A friend is in hospital in England avoiding anything going wrong with her baby. She is going a little stir crazy and has asked for suggestions. I can’t send a care package because it would probably arrive after the baby, so I gave her the list of suggestions below, but if anyone has more, add them in the comments and I will forward them!

Here’s my list of ten Things To Do In Hospital:

  1. Write: write letters for the baby to read when it’s older, or little accounts of things that have happened in your lives that you want to become family stories.
  2. Knit. Do you knit? Learn to. Good for baby clothes (because they’re quicker), whiling away long hours and being a security risk for air travel.
  3. Read books and nursery rhymes onto tape to play for the baby when your voice gives out.
  4. Learn something: a new hobby or a game or a language.
  5. Try to invent a perpetual motion machine using only hospital equipment.
  6. Find out the life stories of other patients and try to use this new intimacy to persuade them to name their babies Clarence-Algernon, Mamie or Rudolpho (… were any of those names ones you were planning on?)
  7. Make a picture book – either drawing or collage. It can be as silly as you want, the baby won’t know for a while and then it will be a nice family heirloom. Bonus points for using hospital equipment.
  8. Devise an escape plan (using only hospital equipment).
  9. Formulate a five-year plan for world domination.
  10. Use hospital food to create modern art masterpieces. Photograph them. Try to get them into an exhibition.