Even at 8 months old Captain Poo Pants still isn’t of an age to appreciate an historically accurate recreation of the Battle of Kursk using Micromachines. One of the things I was looking forward to most about fatherhood (other than the warm embrace of a loving family stuff) was having a legitimate reason to play with toys again and so whilst I wait a few years until we can get some wrestlers or boglins we are pleased to present the Captain Poo Pants guide to baby toys.
For the first couple of months your baby will be content with staring at a bulb or failing to bat a stuffed giraffe before falling back to sleep for three hours. You might like to pile all the toys you’ve bought in a corner or in a special box.
As your baby gets older it will begin derive pleasure from learning that limbs can be manipulated to produce momental alterations in spacetime. I can never remember the name of the Jumparoo (just had to go upstairs to check the front) so most mornings Captain Poo Pants gets a go on his Boing-a-tron. Top tip: It is worth confirming you don’t have a shitted nappy before commencing boinging.
Bath time is a great occasion to get your baby used to splish splashing but also to the fact that rubber ducks taste bad when covered in soap. We did however create months of entertainment pouring water from a hollow tug boat.
Top tip: Your curious baby may look up at the exact moment you’re pouring so take care if you want to avoid a full Guantanamo-style waterboarding.
That’s not a toy
Like an aggressive magpie, as soon as you try and sneak a look at your phone (for example to catch up on an hilarious dad blog or sharing the link to such a blog with friends or with your sister-in-law who works for a publisher with a track record of printing new authors of parenting books) your little one will stop everything, drop even the most riveting of stuffed owls, and insist on pressing their eyes against the warming glow of the screen.
Stimulation of the senses is enjoyable which is why adults like things like the northern lights and David Sneddon. In an attempt to stop CPP lurching for my phone and spending thousands of pounds on trebuchets on Clash of Clans we got him a toy phone and tv remote that make noises; the remote even speaks in French. However as his fine motor skills don’t yet allow him to accurately press buttons he tends to hold them in death pincer grips so all you can hear over and over is “Hello, it’s going to be a great day…….neuf…neuf…..neuf…..neuf….neuf …Hello, it’s going to be a great day…..neuf” which can surprisingly become annoying in a matter of seconds.
In the witching hour all manner of objects become exciting play things; feet become tantalising tentacles of mystery; the light on the cot camera becomes as powerful and distracting as a thousand suns.
As your baby gets a bit older they might become attached to a particular toy. To avoid tears in the future I’m doing my best to steer CPP away from the toys with the flimsiest necks and googliest eyes. “Hey why don’t we play with Mr cuboid of industrial wall filler?”
Let’s get one thing straight – everything is a teething toy; socks, carpet, electrical cabling.
Suitable for Alsatians
The great baby toy deception is that most baby toys are just dog toys with the price quadrupled. Every baby in the world has popular teething toy Sophie the Giraffe (pictured). Whoever came up with it must be a trillionaire yet you could pick up something similar at Pets at Home for 99p – it even squeaks!
You can spend thousands of pounds on baby toys but if they want to they’ll still happily ignore whatever it is you’ve bought and spend an hour laughing at their own feet or scratching some material.
Given the choice, Captain Poo Pants’s top pasttimes of choice would always be:
1) Looking in the mirror then not looking in the mirror then looking in the mirror again.
2) Having a blanket thrown over his head.
3) Scratching the inside of other people’s mouths.