|In the days before attorneys.|
Da-da's pretty sure he's been neglecting the subject -- probably because he's blocked it out -- so, by popular request, here's one last quasi-useful post on securing those precious life-moments somewhere between Christmas and being roasted alive. Yes, we're talking babies. BABIES! Yell this word in a public setting and you'll polarize whole groups of people: some people LOVE babies; some people head for the hills; some people make mewling noises and eat funyuns. They chained Da-da to something heavy (or is that Da-da?), so he's stuck in a prison camp somewhere in-between.
Since Da-da's already been twice-through the diaper-genie trenches and some of you poor hominids haven't, here are the Da-da's 13 Fortuitous Tips He Can Actually Remember Working That Contain Babies -- that is, tactics TO STOP BABIES FROM ESCAPING, if only for a little while, and that are mostly legal. Alas, like any white-hot radioactive blancmange heading straight through the earth's crust on its way to the core, NOTHING CAN CONTAIN BABIES. Nothing. Not indefinitely. Babies are little forces of nature whom YOU have foolishly let out. Nice work. Cute baby... where'd he go?
Da-da's 13 Fortuitous Baby Containment Tips That Might Still Work
Tip #13: Diapers. Diapers? Sure. You might hate 'em, but they slow that little bastard down. Ever try running while wearing a diaper? Of course you have.
|Note: diapers also slow down certain types of music.|
Tip #12: The Baby Pendula. The Baby Pendula? Sure. Da-da invented it. Or was that for logs? Anyway, sleep boasts wonderful containment, and that's why it's #1, as you'll see. However, note that kids GROW when they sleep, thus giving themselves a better opportunity for later escape. It's Evolution in Action.
|WHY IS THAT BEAR STILL AWAKE?! AAIEEIEEEE!|
Tip #11: TV. This stops them from moving, or thinking, but only for a short time, and it's admittedly pretty sad parking your kid in front of a television or video game just so you can have a life, but every parent has done it. Having kids has nothing to do with YOU and your cravings for sleep or a nice quiet lunch, or really anything about you and your previously sexy life. No, it's all about junior. Kids are LUNCH KILLERS, nice-meal buzz-kill... well, until they're about 26, but you're still gonna pick up the check in perpetuity, even after you're dead. Da-da's been dead for years and he thinks it's fabulous.
|In tonight's episode, Da-da tries to remember why he went into the garage!|
Tip #10: Kid Parks. That is, any park that's got a decent play structure, is fenced, gated, in a decent neighborhood, with only ONE entrance, and parent benches that offer superior 360 degree pillbox views of all possible threats and unrealized escape routes. Even then, you can never really relax -- unless, that is, you simply don't care, in which case you should tap out and go work for stock options.
|Kid-park lock-down is always a good idea.|
Tip #9: Baby Corrals. A no-brainer. Da-da LOVES baby corrals. Sure they're pricey, but while they work, they offer the closest thing to peace of mind. What parent doesn't love kid-jail? Besides, it prepares them for later incarcerations and those welcoming gray cubicles of Discorporate America.
|This makes Da-da so happy.|
Tip #8: Tents. Tents? TENTS. Add sleeping bags and comfy blankets and heart pillows inside a little two-person tent... ZIP and ZAP... they're gone. Tents offer a weak form of containment, and may even breed phobias, but you're not really listening to anything Da-da says anyway. Tents are all about AMUSEMENT, but we're getting ahead of ourselves a little. Safe, that is, until they wake up and destroy the tent like rabid grizzlies.
Tip #7: Kid Gates. All kid gate manufacturers should get free dinners for life. Shouts of, "LOCK 'EM DOWN!" used to ring through Da-da's AWW-shank kid-prison... well, until someone yelled, "BABY MISSING ON TIER TWO, CELL 245!" Great. It helps to put zen temple bells on all gates and doors, as they have a tone that's unmistakable. You hear that bell ring and it means either, "INTRUDER!" or "ESCAPE ATTEMPT!" Of course, in Da-da's house it could also mean, "GHOST!" or "ANOTHER ANGEL JUST GOT ITS WINGS!"
|Here's one Da-da uses all the time. It's a bit of a deluxe model, but well worth it.|
Tip #6: Misdirection. Tasks, puzzles, drawing, bright shiny things, dancing sweaty mascots... whatever works. Hey look: HAM. Misdirect that escape attempt such that they never want to escape, which of course leads us to...
|That's a lot less fun than it looks.|
Tip #5: Mr. Hand. Mr. Hand is... well, Da-da's hand. And it talks. Yeah, it's expensive. Like, really expensive. And it typically says funny things that Da-da himself says, but it's infinitely more handy and attractive, so the expense is justified. Sure, Mr. Hand represents that magical venn-diagram nexus of AMUSE + MENT, but that would be the illusory item #14 on this list, and 14 Things aren't as interesting as 13, so... whatever.
|Yes, Da-da's hands look like that. It's an evolutionary advance. Is, too.|
Tip #4: Driving Around Forever. How many gajillion barrels of crude have been burned trying to induce sleep in babies and toddlers and tax collectors? The number must be enormous, and probably explains that inexplicable 2:00 am traffic, as well as any global energy crisis that may materialize when profits are running low. This driving technique may smack of desperation, but welcome to post-apocalyptic parenting.
|Driving through fire reeeeally puts kids out.|
Tip #3: Duct Tape/Velcro. It's obvious. It's crass. It's even more desperate. But it's a classic. Even works on mothers-in-law. Of course, it's also a sure way to invoke Child Protective Services, but not if you do as Da-da does and use an effigy bear.
|Da-da has taped a few teddy bears on the wall in his day.|
Tip #2: Stick 'em With Ma-ma. With Ma-ma? WITH MA-MA! AHHAHAHHAHAHA, they're YOURS now, lady! AHHAHAHHAHAHA... where's Da-da's lithium?
|Dang, Ma-ma's sexy.|
Tip #1: SLEEP (See Baby Pendula). The Sandman makes the best jailor, if only for a short time. The trick is learning how to get that kid DOWN. 7YO Nagurski, Da-da's oldest, simply will not sleep in a car, perhaps because he didn't want to miss anything, but 5YO Bronko is out in 60 seconds once the doors close. And don't forget: SLEEP BEGETS SLEEP. Though not for parents.
|Gosh, the past must've been a pile of medicated giggles.|
A Teeny Tiny Warning
PLEASE don't let junior play with your cellphone to entertain or distract. It's an RF device (RF = Radio Frequency) and it's pumping out 2.4 Ghz radiation right into little Gilgamesh's developing gray matter curliques. 2.4 Ghz? That's what we in the Royal Navy call, "The Water Band." You know, that band of frequency that microwaves use to excite water molecules? That microwaves use TO COOK FOOD? Trust Da-da here, you don't want a cooked baby. Cooked babies tend to live in your house forever, and it's our shared goal to get them OFF TO COLLEGE or that Pacific Whaling Trade School as soon as possible... which is, of course, the exact OPPOSITE of the above containment and thus beyond the scope of this post.
|Actually, aluminum foil helps to FOCUS UFO transmissions... which explains a lot.|