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The Magic of Puppets

July 20, 2011

Last night was a ruff one for the Wilson household. Carter was incredibly fussy. When I was at home with him all day, I would always know just what he needed to make him happy. I knew if he was tired, over-stimulated, under-stimulated, hungry, or if it was just a gassy day. I had the power to make Carter happy. It was not lost on me that this power was only temporary, and I would lose it upon returning to work.

How did I know this you ask? Once upon a time, before my husband went back to work, he too possessed the magic power that could make Carter stop crying. Now we are both in the same frustrating boat. With our usual go-to of going for a walk outside being impossible in this Charlotte heat; we turned to trial and error.
“Carter, do you want to play in your bouncer seat?” No.
“Carter, do you want to walk around the house with mommy?” No.
“What about a fun bath?” No.
“Do you like this toy?” No. “What about this toy?” No.
“Do you want to read a book?” No.

With the crying still at full force, I opened my cabinet of toys that we haven’t used yet and found a soft bear book called Bye-Bye Bear that has a bear puppet attached. I put the puppet on my hand and created a voice that was somewhat of a mixture between Snuffleupagus and Barney. While initially confused, soon after Carter became entranced. He was not smiling or laughing but was quiet and transfixed. I’ll take it! We played this game for 15 mins before I ran out of things to say. Carter was happy for the rest of the night. And now it seems, that bear puppet has the power. Hey, as long as someone in the house does!

LESSON LEARNED: While not all babies might like puppets, they can create just enough confusion to calm a fussy baby.

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