Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Baby Contest

This morning Robert and M and I went out to take part in a competition! Robert raced in the Huggies Diaper Dash at Babies R Us. He was on the high end of qualification age, but still legal, as long as he didn't stand up during the race. Babies who walk in a crawling race get disqualified! Since Robert still doesn't stand up without pulling up, this wasn't much of a problem. The races started at 11, and technically all the competitors were supposed to show up then, but because of a quick freak snowstorm, it was just us and one other family (twin girls!) Robert raced against the bigger one in the first heat and won handily because the competition was content to sit at the starting line and grin about how much attention everyone was paying her. It was very cute! Robert raced for the love of his lovey and the pretzel stick I was holding down at the finish line.

After that, we had to spend an hour and a half or so sitting around and waiting for the championship race. A few other competitors trickled in, which the store allowed and even strongly encouraged so they could get enough competition for the championship race. In the meantime, we wrangled our contender baby and tried to keep him from burning all his energy or getting so frustrated by waiting that he wasn't having fun anymore. In the last preliminary heat, the winner was a baby about Robert's age, who was a pretty good crawler. His dad cheated by putting his hands down in the field of play during the race, but it wasn't our race and the other competitors didn't complain. All the winners of the heats got gift cards, and that was very cool!

The championship ended up being between Robert, this other kid almost his age, and funnily enough, the tiny twin of the baby Robert beat in the first round. She raced in the second round, and because her much larger competitor couldn't figure out the "Now it's time to crawl" thing, she managed to army crawl her way across the mat to victory. She was not really a contender in this one, but she was just as cute as could be. The race began, and Robert made it halfway down very quickly before hesitating. I think he was a little scared by the mom next to me who was clapping and yelling pretty loudly. The other baby crawled entirely off the mat, but ended up making it to the end of the line first. They called it a victory, but the fact of the matter was that it was a disqualification. The rules of the competition were absolutely clear that the babies must stay on the mat that marked the field of play. (Again, these were the people who entered the field of play illegally in the earlier race.) This time, since I had a stake in things, I pointed out the rules.

The other baby's parents and grandparent were not very happy about not getting their victory, but as a compromise, instead of the disqualification, we ran the race over again. This time, for whatever reason, Robert was like a ball out of a cannon, and just barreled across the mat when I waved his sippy cup at him. The other family were very sore losers about it, which tarnished it a little bit, despite the fact that their baby hadn't been in the store for 90 minutes sitting around already, and they'd gotten away with several rules violations before being called on one. Anyway! We were still happy to win, and Robert had a great time, which was the main thing. He enjoyed socializing with the other babies, and getting to crawl around Babies R Us with no pants on for a couple of hours. And for the grand prize, we got three coupons for big boxes of diapers, which is great! Right now I've got a thousand Size 4 diapers stockpiled, but there is always Size 5 coming sooner than we think.

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