General Notes: Paci, always have a paci hand.
Seriously, the paci.
Beverage Service: Bottled water, but only one that is chilled to perfection at a frosty 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the bottle needs to be the last cold one in the house and you need to be drinking from it to begin with.
Reminder: I wasn’t kidding about the paci. Let me be clear, if you do not come bearing a pacifier, I will rain down holy hell the likes of which have not been seen since The Spanish Inquisition. Save us all the trouble, and bring the pacifier.
For My Viewing Pleasure: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. I don’t care if you’ve read a gazillion news articles espousing the dangers of exposing babies to screens too early. Once, Incubator, in a desperate attempt to quiet someone from crying (I’m sure it was Wombmate), turned on Daniel for 27 seconds. That was all it took; it was love at first sight. To ensure I get plenty of Daniel time, I dance, sing and clap along to all of his songs, particularly when I see Incubator preparing to turn it off. What can I say? She’s a sucker for my smooth moves.
Dinner: DIIIIIINNER! I LOVE eating dinner. Whatever you fix me is fine, but what you’re having is better, undoubtedly. Feed me that. Don’t worry, if I don’t like it, I will discreetly spit it onto the floor, or if space allows, onto Incubator and Beard. You’ll know I’m done when I begin pestering Wombmate just as she’s finally decided to end her personal hunger strike. She’ll respond by plunging both hands into her meal and flinging food at me while screeching like a rabid opossum. Some people’s kids, am I right?
Transportation: Look, I just learned to walk last week, so I’m practically an adult. I don’t need anyone carting me around in a softly padded, brightly colored carrier festooned with fun toys for my entertainment pleasure. Even when I appear to be tuckered out, I.WANT.TO.WALK. For some reason, Incubator and Beard seem unclear on this preference, so I’ll put it another way: If anyone attempts to strap me into this hellish carrier, I will tap into my inner demon, arch my back and scream as if Diablo is pulling my very soul into the depths of hell. I don’t like making a scene, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Pre-Toddler Pro Tip: If you’re dietary demands and/or refusal to sleep appears to be wearing thin on the parents, try giggling. It never fails.
Personal Space: For my money, there’s nothing better than an open mouthed kiss strategically placed on the hairiest part of the shedding Portly Pug.
Sleeping Arrangements: The crook of Beard’s arm with my right hand twirled into his beard. The crib is tolerable but only if I’m not awake when placed in it. If I’m awake, we’re having a family cuddle session whether the Gestators like it or not.
Clothing: My natural body temperature runs a bit on the warm side, so I don’t require long sleeves, caps, socks, shawls, smocks, dusters, coats or blankets. If I get cold, I’ll let you know by (delightfully) pinching or smacking you.
Entertainment: In the words of Lavare Burton, “take a look, it’s in a book!” Much to Beard and Incubator’s pleasure, Wombmate and I are big fans of literacy, particularly the finger-puppet based kind. I’m a HUGE fan of The Very Hungry Caterpillar; if you have not done so already, I highly recommend you check it out immediately. It has something for everyone-intrigue, mystery, humor, dieting tips and even a makeover. If you think it’s a good read the first time, you’ll love it the seventh time in a row. It’s one of those novellas that hits home each time you read it.
Engineering: There is nothing as fascinating as figuring out how to dismantle furniture, especially things like baby gates, crib fronts and coffee table legs.
Attire: When you’re as cute as I am, there’s not an outfit in the world that won’t look delightful on, but I’m particularly fond of tennis shoes. That is all. If I could totter around all day naked as the day I was born, in nothing but my hot pink and purple sneakers, I would. Diapers are cumbersome and get in the way of my agility. I like to be as aerodynamic as possible so I can run from Incubator and Beard.
For My Listening Pleasure: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is where it’s at! It’s an oldie but a goodie, a classic for the ages. For those days when one song just won’t do, I like The Itsy Bitsy Spider. The hand motions are fun and make the Gestators look desperately silly.