Mom tip #729: Don’t waste money on overpriced, obnoxious baby toys. What babies really want are random, inanimate objects from around the house. A measuring cup, an empty box of Q-tips, a greeting card from last week’s holiday – all guaranteed to provide much more entertainment than any of those flashing, singing, spinning toys from Babies “R” Us. Trust me, you’ll be amazed at what can happen. Don’t believe me? Take my example from the other morning when, out of sheer desperation for a shower, I handed my immobile seven-month-old a loofah as he sat on my bathroom floor …
If you give a baby a loofah, he’ll promptly put it in his mouth. The unfamiliar texture will arouse his curiosity and obsession with the object for roughly eight and a half minutes.
While he’s making out with the new object, you’ll actually get to wash your hair and shave your legs in the shower.
This celebratory accomplishment will instantly lift your mood and set the trajectory for the day.
You’ll actually feel so refreshed, you’ll text your husband, “Hope you’re having a great day, babe!” and even insert the heart-eyed emoji.
He’ll misinterpret your text as a come-on, and reply “Maybe you can make it even better tonight.” *wink face, wink face*
The presumptuous response will make you laugh so hard that your other kids will come running into the room.
When they see their little brother playing with a usually-forbidden object, they cry that they want a loofah too.
You’ll say that you only have one, but how about this back scrubber?
Then your three-year-old will start singing “Whistle While You Work,” as she washes the shower walls with your husband’s back scrubber. She’ll stand in the wet shower in her socks, but you won’t care because she’s actually doing a number on some built-up soap scum.
The eight and a half minutes will have long expired and your little one is no longer amused by the fluffy yellow thing, so you’ll quickly look for some other arbitrary item to hand him.
You’ll bounce into the closet and grab a plastic hangar, to which he’ll start flapping his extremities in excitement.
Pulling out a hangar will make you take stock of the current mess that is your closet.
So you’ll start to sort, purge, and organize. You’ll take your donations to the local charity. Then your kids will ask why you’re giving away all your clothes, which will provide the perfect opportunity to impart a lesson on giving and gratitude.
When you get home your baby will be so tired from the morning excursion, he’ll take a three-hour nap. While he’s napping, you’ll browse Amazon on your phone for things you don’t need as you pretend to play Barbies with your preschoolers.
You’ll find the perfect sweater to replace the 15 that you just gave away. But because the Internet gods are evil, you’ll discover that you’re $1.50 shy of free shipping.
You’ll wrack your brain thinking of what possible add-on you might need, until it suddenly occurs to you:
After you make your purchase, the baby will wake up in the best mood from such a restorative nap, you’ll actually be able to prepare a dinner that doesn’t come from a box.
Little one will want to help, so you’ll hand him a spatula to keep him busy. He’ll gnaw on that sucker until he accidentally bites down too hard and cries. This will make you realize he wants something softer.
Which means you’ll go grab a loofah.
Moral of the story: Give a baby a loofah, get shit done, be philanthropic. Win at life.