Maddie Storms Local Park, Commandeers Swing Set

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Ready to roll her first perfect game

When Maddie keeps her shoes on for more than five minutes, it’s time to hit the park. After all, we can’t let the little girl run around the park going commando! So with her little red Crocs strapped to her feet, we set Maddie free at the swing set!

There were a couple of 18-month-old twins trying to hog all the action, but Maddie wasn’t having it. It was GO-TIME and Maddie let the kids know that it was time to share the toys. In the blink of an eye, Maddie had already captured a green ball for herself.

It’s very cute to watch Maddie interact with the bigger kids. They are obviously faster and more mobile, but Maddie is never far behind. She is determined to keep up, no matter how far the others race ahead. Maddie is surprisingly friendly and kind to the other children, despite her father’s exaggerations.

Are you talking to me?

Baby Unleashes Carnage in the Kitchen

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My work is done here!

If it doesn’t involve stairs, Maddie is now more than happy to prove that she can basically access any part of the house that we can. Her ability to motor from point A to point B increases with great efficiency just about every day.

Her new trick is to actually follow me into the kitchen to see what I’m up to and what she might be able accomplish in there. The childproofing has gone pretty well so far, but Maddie is intent on covering every inch of the house, grid-by-grid.

Before launching her latest assault on the kitchen, Maddie confronted a very large package of toilet tissue. With 18 rolls to work on, her hands were full. She thrashed the bag with criminal intent but was unable to punch through the plastic. After about five minutes, it became apparent that the plastic would not yield the paper treasures that were so close, yet so far away.

Now it was time for Maddie to begin her assault on her father who was rummaging around the kitchen. Maddie is by no means stealthy; you can hear those hands slapping the floors several moments before she makes her grand entrance. Yet once she rounds the corner, she is on you.

Her first order of business was to pull the kitchen trashcan down on top of her. With that task out of the way, her next assignment was to gain access to the dishwasher. Much to her disappointment, Maddie was turned away before she could unlock the mysteries hidden deep behind the dishwasher walls.

The baby then proceeded to yank on various cabinet doors to she if could yank them open. Each one held firm, but Maddie vowed that these doors would not be safe for long and she would be back. It was then that we whisked her to her high chair where she could enjoy some nice lasagna.

Maddie enjoyed the taste, but was locked into a moral dilemma. Should she enjoy her meal, spread it all over her face or redecorate the kitchen with it? The answer hit her like a ton of bricks, why not do all three?

Maddie started firing food off the tray and onto the floor. When her Mom tried to clean it up, she got popped as well. The little terrorista was on a roll and didn’t let up until her masterpiece was complete.

Winds of Change Taxing the Baby

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I’m going to need a moment before you speak to me.

With so many developmental changes assaulting the Mad Madster, it’s no wonder she’s feeling just a bit overwhelmed right now. Today she launched a full frontal assault aimed at none other than her dear old dad.

We seemed to be having a grand old time this morning. Maddie was tearing up a magazine with great vigor and right or wrong, I was letting her pursue this course of action. However, when she tore out a page and tried to stuff it in her mouth, I had to intervene.

I grabbed the offending page as it was going into Maddie’s mouth. At the time, this seemed to be a reasonable course of action, but Maddie did not see it that way. Taking that piece of paper away from her was apparently a capital offense.

She screamed, she fussed, she pouted – and that was just the beginning. For the better part of an hour, Maddie let her dad have it and then some. She was about as angry as I have ever seen her.

It didn’t take long for me to understand that this wasn’t about the non-edible paper, but something much more complicated. I think Maddie’s rapid development is temporarily getting the best of her.

The baby is trying desperately to communicate with us. She’s working on her standing, crawling and eating skills and is meeting new people everyday. All of this stimulation has to confusing, exhausting and probably downright frightening. Maddie is also craving the one thing I obviously can’t provide for her, more female interaction.

So I have to take my lumps with a smile for now and hope she feels a little better tomorrow. There’s a great deal on her plate and she needs all the support we can offer. It’s not fun to see her struggle like this, but I know she’s a “toughie” and will bounce back happier than ever.

Maddie Stands and Delivers

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I’m not sure what the big deal is

It’s all literally happened in the past ten days. We had a 9-month-old with no ambition to really crawl or stand up. In the blink of an eye, it has all changed. Maddie crawls around the house at break-neck speed and stood up for close to five minutes without any assistance this afternoon.

Maddie boycotted crawling for some time. She was transporting herself with scoots and rolls, but the crawling thing just wasn’t clicking. FEAR NOT! The girl is on a roll now and trying to slow down a force of nature is an exercise in futility.

There is no more relaxed sitting for dad unless she in held captive in her pack and play. Her attention span is equal to that of mongoose that just put away a 12-pack of Mountain Dew. So anything that falls into her field of vision pops this powerful machine into fifth gear with a touch of afterburners.

The same thing happened with Maddie and her ability to stand. We propped her up a few times and now it’s her life goal to set some kind of baby-standing endurance record. I set Maddie up on one of her toys this afternoon and she just stood there for about five minutes.

Where did all of this strength and mobility come from? This girl is a wrecking machine from the word go. I am so impressed (I know, I hide it well) but her rapid advancement is something to watch. During the time I tried to write this story, I placed her across the room at least six times – she crawled right back over to me every time.

The only problem is that it’s all happening in the blink of an eye. If anyone has any suggestions on how to slow down this amazing time with Maddie, please speak up now!

Why Crawl When You Can Scoot?

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I choose an alternative mode of transport!
Is it better to scoot or is it better to crawl? This is an age-old question that has plagued scholars for hundreds of years. That last statement may not be true. I’m not sure I have ever heard of a “scooting” baby but I know from personal experience that they do exist.
As a matter of fact, my 9-month-old baby girl Maddie has decided to skip crawling and enter the mysterious world of the scoot.
Maddie really had us fooled this weekend. We thought for sure she was ready to start crawling up a storm. She’s been assuming the crawl position for some time now. She has also become quite the expert at flipping from her back to tummy or vice-a-versa. However, since all of her past forward facing efforts have led to moving backwards, she devised the perfect alternative – – – the SCOOT.
If Maddie sees something she wants in front of her, she scooches on her bottom or lays on her side and kind of slithers in the direction of the item until she has it in her clutches. Say what you will, but the fact that my daughter has snubbed the institution of crawling and still manages to move herself from point A to point B is pretty impressive.
This mini-MacGyver is snatching the items that she wants through sheer will and determination. Granted this is not the most efficient or expedient way to take care of business, but for now it works for her.
It also means that I have a longer time-horizon to build steel cages and dig moats to keep Maddie from escaping down long and treacherous flights of stairs once she learns to pick up speed.

Baby Circumvents Living Room in Reverse

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My momentum seems to be carrying me backwards

As Maddie closes in on her 8-month birthday, she is finally on the move. The only problem is that she is only capable of moving away from her intended destination.

Her crawl mechanism is set in reverse. Today she motored more than ten feet, but all of it was backwards. Maddie’s arms are like tiny tree trunks and those muscle-packed pythons constantly overpower her lower body.

Just to prove a point, Maddie snapped off 50 military style pushups while I was making her bottle this morning. That may be a slight exaggeration, but she continuously props herself up very high like an irate chameleon.

It’s one thing to try and anticipate what kind of trouble your baby is headed for when they know where they are going. However, when Maddie is moving backwards or at angle, you never know where she might end up. This afternoon, she ended up under a table literally in the blink of an eye.

Maddie just started lifting her bottom off the floor this week. This new development has really enhanced her mobility. The fascinating aspect of this phenomenon is that she doesn’t appear to be moving at all. The flexing arms and kicking legs distract your eyes from the motion that must be taking place.

It’s really just a matter of time now. Once Maddie conquers the forward motion aspect of crawling, she will be racing around the house like a greyhound.

Wanting to Crawl is Half the Battle

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I've been really preoccupied

I often write about the fact that Maddie can’t crawl yet because until today, she has never really showed the slightest interest in that type of activity. Her tummy time is usually spent in the push up position until she complains loudly enough to be picked up.

Today however, there was a distinct change in Maddie’s motivational makeup. I had just placed her on her tummy with her pacifier sitting right in front of her about six inches away. I was just about to retrieve it for her – but for some reason, I decided to just watch for a few moments.

Instead of crying out about the injustice of it all, she actually made a play for the pacifier. This definitely caught my eye because in the past, if it was out of reach, it just wasn’t an option that Maddie cared to worry about.

This time, she wanted that darn thing and was primed to put in the effort to go get it. She started out with some sort of breaststroke variation that only succeeded in turning her around. I pointed her at the pacifier again and those legs started pumping like pistons.

Let me cut the suspense right here – NO, she didn’t crawl to the pacifier and NO, she didn’t get close. But this subtle shift in attitude is monumental.

There was no way Maddie was ever going to learn to crawl unless she found a way to motivate herself. Just the fact that she wanted to transport herself forward is a sharp shift in her standard operating procedure.

Later that afternoon, I set up the same scenario in another room. I put Maddie on her tummy with the pacifier just out of reach. Once she spotted the pacifier, those legs started pumping and her arms began flailing. Again, she never got close to the prize, but I strongly believe that the desire to crawl is ultimately what will make it happen.

Time Crawls When You’re Having Fun

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You can't rush into a thing like crawling

Maddie has run into a snag as she prepares for this weekend’s Daytona 500. The challenge is that she still can’t sit up and can only crawl backwards. That’s going to make her driving in this week’s race a real challenge.

Maddie is not short on strength in any way shape or form, but at this point, she’s not really interested in crawling. She gets a ton of tummy time and is sitting up like a champ, but that is as far as her interest goes.

To be honest, I’m in no hurry for her to become mobile. Keeping up with her now is more than enough of a challenge. This despite the fact that she isn’t even running or crawling yet.

There’s also the looming challenge of childproofing the house and the stairs. I have studied the checklists and they seem rather extensive. Once the checklists are complete, experts advise that parents crawl through the house to get a good look at rooms through the eyes of their baby.

Probably the biggest challenge we face is the Berlin Wall we will have to erect to keep the Madster away from our massive sets of stairs.

Maddie already loves to grab and tip things over, so I can only imagine that the allure of our perilous stairwells will be almost too much to bear. But for now, it’s all butterscotch and ponies for us. Maddie is content to take it easy while I save up the valuable energy necessary for the challenge of chasing her later.