Maddie obviously has a little too much on her plate right now.
Her mom is on the road – New teeth are breaking through – And she’s racking up the miles. Factor these things together and Maddie is running on a short fuse.
She’s actually dealing with the stress quite well. Most of the issues are once again surfacing during the clothing and diaper changes. It seems like every time we have to change one or the other, Maddie is fighting mad.
She actually screams as if she is being interrogated underneath a long-forgotten Gulag. When other people hear these crazed protests, they worry that the baby must have fallen off of the changing table.
It doesn’t last long – once the change is completed, the baby is all butterscotch and ponies again. We have theorized before that it is always better not to mess with Maddie, but she can’t wear the same clothes all the time.
So, the question is, how do we alter Maddie’s perception that changing her clothes somehow violates her life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? There must be a way to distract her, but so far nothing seems to work.
We’ve gone through this stage before, but her protests have never been so over-the-top as they are now. As always, all suggestions are welcome!
Now that Maddie is tearing up the solid food, the dynamics of eating around her have changed completely.
The baby perks up anytime someone nearby puts something into his or her mouth, especially when it’s her mom or dad. Even when you take a drink, Maddie has no problem when it comes to reaching out for a little taste.
Today was no exception when we visited my Aunt in Central Virginia. Maddie was in remarkably good spirits after taking another road trip. We got Maddie into the house and placed her onto a blanket on the floor. My Aunt’s tiny Yorkie named Bonnie Blue couldn’t wait to come out and meet the baby.
The little pooch kept circling Maddie and trying to approach her to spread a little bit of love. The baby wasn’t sure what was going on, but the pup was dying to play with her. No physical interaction actually took place, but it was beyond cute to watch them size each other up.
With all of the relatives in the house, there was no way Maddie was going take a nap and miss out on any of the action. She put on a halftime jumping display that would have shamed Madonna at this year’s Super Bowl.
Once it was time for supper, Maddie was chomping at the bit to get in on the action. My aunt broke out an amazing array of turkey, ham, potatoes with all the works and Maddie was going wild.
I prepared an enormous plate for myself and started breaking off pieces from a roll for the Madster. She was gumming them up and setting them down while we everyone was eating around her. The baby was in all her glory because she was eating with the group, just like the big girl she is.
Each time she got the bread nice and soggy, we would replace it with a new piece to keep her interested without fear of any choking. This went on for a while until we decided to switch gears and actually let her try some turkey. Even when we finished up, the baby wanted to keep the party going.
Maddie communicated to us that is was rude to eat and run, but we had to get her back home for some quality naptime. As always, she was a perfect lady and left everyone with a smile on their face.
Maddie’s parents have discovered that when it comes to traveling with the baby, leaving in a timely manner is far easier said than done. The best-laid plans can go south in a big hurry. This fact was proven once again this morning when Maddie woke up to a muddy diaper that left her father weak in the knees.
Maddie’s mom was getting ready in the other room when she heard the following words tumble out of her husband’s mouth. “Honey, please start a bath for the baby right now!”
My wife thought I might be exaggerating until she rushed into the baby’s room and then made a screeching u-turn and rushed right back out. The impromptu bath time is always a formidable opponent in executing a timely exit. When all was said and done, it took us almost two hours to finally get on the road. The baby seemed happy for the moment and that’s all that you can really ask for during a long road trip.
We made it to Maddie’s grandparents house and apparently the fireworks were just getting underway. After some great playtime with the grandparents, Maddie was slipping into that dark and fussy place.
We still have yet to pinpoint the cause of her consternation.
Maddie endured a restless night, so it could be that she’s just tired and cranky. It’s also possible that she might be reacting to her new and foreign surroundings. Maddie’s self-awareness has surged in the last month, so as far as she is concerned, this might be her first perceived trip away from home.
Whatever the problem was, she went off the deep end early and often this evening. Her bedtime was checkered by several unhappy wake up sessions. Keeping this in mind, we can only hope that it’s not too late for her to get a good night’s sleep. At the very least, this will give us a small edge when the baby wakes up tomorrow morning. However, when you hit the road with Maddie, you always run the risk of awakening her inner Honey Badger. Let’s be careful out there!
After two rough rounds of baby vaccinations at the two and four month mark, Maddie’s parents tried to shake things up a little for today’s 6-month shot extravaganza.
- Instead of an afternoon doctor’s appointment we switched it to morning.
- We gave Maddie baby Tylenol before her appointment even though she swallowed very little of it.
- We also decided that I would carry her home rather than put her into the stroller.
As expected, the shots themselves were not pleasant. We got Maddie home quickly and she was literally falling asleep in my arms. Unfortunately that nap lasted less than 20 minutes and trouble was brewing in Maddie’s world.
A sleepless hour later, it was apparent that if the baby was going to get any sleep – we had to go not just the extra mile, but also several of them. I strapped Maddie into the car seat and followed the advice of Horace Greeley and Kid Rock – we headed west. Within five minutes, Maddie was zonked out and sleeping soundly.
We had no destination in mind, just the Beirut-like war torn roads of New Jersey rumbling beneath us. It reminded me of the 80’s song by the Talking Heads called Road to Nowhere.
As the miles ticked by, I thought about this McDonald’s drive-thru about 70 miles away. I figured that after forty years plus, it was time to try my first shamrock shake. I considered waking Maddie for her approval, but ultimately decided that she should rest up after her ordeal.
140 miles and two and a half hours later, we arrived back at home and Maddie was just beginning to stir. It turns out that shaking things up was just what the doctor ordered to help the baby make it through her 6-month vaccines. Thankfully, Maddie was able to sidestep any major shot trauma and I finally got to try my first green milkshake. Life is good!
Maddie has always been very good at sleeping in the car, but lately it’s where she’s getting her best rest. Sad but true.
The baby has been boycotting sleep like it’s her job. A half hour here and 45 minutes there, but once the car gets rolling, she goes lights out. Keep in mind I said once the car gets ROLLING.
Even the briefest of stops leaves the occupants on pins and needles, terrified that the sleeping beast may awake and lay waste to all those in her path. Today was no different – we started driving and Maddie let out a huge snort of relief. The very first traffic light I hit, Maddie lit me up like a Roman candle. The light turned green, Maddie hunkered down for another nap. Do you see a pattern here?
Once we hit the highway, all of our troubles melted away in blur of perpetual motion. Yet 40 minutes later when we arrived at our destination, tragedy struck yet again. This time, I actually had to crawl into the back seat and feed her a couple of ounces to make sure she didn’t take me out.
Luckily just two ounces did the trick and baby was actually asleep on the bottle. I crept out of the car back into the driver’s seat, never once looking in the back seat to see if the little scream therapist had spotted me. A few miles down the road, I finally dug up the courage and took a quick glimpse in the back seat, but Maddie was out.
With Maddie at the tender age of four-months-old, we are reading a great deal of material about establishing proper sleep habits. We decided that we are going to dive in this weekend and set Maddie on course to a lifetime of wonderful and blissful sleep. The real question is who will making the rules, Maddie or her parents? If you are making wagers, I would make the baby as an early 3 to 1 favorite.
After our I-95 adventure last week, Maddie and her family took the advice of Horace Greeley and headed WEST. Just the thought of another I-95 nightmare left all of us sick to our stomachs.
The Westerly route was like a little slice of heaven:
- No speeding idiots
- No massive traffic jams
- No un-Godly construction delays
- And NO freaking tolls (Heaven I tell ya!)
The trip started off a little on the rocky side, Maddie’s appetite kicked up after we had been on the road all of ten minutes, but Gina stuck a bottle in her mouth and it was smooth sailing for the next 200 miles.
We were about 50 miles short of home when we stopped for a diaper change and another bottle for the baby. Gina took over the wheel and I climbed in back with the Mad Madster. Keep in mind, PaPa is a terrible passenger, if he’s not driving, he’s sleeping. This made feeding Maddie a real challenge.
I plopped the bottle in her mouth, but the baby also looked plum tuckered out. It soon became apparent; one of us was going to fall asleep on the other. I was struggling to stay awake, but the motion on the car and the soft quiet noises coming from the baby were putting the zap on my consciousness.
Twice I snapped awake to the sound of Maddie’s protests because I hadn’t noticed the bottle slipping out of her mouth. The harder I focused and tried to stay awake, the more Maddie kept falling asleep on the job as well. It was like the narcoleptic Olympics in the back seat where two idiots were just too tired to do anything except catch some Z’s. We were fighting the good fight, but sleep had the upper hand.
I woke up about three miles from home and both Maddie and her PaPa were in the same positions we had been in 45 minutes ago when we feeding time was supposed to begin. Like Father, like daughter: “If this car is a moving – Baby and PaPa will be snoozing!”
For those of you who live on the East Coast, you already know that Interstate 95 is chalk full of traffic jams due to idiots who wreck their cars and SUV’s going at least 25 mph over the posted speed limits. However, after more than 40 years of driving on that god-cursed stretch of road between New York and DC, today was the worst trip ever and poor Maddie was front and center for the entire 9-hour ordeal.
That’s right, 9 hours to go a little over 200 miles and every suicide jockey in a 400 miles radius was looking for a prom date to the hereafter.
It’s a very bad feeling when you have a 4-month-old baby in the car and every inadequate loser is zipping by at speeds of up to 100 mph on rain-slicked roads. Maddie and her parents got snagged in at least 4 dizzying traffic jams in three different states due to the exploits of these expert drivers with amazing insecurity issues.
It is hard to fathom how Maddie endured hour after hour with Zen-like patience as her parents complained bitterly about the nightmare that would not end. We had to stop and feed her twice, but she was such a good girl and helped her mom and dad keep their wits about them.
Maddie was sound asleep when got off the highway nine hours later. We were less than a mile from her grandparents house when Maddie was jarred awake by the sound of a terrible impact. Her father had just tried to straddle a dead deer on a curve, and the undercarriage of the car made full contact with the carcass.
Even after being woken up by this spectacular impact, Maddie took the incident in stride and didn’t even cry. I don’t know how she keeps her cool like that, but there is a lesson to be learned here.Maddie was obviously thinking that despite the exhaustive journey and mashing the dead dear underneath the car, it’s important to be thankful that everyone arrived safely. She also couldn’t have been happier that once again, it was time to eat!