Here are my Top 5 Tips for things to do to or for your Happy Buddy when he or she is restrained.
1. Clip Nails – This is probably the Happy Buddy’s least favorite activity, but when he is in his high chair happily munching away on a pretzel stick, I can swoop in and clip those babies before he’s even realized what’s happened.
2. Do Hair – I have friends with girls that say their little princesses never sit still long enough to get all those tangles out (wonder what Rapunzel’s mom did??), so why not plan to do their hair while they are in the high chair eating Cheerios?
3. Slather Sunscreen – The Happy Buddy and I were invited to a play date at a pool the other morning and my friend told me to put his sunscreen on him when he was in his car seat to avoid a big mess and a big wrestling match. She was right! Worked like a charm and saved so much time!
4. Read Books – When the Happy Buddy was about 6 months old, a friend and I car-pooled our babies to Costco for some shopping. I noted that instead of giving her Happy Buddy toys and teething things for the ride (like I did), she gave him a couple of board books. I loved that idea! Ever since then, I keep several books in our car just for car rides and it has really encouraged my Happy Buddy’s love of reading!! I get so excited when I look back at him and he’s happily flipping the pages of a book and mumbling the story out loud in his special Happy Buddy Gibber-ish.
5. Captive Audience – One of the best times to chat with my Happy Buddy is when we are driving. We’re both just sitting there, so I always try to seize those moments as opportunities to impart wisdom (Haha!) or encouragement on his ever-present ears. I like to tell him where we are going, what we will do there, what kind of behavior I expect from him, etc. I also like to use the time to reflect. I might point out other people’s good behavior that we may have witnessed while at our destination, or even praise the great choices I saw my Happy Buddy exhibit before we climbed back into the car.
But let me tell you, sometimes I have to really command myself to do this. I am more inclined to put on some great music and not say a peep the whole ride. But it seems that the times I really make an effort to chat, the Happy Buddy seems most prepared for the adventures we experience.
My other favorite thing to do for the Happy Buddy when he is sitting in his high chair is to put in a good Broadway musical CD and perform my heart out for him. I’ve always secretly dreamed about making it to Broadway, so I get easily inspired when I know the Happy Buddy can’t go anywhere and I’ll have a captive audience in this setting. I am not even kidding when I tell you that one of the best moments of my life was when I was belting out the final note of “Defying Gravity” from the show Wicked and the music stopped, the Happy Buddy literally dropped his peanut butter sandwich and burst into the most enthusiastic applause I have ever received.
Talk about a confidence booster! I was ready to head into auditions with Kristin Chenoweth!!
Go ahead, give it a try! I’ve danced, sung, done acrobatics, completed cheer squad routines, and delivered the best speech ever about the importance of eating vegetables all while talking into a spatula microphone and doing the can-can.
Do you have any fun/clever things you do to/for your Happy Buddies when they are strapped in?