Years ago when Maddie’s dad worked at the U.S. Open Tennis tournament, he had to wear his credentials at all times. Once the tournament ended, the credentials were retired to some dark corner of a bookcase until Maddie uncovered them during one of her many investigations.
Since the discovery, Maddie has taken to sporting her credentials all around the house. The funny thing is that she treats the credentials a little differently than her other items. What’s odd is that Maddie takes great pleasure in sharing toys, magazines and food with her relatives – but she never shares her credentials.
Maddie takes them on and off, but likes to keep them to herself. Maddie will show them to you, but only to visually inspect them, not handle them. She also likes to lie on the floor and examine them very closely herself.
She flips through them, looks at dad’s picture and examines the information printed on each card. We don’t know what Maddie’s attachment is to these credentials, we just know that she really likes them.
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.
For months now, Mommy has been the lucky recipient of the vast majority of Maddie’s kisses. I am absolutely delighted to see all that affection heaped upon Mom. However, I have to admit that I would like to share one once in a while myself. But kisses are one of those things that you hope for instead of ask for.
I have always showered Maddie with kisses and she has rewarded me with a long successful stint on the hug list. But this week, something changed. Without knowing how or why, I got promoted to Maddie’s priority kiss list. The kisses just come out of nowhere. We can be walking up the stairs or getting out of the car and all of the sudden my little angel is kissing me on the cheek.
For those of you who don’t have children but plan to, you are in for a real treat. There is something terribly overwhelming about being kissed by your little one. No matter what you are doing, it stops you dead in your tracks. You have a little celebration and thank the baby for taking time out to show some love.
As with anything else, I know it’s possible that the baby kisses could dry up tomorrow. So I’m stocking up now and saving them for the next dry spell. You never know when dad might land himself in the doghouse.
Yesterday Maddie was tearing her hair out because she couldn’t open the flip phone. Today her casual flip and open the phone method rivaled that of James T. Kirk’s dialing up the Starship Enterprisewith his trusty communicator.
This was quite a polished and practiced motion for a girl who seemed more likely to bite the thing in half just last night. But that’s how Maddie rolls, she likes to figure things out on her own and does not want any help. This is all fine and dandy except when it comes more dangerous pursuits like climbing the stairs.
Getting Maddie to come down the stairs backwards has been an exercise in futility. No matter how many times we spin her around, she wants to head off the stairs face first.
Maddie had been dealing with a sour tummy lately, but she rebounded nicely today with a twinkle in her eye and mischief in her heart. Tomorrow is the big event where Maddie travels to western Jersey to spend the day with Grandma. We’ve warned grandma that Maddie is capable of superhuman, mind-numbing speed – but it must be witnessed to be believed. Good luck Grandma!
Maddie is getting used to her chill time in the pool. She’s been more than happy to use her parents as a lounge chair and let them ferry her around the water. But things took a sharp turn Thursday morning when a dashing 9-month-old little boy named Blake joined her in the pool.
Blake obviously had a thing for older women and Maddie is just days away from her first birthday. They made eye contact from across the pool as Blake was being towed in a sleek little floatation device. Maddie prompted me to move in for a closer look.
A sly smile crept over Blake’s face as Maddie moved in, but she was playing it cool. Blake’s floatie had a few cups sitting on the bow and Maddie quickly helped herself to one of them. Blake winked at her, his eyes letting her know that there were more cups where that one came from.
Blake suggested that we move this show to the stairs and Maddie reluctantly agreed. I sat Maddie on the top step as Blake assumed the pushup position about three feet away. Maddie leaned over and grabbed Blake by the arm. The young lad took Maddie’s overt gesture in stride.
They stared at one another for about five minutes before it was time for Maddie to go. She doesn’t get too many opportunities to interact with other children, but like everything else, Maddie handled her business like a real pro.
The baby attacks have been coming at a torrid pace. Once Maddie hits the ground running, there is no safe haven. She attacks without warning and none of your possessions are safe.
Hats and glasses are obviously a big draw. Lately Maddie has been exploring the field of dentistry by trying to pull out my bottom teeth. Today at the pool, it appeared as if the baby had called a truce.
Maddie took turns letting each parent shuttle her around the pool. She had her legs up, some nice warm water and a pacifier to play with. She snatched the sunglasses off of my face a few times, but all and all, we were seeing a new Maddie. This was a kinder and gentler Maddie who was willing to hang out with the parents and pass the day away.
However, once we lifted the baby out of the water – all bets were off. Maddie’s mom took a little break on her stomach trying to dry off before the walk home. This sent our little junkyard dog over the edge. She started lunging at her mom’s hat trying to claim it for herself. I tried to hold her back, but she threw me into the fence and jumped her mom.
Rescue crews moved with the jaws-of-life to try and pry the hat from the baby, but it was a no-go, the hat now belonged to her. When the police came, the baby told them that she had found the hat by the side of the pool and had mistakenly thought it was hers. Mom tried to contradict the story, but a stern look from Maddie shut her down.
No one knows what finally happened to the hat, but Maddie assured her parents that this is only the beginning.
My 11-month-old daughter Maddie has been in the process of finding new and creative ways to express herself. If you periodically read about the baby or if you have met her, it’s quite obvious that she does not like to be ignored. When you combine these two elements together, you have a potentially explosive situation on you hands.
This afternoon at brunch, Maddie had quite an adoring crowd surrounding her. Parents, grandparents and even Aunt Joni and Uncle Tim were showing Maddie the love. The restaurant was packed and Maddie was in high spirits.
At some point in the next ten minutes, the adults must have become involved in a conversation where Maddie’s opinion was not being sought at the time. We were sitting there chatting when a high-pitched screech split the air. Every single head in the restaurant swung in our direction.
This is not an exaggeration. Every person in that place was momentarily stunned into silence by the sheer volume and intensity of Maddie’s eruption. Some people were confused, some irritated and others just amused that a baby could stun such a large group of people into submission like that. The lull of silence lasted almost an entire two seconds before everyone resumed his or her previous activities.
As for our table, nobody really knew what to say. We exchanged some nervous glances and went on with our meal. Maddie’s parents are all too familiar with this type of outburst. However, it was fascinating to see the stinging reactions it produces in public. It appears that Maddie is not quite polished enough for the outside world, but we will keep trying.
As usual, Maddie was enjoying various samples from around the table. However, her favorite food during this lunch period was definitely spaghetti. Spaghetti is awesome because of its amazing gaming potential.
Maddie made sure to catch her grandfather’s eye as she was making a lasso with a small string of my pasta. She very sweetly held out her hand to grandpa offering to share some of that delicious spaghetti with him. Touched by the gesture, he gently reached out to accept her tender offering.
As soon as his hand was about six inches away, she snatched the pasta away and slammed it into her mouth. Then she made small grunting noises as she feasted on not just the food, but also her victory. The whole table erupted into laughter as Maddie chomped on her false offering.
Encouraged by the raucous laughter, this game included about three more rounds as her grandfather was also an eager participant. Once again, that stunning little personality is growing into a true force of nature.
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.