There’s someone I don’t blog about enough. He’s cute, he only answers a question properly if the answer is going to be “No,” and I think the only time he’s ever truly, truly happy is when he’s frolicking about butt naked.

I know what you’re thinking, and it’s not Paul. (Well, I should probably blog a bit more about how Paul’s totally awesome and whatnot, but that’s not who I’m talking about in this particular instance…)

It’s this guy.

One of the things you have to deal with when you’re a stay-at-home parent is entertainment. How in the hell are you supposed to properly entertain this little person…all day long?

If you’re a parent with an internet connection, most likely by now you’ve discovered that you are not, in fact, entertaining properly, and are probably going to ruin your child for the rest of his/her life with your terrible, ignorant, and wrong-in-general parenting decisions.

I, personally, am trying very hard to tell myself that as long as Charlie seems happy, healthy, and is utterly and totally loved by Paul and me…he’s probably doing okay.

That being said, I realize it’s not okay to let your kid sit and watch cartoons for 12 hours straight. So, one of my goals has been to find fun things that Charlie and I can do at home, since it’s winter and generally crappy outside.

Table Bubbles

Bubbles are awesome. I know that they’re usually more awesome when you can prance freely amongst them and pretend that there are weird Seventeenth-century dance partiesgoing on inside them, but Charlie would have the entire house covered in bubbles by the time he was finished…so we play with them at the table.

Since I had neither bubble solution nor bubble wands, I did a little MacGyvering. I found a recipe online for bubble solution (8 parts water to 1 part dish soap and 1 part corn syrup) and I fashioned some pipe cleaners into wands. They worked out pretty well, I’d say.

Bath Gambling

Next, since Charlie was covered in sugary bubble juice, I decided it was time for a bath. I’ve been following a blog called Play at Home Mom, and they’ve got a lot of really great ideas for engaging your kids at home. Note: The moms on this site are pretty much supermoms, and I tend to leave the website feeling inadequate…obviously this is my problem and not theirs, but I’m just warning you. They’re supermoms.
Anyway, one of the things they do is let their kids have a lot of sensory play with small objects. Paul has a set of poker chips that have long ago lost their manly dignity via hours of getting licked, thrown, and stuffed into toy helicopters. So I threw them in the tub.

This provided us with about 45 minutes of pretty serious playtime. Of course, if you’re concerned about sparking an early gambling problem, you can always use something else.
Charlie’s not big on having people interfere with his playing…I tried to make a stack of poker chips and he freaked out like I had just told him he could never eat another bite of cheese. (That’s a pretty serious freak-out.)So I sat and read him books…since he has no interest in reading unless he can do it while jumping off of something. This is about the only way we can get any literature into him.

Charlie’s started taking two baths a day… one is a no-soap, strictly playtime bath…the other is the usual hygiene-related one. We lotion him up a bunch so the extra bathing doesn’t dry him out, and I just really appreciate the break in the morning. Charlie loves playing with water, and I’d like to think that he’s doing some decent learning and exploring while he’s having fun.

Okay, this post is encroaching dictionary-like proportions, so I’m going to stop typing. If you’re looking for more toddler ideas, check out Deb’s blog, Dose of Happy, and also make sure you hit up Play at Home Mom. Supermoms aside, they’ve got some awesome DIYideas to help you keep your sanity.