Maddie conjured up her inner-Honey Badger for her first formal holiday shoot. The baby was on the run from start to finish and was quoted as saying, “No prison can hold me!”
It’s ironic that Maddie kept trying to run into other family’s photo shoots, but had absolutely no interest in sitting still for her own.
Her protests were loud, her fuse was short and attitude was just south of plum loco!
The photographer was patient even though Maddie continuously made a break for the exit at the beginning of every shot. To be fair, the studio was about 40 minutes late in taking our pictures and this directly encroached into Maddie’s naptime.
When all was said and done, Maddie had some very cute shots. That’s a miracle considering the honey badger spent her afternoon, running, ducking, thrashing and spinning.
We’ve already contacted National Geographic and the next time we decide to take pictures, they will send out a wildlife photographer who has experience with dangerous jungle savages like the Mad Madster.
Just before leaving the pediatrician’s office, Maddie stared down the doctor. With defiance plastered across her face she declared, “Next time, hit me with a bigger needle and put your back into it!”
Maddie took her cue from Rocky IV this week when her poor little body was covered with bumps and she was racked with sickness. The evil Russian from the movie, Dolph Lundgren tells little Rocky, “I must break you!” Sly Stallone, always the smart one replies, “Go for it!”
That was just a movie, but my little Honey Badger is toughness personified.
Maddie took the worst her one-year vaccinations had to offer and shrugged it off in a little more than 24 hours. As if being sick wasn’t enough, Maddie bounced her left cheekbone off the corner of the living room table. She cried for less than 30 seconds and kept on playing as if nothing had happened.
Her grandmother MiMi always called Maddie a “Toughie,” but this is just ridiculous. Maddie even has a grizzly bear carpet in her room. The bear isn’t dead, it’s just too scared to move.
The Honey Badger has been asleep in Maddie for several weeks now. She hasn’t been what anyone might define as mellow, but some of her more destructive tendencies and rough edges had seemed to be smoothing out a bit.
So just when you thought it was safe to go back into the baby’s room, the Honey Badger has risen again in all of her glory and woe unto anyone who gets tangled up with her.
Her reign of terror got started early this morning during a diaper change. Her mom was changing Maddie when the wild badger suddenly uncoiled on the changing table toppling a full container of water and dousing the floor and her little shelving unit.
Badger – 1 Parents – 0
It was no fun to clean up, but once it was done we put Maddie down for a nap. Please forgive the poor grammar but, “Honey Badger don’t need a nap!” After only 30 minutes in the crib, she was testy and ready to get up.
For some reason she started wildly thrashing when I laid her on the changing table. When I unfastened her diaper, she caught me directly in the lip with a roundhouse kick. It had been a long time since I enjoyed a fat lip, but the Honey Badger indicated it made me look better.
Badger – 2 Parents – 0
After that little stunt, I decided a little extra tummy time was in order. Maddie scooted a bit on her stomach, grabbed the Mozart Cube and drove it right into her face. She shrugged off the blow and gave me a dirty look. (As if I had something to do with such effrontery!)
After that whack to the head, I caved in and sat her up. She celebrated this victory by crashing her cup into the nose of her little orange monkey. Even with this triumph, Maddie was getting very restless. Her mom reached down to soothe the savage beast and was greeted by a probing hand trying to remove her glasses. Maddie’s paw accidentally struck the glasses quite hard driving them into the bridge of her mother’s nose. Her eyes welled up with tears as Maddie continued to try and free the glasses from her mother’s face.
Badger – 3 Parents – 0
It was at this point that the Honey Badge obviously needed some outdoor time. I decided to drag her with me to Chili’s to pick up some takeout dinner. I tried to sit Maddie right in the middle of the counter at the restaurant, but she uncoiled again and managed to snag to the tip jar. I’m not sure why she needs money at this point in her life, but I managed to wrestle the tip jar away before she could destroy it. I smell a comeback!
Badger – 3 Parents – 1
The final leg of our competition culminated at dinner where the Honey Badger ripped through a sizable amount of broccoli like a buzz saw and absolutely coated her entire face with sweet potato. The clean up was a long and arduous process but the ensuing temper tantrum during bathtime really clinched the victory for my sweet little honey badger.
Badger – 4 Parents – 1
Better luck next time!
Apparently Maddie’s father (StayHomePaPa) has been quite guilty of doing everything for the baby and not letting her learn to do things for herself. Especially when it comes to crawling and feeding. This may be true to some degree, but I’m working hard to turn some of these trends around.
My newest project is to get Maddie to hold her own bottle while she’s drinking milk. So far this has been an exercise in futility. Maddie acts like Smeagol aka Gollum from Lord of the Rings when she assumes control of her bottle.
The bottle is her “Precious.” She talks to it, hugs it, swings it around and even nips at it. This afternoon she whapped me with the bottle and then launched it across the room, but not before spraying milk all over her face and the couch.
The one thing I can’t get her to do with “precious” is actually drink from it. Once she gets her paws on the bottle, everything morphs into a mystical game instead of her prominent food source.
The real excitement begins once the bottle no longer commands her attention. Today after drinking less than an eighth of her bottle, she tried to throw herself off of the couch a couple of times for good luck.
When she realized that escape wasn’t an option, she kept putting her toes near my mouth. I kept saying, “No thank you!” Yet she found this toe interaction completely hilarious and could not stop giggling with delight. After growing tired of having her toes nibbled on, Maddie let loose with a long string of splattering raspberries. This spittle and milk cocktail sprayed the both of us, again much to her delight.
Then she squirmed until her back was firmly on the couch and her legs were left on my lap. This triggered Maddie’s full scale Pilates workout. Her churning legs did their best to seek out and pummel my groin area. You could tell the baby felt better with each direct hit. I thwarted her blows with my extended arm until she decided to change tactics.
This is when she grasped my forearm and thrust it into her mouth. If you can’t enjoy milk, at least enjoy the flesh of a fellow human being. During her feeding frenzy on my arm, she lost her balance and face-planted on the couch.
As usual, honey badger didn’t care. No pain, no gain. I helped her up and she resumed her vicious attack. We had a great time – but she is no closer to taking the bottle by the horns and doing the work herself.
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!
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.
The snow was piling up outside and the wind was charging up the Hudson River. All it took was one quick peek at the raging storm outside for the 6-month-old Mad Madster to make up her mind! “I’m going in!”
At this point, Maddie doesn’t particularly care for the taste of bagels, but she loves walking to the little shop where everyone is ready to share a smile and comment with her.
She snapped on her warmest pink bear outfit and called on her father for a little transportation (at least that guy is good for something!) Maddie got all snapped into her Bjorn and was ready for a crack at some real snowmageddon! Her father was a little tentative on the icy steps, but the little girl was restless and demanding some real action.
The harsh snowy wind gave little Maddie a good lick in the chops and I wondered how she would handle it. I paused at a parked SUV and peered at our reflection. This way I could see the baby’s face and gauge her reaction to this frontal blast a frigid air. It was obvious right away that she was fascinated by Mother Nature’s fury and it was time to press on.
I used a scarf as a baby windscreen and kept talking to Maddie during our trudge acorss the snowy sidewalks. Every time we passed a taller vehicle, I took a quick glimpse to make sure the baby was fighting the good fight. A few times we even had to walk backwards to keep the wind from blasting into the face of our little princess.
Once we entered the bagel place, the heat inside seemed more shocking to Maddie than the cold air we had just wandered in from. The place was pretty empty for 7:30 on a Sunday morning, so Maddie focused on grabbing the attention of the boys behind the counter. They all went to great lengths to greet and welcome her.
The walk home was better for both of us because the wind was now at my back. The snow began falling more heavily and the Yukon Baby shared these words with her father, “Buckle up buttercup and keep it moving!” I picked up the pace, but as usual, Maddie was just toughing it out and taking it all in.
One of the first things I noticed in our reflection as I walked up the stairs to our home was that Maddie must be bulletproof or have a built-in heat generator in that bear outfit. Her father was completely blanketed in snow from head to toe and Maddie was pristine – looking like she had just come off the runway. Even weather can’t bust the honey badger!
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 several hundred miles to drive first thing in the morning – there’s nothing like the gentle howling of your five-month-old honey badger through out the night to get your mind right.
Maddie was eager to hit the road and emphasized that very point with a series of mind-numbing wakeup calls chiming in at 9:30pm, 2:30am and 4:45am. When I scooped up Madeleine shortly after the final wakeup call, she gave the look that sings out, “Honey Badger don’t care!”
When I asked Maddie about these two-hour sleep intervals, she hit me with a Jedi mind trick and forced me to feed her six ounces of milk without any more of my inane questioning. Just as the baby was knocking away the last of her bottle, she passed out sound asleep.
I sat there with her on my lap pondering the long drive home with very little sleep. An hour later I was still trying to get some sleep of my own, but I was too anxious about our upcoming road trip. Maddie finally woke up once her grandfather got up to make coffee and we took to the road just after nine. Within a half hour of our departure, we were bogged down in a mini-traffic snarl on Route 15.
Maddie was not pleased, but lacked any real energy to lash out at the situation, so she opted in for another nap. This made me a little jealous, but I was glad she was getting rested up for the long day ahead of us.
The baby was basically a perfect lady for the duration of the trip – but both of her parents were a little worn down from Maddie’s early morning mayhem. We made it through the trip without too much hassle and are very excited to see what Maddie has planned for us during our first night back at home.
For such an amazingly photogenic baby – Maddie was not interested in participating in a little holiday photo cheer this evening. For a little girl that is always ready with a smile and who loves nothing more than attention, she was really grinching it up this evening.
We tried a variety of outfits and poses, but the little cutie was not playing our game this evening. I snapped picture after picture, but honey badger don’t play that game! I was actually quite entertained by the spectacle – a Christmas card shot tonight would have the caption under Maddie reading, “What’s your major malfunction?”
The more my wife and I talked sweetly or tried to excite the baby, the more she dug in her heels to let us know that tonight was NOT our night and she would not be sweet-talked by anyone including her parents.
We tried a variety of locations including the Bumbo chair, the floor and even under the tree – but Maddie was quickly losing her sense of humor with her inept parents and their wild shenanigans. After I shot a little more than 40 pics, it was time to suspend negotiations and give it a try some other time.
Apparently the baby was exhausted after all the paparazzi attention because the second Gina took the baby back to the room, she literally passed out. Gina laid Maddie in the crib and the baby simply checked out. I don’t know when our next photo shoot is – but Maddie assured us that we better have a smarter plan in place if want to make it through the day unscathed.