It’s very rare when I actually wake up the baby. Maddie either wakes me up or I cater to her whenever she wakes up. So it was a new experience when I had to get her up this morning to go to a doctor’s appointment in the city.
Many people use the word precious very freely. Not me. It’s a word that I have rarely had any occasion to use unless I was doing a Lord of the Rings imitation of Smeagol. But Maddie’s reaction to being woken up this morning was the spot on definition of the word precious.
I softly called her name. Maddie wiggled and just barely opened her eyes to determine who was waking her up. She saw it was her father and gave me the warmest and most loving smile I have ever seen. Then she closed her eyes and went back to sleep.
I gently prompted her again, “Madddieee.”
She greeted me with that same smile before quickly falling back asleep.
Its little moments like this that makes this the best job anyone could hope for.
However, by the time we got out the door, we were in a serious time crunch. I bundled Maddie up in the stroller against the nasty wind blowing off of the Hudson River and took off.
We had 14 minutes to scamper one mile, buy a ferry ticket and board the ferry. And they’re off… Maddie and I were half speed walking and half jogging as we made our way through the streets of Jersey City.
I could see the ferry crossing the river as we steamed towards the ticket terminal. We burst through the doors with our adrenaline pumping! There was only one person in line – Niiccee!!
Maddie wheeled up behind the woman in line who was counting out $13.75 in quarters??? And the clerk was going through each one, “Nope, this quarter is Canadian – oops, so is this one.” Meanwhile, our ferry is docking right out front and the clock is ticking. “Oh, this one is American, right?”
“Hmmm, let’s see, I only need one more dollar,” said the befuddled woman. Before she could make a move I slapped down a buck and calmly said “Sold – Please print her ticket and give me one to Wall Street!” Maddie eyed me curiously as people started to board our boat.
The clerk laid down the woman’s ticket and ours came next. I snatched the ticket just as the ferryman was chaining up the entrance – “One more coming!” I announced. He lifted the chain as Maddie and I darted onto the platform. The boat lurched backwards and Maddie gave me that coy smile that said, “You can not be serious!”
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!
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!
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.
Maddie’s magical headband continues to provide trials and tribulations for the entire family. Our most recent trip to the cranium tech came with a little added parental spice. Since the start of this process, we had insisted that the band was not fitting the baby’s head properly.
This was proven true the very first day when Maddie developed a nasty welt on her left cheekbone. In fairness, I suppose that a parent should have a pretty good idea of how well something fits on their baby from the start.
After a quick examination and acknowledgement of the obvious welt issue, the tech agreed that the band needed a little bit of work to fit better. Maddie was the model of decorum through the entire examination process.
So the headband got a little bit off the top and it was time to head home for the evening meltdown. I have to hand it to the cranium techs, they are true experts at keeping the baby entertained while they mess with head and neck. They accomplish this feat with an amazing arsenal of noise making toys.
Every time we are in the office, I’m reminded of the Batman movie in the late 80’s. Jack Nicholson, who plays the Joker, has just been befuddled by one of Batman’s space age gizmos and exclaims, “Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?”
I know he didn’t get them from Amazon, but I’m pretty sure we will be able to replicate some of those at home. If Maddie doesn’t enjoy them, I’m sure I will!
Whether it’s the new DOC headband or some diabolical conspiracy, Maddie the Sleep Slayer emerged from her lair Saturday night laying waste to all of those in her path. With her 6th month birthday just days away, the little girl spent the entire evening and early morning announcing her presence with authority.
The dream killer first struck just before 11pm and little did we know that this was just an appetizer for a night filled with sleepless thrills and chills. Normally we are able to pinpoint one distraction or another, but not this time.
When Maddie was at it again at 12:30am, I had a feeling the night was shot. The baby would wake up wildly unhappy and then completely chill out and smile each time we liberated her. The smile would fade into sleep within just a few minutes and then it was back into the crib. Forty minutes later, the princess was on the brink again and even a little bit of milk would only buy us another 90 minutes of sleep.
Maddie was obviously trying to soothe herself, but I we wonder if the DOC Headband is providing just enough discomfort to spoil a good night’s sleep. Even after several jarring wake up calls, the baby was again sounding the alarm at 3am. The parents were bobbing and weaving, but it was just a technicality, they were done and the baby knew it. The only work she had to do now was deliver the deathblow.
At 6am, in honor of MLK Day, Maddie let Freedom Ring yet again. I staggered over to her crib, lifted her out and her smile said it all, “I have a dream that one day every parent shall be awakened, every hope of sleep dashed, every drowsy eye opened so that all shall cater to my crooked night time schedule. Free of sleep oppression – Free of nap time – Free of all sleep no matter what form it might take – When we see that day brothers and sisters, we are truly free at last!”
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.
For three weeks now, I’ve been terribly apprehensive about writing this article about how we defeated sweet Madeleine’s diaper rash. The fear is that if I publish the article, the rash will comes back at my 4-month-old with a vengeance!
Diaper rash had been constant headache for all of us since the baby was born. It actually seemed to impact the parents a great deal more than it bothered our little girl. We would fret, complain and complete exhaustive research projects like we were trying to cure yellow fever.
We purchased every darned product we could find under the sun:
- Butt Paste
- Burt’s Bee’s
- Home Remedies
- VooDoo dolls and potions
- Ouija board
One of three things happened every time:
- The rash would get temporarily better
- Stay the same
- Get worse
Every time it was right back to square one with bumps, the redness and sometimes blood. Never has there been an affliction with so many cures available that only seem to make the problem worse. Maybe teenage pimples, but isn’t that another billion dollar pharmaceutical industry designed to rip off desperate consumers?
Sorry, I promised Maddie that I would not get carried away. So without further adieu, here’s the cure.
STEP I – Stop using baby wipes, especially the medicated ones.
STEP II – After each diaper change, use a little container of water and cleanse the affected area with GENTLE paper towel halves. (Pick a brand)
STEP III – Throw all of that diaper rash crap out the window – Every tube, jar and bottle of magic potion (unless it actually works for your baby.) Sometimes a little Mustela can go a long way, but try the natural route first!
STEP IV – In 3 to 4 days, Maddie’s rash went the way of the 8 track player and the dinosaur. It’s gone. There’s been no flare-ups, no bumps and no blood.
I don’t know if this remedy will work for you and your baby and we don’t know for sure if it made Maddie any happier. However, we sleep much better at night knowing that the baby is not resting on a chapped bottom!