As Maddie closes in on her 5-month-birthday, I am always stunned by her staggering sense of timing. I don’t know if it’s a matter of Circadian rhythms or if she has tagged me with one of those LoJack transmitter implants that people insert into their pets – but after 3pm, Maddie always knows two things for sure.
The baby senses the split second her father sits or lies down and she knows the exact moment he has finished preparing a meal. I know this because these actions (sitting down) or (completed food preparation) triggers a maniacal verbal reaction (screaming or crying) from my perpetually energetic bundle of love. It’s become so frequent that it is no longer a surprise, you can literally set your watch by it.
It is these specific moments where Maddie either suddenly feels slighted, abandoned or put upon and must retaliate with extreme prejudice. It also doesn’t matter where she happens to be at the time. She could be sitting in the kitchen with me, hanging from my arm or asleep in the crib, but it is always at that moment of relaxation or mealtime that Maddie chooses to act out.
As a result, we are always extra tired and get a steady diet of stone-cold meals – but c’mon, you have to admit that is more than a little impressive on Maddie’s side. Can she sense the relaxation setting in before she strikes? Does she secretly hear the salivary glands being triggered by the promise of a meal?
Whether Maddie is making sure that she is the center of attention or not, I always wonder how she knows. This afternoon, I had the baby monitor sitting on the desk behind me. I slipped off my shoes, put my feet up on the couch and bam!! Maddie rocked the house with loud protesting noises indicating that she was ready for pick up.
It’s also interesting that during the morning and early afternoon, this skill rarely comes into play because Maddie is such a happy baby during those times. It’s always right before the afternoon turns into evening where the whacky little girl goes on the hunt.
To be honest, I don’t really have a problem with it – I am just in complete awe that my daughter possesses such a sophisticated skill set before she can even eat solid foods or crawl.
The latest developments in Maddie’s personality seem to have caught her parents off guard like a good smack in the chops. The baby has suddenly decided that during waking hours, she requires either constant attention or constant motion.
Some of her toys have lost their luster and so far, it’s up to Mom and Poppa to fill the void. This is actually great fun except for the fact that Maddie’s restlessness is now completely off the charts.
However, our one-on-one conservations have taken on a powerful new flavor. For two days in a row now, Maddie sits on my chest and really tells me what’s on her mind. She speaks so loudly and with so much emphasis that I really can’t get a word in edgewise. Seriously! I start speaking to Maddie and she belts out a long unintelligible stream of baby conversation. So now the question becomes:
- Is she answering to me?
- Mirroring me back?
- Trying to drown me out?
Based on our recent interaction, I honestly think she is trying to drown me out, which actually delights me to no end. It is loud and persistent and almost as obnoxious as I often choose to be.
She is also becoming more and more addicted to the Baby Bjorn. Much to her delight, we took another long walk today where the only way I can see what she’s up to is by stopping at parked cars and evaluating her reflection in the glass. What’s very entertaining is despite the fact that the thing looks pretty uncomfortable, after about 10 minutes of walking, Maddie completely conks out, dead asleep.
When I walked into the house with Maddie, her mother was very concerned seeing the limp baby in the Baby Bjorn – “Is she ok.”
I assured her that Maddie was just catching a few winks. But I can understand the initial shock of it all. Imagine being strapped to another human being, who is holding your hands out to the side for added warmth and you are sleeping peacefully without a care in the world?
It’s hard to discern whether or not this is just a passing phase or something that will go on for some time to come – but you can always count on one thing with Maddie – It’s never boring!