They say milk does a body good – but how it impacts Maddie is still up for debate. Maddie was ripping through a big dinner tonight when we decided to give the old milk bottle another try. To say she liked would be a terrible understatement.
As soon as Maddie started drinking, she was all amped up and feeling good. So good in fact, that she kept swinging the sippy cup around her head between sips. This of course led to a forecast of heavy milk rain for the wooden floor with a smattering honeydew melon pieces.
As I bent down with a paper towel, I got a little conk on the head with the sippy cup. Next thing I know I feel milk misting over my scalp. I looked up to see Maddie laughing maniacally as she sprinkled my head with milk. I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to laugh, but the baby was so pleased with herself that I joined in on her raucous laughter.
Rather than take the milk away from her, I took shelter under the high chair and gave her toes a few well-placed bites. Now Maddie was practically beside herself with laughter. We kept up with our hunger games for a few more minutes before resuming our normal mealtime.
For a girl that turns one-year-old this weekend, Maddie already is exhibiting a seriously well-developed and advanced sense of humor.
As abrupt as Maddie’s movements are, it will be some time before a pair of scissors comes anywhere near that perfect little head of hers. So her varying lengths of hair are here to stay for a while.
This makes things really interesting especially during mealtime. When Maddie has had enough to eat now, she alerts us to this fact by rubbing her hands into her hair and hiding her eyes behind her hands.
Mealtime was already quite a messy business, but we are quickly reaching new heights. Watermelon and cantaloupe juice has become a staple deep into the roots of her scalp. Apple sauce and scrambled eggs are all too happy to take up residence and in Maddie’s hair. Add a little bit of 2% milk on top of those flowing locks and you have a party going on top of Maddie’s head.
Once this mixture is in place, those coated strands of hair stick out at multiple angles like a messy bale of hay. And until she actually gets her hair washed, this fashion-forward look is hers for the day.
The majority of the hair atrocities take place at night, but a couple of them have happened during lunch. There’s nothing like putting a cute little skirt on girl with a whacky head of hair like that. Maddie is just a few weeks from her first birthday, but she is already becoming quite a fashion trendsetter.
I tried to explain the catch and release policy to Maddie regarding the trapping of city pigeons, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. We were in the city park today when a bold pigeon ventured a little too close to Maddie and her treasured bagel. My 10-month-old bundle of joy shot out of the crib snatching the unsuspecting bird straight out of the air.
The poor flying rat never stood a chance. We wrapped him up and took it home for a little impromptu lunch. This is when I remembered that I had some fantastic duck waiting for us in the refrigerator. It was sure to be more tender than the pigeon and perhaps not quite as gamey.
What I didn’t anticipate is how much Maddie would enjoy this new type of meat. I gave her a drumstick to work over and she was hooked. As soon as she jammed the bone into her mouth, her mighty jaws snapped it cleanly in half. She was quite content to gnaw on Daffy’s remains until all the meat was gone from the shredded bird.
As Maddie’s appetite ramps up, so does her enthusiasm for eating. She hasn’t gained any weight in nearly a month, but she seems to be getting taller by the day. Her propensity for immersing herself into the middle of mischief is quickly becoming the stuff legends are made of.
As I have stated in the past, Maddie is a spectacular eating machine. She has mastered a wide variety of foods across the eating spectrum. She tears into each bite with an unbridled exuberance that is difficult to properly describe. But there are days when her eating is just for show.
These are the dog days of eating when you don’t discover that the baby wasn’t actually eating until you lift her up. It turns out that our 40-minute eating session this morning was nothing but a mirage. Maddie the illusionist seemingly destroyed multiple chunks of banana, watermelon and bagels. I was sitting right there in front of her watching her place the chunks into her mouth and go to work.
I noticed a few pieces fall by the wayside down into the depths of her lap, but didn’t really give it a second thought. Sometimes there is a little collection of chewed food to pick through after Maddie has been sprung from her chair. I expected some cleanup after our meal today, but I was not prepared for the power and the glory of what Maddie had compiled today.
I removed the high chair table and stopped dead in my tracks. Maddie’s bare legs were camouflaged in this morning’s full array of breakfast. From the waste down, it appeared as if Maddie’s legs were made of fruit and bread. It was like a three layer baby bean dip with exotic watermelon pinks on top, creamy banana in the middle and a flaky crust of wet bagel dough as a base covering her skin.
The watermelon pieces were all chewed down to about the size of raisins and the bananas looked to be straight out of a blender. The bagel doe was not as refined as the rest of the dish, but it was still most impressive. What strikes me is that this was all somehow put together while I sat right in front her while her hands were placed on top of the table.
When I lifted Maddie out of the chair, even more ingredients began spilling out from hidden places all over the floor. It dawned on me that I never got to taste this baby dip, but the grades are in. Maddie scored high marks for execution and presentation and an “A+” for stealth and sneakiness.
As we experiment with more and more foods for Maddie, the feeding process changes a little bit each time. We are now beginning each morning with a variety of three foods for the baby to work on.
This morning we introduced Maddie to the world a watermelon and what an introduction it was. The first bite was met with shock and surprise. But after a few seconds, Maddie realized she had a new favorite.
However, she had a very difficult time wrapping her mind around the fact that with each bite, she would get a new splash of flavored water. After making sure she got her fill of melon, bananas and strawberries it was finally time for the main course.
Maddie ripped into her oatmeal with a vengeance seemingly savoring each bite. We were about half way through the bowl when Maddie came up with what I can only describe as an oatmeal epiphany.
I didn’t notice at first, but Maddie had stored the last few bites of oatmeal in her mouth. This is when I decided that mealtime was over. I would let Maddie work on her large mouthful of magic and then clean her up for playtime.
That’s when Maddie pulled the trigger. She scooped a heaping portion of oatmeal out of her mouth and started massaging her scalp with it. There was really nothing to be done but watch and enjoy the show.
She made sure the clumps were mixed well inside of her hair before she put her hands at her side to gauge my reaction. I just smiled at her and began the arduous clean up process. Normally this would warrant a bath, but I just wiped her head down with a wet paper towel and let her ride out the day with the SLICK look. I can hardly wait to see what she does with the new salmon baby packets we bought.
Now that she is 7-months-old, Maddie is completely revamping the way she eats solid food. As a matter of fact, solid food intake is becoming quite the extreme sport in our household along the lines of skydiving and repelling.
Our first extreme meal started during the late morning. It turns out that a little bit of cinnamon oats and apple can go a long way in the arena of face painting.
It’s funny how this activity starts off in such a civilized manner. I gently urge Maddie to “help me” with the spoon and she gently guides it right into her mouth. However, after about our fifth spoonful of “civility” things start to break down. The first sign is when the baby decides that the contents in her mouth need a closer inspection.
She reaches in and comes out with fingerfuls of the goop we worked so hard to get in there in the first place. She examines these contents with a laser-like focus, evaluating what went in and how it has changed in appearance.
After her curiosity is satisfied, she decides that the mess on her fingers should be liberally applied to her left ear. WHAT A GREAT IDEA!! And once the left ear amassed a generous portion of oats and apples all over it – she just had to keep going.
So after every few spoonfuls, she shared the rations with her hungry left ear. Not the right ear, which is far too civilized for such antics, just the left one. Needless to say, our cleanup took a bit longer than usual.
The nighttime meal of homemade sweet potato produced a whole new set of challenges in the form of FLYING FOOD! Who knew that sweet potato was so aerodynamically designed for flight?
When my wife came home this evening, she noticed that my eyebrows and eyelids were caked with a spackling of sweet potato. She must have thought that I was trying to keep up with Maddie. This is because the baby determined that not only can sweet potato fly, but it also works as some type of mudpack to be applied liberally around the mouth and eyes.
As you can see from the picture above, a good time was had by all and Maddie was taking no prisoners.
As Maddie has become more and more accustomed to solid food, it was finally time for us to up the ante. Earlier this week we added a little solid food brunch to the baby’s repertoire. At the time, we didn’t really anticipate some of the double duties that sneak up on you once your baby starts doubling down with the solids.
If you have a problem with the word “double” or if you hated the Doublemint Gum song, this article is NOT for you!
The first double duty we ran into was trying to preserve Maddie’s wardrobe. The baby loves her food so much that she almost always chooses to share it with whatever she happens to be wearing. Even with the bib on, Maddie likes spreading her food around the neck of her shirt. She has also become quite proficient at sharing healthy doses of solid mush with both of her sleeves.
Maddie is also well aware of the skin benefits associated with rubbing various solids all over her legs and when possible, her feet as well. We have quickly learned that these clothes must be soaked in water almost immediately. That is unless we prefer some of the more exotic stains that come with sweet potatoes, carrots and even those nasty peas.
Also, double the solid food leads to more diapers packed with secret and unspeakable treasures. Wait, that’s not entirely true – the treasure is actually tainted. For the past couple of months, we have only encountered one really messy diaper per day. Now, one must be ready at any given moment with the frightening potential of back-to-back dirty diaper episodes.
Last but certainly not least is the double bath time duties. As the diapers grow more and more unruly, so does the need for extra trips to the bathtub. These new duties are not a hardship at all – but they can be rather time consuming. It’s also interesting that we are now learning a great deal more about the cause and effect relationship as it relates to the actions you undertake with your child.
What better time for Maddie to take her first bite of real food than on her very first New Year’s Day? For a couple weeks now, Maddie has been keeping extremely close tabs on anybody who has been eating around her. She is a very inquisitive and observant 5-month-old girl and we had the feeling that she was ready to give this eating thing a try.
I was working on dinner this evening when Maddie’s mom walked into the kitchen and suggested that now was the time! Earlier in the week, we agreed to begin the baby’s solid food career with the one fruit that we always keep in the house – bananas!
We set Maddie up in her chair, snapped on a bumbo tray and broke off a small wedge of banana for her to sample. Now we don’t want anyone to panic, we’re not trying to choke the baby, I held onto the banana chunk while Maddie tested it out for to see if passed her street creds standard. The idea was to try and get the baby interested in the taste, before actually seeing if she wanted to try and eat some.
Maddie likes to taste her toys, so it stood to reason that she would be willing the sample the banana wedge. After a few licks and a surprising smile, could New Year’s Day be the big breakthrough for Maddie?
I dipped the spoon into the crushed banana and gently placed it into Maddie’s mouth. She pushed it around a little bit with her tongue and then shocked both parents when she closed her mouth and swallowed it!
Even when she eats, Maddie is far too cute for her own good.
Thinking it might be a fluke, I tried another spoonful and after some deliberation, she swallowed another portion. We finally suspended feeding after about four spoonfuls. Aside from a few wrestling matches over the spoon, Maddie’s first eating endeavor was a real success. I just want to be careful not to rush things, her infancy seems to flashing before my eyes.