Every Saturday, Nate has morning duty. Theo wakes up, Nate gives him a bottle and proceeds to shut the door, place a large hippo pillow under his head and splay himself all over Theo’s floor. While Nate lays there in a sleepy haze, Theo uses him as an obstacle course, he chatters away, he looks at books, plays with his toys, empties his hamper, he does all sorts of mildly destructive toddler things.
I used to find Nate there—laying down like a lump as our child played by himself—and think, WTF! Play with Theo, sing to the boy, gosh darn it!
Then...I started laying there in the morning, too. Theo loved it. A different obstacle course! And, frankly, I like being horizontal at 6am. And, you know what, you can totally play with a kid laying down. Now, when we do baby-wind-down pre-bedtime on the weekends, both Nate and I cram our horizontal selves into Theo’s room.
All this laying down has caught on. Now Theo does it with us. In between bursts of running, spinning, and playing, he puts his head on the hippo, too, and turns to gaze right at you. Or he'll toss himself onto your belly and rock his head back and forth on it while sporting a big ol joker’s grin. Or he’ll walk over to his crib, pull his favorite ducky blanket out, and proceed to lay down and snuggle with it.