Escape

The Incredible Floating Toes

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Back up - I'm coming over!!
Back up – I’m coming over!!

How is the climbing stage going?

I guess it depends on who you ask.

As far as Maddie’s parents are concerned, the climbing stage isn’t too cool.

Ask Maddie and I’m sure she thinks it going GREAT!

“No crib can hold me,” exclaimed the 18-month-old girl as she prepared to vault into the great abyss.

This is to be expected when you have a toddler that can throw her legs as high as her head and has toes capable of gripping any smooth surface like a gecko lizard.

Maddie vaults on top of tables and chairs with reckless abandon now.  This high-risk behavior is on the verge of becoming a serious problem.

Watching my baby, it’s easy to understand the pure folly of human nature.

Like scientists and politicians, Maddie often decides plunges ahead with a course of action rather than pondering the aftermath of what she does. Of course she is only 18-months-old and has time to resolve this risky behavior issue.

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No Shirt – No Service!

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How can I be expected to eat with a shirt on?

Today Maddie decided that not only was her bib too cumbersome for mealtime, but so was her fleece pullover.

I removed both offending items in an effort to keep the good times rolling at lunch, but that strategy didn’t work out.  I kept trying to feed Maddie yogurt, but those dang long sleeve were taunting her after every bite.

She was pulling at them and yelling back at them. (do sleeves yell?)

I’m not sure what those crafty sleeves had done to spark her anger, but there was no turning back.

Would rolling the sleeves up trigger a reversal of fortune? No, of course not – rolling up the sleeves only inflamed a bad situation. Maddie screeched at me to release her from the bondage known as long-sleeves.

The sleeves were dry and they weren’t scratchy, but Maddie made it clear that they were a No-Go. So should I put the baby to bed hungry or should we try the topless option?

I peeled off the offending garment and suddenly a peace settled over the high chair. With no evil sleeves to torment her, Maddie enjoyed the rest of her meal in complete peace.

Hurricane Sandy Can’t Fluster Maddie

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Sandy is really quite a bore.

Since Maddie was born in July 2011, she has endured more than her share of extreme weather events. So far she’s already made it through one hurricane and one earthquake. So please forgive her if Hurricane Sandy doesn’t really grab her attention.

With a historic storm surge bearing down on New York City, Maddie’s parents packed up the car at 6 o’clock this morning and headed south. We hopped on the New Jersey Turnpike and Maddie was complaining to the beat of the band.

It was almost as if she knew we were going the wrong way. I had Maddie’s mom check the road conditions in Delaware on the iPhone and we got some strange news. The funny little folks in Delaware shut down all roadways at 5am – UH-OH!

“Way to Go!” thought Maddie. So now it was time for us to head west and find a new way to Maddie’s grandparents house. After a couple of hours, we pulled off to feed Maddie breakfast. As soon as we exited, Maddie fell completely asleep – UH-OH!

Time to recalibrate again!

About an hour down the road the princess woke up and was more than ready for a pit stop. We found a Mickey-D’s around Gettysburg and dragged Maddie out into the driving hurricane rain.

Mom and Maddie sat down while I was ordering food at the counter. Maddie could see me from the table and kept screaming, “Heyyy, Daaaa!” Most of the people line found this very entertaining.

We made it safely to the grandparents’ house and Maddie could not have been more pleased.

Baby Houdini Pulls Great Escape

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Can someone call me a cab?

Time to say goodbye to an old friend. The Bumbo Chair has been a trusted parental companion for several months now. It’s allowed my 7-month-old daughter Maddie to hang out with me in the kitchen for countless meals, cleanups and bottle cleanings.

This era came crashing down this afternoon when my little Houdini cracked the Bumbo code. We knew this day was drawing closer. I believe it was a packet of tic-tacs that finally sent Maddie over the edge (figuratively and literally). Even though the candy was out of reach, she threw her entire body in the direction of these refreshing little mints.

She whipped out one leg, leaned over and then whipped out the other. Hold on there tiger, where do you think you’re going? But there’s no stopping this one once she gets her attention fixed on something. Maddie is on a mission and your only options are to help or watch.

So of course we make sure she has a soft landing on the kitchen counter, but then what? She is awash in her amazing triumph over the constricting chair, but that’s where her plans kind of fizzle out.

That’s because our kitchen commando still has no idea how to crawl. So when she pulls one of these great escapes, she’s stuck on the counter like a bump on a log. It’s very cute to watch her ponder the next move, but for now, her options are rather limited.

Now we face the challenge of integrating Maddie into a whole new set of habits with a high chair. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to being banished from the kitchen counter. However, I’m sure that in a day or two, she will already be plotting her escape from the high chair. (Won’t that be fun?)

Maddie Searching for Car Seat Escape Route

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Peace out!

Maddie and her family hit the road heading west this morning to avoid the living hell known as I-95. We decided that the entire family would be more comfortable in a bigger ride, so months ago, we decided to rent an SUV for our holiday trip.

The bigger vehicle allows one of the parents to hang out with the Mad Madster in the back seat. This arrangement seems to work well for all parties involved. Now when the baby is awake, the parent in the back can provide either food or entertainment to keep the baby happy and the spirit of Christmas alive during a long trip.

Gina took the first shift in the back seat and marveled at all elbowroom. She also noticed that Maddie is paying far too much attention to the straps on the car seat, almost as if she is planning an escape. The baby seems to understand the fact that if she can get out the straps, she won’t be locked in. Hopefully this scenario won’t play itself out for a few months yet, but the possibility is now on our radar.

Maddie was getting some pretty good sleep during this particular trip – but the time had come to take a break and air out the baby. First we took care of a little diaper change and then gave Maddie a chance to stare at some of her fellow travelers.

Once our break was over, it was my turn for a little backseat time with Maddie. I gave her a bottle and then watched as she quickly faded off to sleep.

Gina and I have both noticed that when Maddie is sleeping on the road – she has developed a very cute habit of checking her surroundings. She appears to be sleeping soundly when her eyes suddenly snap open and she stares directly at you. The baby looks deeply into your eyes for about 6 seconds, makes sure you are the person she expected to see and then she’s out again. But this new habit also begs the following question: Is Maddie really checking out her surroundings or is she quietly plotting, getting ready to make a break for it? Only time will tell!