Home > Uncategorized > You have to be smarter than the baby toys.

You have to be smarter than the baby toys.

“You have to be smarter than the baby’s toy,” has become a common saying in our household. Every time that Leia get’s a new toy, she always discovers something about it before we do. This usually leads to one of us exclaiming, “I didn’t know it did that!” which leads to much derision and heckling by the other. Usually in the middle of this exchange, Leia will look up at us and laugh knowingly at us. I’ve come to believe that all babies have a special “thing” that they do. Hers is to know when one of us is complaining about something she did, and the punctuating our point by impetuously laughing at us.

She pretends like she doesn't, but she KNOWS what you're talking about.

“And you should’ve seen the poopie diaper that Leia left for me right after I changed her.”

“Heh.”

This weekend, I was on the receiving end on the mother of all these exchanges. We visited the families for the weekend and decided to pack up Leia’s pack and play for the first time. When she was younger, we simply would bring a bassinet along. The bassinet would split into two separate parts which would fit easier into our vehicle. Even though we had upgraded our vehicle from a regular old car to an SUV, the bassinet still ate up a lot of valuable packing real estate. It took up a lot of room and I always felt bad putting something on top of it in case it broke. When she graduated to a regular crib it was a sigh of relief for me during packing. Emphasis on the during packing part.

The last time we slept at my wife’s parents house there were…we’ll call them “difficulties” with the baby and sleeping. The problem is she didn’t. At all. Ergo, concordantly, vis-à-vis we didn’t sleep either. Let me share a little Ka-nawl-edj with those of you not yet down with the little ‘uns, at 4 a.m., you don’t give a damn how easy it was to pack your vehicle, but you do care if you’re not sleeping. So, this time we decided to break down her pack and play.

As I said earlier, this was our first time actually taking it somewhere, and therefor, our first time breaking it down. True to its word, it breaks down very nicely. It goes within minutes from this:

To this:

The part on the left is the main crib and the part on the right is the mattress that goes in the crib. There’s even a handy dandy case for the main portion of the crib. As we were getting it ready I was carrying the crib under one arm and the mattress, folded into fourths under the other. I looked like a gorilla rastling two anacondas, but I was making good packing time. My wife stopped me along the way.

“There should be a way that the mattress fits in the bag.”

“Yeah, but it’ll take me two minutes to walk these out to the car and it’ll take me five minutes to try to fit the mattress in the bag. You know, for being a pack and play, this isn’t very convenient. This bag doesn’t even have a handle.”

Little did I know how much I was setting myself up for. I’m not afraid to admit that I would’ve gladly looked up in the instruction manual how to pack it up properly. By then, of course, the instructions had disappeared to the mysterious omega quadrant, where all instruction booklets disappear to when needed and reappear from when not needed. Sure, I could’ve applied a Laplace operator to Fermat’s last theorem and snatched it from ethereally dimensionlessness  but that would’ve taken countless seconds. Better to take the easy route and ignore all rules of common sense.

Our weekend done and the baby resting easier because of the pack and play, it was time to repack the now unpacked pack and play. This time, however, when I folded up the mattress, I noticed that there were two velcro straps and matching eyelets on the back side of it, along with, wonder of wonders, a handle. I folded her in half, put the straps through the eyelets and admired my handy work. Instead of being folded into quadrants, it was now folded in half. Instead of looking like I was rastling two anacondas, it would now look like I was rastling one anaconda while holding a nifty attaché case, no doubt on my way to some sort of gorilla symposium. How this is better than the way I had it before I couldn’t imagine, but it was obviously the way it was supposed to be. I picked up the folded mattress by the handle and grabbed at the case.

“FWOOM!”

The attaché had collapsed and was now a square shaped shell. Eureka! indeed. I quickly took the crib apart, undid the velcro straps, threw the crib in the case, threw the case in the mattress and redid the velcro straps. I then had myself a truly packed pack and play. Tickled with my new discovery, I cared little for the haranguing I would receive for being outsmarted by a babies toy, and rushed upstairs to report my discovery to my wife.

“Hey, you know how you said that the mattress should fit in the case? Well, the mattress IS the case. BAMF!”

“That’s nice, dear.”

She said it condescendingly, but I could tell that she was super impressed with my mad dad skills.

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