Are ya spoil'n him yet? It's never too early to start ya know. I always loved to tickle a very young baby's lower lip and watch it extend out into that classic pouting shape, of course while they were asleep. And when the still non-mobile youngen's began to try and figure out how to crawl, I'd place my hand against their feet so that theyd have something to push against, and they'd scoot forward on their bellies. And when they were old enough (strong enough) to be moved about without fear of their little necks twisting in odd ways, I'd put them on my knee and bounce them to the rythim of
"Once there was a monkey
Sittin' on a rail
Pickin' his teeth
with the end of his tail
he hopped in a boat
to take a sail
and a great-big-wave
tipped him over.
Now when you say the words "and a great-big-wave" you have to move your knees sidways and back with every word. And when you say, "tipped him over", you have to hold the young'ens head and tilt him backward until he's upside down. Then bring him up again, slowly of course. The first time, sometimes the baby's suprised. But by the third time you do this, they come to trust you implicitly and can't get enough of this little play-action jingle.
Other kid favorites include the "car ride". I invented this game with my kids when they were about three years of age.
1. lie on your back with your knees elevated.
2. have child sit on your knees, facing you.
3. place childrens feet in either hand.
4. tell them to start the car, using the "air key" (similar to air guitar).
5. make rumbling noises as if you were the running engine.
6. increase the revs as you go through the gears.
7. shake your knees up and down and side to side gently to simulate a ride
down a smooth road.
8. simulate a sharp S-curve by moving knees dramatically to left, then
right, while making screeching tire noises.
9. bounce alternate knees up and down, several inches per knee while
anouncing "huge bumps!"
10. If child stays in the "seat", then continue the ride. When child falls off,
then it's the next child's turn.
Another absolutely loved game was another I created with my kids. I called in "The Rocket". This one can be safely done at about eight to twelve months and upward.
1. lie on back.
2. grasp child just under the armpits, wrapping hands around the upper
torso for maximum support.
3. Lower child so that his chest is touching your own chest.
4. quickly scoot child toward your feet about 3 to 4 inches while stating
"ready, chk, chk" (sound of bolt action rifle loading).
5. Straighten arms upward 6 inces or so while calling "aim, chk, chk".
6. quickly move arms forwardand up, lifting child above your head while
7. repeat until you get tired.
This is also a great exercise for your old, tired, grandpa muscles.
(duck run, an hide)
There were so many game I invented with my kids. I even taught them falling skills that I had learned in Judo, when they reached about 2 years of age, through games, using a huge pillow. That particular game saved one of my boy's life when he fell out of a 2nd story window onto sun-baked clay, while I was at work. He climbed a chair to look out of an open window and pushed the screen out. I was so very thankful to my Heavenly Father for watching over my son, and so happy that I took the time to teach him falling skills. To this day, that child of mine (now an adult to make any Dad proud) is exceptional, and he's now a happily-married man, who just celebrated his first aniversary. And my three other kids are just as great. They just didn't fall out of any windows.
I gave my kids my energy and time, and have been rewarded many times over by the relationship I've maintained with each of them, from the time they were born, to the present. I am so looking forward to being a grandpa.
I am so happy for you, Andy. Love that little one as you love life. And as I said previously, I know you will.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North