Did you ever complain that you do not have enough time with your baby? Not if you have taken him/her for a bus ride from 1030am to 830pm, exactly 10 hours with her - skin to skin. It surely sounds overwhelming if you have an active toddler. Luckily for Kah Yen, we do not have to squeeze our brain juice to keep her entertained. Here is Kah Yen teaching you how to enjoy a long bus ride:
1. Eat, Eat and Eat
Kah Yen had 2 milk feed and 2 main meals on the bus. Surprisely, she finished all her milk and porridge without any fuss. She is usually not an aggressive eater at home. She is contented to finish 80% of her milk, and you can't lure her by any means to finish the remaining 20%. As for solid food, she can sit still and eat only if there is something in front her to keep her occupied. Not Iphone or Ipad, but any other toys, a small cooking set or a piece of paper with some crayons. While we were on the bus, I did not have to take out anything to entertain her. She ate like she had been starving for the past 3 days. Maybe the bumpy ride really helped her stomach to digest faster. Or maybe it is an universal truth for adults as well as babies - when you have nothing much to do, just eat, eat and eat.
2. The magic seat pocket
Kah Yen was fascinated with the seat pocket in front of my seat. And she did all kinds of experiments with it. Put in her small water bottle, it fit. Take out her bottle, put in Mummy's big bottle, it fit too. Now how about we put in Mummy's big bottle, then put in my small bottle, it fit both. How about adding one small piece of biscuit? Oh it dropped through the hole to the floor. One more time, it dropped again. Ok let's not waste my biscuits. Let's take out all the bottles and do the experiment again. The magic seat pocket kept her occupied for nearly an hours.
3. Curtains - Open it, Close it, and Peek-A-Boo
She loved to pull the curtains open, and close them again. After a few rounds she put Mummy's water bottle on the window and played Peek-A-Boo with it. She would close the curtain, and told me "Bottle no more", and then open the curtain and said "Peek-A-Boo"! She played with it again and again for many many times, with the same excitement. Her interest in it could have lasted even longer if the bottle can also play hide-and-seek like Mummy does.
4. What's outside the window?
You think it is so boring to look outside the window. Not quite so for Kah Yen. She would shout "Bus" each time there is a bus pass by. Same goes for cars. Mummy will try to point out the different colors of the buses and cars so that she can be engaged even longer. Other than buses and cars, she also managed to spot some birds, a few cats and even a fly on the other side of the glass.
5. Let's play funny faces
She can be self-entertained by playing all the funny faces and make silly noises herself. Her tongue is super flexible, she can stick half of it out of her mouth and let it dance and whirl about. Husband said that's not funny especially with all the saliva running down, but I have no objection to it because 1) That's what babies do 2) It is cute and she is happy 3) Tongue movement helps her speech development.
6. Sleep only if you absolutely need to
We adults will usually doze on and off throughout a long bus ride right? Unless we are watching a movie or reading a book. Shouldn't babies fall asleep even more easily by the rocking effect of bus. I thought so. But apparently it does not apply to a toddler with excessive energy. She slept in the morning for 2 solid hours, but that's the effect of sleeping at 11pm the previous night after a wedding dinner. So I was expecting by 3 to 4pm she would be down again for an afternoon nap. After patting her for half an hour, her eyes were almost half closed, but the moment the bus stopped for toilet break, she jumpped to her feet and from then on protested each time I tried to let her lie down again. The battle stopped finally by Mummy giving up completely.
Of course Mummy will never let our together-time being wasted without reading her a book or teaching her a few new words. I managed to teach her to respond to the question "What's your name?" by replying in her cutest voice "Kah Yen". It is not yet field tested and still Mummy thought this is brilliant. The only regret is I forgot to sing her the song "The wheel on the bus", what a perfect time to teach her the song!