Health

Road to Nowhere Trumps Shot Trauma

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New Jersey Roads - Just Another Day in Paradise

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!

6-Month Shots Put Household on High Alert

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What, me worry?

Tomorrow morning, Maddie goes under the needle for her 6-month vaccinations. This might sound overly dramatic, but the 2 and 4-month shots proved to be both sad and disruptive for all parties involved.

Seeing Maddie in great discomfort is a helpless and debilitating feeling. Your little girl is hurting and confused and is equally curious as to how you allowed this pain befall her in the first place.

The other issue is the glut of information out there about the potential hazards of these vaccines. At one point, the government insists that a particular shot is critical for your child’s health and the next year crosses it off the list.

I’m sure that keeping a positive attitude about the process can only help, but it sure won’t appease my little girl.

I’m also not convinced that knowing what to expect provides any tangible peace of mind. Maddie’s worst reaction seems to come almost four hours after the injection. She suddenly breaks down into panic as if its all taking place again. At this point, Maddie becomes completely inconsolable.

During the last two rounds of shots, Maddie was out of sorts across the board for at least four to five days. All naps and normal sleep schedules are truncated by these vaccination events as well as Maddie’s appetite.

So shields up and prepare for impact because tomorrow morning we are going in!

Tummy Time – Not Happening

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Forget tummy time - I can roll over

For more than a month now, Maddie’s mom and dad have been very serious about tummy time for the baby. Every chance we get, she is perched on her elbows so she can show us her feats of strength!

However, three things constantly threaten to derail tummy time. The first problem is that Maddie obviously prefers to be on her back (less work you know) So, what better way is there to circumvent tummy time than by rolling over on to your back? Being on your back is less work and the rolling over part is kind of entertaining.

Once we could watch the baby frolic on her stomach from across the room. Now we have sit there with her so she doesn’t suddenly decide roll over and start chillaxing on her back.

Problem #2 is that Maddie is stuck with too many honey badger genes to move forward. During the Honey Badger video, the narrator says, “Oh look, it runs backwards.” Well that’s the problem.

For weeks now, Maddie efforts to crawl forward have been very unsuccessful. For some reason, those crazy legs start churning and the baby starts shuffling backwards. Motivation isn’t really the problem, it’s something in her mechanics. The more she struggles to inch forward, the faster she starts motoring straight back.

Problem #3 is Maddie’s morbid fascination with labels. That’s right, those little white tags on the back of shirts or in this case, the tags attached to the tummy time mats. Maddie will do one of those Three Stooges 360 degree maneuvers on her side so she can sample the Labels Du Jour. The more labels the better.

I have yet to taste any yet, but according to Maddie, they are to die for. I have even contemplated tearing the labels off of various items, but why would I rob my daughter of such wonderful times. She will jam three labels into her mouth in an unsuccessful bid to eat them. When you pull her away from them, she cops an attitude and wants to know why you are forsaking her friends.

All in all, tummy time really isn’t going that badly. It’s just another example of how Maddie can complicate a simple exercise, but make it look terribly fun and entertaining at the same time.

Baby Dumps Honey Badger, Embraces Spitting Cobra

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Did you really just spit on that nice lady?

We often refer to Maddie as the “Honey Badger” because of her rare brand of toughness. But this morning, the baby adopted the characteristics of the honey badger’s archenemy, the dreaded spitting cobra!

More and more, Maddie has taken to expressing her displeasure by sticking out her tongue and blowing spittle. You really can’t miss the noise or saliva splatter that carpets the area when little Maddie is acting out.

When Maddie directs this behavior towards her Dad, I cancel the transaction by placing my finger on her bottom lip. This type of behavior has recently started to ramp up during one of three activities:

  • Diaper changes
  • Wardrobe changes
  • Headband adjustments

This spackle/spittle issue really didn’t cross my mind when the baby arrived at the craniologist’s office this morning. We had a simple appointment to get Maddie’s headband adjusted. Once the adjusting process began, it didn’t take long for Maddie’s fussiness meter to start pinging.

I warned the headband technician to beware of Maddie’s spittle. She told me not to worry just as Maddie tried to apply her first coat of spackle onto the poor woman. I gently touched the baby’s bottom lip to remind her that we don’t spray people with our saliva. Luckily, the spray missed its mark, but I cautioned the tech again to be on the lookout.

Just as Maddie was getting the back of her head examined, she fired a second round of liquid love that fell helplessly to the floor. Once again, I apologized for Maddie’s boisterous behavior and the tech assured me that I had nothing to worry about.

Well, we’ve all heard that the third time is the charm. No sooner had the tech relaxed when Maddie the cobra let loose a venomous splatter of biblical proportions. The generous spray caught the tech right in the face and in one of her eyes. The tech staggered back, struggling for composure while Maddie eyed her suspiciously and I spewed my vehement apologies.

I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to watch your child do something wildly inappropriate, I just never thought the first incident would occur so early. I suppose this was how little Maddie decided she would celebrate her 6-month birthday. We can only imagine what goodies she will cook up for us when she turns one-year-old.

So What‘s With the Headband?

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Wake me up when it's over!

Maddie and her PaPa didn’t get enough foul weather this weekend in the snow, so today we thought we would venture out into the rain. That wasn’t the actual plan, but as soon as we got outside, it started dumping. Luckily, we have a massive golf umbrella that is about the size of a circus big top!

We made our way to the local Starbucks where everyone was especially chatty today and the main topic of conversation was Maddie’s headband. First people would say, “Oh she’s so cute!” Then would come, “Why does she need the helmet?”

I didn’t answer at first and then the wild speculation began. “Does she crash her head into the crib?” “Does she fall down a lot?” “Is it some sort of athletic band?”

Maddie is a few days short of 6-months-old. As far as I know, she doesn’t fall down at all and has yet to pick up any full-contact sports. But I was enjoying this line of questioning so I helped where I could.

First I told them that once we took down the cushions around the crib, Maddie actually split the wood siding with a headbutt. We actually have the helmet to stop her from damaging the furniture. “Nuh uh, no way,” they protested.

“I know, it crazy, right? She’s some sort of commando baby,” I assured them.

They looked at me suspiciously, but I kept a straight face. Finally one of them said, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard about those things before.”

At this point, Maddie was rolling her eyes, obviously stunned at what she was hearing. But the Starbuck’s barista was onto me, “So let me get this straight, she wears the helmet to protect your furniture?”

“Well, it’s for the baby’s protection as well, but when you can break wood with your head, how much protection do you really need?”

I grabbed my coffee with a smile, Maddie gave them a quick wink and we disappeared into the rain and fog leaving them to ponder the power of Maddie’s little noggin.

Baby Gets Headband – Becomes Super Hero

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I'm the awesome chick on the left!

The DOC Headband has weighed heavily on our parental minds for weeks now. We knew the appointment was coming, but did our best to try and forget about it. Our greatest fear was that the band would be uncomfortable for the baby. However, it seems that the band is bothering the parents a great deal more than it’s troubling Maddie.

The fact that baby is not bothered is a great relief to us, but we know that could change. I actually like the look. When Maddie is wearing the band, she looks like one of the PowerPuff Girls, the black-haired one named Buttercup!

The band is designed to help shape the head in a certain way so the baby has no jaw problems when she gets older. Of course it is all but impossible to believe that there are any issues now. You can already tell by her pictures that Maddie is perfect.

So now comes the trial period where we check for sore spots on the baby’s head every three hours. This is to make sure that Maddie is not having any adverse reaction to the material against her scalp.

It’s certainly not designed to be an attractive piece of headgear, but Maddie makes it look good. And what’s up with the name, “the DOC Headband?” In most states, the D-O-C stands for the department of corrections. That’s right, jail, prison, the big house where society houses the bad guys. I guess we’re lucky that the doctor didn’t suggest that Maddie wear the orange correctional jumpsuit. Next thing you know, they will have her working on the chain gang with Cool Hand Luke.

So back to the headband – there will be no pictures of this little time period in our lives. Maddie may check out this blog in the future and lord only knows what the World Wide Web will be doing with photos 10 to 12 years from now. The band is only supposed to be on for about six weeks. So for now, we just follow the doctor’s orders and hope for the best.