When NHV was born, Chad was not exactly thrilled with our little warm lump. Don't get me wrong, he loved and adored her plenty, but he was definitely counting down the days until she could actually interactive with him. Don't all men love to play?
These past few weeks since CJV was born and my time has been completely consumed by carrying for our second "warm lump" ... daddy has come to the rescue - big time, especially when it comes to entertaining our toddler. Clearly a two year old provides all the interaction he could ask for ... and more! And I cannot tell you how impressed I am with the ways he plays. His inventive, outside-the-box ideas give a whole new spin to how Natalie spends her time. He teaches her about big concepts and has infinite patient with her. Watching the two of them play - while I sitting around nursing and cuddling the newbie - really got me thinking about the evolution of daddy play ...
It all started with a little game called "What's on Daddy's Head?" As Natalie mastered the fine art of crawling and started to pull up on furniture, Chad came up with an incentive to practice. He'd sit on the floor, grab the nearest toy, and put it on his head. Then he'd ask, "What's that on daddy's head? That doesn't belong there; that's just silly." Natalie would take off crawling toward him, pull up and grab the toy with great enthusiasm. It was so much fun to watch.
Of course, his play repertorie has grown to include such favorites as ...
- Making breakfast food items out of Play-Doh
- Hide-and-seeking (with some pretty silly hiding spots)
- Running laps around the bottom level of our house while singing "She'll be Coming Around the Mountain"
- Building playgrounds and schools and airports out of foam and wooden blocks
- Making blanket forts and having pretend camp-outs
- Burying Natalie with every stuffed animal in the house
- Hanging her upside down (by her ankles) and using her as a "crane" to pick up toys off the ground
And then there are the more sophisticated - way over a two year old's head - science experiments that only an engineer could dream up ... like the most recent balloon bouyancy experiment. Chad attached a yogurt cup to the string of my birthday balloon. Together, Natalie and daddy tested how much weight could be loaded in the "basket" ... what would make it sink, what would cause it to float all the way to the ceiling, ... and finally Chad's rate of liquid evaporation vs. deflation rate ... yeah, that one is even over my head!
Oh, and here's my super talented husband retrieving the stranded balloon from the two-story stairwell by ... get this ... tossing a tiny bouncy ball into the yogurt cup attached to the string ... and yes, he was successful!