Perhaps Maddie has a little too much on her plate right now to bother with verbal communication. She’s been taking baby steps, climbing stairs and working very hard on her non-verbal communication skills. As if that weren’t enough, she got vaccinations in three of her four major limbs on Friday. She took the shots like a champ, but was extra crispy off and on all day Saturday.
But even with that little added flavor, Maddie is ratcheting up her communication skills – even if she is not bothering to use any words yet. Our little girl is becoming quite proficient at showing us what she wants and when she wants it.
I’m also becoming suspicious of exactly how much English she already understands. Maddie is beginning to demonstrate a level of reaction to language that goes beyond inflection and tone of voice. That’s not to say that the baby is complying with parental requests, it’s just becoming apparent that she knows what we are asking and is choosing to ignore us.
She is also becoming more and more proficient at entertaining the people around her. She inherently knows the tricks to get people stop, take notice and smile at her. Even when we were leaving the pediatrician’s office on Friday, the doctor rushed out so she could say goodbye to Maddie before she left.
So for now, we are absolutely enjoying the games of communication cat and mouse with the baby. But it seems like she is ready to break down and start speaking to us at any moment.
You never know where things might end up when taking a morning walk with the Mad Madster. We dropped Mom off at the train and set out in search of a bagel for Maddie. The baby savagely tore into her first bagel chunk while we headed for home.
The smell of rain was in the air as we began our long trek home. Bagel crumbs littered the sky as Maddie the wood chipper went to work one another piece of bread. We were about half way home when the rain kicked in.
Maddie was protected under her bubble canopy, but insisted on kicking her feet out into the rain. She found the cold raindrops hitting her toes absolutely hysterical. She started giggling uncontrollably while she kicked out at the rain. If not for the restraints holding her in, she gladly would have hopped out of the stroller and started rolling through the gathering puddles.
As we turned the corner for home, we caught a quick wave from one of Maddie’s friends at the drycleaners. We ducked in out of the rain and I plopped Maddie up on the counter to say hello. After a quick greeting, Maddie fixed her attention on the shiny pole at the end of the table.
Before we knew it, Maddie transformed the drycleaners into her own Wednesday morning dance party. She grabbed the pole and executed her most prolific Maddie shuffle to date.
Maddie and I were separated for the better part of 20 hours yesterday. I’m pretty sure that’s our longest stint apart since Maddie was born. It was actually much more difficult than I thought. I missed her far too much.
However, what happened this morning was something I really didn’t anticipate. My independent fire-eating daughter would not leave my side today. No matter where we went or what we did, Maddie had no interest in being more than 3 to 5 feet away from me.
The first indication came when we pulled up to the car dealership this morning. We arrived at the service department loaded to the teeth with snacks, milk and various toys. As the visit stretched on, we actually began running low on supplies. Keep in mind, even Maddie’s patience has a limit. As things started to come apart, the baby was showing signs of crumbling.
When the car was finally ready, Maddie and I had a nice long conversation in the back seat before I strapped her in for the drive home. She gets just a little bit closer to talking with each passing day. At this point, we have no idea whether she will talk or walk first. It would not surprise me if she achieved both milestones at the same time.
I had a few chores to take care of when we got home and Maddie followed me from room to room. Finally we settled down into the high chair for some pears and bagels. It wasn’t exactly the breakfast or lunch of champions, but she smiled at me between bites and we had another great time together.
I don’t know how long this state of Daddy-Euphoria will last, but I’m making sure to soak up ever second of it before I fade into the background again.