Saturday, November 16

The Mother Games: 13 Games All Moms Play

 Catchy title, I know. It doesn't rhyme with The Hunger Games as well as I had hoped, but nevertheless, this post is about the crazy stuff that moms get to do. Who says being a stay-at-home mom isn't fun? I promise that if you try these games, you'll realize that motherhood is a blast. 

1. Cry Decoder
Object: Using only instinct, determine what your child needs based off of his or her tone of shrieking.
Commentary: Believe it or not, moms are given the ability to read cries (not quite as cool as reading minds, but better than nothing) and can do so in the face of chaos. Whether it's tired cry, a hungry cry, a tummy-ache cry, or something else, moms by far have the advantage in this game.

2. Avoid the Acid
Object: Dodge your child's projectile vomit/spit-up--even if it means you're sacrificing the floor. Or nearby furniture.
Commentary: This game is unpredictable and therefore requires much agility and skill on your part. Sometimes you don't know it's coming until it's too late, while other times you'll hear a wet sound from your child's mouth seconds before it happens which is your only warning. Best strategy: Keep those burp cloths handy and like a boy scout (or like Scar from Lion King), be prepared. And also prepare to never have totally clean carpets again.

3. Booger Chase
Object: Using whatever means necessary, get as much stuff out of baby's nose as possible before he or she starts crying--or, if you're persistent, before the crying turns into an uncontrollable fit of flailing limbs, making it impossible for you to continue. You're trying to get a stupid booger out of you baby's nostril which is like the size of a dried up pea (the nostril not the booger), and you think it's reachable, when all of a sudden your child breathes (for goodness' sake!) and sucks it back in. It's a battle to the death, I tell you.
Commentary: You know those stupid bulb things for getting snot out of your baby's tiny nose? Those things are ridiculously annoying. You'd think if someone could invent an iPad, someone else could figure out how to make a more efficient snot collector.

4. Mad Dash
Object: Put your baby down for a nap, then get as much done around the house as possible before the alarm goes off.* The alarm is your baby.
Commentary: This game is a fun one that most moms play daily. It's a little bit like Perfection (you know that game where you have to fit all the different-shaped pieces into their spots before the timer goes off suddenly and they all pop out?) because you never know how long you have. It could be ten minutes, it could be thirty minutes, it could be five hours. The best strategy is to plan ahead what tasks you want to do (and which ones you can do quickly) and then, as soon as you get the chance, seize it. *Variation: Some moms like to sneak in naps instead but I don't like to nap unless I'm guaranteed at least an hour's worth of sleep.

5. Run the Red
Object: Get home as quickly as possible with a crying baby in the backseat without losing your patience or breaking the law.
Commentary: How many times have you gotten almost all of your errands done and you're about to do one last thing before heading home when your child alerts you that you actually ARE done and you're going home to feed him/her NOW. In this moment you wonder for a fleeting moment if you can do just one last quick thing before heading home. Then you remember how much of a pain it is to unbuckle and re-buckle your child, especially a crying one, into his or her car seat and decide you're done. Unfortunately for you, baby is the boss. And no amount of soothing words, music, or rattle-shaking is going to help you now. Getting home fast with a crying baby is a kind of paradox. I can assure you, nine times out of ten you will hit every red light and be surrounded by the worst drivers on the road. Or at least it seems that way (darn you, Murphy's law!). Just remember that it's not the end of the world (though your baby may sure be acting like it is) and getting home safely is what's important. If you can't handle the pressure, no worries, just pull over and take care of things before you go any farther.

6. Maximum Load
Object: Test how much your baby's diaper can hold without developing into a blowout.
Commentary: This is kind of a game of chance. Sometimes, changing your baby's diaper right away is the right thing to do. Other times, you can sense that he or she is not quite done, and you'll be changing him or her again in a few minutes if you don't just wait. Then there's the question of changing your child's diaper if it's just a little pee. Sigh, the moral battles we go through daily while caring for our children. Honestly, I usually leave Tenley in a peed-in diaper for a little while because diapers are designed to absorb the liquid so your child can't feel it. Kind of like pads, ladies. But if it's poop, I've learned that waiting is super risky if you don't want to put your child into an entirely new outfit.

7. Catch the Splat
Object: Using a burp cloth (or in some situations, your sleeve, a blanket, whatever you have handy...), wipe your child's spit-up or drool BEFORE it gets all over his or her adorable little outfit and leave the front of the onesie soaking.
Commentary: I cannot stand when Tenley's front gets all wet with spit-up or drool because, first off, it's annoying (who wants to sit in wet things all day) and secondly, she starts to smell. Like yucky old milk. And it's not cute. This game is a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing that can happen anywhere at any time no matter how inconvenient.

8. Stop the Paci
Object: Keep the pacifier from being projected out of your child's mouth onto the germ-ridden floor.
Commentary: This is probably my least favorite game. I feel like I am constantly checking Tenley's pacifier for hairs or bit of floor, or else popping it in my own mouth to clean it off after a fall. It's gross. But I willingly sacrifice my health to keep Tenley healthy. Bonus points awarded if, like me, you have cat-like reflexes and can catch the pacifier in mid-air 50% of the time.

9. Shoe Drop
Object: Keep your baby's socks and shoes on all day.
Commentary: That's it, that's the game. But it actually is a challenge, especially with little babies who do not seem to like either items very much. Bonus points if you get the socks or shoes to stay on by the time you get home. Points taken away if you lose a sock or shoe.

10. One-Handed
Object: Do anything with a baby in one arm. Cook dinner. Take a shower. Get dressed. Use the bathroom. Do laundry. Write a blog post.
Commentary: Seriously, try it. Challenge yourself even more by making that a crying or flailing baby.

11. No-Handed
Object: Do regular tasks with no hands. (Check out this funny article about you can prepare to be a parent if you want some ideas.)
Commentary: Some babies are two-handed babies. They can sense when you aren't giving them your full undivided attention and not only want to be held and bounced but burped or patted, too. When this happens, moms have to get creative. Picking up toys or socks with one's feet is not uncommon. Bonus points to those of you who have had to use your mouth.

12. Hide-and-Seek
Object: Get your child in his or her own crib to sleep, then sneak out of the room without making a sound or being seen.
Commentary: This is a lot harder than regular hide-and-seek. Children seem to have mom radar that alerts them to your presence, whether you're crazy good at being silent or just regular silent.

13. Play Doctor
Object: Using your limited resources (a thermometer, children's tylenol, the internet) figure out if your child is really sick or just upset.
Commentary: From clipping your child's fingernails (which is like trying to thread a needle in 50mph winds) to observing the color, texture, amount, etc. of your child's poop, you now play a minor role as a children's doctor with possibly no training whatsoever. Good thing you at least have your maternal instincts to rely on. And your own mom. And the internet.
Tenley's face when I try some of these games with her.
Now after reading all of these, I ask: Why again, aren't American mothers paid to stay at home with their children? Don't ask me, I wasn't at the meeting. But if I had been, that would have been the sole item on my agenda. (If you like that idea, this post may interest you!) I really do think moms deserve to be paid for staying with their children, because raising the next generation (WELL) truly is the most important thing anyone could do.
I just adore my silly, sweet daughter ;)
What do you think? 
Should moms be paid to stay at home? Why or why not?
Have you ever played (or witnessed someone else playing) any of these games? Which ones?


I absolutely love to hear from you & will reply if I can!