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How to Make Your Baby Work For You

I read to the girls every day, even when they don’t seem to be paying attention. “The Pigeon Needs a Bath” is a perennial favorite, but on this particular occasion they quickly lost interest and started pulling my hair – a legitimate massage technique. Also, the cat was kneading my chest. I’ve never felt so pampered. However, it all came crashing down when Clementine caught wind of my scheme.

“Daddy, I’m not here to serve your needs.”

“What do you mean, sweetie?”

“Um, you’re clearly enjoying this more than we are.”

“Not feelin the Pigeon today?”

“Why do you think I was pulling your hair?”

“I thought you were reciprocating the love.”

“No! I was trying to hurt you!”

“Well, sweetie, you’re welcome to continue.”

“MINIONS!” 

“No way — we already watched it earlier.”

“More like Penny & I watched it — while you napped on the couch.”

“I’m sorry, sweetie, maybe you don’t remember — you kept me up all night — babbling nonsense.”

“Huh? Daddy, I thought you had insomnia — I was doing it for your benefit.

“Are you kidding me? Wow, we are really having trouble communicating today.”

“How about this? I’m sick and tired of hearing about the stupid pigeon and his poor hygiene. Is that clear enough!?”

“Hmm. Let me think. We already watched Minions, played on the floor, did shadow puppets, and walked Turk — what else is there?”

“Seriously, you’re asking ME? Daddy, you’re the adult in the room.”

“Trust me, I’m well aware — there’s not a lot we can do together — you’re basically an invalid.”

“That’s bullshit, daddy. Our sitters always come up with novel activities.”

“Of course! They have the energy because you don’t keep them up all night!”

“Whatever, daddy. I’ve got an idea — when was the last time you danced for us?

“Pfft! You hate my dancing.”

“I suppose it’s grown on me — dance, monkey, dance!”

“Oh, so I’m a clown? I’m here to amuse you?”

“Yes! That’s the reason you’re here.”

“Oh, right. But I’m still not dancing.”

“Come on, daddy, I’m getting punchy over here.”

“I’m thinking. I’m thinking.”

“Stop thinking — just Google it!”

“Fine!”

**googles “activities for a 7-month-old”**

“Ok, here’s a suggestion.”

**Places Clemmy on floor and tosses rattle a few feet away from her**

“What’s that?”

“Your favorite toy.”

“I know. Why’s it over there?”

“It says here to place toys out of your reach to get you to move.”

“But, I can’t crawl yet.”

“Well, now you have a reason.”

“Oh, really? You think I’m not crawling due to lack of motivation?”

“Motivation is everything, sweetie.”

Really? **struggles to push self up and lunges forward** I can’t. I just can’t.”

“Try again.”

“Daddy, this is stupid.**clawing and grunting, falls flat on face** I give up!”

“It’s ok, sweetie. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

“So?”

“What?”

“The toy, please?”

“No.”

“No?”

“No! You have to earn it.”

“Seriously? I’m never suggesting Google again! You take everything so literally.”

“Ok, sweetie. Now what?”

“I dunno. What would you do if me and Penny weren’t here?”

“That’s easy — without you two, the possibilities are endless.”

“Indulge me, then.”

“Well, lately I’ve had the urge to play online poker.”

“Ooh! Ooh! Yes. Let’s do that! I want to learn!”

“Ok, but you CANNOT tell your mother.”

“Who?”

“Your…”

“Joking, daddy. Are you really that stupid?”

“Forget it, then.”

“Nooo! Let’s make a deal — show me how to play poker, and I’ll give you another hair massage.”

“Now that’s a great idea! You know, in Vegas, poker players pay good money for a table massage.”

“They spend money on top of gambling?”

“Sure, they pay for all sorts of things in Vegas.”

“Really? Such as?”

“Um, that’s a conversation for another time, sweetie.”

“Vegas sounds like my kind of town, daddy.”

“It sounds fun, sweetie — but most people walk away unhappy. Some lose their life savings at the tables. A friend of mine got divorced after a Vegas trip.

“OMG! That’s so sad, daddy. I don’t wanna learn poker anymore.”

“That’s fine, sweetie. Back to the drawing board — any ideas?”

“Let’s just finish the Pigeon story — it’s boring, but at least it has a happy ending.”

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