Just moments after Maddie’s mom left for a business trip, things started to unravel for Stay Home PaPa. Before beginning our bedtime routine, I thought Maddie’s outfit seemed a little too fancy for feeding time.
We went back to the changing table to take care of what should have been a quick change. Within 20 seconds it became painfully obvious, “Houston, we have a problem.” I have no idea how her mother got this thing on the baby in the first place, but it was some type of Hannibal Lecter straight jacket that had NO intention of coming off.
And let me tell you, there are few things Maddie hates more than jerking around with difficult clothing. The longer we struggled, the more the baby’s frustration level edged towards the redline. C’mon, this isn’t my first ‘undress the baby’ rodeo, what was the ancient secret I was missing to undoing this Gordian Knot?
I obviously needed more room to maneuver. I scooped up Maddie and we went to the bed where we both would have some more room to work with. This only made things worse. Now Maddie was thrashing around like a Marlin on the hook and I was in grave danger of serious bodily injury. At this point, I was seriously considering gently ripping the back off of the garment for a nice clean removal.
Before taking this extreme measure, I decided to get a woman’s opinion. Maddie and I went downstairs to see if our neighbor Cynthia had any bright ideas for us. It turned out that getting this thing off was a two-person job.
We pried off that straight jacket, thanked Cynthia and headed upstairs for some dinner. Just as we got to the top of the stairs, Maddie ejected a stream of spit up that spackled a different neighbor’s door. “You can not be serious!” It took another trip to Cynthia’s door to get that mess cleaned up.
So Maddie’s mom is gone less than an hour and the baby and I are mired in some lost episode of the Three Stooges. This is shaping up to be a very exciting week!
In recent weeks, the whole concept of clothes and diaper changes has fallen out of favor with our little honey badger. Maddie’s legendary kicking has only intensified and now diaper changes and wardrobe switches have devolved into a messy street fight. The ultimate problem is that Maddie does not like to be messed with and is rarely shy about sharing her stronger opinions.
Let’s start with the diaper change chronicles and figure out what’s been going on up until today. The problem really hasn’t been taking off the diaper; the challenge has been trying to put on a new one.
This in itself was not a terrible issue to have, just a bit time consuming. Once the diaper comes off and the clean up is finished – most of the hard work is done. But the simple task of putting on the new diaper has been a bit complicated.
The wild kicks have been causing some concern because those wild feet have been finding there way off of the changing mat and crashing into the hard wood of the table. (OUCH!) Maddie doesn’t seem to mind, but I still cringe every time it happens.
Another issue is when the baby kicks the diaper. I don’t mind having a clean diaper kicked out of my hand, but when it’s full a special treats, that’s another issue altogether. Also, trying to fasten the new diaper while Maddie is flailing away like a steel cage fighter in the heat of battle has its drawbacks.
These little tricks were really no big deal until today when things may have taken a terrifying turn for the worst. I hope it was only a fluke, but on two separate occasions, Maddie grasped the fastener on her dirty diapers and ripped it open herself.
Neither one of these incidents caused a great deal of disruption, but the specter of true carnage is hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles. I’m counting on the fact that these were isolated incidents. If Maddie has truly figured out how to release the fury all by herself, her parents are in for a special round of enjoyment.
With the wind chill hovering around 10 degrees, Maddie had to break out the heavy artillery for this morning’s road trip. Actually, her father had her outside for a grand total of 50 seconds – but it was cold out there.
Maddie’s new counter-weather outfit is like a bullet proof, oxygen tent, pressure suit sleeping bag that goes around the baby for all of her trips to the Arctic.
Step One began this morning when we took Maddie’s mom to work and then made our way to the store. Luckily, the car stays parked in a garage where the average temperature is about 75 degrees, so the first part of our frigid journey was anti-climatic. I parked out front, while Maddie was getting all bundled up in her insulated body length weather shield. Getting Maddie from the front door into the car took less than 8 seconds. This part of the journey actually failed to even get Maddie’s attention, because the car was already nice and toasty.
The next stop would present more of a challenge – I would have to run Maddie from the parking lot into the store. However, when I got to the back seat, the little girl was fast asleep. The ten second jog into the store didn’t even wake her up!
However, once we got into the store, I had to peel this massive snow suit off of the baby before she got too hot. However, when it was time to leave – Maddie was wide awake and all fired up to test out her new winter gear.
Just as we ventured outside, a 25 mph wind gust buffeted the shopping cart. This fierce frozen blast must have made its way past the baby’s weather defenses because her eyes snapped wide open as soon she felt it. The baby wasn’t upset, but she was giving me a scathing look that seemed to say, “Excuse me, what in the world was that?”
However, even that shock was all-too short-lived. Once I had Maddie settled into her car sear, she passed out asleep again before I was even finished loading the trunk.
As for the snow suit – It is truly a formidable outfit and at some point we may actually take a walk with it – but today would not be that day!
Maddie and her parents have been going toe to toe (that’s right) for several months now in the never ending battle to keep socks on the baby’s feet. Maddie is barely 5-months-old, yet we have been struggling to keep socks on her for about four of those months.
My little girl has perfected her sock disposal techniques into a true art form. Just as Brad Pitt became the master fly fisherman in Robert Redford‘s classic, “A River Runs Through It,” Maddie has mastered the art of sock-punching!
There I said it – my daughter is a sock-puncher. If the baby is awake – no pair of socks is safe on those wild feet for any length of time. Back when she was an amateur, she would shake and kick until they would eventually fall off.
Those days are long gone. Now, Maddie uses one foot to aid and abet the other in an effort to shrug off the offending sock within 60 seconds. When we visited Maddie’s grandparents during the holidays, we were constantly on the lookout for discarded socks around the house.
Sure we tried to outsmart the baby – we went out and purchased longer socks to thwart the baby’s best attempts to knock the socks off. It turns out that the longer socks are easier to knock off than the short ones.
I suppose we could just let the baby hang out with no socks on, but her feet get cold, so that is obviously not a viable option. I like to tuck them into the baby’s pants, but my wife has repeatedly cautioned me about such a fashion faux pas.
Suffice it say that we have given ourselves up to fate. We will continue the exhaustive sock “search and rescue” efforts until some company develops a baby sock with just a kiss of elastic in them. Until then, Maddie will delight in her parent’s fruitless attempts to keep those perpetual feet under cover.