Whenever things get quiet in Maddie’s household, that’s when Daddy knows it’s time to spring into action. The deafening sound of silence washed over me from the living room and I darted down the hall into the master bedroom.
I was sharply put out to find Maddie up on our bed which is much higher than most.
“Gina, Did you leave the baby up on the bed?” I growled towards the bathroom.
Before my wife could answer, Maddie started jumping up and down on the bed proclaiming, “I CLIMB, I CLIMB, I CLIMB!”
Two words that struck me like a sharply hit line drive in the forehead – 22-months-old and the monkey is already scaling the bed?
Sure enough, I helped her down and she repeated the reckless action, this time under my supervision. Maddie propped her tiny feet on the base of the box spring and launched herself commando style up onto the bed, clawing and scratching wildly to avoid falling backwards into the abyss.
Once the terrorist conquered the bed before my own eyes, she broke out into wild celebrations with uncontrollable jumping on the bed.
We often read a book to Maddie called, “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” Clearly, we are not getting through to her.
This is a girl that doesn’t like the warm temps at all – but once it creeps under fifty degrees, she is in her element. Today we were outside and the wind chill had to be in the mid-thirties. I kept wrapping Maddie up in her warm blanket and she kept snatching it off and waving it over her head.
Despite Maddie’s cold weather antics, we have made progress in one critical area. Maddie now realizes that if she wants to go outside, shoes have become a non-negotiable part of her life.
Now that it’s chilly, Maddie signals that she is ready to go outside by hand-delivering her bear jacket and then bringing out a pair of shoes. This is one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the history of clothing. We really believed that Maddie would be refusing to wear her shoes well into her teens.
But this is no time to celebrate – The next Herculean task on our agenda is to get Maddie into gloves or mittens before the temps dip into the twenties.
Maddie has never been a child who ever kept a pair of socks on for more than five minutes in her life. Now that she is walking, her parents face the impossible task of getting the baby to wear shoes. Hmmm, how did they not see that coming?
Let’s face it, we can’t have Jane of the Jungle running around parks, sidewalks and pools without protection for her feet. Somehow, Maddie missed the memo. The baby is determined to crush the institution of wearing shoes. Maddie is already studying the same infamous battle strategies she used during her previous campaigns against socks.
Socks couldn’t stand up to Maddie and she firmly believes that shoes will be no different.
Step 1: Always be prepared to strike without mercy. Maddie makes sure to start struggling with her shoes the second they are placed upon her feet.
Step 2: Complain vigorously. If the shoes don’t fall off, launch verbal assaults against the guilty parties who put the shoes on her in the first place.
Step 3: As soon as one shoe comes off, fire that bad boy off into space. The farther the parent has to chase the shoe, the more time you have to remove the other one.
Step 3-A: What works even better is to the drop the offending shoe or shoes into a perilous area. If the shoe winds up on a busy street or on the train tracks, that’s a big win. The shoe may be impossible to recover or possibly destroyed.
Step 4: Remove the shoe quietly and discard it while the parent is focused elsewhere. You never know when it might become a chew toy for a dog or large rat.
She may not be talking about it, but Maddie is taking more and more short walks around the house. Three steps here, ten steps there and so on. But trying to catch these images on video is proving to be nearly impossible.
The little vixen is on to us and has decided to keep any video taped evidence of her walking out of the public spotlight. TMZ and Extra have offered great sums of money to see Mads strut her stuff, but she says they can keep it.
I have to admit, it’s humbling to be outsmarted by my one-year-old. Every time I point the camera in her direction, she drops to the floor and starts crawling straight for the camera. Her mother and I also failed in a photo-ambush attempt. Maddie’s mom set her camera up one side of the room and I set up on the other.
As soon as one of us attempted to hit record, Maddie was on the floor in a flash crawling away with a smug grin on her face. It’s become contest to catch the baby in the act of walking before she starts running wind sprints around the house. It’s obvious now that the baby will demonstrate her walking capabilities for the camera when she is good and ready and will not be coerced by the paparazzi that lurk behind every corner.