would never ascribe to my almost 10-month old – not because I’m an awesome mom who always has fun activities, but because I just can’t imagine him ever being “bored” in the way adults are. He’s so curious about the world, he’s happy to crawl around the whole house and touch things.

    Do you guys have a set of blocks? They are always fun to chew on, stack, knock over, look at, etc.

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 11:21 am

      I feel like Henry is the craziest, most active, squirmiest, shortest attention span baby ever. Things do NOT hold his attention very long at all. I let him do a LOT of independent play because I don’t want him to have to be constantly entertained but yesterday was rough with the sickness. He was just like “BAH MOM ALL OF THESE TOYS ARE OLD TOYS.” Sigh.

      We need blocks.

      Reply
      • Jessica December 21, 2012, 11:48 am

        He sounds perfectly normal for a 6 month old! An hour of being entertained by a fort? 30 minutes being entertained by cookie-making? Honestly, that sounds like an AMAZINGLY long time. At that age, my girl would only be entertained by toys on her own for like, 5-10 minutes TOPS. At a year, she’ll play independently for maybe, *maybe* 20 minutes on her own before she starts looking me. And I would never consider her bored, or having a short attention span; in fact I’ve always thought she was great at entertaining herself. Henry’s still at the age where you can’t “spoil” him by holding and playing with him. When he’s a toddler, it may be a different story. But every baby book and baby expert will tell you that the single best thing to help your baby learn is interacting with them – you are the best toys your son has.

        I hate to sound harsh, but if you don’t want to have to entertain him and think he has a short attention span now, you’re in for a loooooooong couple of years.

        Reply
        • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 11:52 am

          WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOA. I don’t mind entertaining him at all. I did not say that – don’t put words in my mouth. I LOVE entertaining him. I just said I do not want to have to CONSTANTLY entertain him. Children should be able to play on their own, too. There is nothing wrong with that.

          Reply
          • Kate December 21, 2012, 12:13 pm

            I felt the same way when I was a nanny for a 6 month old. You do not have a free second to not be “on” making some type of funny face, noise or action to keep them smiling. Yikes, it’s a really hard job!!

          • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 1:56 pm

            at least funny faces are fun :)

          • Charitydawn December 21, 2012, 6:06 pm

            I agree with you Caitlin Alexander does good for 20 minutes then he gets bored. We have our “mommy son “time but I feel it’s very important that he learns to play by himself. Growing up adults did not play with us, we played with other kids or on our own. I love playing with Alexander but I also want him to learn how to play without constant adult interaction. I do not feel guilty about that. I’m teaching him to use his mind.

  • Sharon@DiscoverExploreLearn December 21, 2012, 11:28 am

    So glad you and Henry are feeling better! As a single mom of 4, I am fully aware of the challenges and frustrations that occur when mom + kids are sick. :-) No fun!

    Here are a few of our favorite activities to do at home with babies…

    -http://discoverexplorelearn.com/2012/10/simple-activities-for-babies/

    We had a yummy dinner last night and hung out at home together. I figured if the world was going to end, I wanted to be eating some good food and spending time with my favorite people.

    Reply
  • Carolyn December 21, 2012, 11:38 am

    It’s so hard when you’re stuck at home with a sick baby. Walks always help us, but that doesn’t work so well in the rain. My one year old is not very good at independent play. She really enjoys taking things out. I let her empty baskets, boxes, purses…anything that won’t hurt her. That seems to keep her busy the longest. Henry may be a bit young for that, but soon enough!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 21, 2012, 11:40 am

    Forts entertain me and I’m 25, so that’s a great idea! Haha love it. Maybe boxes are next?

    Reply
  • Kelli December 21, 2012, 11:57 am

    I give you credit I was a stay at home mom my kids are 6 & 7 now and I had a car and had the hardest time entertaining them !! Especially because my son was like Henry (short attention span) my daughter thankfully was easier to entertain !

    Reply
  • Ellen December 21, 2012, 12:01 pm

    This could be me! My shortcomings are yours. I have a quick temper and I am very impatient!!!! I thought that after my son was born I would speak in calm voices when Im angry and patience would come automatically, but no it doesnt and it doesnt help you are sleep deprived!.
    My baby is only 4 months old and his attention span is quite short. I bought a jumperoo for him hoping that would buy me 30 minutes, but no. I just try to include him in my chores. If I am making my bed or cleaning up my room I put him on the bed and throw the covers over him and play peekaboo. If I am folding laundry I put him next to me and hand him clothes to chew on. If I am cooking dinner I put him in the bumbo and give him tupperware or spoons to play with. These tricks definitely dont take up to much time, but at least I can get some stuff done while entertaining him at the same time! I can’t wait for the day where he is content on sitting by himself and playing while I get stuff done!

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 12:03 pm

      I think laundry is the most fun chore to do with baby :) I throw the clothes on his head and he spends all this time taking them off and laughing. :)

      Reply
  • Natalie @ Free Range Human December 21, 2012, 12:21 pm

    I don’t think I would do anything ridiculous. I would just make sure the day included ice cream and lots of it.

    Reply
  • Carolina John December 21, 2012, 12:34 pm

    That’s a cool fort. we make blanket forts too and play dressup/costume time during the multitudes of downtime. It gets easier the older the kids get.

    I like your streaking idea too. The nude beach is still on the bucket list, but I find myself naked in public more often than I like to admit already.

    Reply
  • Amanda K. December 21, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Caitlin, I saw your comment a few above that said you didn’t want to take him anywhere to expose others. I TOTALLY agree. I don’t want to 1) expose others 2) drag my poor sick baby around. So when my baby is sick we also stay home, even though we’re a two-car family. And I have to skip my runs because I can’t bear taking him out in the cold, or taking him to the gym nursery.

    To entertain my crazy, energetic, constantly bored baby I’ve started involving him in all my cooking, the mess be damned. He LOVES it!: http://www.thekriegers.org/post/37844544216/because-i-guess-i-needed-another-reason-to-mop-my-floor

    Reply
  • LMG December 21, 2012, 12:40 pm

    I’m new to this whole baby thing myself, but from the start, I decided to do what I used to do while babysitting and with my cat. I have a box with all the toys and only certain ones come out on certain days. So everything feels fresh for the most part. Since mine is on the playmat a lot, this amounts to changing out toys and moving them around every week or so. Kind of like what you did with the bouncer-exerciser thingy, but more frequent.

    That said, yesterday I felt in the same boat. Bad weather has been our limitation=no walks (rain, not snow). I can’t take her out in the stroller or a carrier in heavy rain; she’s too tiny. And with holiday shopping the mall is crazy. I also hate leaving her in the carseat for so long, whether on errands or in the stroller. She’s not fond of it, and I think about how I would feel forced to sit restrained in a chair for hours and hours.

    Once daddy came home, he became the novelty for the day. It was all I could think of…

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 1:57 pm

      hahah dads are a great novelty.

      Reply
  • Beth December 21, 2012, 12:52 pm

    Kaitlin you are an amazing mama! Every baby is different and it’s all relative. Compared to my 8 month old I have always considered Henry way more active and busy than my Hannah. She is very laid back so much so that she is very content sitting on my lap and playing with a toy or stays in one spot on the floor playing. She JUST starting trying to crawl and in the last few weeks has been rolling a few feet away at a time. Henry has hit his milestones early! He’s busy busy so I can only imagine. I’m sorry some people are so judgmental and not as understanding that EVERY baby is different and that you love him so much and love being with him more than anything BUT some days when u are sleep deprived u need a little break . from baby entertainer! Completely normal and justified :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 21, 2012, 1:57 pm

      Thanks Beth. Hannah sounds sweet. Is she talkative? I’ve heard that babies hit one milestone early, one on time, and one late (talking, crawling, walking). I am thinking talking will be late for my H.

      Reply
      • Michelle December 22, 2012, 4:17 am

        Funny my lovely 9 month old has only just started rolling around and making signs that she might crawl. I thought she never would – she is however a big talker.
        We ahve had Mum and Dad since about 8 months and lots of chattering all the time (you could never tell that I am always on the phone/skype/visiting friends/talking to her)

        Reply
  • Karen December 21, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Loved the picture of your baby in a fort! Seven boys in my house and rainy days always include forts. Long periods inside always require extra creativity and extra patience. You look like you are off to a good start to creating fun rainy day memories!

    Reply
  • Alex @ Raw Recovery December 21, 2012, 1:13 pm

    I was TOTALLY going to use that title for my post today. I’m not kidding, I thought of it last night. Great minds think alike!

    Reply
  • Vikki December 21, 2012, 1:30 pm

    I would spend a lot of time hula hooping if this was my last day on earth because if I’m going out, I’m going out having fun.

    Bored baby suggestions: Tissue paper. It makes noise and is fun to rip up.

    Reply
  • Charitydawn December 21, 2012, 1:55 pm

    Totally off topic but when we were driving to the hospital while I was in labor I sang the song “it’s the end of the world” and thought it was halarious and helped me get through my contractions.

    Reply
  • Ali December 21, 2012, 2:23 pm

    I have no baby advice as I’m guessing everything I’ve done with my niece, nephews, and cousins has already been tried (I would have suggested a fort!). BUT, if today were the last day before the world ended, I would spend it EATING everything from awesome bread, to cakes, cookies, pasta, etc. just because the world would end before my Celiac symptoms would begin! :)

    Reply
  • susan December 21, 2012, 6:11 pm

    Ok I have to give you my all time easiest idea that’s great for a 6 month old, especially if you are not feeling great. I first did this when I was pregnant (in 1988)and needed to lie down and simultaneously entertain a young one. Lay down on the flor, Get a box of cheap tissues (dollar store) and one by one drop them down from up high onto Henry while gently blowing them. Of course be sure he doesn’t hold onto one for too long in his mouth. My first two are only 20 months apart and this was something I did often. Another favorite is to put a ping pong ball in an empty prescription bottle that you can see through. Henry will love turning that bottle from side to side and hearing that satisfying noise. Good Luck (I have 4 children and tons of ideas)

    Reply
  • Amber K December 21, 2012, 9:12 pm

    LOL Okay, I have to say I did not see the streaking-thing coming. That is nowhere on my list of things to do. Maybe when I’m older I’ll put it on my bucket list. Now I have a picture of a 90-year-old me streaking down the street. Awesome, awesome. It’ll be awesome. ;)

    Reply
  • Brie December 21, 2012, 11:20 pm

    I have resorted to sticking Charlie under the Christmas tree during his witching hour lately. Twinkly lights plus sparkly ornaments are like baby crack. Probably wouldn’t work with a more mobile kiddo though!

    Reply
  • The Robertsons of Mumbai December 22, 2012, 12:37 am

    I feel for ya! My baby (7 weeks old) had a head cold this week, I came down with food poisoning, started my period again, and the washing machine was broken from Monday evening through Friday afternoon. Ahhhhh! I’ve never thought of the count to 10 routine. I have just been eating chocolate, although couldn’t do that this week because I was so ill. Must start the counting… ;)

    Reply
  • Michelle December 22, 2012, 4:13 am

    I do a discovery box for my 9 month old where I get a shallow basket and put random household objects in it and it occupies her for ages as she pulls everything out to see what it tastes likes feels likes sounds like – currently has a whisk, 2 wooden spoons, container of sprinkles, scarf, bangle, coaster, drink bottle etc… then once empty the basket is fun to play with

    Reply
  • Sarah December 22, 2012, 10:14 am

    We’ve been doing forts with Sammy (8 months), too- he loves them! Can’t wait for the years of camping to come.

    Reply
  • Jules December 22, 2012, 8:19 pm

    I used to find a full length mirror would entertain my girls for ages – they loved watching th `other’ baby and it was hugely entertaining to see :) Of course, you have to make sure it is propped or fastened securely so they can’t tip it over but I used to have one I could put in the living area when they were getting bored with whatever was on offer.

    Reply
  • JenRD December 25, 2012, 7:50 pm

    Just catching up on posts now, but I totally sympathize! We just got over a nasty virus which caused my baby to become bipolar–happy one second, and hysterical crying the next. Finding things to do was horrible–she didn’t even want to take a walk, which she usually loves. Now she is feeling better, but also is at the age where she does not want to play on her own, only with me or my husband, and gets bored after about 10 seconds of a toy, wanting to move to another room in the house. Even though she has a good vocabulary for a 15-month-old, she is at the “point and grunt” phase when she wants something. This change occurred when she started crawling about a month ago (a late crawler). Before that, she could happily be entertained by toys in her room–albeit usually with one of us present–for longer stretches of time. Phew, it’s exhausting! Who knows what it will be like when she is walking! We also recently moved, so we don’t have friends nearby, or know local kid-friendly places.
    Anyway, sorry I don’t have a list of things to do–I am looking for more of those myself! One thing I do, however, is whenever we receive toys as gifts, I only open one at a time. The rest I save for a rainy day or when she is sick, so she has the thrill of a new toy without us spending a dime.
    Don’t worry, you are not alone!

    Reply
  • Chattynatty December 26, 2012, 12:06 pm

    I’m totally behind on reading my fav blogs and so I’m just now getting to your recent posts from this past week… Anyways- can I just say thanks for being honest about your shortcomings. You seem like such a positive person and yet you have some of my shortcomings: cranky when hungry, lacking patience, … and so it was nice to see or read that you aren’t “perfect” Caitlin mom all the time. If you come up with any ideas on how to become more “patient” let me know.

    Reply
    • Caitlin December 26, 2012, 12:47 pm

      I am soooo far from perfect. Thanks for your sweet comment :)

      Reply
  • Julie December 26, 2012, 12:43 pm

    Ha ha! When we were in high school, my BFF & I went streaking in our neighbor’s back yard at 3:00 a.m. :P

    Reply

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