Tag Archives: Stay Home PaPa
It’s hard to keep up with Maddie and her ever-expanding bag of tricks. She is 14-months-old now and has a startling grasp of the English language. Her spoken words are limited to Heyy, bye, Daaa and Maaa – but her comprehension of words and phrases is unmistakable.
When you ask Maddie for a specific item, she brings it to you.
Maddie, get your shoes – She comes back with her shoes. Maddie, please don’t do that – She stops to see if you really mean it and if you plan to do anything about it. And that’s really where the trouble has taken root.
Maddie is well aware of the things she’s not supposed to do and this has led to the development of some very mischievous tendencies.
First of all, Maddie knows she’s not supposed to open and empty her clothes drawers. Just this morning, Maddie wandered down the hall into her room and I heard her slide open the clothes drawer. I streaked down the hall to catch her in the act. She obviously heard me coming and was running out of the room when I arrived.
The drawer was wide open, but the antagonist had fled the scene.
As I was closing the drawer, I heard the oven door open in the kitchen – another forbidden activity for Maddie. (Yes, the oven was OFF!) I sprinted towards the kitchen in time to see the serial offender making good on another escape.
As I mentioned, Maddie is 14-months-old and is already employing bait and switch escape tactics. I can see this getting complicated in big hurry.
Halloween is a time for costumes, not costume changes – but try telling that to Maddie. For some reason, possibly as a civil protest to an article I wrote earlier this week, the baby has recently decided to boycott burping. If the baby doesn’t burp, her rate of spitting up increases significantly.
It took a while to fully understand this concept, but Maddie was kind enough to begin my education last night right before bedtime. After an uneventful diaper change, I picked up Maddie for a little nighttime stroll around the house. Just as I lifted her up, she launched a perfectly placed dollop of spit up right down her fresh nightgown. She smiled sweetly at me as if to say, “My bad, PaPa!”
Well this isn’t my first rodeo – I grabbed a clean nightgown, stripped off the soiled garment and changed the baby. Just as I finished adjusting her sleeves, the baby spackled up some more liquid love and this time it coated her collar. Again, she gave me loving smile that told she was feeling no pain.
This time, I fished out a bib along with outfit #3. I made the change, secured the bib and we made our way to the living room. I had Maddie up on my shoulder when she gave a gentle little cough – and sure enough, there was a new deposit of spit up, and this time it was running down the arm of her newest outfit.
Do you see a pattern here?
I fished out a nightgown with stars on it and was finally able to put the baby to bed in a clean outfit. I mention that the outfit had stars, because when I woke up the next morning, the stars were gone and Maddie was wearing pink. (Obviously her Mom had encountered some wardrobe excitement of her own during the night) That’s four changes in just one evening – but as you might have guessed from the title of this article, we’re still not halfway home!
After the morning feeding, the baby peppered a total of three bibs, two swaddle blankets and two more outfits, but the best was yet to come just after lunch.
Maddie and I were leaving a local restaurant and made a quick detour for a diaper change in the restroom. Once we were done, I lifted the baby off the changing table only to be hit with the ultimate baby booby trap. Maddie fired a blank point liquid round of regurgitated mother’s milk straight onto her PaPa. The bulk of her molten magic raced down the front of my pullover, while the rest breached the top of my collar and found my t-shirt and bare chest below.
I looked at the baby and asked, “Do you feel better now?” She gave me her best smile and encouraged me to hit the restaurant with the costume she had just created for me – “the human burp cloth.”
Today’s Lesson: It’s always good to have backup clothes for the baby, but it doesn’t hurt to have a spare shirt stashed away for yourself.
Maddie and her father had business across the Hudson River in the city that always reeks – the rotten apple known as New York City. A place where common sense is unheard of and manners have long since been forgotten.
This would be Maddie’s first trip into the city and first experience through the glorious Lincoln Tunnel. Even at 1030 in the morning – it was obvious that the brain surgeons would be battling for pole position even if their top speed was only about 12mph. Smart!
Maddie and PaPa finally emerged from the tube amid the blaring horns and angry drivers. We turned onto 40th only to watch some cop tearing down the road going the wrong way in reverse – even the cops are crazy in Nuevo York. Maddie was showing a great deal of patience – but I got the feeling she could sense the anger in the air.
Our plan was to cut across town past Bryant Park – but of course – that prominent cross street was shut down for some magical reason – so we headed up 6th Avenue. This when I heard on the radio that the New York City police chief had been bragging that his counter terrorism unit could shoot down a jet liner (Remind me not to fly out of JFK ever again)
Anyway – we finally made our way to Park Avenue when we got pinned behind two cab drivers fighting with each other while blocking not only the right lane, but the center lane as well.
Meanwhile, Maddie was starting to lose it and our mission to deliver her Mom’s pumping equipment was starting to unravel. We finally made our delivery, but all the westbound cross streets were jammed. However, this gave me the vital time needed to calm Maddie and escape from New York.
I hauled Maddie down to our secret Lincoln Tunnel entrance and finally got us out of Comedy Central – but not before a friendly truck driver flipped us off for not letting him cut us off.
Just like Jay-Z says in his silly little song: “Concrete jungle that nightmares are made of!”
Call it a lapse in judgment due to sleep deprivation or just plain stupidity – but Gina and Stay Home PaPa were enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon with the baby on the banks of the Hudson River when we realized that time had somehow gotten away from us.
It was 3:24pm!! Only six minutes before Maddie’s eyes would flutter open and she would be looking earnestly for a bottle of baby growing goodness. The only problem is that we were more than 20 minutes from home with nothing but rough sidewalks and train tracks ahead.
Who doesn’t love a challenge? It was our family version of the Amazing Race through Jersey City and our competition was our daughter’s empty belly.
Maddie’s stomach has already received universal accolades for its startling ability to keep track of time – and we could only hope that this Sunday afternoon would be the exception.
The race is on! We took off at a half walk – half jog with delusions of victory dancing in our heads. We raced south, but trouble was already emanating from the stroller. This trio of racers rounded the first corner near Exchange Place just before 3:30pm and Maddie picked right up on the fact that no one was making any efforts to feed her.
Our first obstacle was the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail crossing– a treacherous stretch of rumbling train tracks sure to induce a hunger filled tantrum! We went rumbling, bumbling and stumbling across the tracks and incurred our first penalty of the race. During the crossing, Maddie chirped out a protest but the little angel was willing to grant some leeway. We are now on notice and the clock is ticking.
We are making good time – but Maddie decides that enough is enough and stages her first howling protest. Fair enough – time to stop and mollify our lion cub. A few reassuring words and the strategic placement of a pacifier and the race is back on track.
Race obstacle #2: Do we take an unknown shortcut to Grand Street? Heck – roll the dice. The short cut is a success – but the baby’s stomach is grumbling! We finally make it home and you know who’s waiting for us – Phil Keoghan, the host of the Amazing Race.
He solemnly tells us: “Gina, John – I’m sorry but you are the last racers to arrive and you have been eliminated. You did not get the baby back in time for her feeding – What were you thinking?”
Maddie seems equally disappointed as her look seems to say, “We’ll address this little adventure later, for right now, FEED ME!”
I never thought of feet as very expressive, but Maddie has been instrumental in showing me the error of my ways. Her feet do an amazing job of conveying every emotion whether it’s absolute outrage, complete satisfaction or pending trepidation.
Every toe seemingly has a mind of its own – attached to legs that only stop churning when it’s time to eat. When mealtime arrives – the feet freeze into an intense rigor along with her legs. All the toes curl up and lock down until her hunger has been abated.
The big toes often take off on their own missions leaving the rest of the toes to fend for themselves.
Big toes curl up – curl in – and can pivot off in any direction without warning. They are not webbed feet, like Michael Phelps – but they strong and full of purpose.
You would think that sleep might put those feet to rest – but it barely slows them down at all. No matter how tight the swaddle or deep the blanket – those feet and toes always find a way to punch through and gain access to the outside world.
But the greatest threat posed by these thundering hooves is during the diaper change. Failing to secure them properly can have unfortunate consequences including a foot into the magic diaper or a forced fumble of changing materials.
I can only assume that if Maddie chooses to become an athlete – her footwork will be nothing short of impeccable. She might even be tempted to try a sport like tennis – Wouldn’t that be something?
The crankiness meter has been ratcheting up lately during prime time right around 8pm. This is not a bad thing! Early evening crazies can sometimes translate into a half-decent night of sleep. But when all else fails – we are forced to make a break of the outdoor circuit. No crib – No stroller – No carries – just an angry baby and her daddy hitting the urban jungle.
Heading outside is instant gratification for the both us.
I pull open the door – the street noise hits us – and Maddie lights up like a Roman candle of pure delight. Joy and wonder spread across the little bean’s face and the crying is only a distant memory now.
We turn the corner, buffeted by the sounds of traffic and a very strong gust of wind. I look down at Maddie – her eyes are wide open – savoring every moment and taking in every last detail.
Maddie loves the outdoors more than Bear Grylls from the best show on television, Man vs. Wild.
Discovery Channel producers and multiple publicists have been blowing up Maddie’s crackberry -day and night – urging her to star in the new spinoff:
*** Baby vs. City ***
- I’m Maddie and I’m gonna show you what it takes to get out alive from some of the most dangerous places on earth! - I’ve gotta make it through a series of challenges where you wouldn’t last a day without my good looks and humble attitude. - I’m dealing with some of the most In-Hospitable people on the planet where one slip could cost you your sanity! You gotta get them, before they get you!
Cue music … BOM-BOM, BOM-BOM
- Bear wrestles crocs – Maddie knocks over taxicabs
- Bear jumps out of planes – Maddie swims the Hudson
- Bear runs from bears – Maddie tackles purse-snatchers
- Bear bites snake – Maddie grabs last stylish bib off sale rack
- Bear slides down mountains – Maddie scales Freedom Tower
- Good luck and good hunting, mate!