Learning

Never Enough Time

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Does the arm come with the watch?
Does the arm come with the watch?
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Maddie Gaming the System Like an Old Pro

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Like taking candy from an adult!

After sleeping straight through three nights in a row, Maddie had led her parents into uncharted territory. Maddie’s mom had a 5am flight out of Newark and was hoping for another good night’s sleep. However, the baby flipped the schedule right around 10:30pm.

She was sounding off and making it clear that taking sleep for granted is always a fruitless proposition. Maddie knows from personal experience that during the nighttime hours, sleeping in her crib is mandatory.

The only exception is when her Mom has to get up very early the next morning. DING-DING-DING! I have still yet to discover how Maddie knew that this was one of those evenings. I even had the house swept for listening devices, but nothing turned up.

As you might have guessed, when Maddie went off the rails, I had to hustle her upstairs so that her mom could get some sleep. Once we were upstairs, all the commotion suddenly died down. I knew my little girl was gaming me.

She was thinking, does he have the guts to take me back downstairs? Is he ready to take a shot at the title? I knew it was a setup – you could smell it a mile away. But I had to try. At this point, Maddie was snuggled in deeply sleeping in my arms, no chance that she might wake up. But with this little girl, there’s always the chance that she’s playing possum.

I made it down to the sixth step with her when I must have hit a trip wire, because I triggered Maddie’s sonic scream alarm. She was crying and howling like a wounded cat. I scampered back upstairs and it was like I threw a switch. All sins were forgiven and forgotten. Maddie was safe and warm in her father’s arms and that evil crib might as well have been set up in Kinshasa.

So yes, I folded – the baby spent the night sleeping on me. But the joke is really on her. Sleeping on me might not be good for household discipline and I may be exhausted the next morning, but watching her sleep will always be one of my favorite activities. Besides, Maddie figured out that her father was an easy mark a long time ago.

Empty Water Bottle Tops Baby’s Favorite Toy List

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Double the trouble!

We aren’t really the type of parents that pack the house full of toys for our six-month-old daughter Maddie. However, we did go on a little shopping trip this weekend looking for toys that would hold Maddie’s interest and maybe even help her sit up.

Besides Maddie’s tummy time mats, we have the bouncy chair with a full compliment of flashing lights, exotic birds and monkeys. We have a juicy little car dashboard that sports some over-exuberant domesticated animals. It also has a full compliment of sounds including a revving engine, a car horn that speaks Spanish and a gearshift that lets you fry the transmission by screeching your tires.

We even have a “Wonders of the Sea” boom box called the Tote-a-Tune Fishbowl! What’s not to love about this bad boy with its light-up bubbles, dirty little invertebrates, clicking clownfish and ten show-stopping tunes?

My personal favorite is our Mozart Cube that plays a variety of tunes, but you get to choose the instruments. Maddie is just fine with that one. Heck, to one degree or another, she likes them all.

But only one of them really does the trick for her. It’s actually pretty high on her Dad’s list as well. It’s the old washed up and empty water bottle. For anyone who has ever crunched a water bottle, you know what a satisfying crinkling and crunching noise it produces.

The very first time I crunched one in front of Maddie, she was hooked. Forget the fishbowl and let the monkeys wait, crushing and re-crushing a water bottle is an interesting process that you really have to take your time with.

Like Will Ferrell said in the movie Stepbrothers, “SO MANY ACTIVITIES!”

You can whack the counter with the empty bottle, fire it off the kitchen counter and even hit yourself in the headband with it. Just yesterday, Maddie helped me with the dishes by smacking a cup right into the sink with it. (GOAL!)

And the fun doesn’t stop there, the bottle makes a terrific snack, is great for teething and can even be used to inflict blunt force trauma against her father. It’s been almost two months now and the bottle is still Maddie’s top banana!

Some baby’s get hooked on blankets and cute little stuffed toys, but Maddie never stops thinking about the environment. She is cleaning up the planet by keeping plastic bottles out of the landfills and littered around our kitchen instead. Way to go Maddie!