Apparently Maddie’s father (StayHomePaPa) has been quite guilty of doing everything for the baby and not letting her learn to do things for herself. Especially when it comes to crawling and feeding. This may be true to some degree, but I’m working hard to turn some of these trends around.
My newest project is to get Maddie to hold her own bottle while she’s drinking milk. So far this has been an exercise in futility. Maddie acts like Smeagol aka Gollum from Lord of the Rings when she assumes control of her bottle.
The bottle is her “Precious.” She talks to it, hugs it, swings it around and even nips at it. This afternoon she whapped me with the bottle and then launched it across the room, but not before spraying milk all over her face and the couch.
The one thing I can’t get her to do with “precious” is actually drink from it. Once she gets her paws on the bottle, everything morphs into a mystical game instead of her prominent food source.
The real excitement begins once the bottle no longer commands her attention. Today after drinking less than an eighth of her bottle, she tried to throw herself off of the couch a couple of times for good luck.
When she realized that escape wasn’t an option, she kept putting her toes near my mouth. I kept saying, “No thank you!” Yet she found this toe interaction completely hilarious and could not stop giggling with delight. After growing tired of having her toes nibbled on, Maddie let loose with a long string of splattering raspberries. This spittle and milk cocktail sprayed the both of us, again much to her delight.
Then she squirmed until her back was firmly on the couch and her legs were left on my lap. This triggered Maddie’s full scale Pilates workout. Her churning legs did their best to seek out and pummel my groin area. You could tell the baby felt better with each direct hit. I thwarted her blows with my extended arm until she decided to change tactics.
This is when she grasped my forearm and thrust it into her mouth. If you can’t enjoy milk, at least enjoy the flesh of a fellow human being. During her feeding frenzy on my arm, she lost her balance and face-planted on the couch.
As usual, honey badger didn’t care. No pain, no gain. I helped her up and she resumed her vicious attack. We had a great time – but she is no closer to taking the bottle by the horns and doing the work herself.
My name is Maddie and I have been pretty accommodating thus far. At 6-months old, I’m not terribly hard to get along with. Sure, I fire up a little temper tantrum now and again. Sometimes I even wake my parents up two, maybe three times a night. But trust me when I tell you that it is for their own good.
In all modesty, I’m not too hard on the eyes either, at least that’s what I tend to overhear. So with all these things going for me, why are my strange little parents trying to feed me peas?
Have you ever seen this mess? It’s some kind of funky fluorescent green concoction that smells like death and tastes even worse. What do I look like, some kind of mini-vegetable landfill?
I’m a good kid and for my age, I exhibit a surprising amount of patience. I let them feed me a wide range whacky combos including bananas and brown rice and even carrots apples and parsnips. So it’s not like I’m picky or anything, but I draw the line at peas.
“C’mon Maddie,” they tell me, “It’s got pears to blunt the nasty taste!”
HAAAAA – Then dig in yourself Stay Home PaPa!!
The audacity of these silly parents is mind-boggling. Hey Maddie, found an old diaper for you to chew on, but I spiced it up with some lemon meringue pie filling. Sure that sounds great guys, I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night!
So here I sit in my little bumbo chair as these brain surgeons try to poison me with this toxic green sludge. At one point, I had to launch a strategic sneeze which spackled my Dad with the few peas that actually made into my mouth. Ask my dad how those peas tasted.
Anyway, if you know either one of them, please hit them with a call or a text and tell them that Maddie will NOT succumb to this foul stew. Not today and not ever – PEACE not peas!
My wife and I had a pretty good idea that things would start to change once the baby began eating solid foods – but before tonight we never knew about the power of the banana blast. Within five minutes of our solid food efforts, we had to call in a crime scene technician to conduct a banana spatter analysis of the entire kitchen.
We’ve been eating as a family for the past couple days, enjoying our dinner while feeding Maddie at the same time. Until tonight, this was proving to be a sound strategy – but little did we know that Maddie had added a little bit of banana terrorism to the menu.
The feeding began the same way each night; we gave Maddie a chunk of banana to sample before spoon-feeding her the leftover puréed fruit. Maddie was actually quite hungry for the treat tonight and that would prove to be our undoing.
Maddie was eagerly alternating between her chunks and spoonfuls and everything was seemingly under control. Suddenly the baby latched onto the spoon, gave a little diversionary sneeze and detonated another banana she must have had hidden under her bib.
The immediate blast radius was speckled with puréed banana – it was all over the counter and even her bumbo chair. Maddie’s face was littered with banana goop, as were her hands, neck and even her feet. This could only mean one thing – time for a bath.
I scooped up my little banana split and made our way to the bathroom. We plucked off her banana-laden clothing, along with her socks and leggings and got her into the tub. It was only when I was drying her that I noticed that my clothing was also pockmarked in several places with her eloquent banana splatter.
I’m sure this is only the first of many incidents, my only true regret is that we did not catch a picture of this attack so we could forward it to the proper authorities.
When times get tough the tough get going. This morning when Maddie’s bottle ran dry, she didn’t shed any tears, she just hunted down and snagged an alternative food source.
She had been eyeing those toes for several days now and it was only a matter of time before my little predator leapt into action.
Maddie was clearly on the hunt today, every sense on razor’s edge as the sun crept up casting flecks of vermillion across the brightening morning sky.
The baby caught just the faintest scent of her prey and knew those succulent little feet couldn’t be too far off. She moved against the wind meshing with the lazily tilting grass so the toes would be caught completely off guard.
The feet were getting restless now as if they could sense that something was amiss. One toe scanned the horizon and stopped for a moment on the nearby outcropping of tall grass. Maddie froze, not daring to twitch a muscle. Satisfied that nothing was out of the ordinary, both feet settled down.
The baby needed no engraved invitation – she grasped the unsuspecting foot before it knew what happened. Her gnashing gums worked the big toe, providing no sustenance what-so-ever. The mighty hunter pondered her conquest and was beginning to wonder why her own toes were covered with baby saliva. She finally let the wild foot go, but her smile sent a clear message, “This isn’t over!”
It’s staggering how fast Maddie’s eating habits can change in just two days. The baby still can’t hold her own bottle, but she’s all over that thing like a spider monkey.
With all the excitement around eating time, Maddie is gripping, clawing, swatting and pulling anything within reach. Nothing is out of bounds including her face, the feeder’s face and of course the bottle itself. This makes the feeding process into a Mortal Kombat simulation where one must be ready to counter her fatal thrusts at any time.
After a scratch to the arm or the bottle is knocked loose from your hand, Maddie senses that her foe is on the ropes and prepares for her kill shot. Now the hunter has become the hunted as she lets out her stinging battle cry of, “FINISH HIM!”
For now, the trick to a successful feeding is being able to gently restrain the hands while comfortably getting the bottle into her mouth. Letting the hands roam free mostly leads to her smacking herself in the face or jamming the bottle too deeply into her mouth.
Maddie has determined that trying to free her hands while eating is an absolute laugh riot. I hate to admit it – but we both are getting far too much entertainment out of this hand-to-hand combat. There’s no keeping score and it does stretch eating time out a little bit, but it takes a sometime mundane chore and turns it into a goofy contest.
I’m sure all the fun and games will be over in a week or so, but for now, getting the baby to put away her entire bottle is quickly becoming the ultimate conquest!
Maddie decided that due to recent shortcomings in the feeding process, she was ready to grab the bull by the horns, literally! The little girl has always sported an impressive grip, but we still thought it would be some time before she was able to hold onto the bottle all by herself.
Well with Maddie, the surprises just keep on coming.
Maddie and her mom were knocking out the night time feeding when the baby decided that enough was enough. The bottle was within reach and the little girl made her grab for glory! The baby stripped the bottle away like a linebacker and just kept on drinking – didn’t even spill a drop. Maddie’s mom says it all just happened so fast.
Gina eyed the baby with curiosity and disbelief in her eyes – “John,” she called, “C’mere, hurry!”
I rushed into the room and sure enough, Maddie had a kung fu death grip (both hands) locked onto the bottle. As usual, she was gulping it down as if these were the last precious ounces that might ever pass her lips. She had the look that seemed to say, “I have assumed control of this bottle. Any attempts to dislodge or take this bottle away will be met with brute force. Resistance is futile!”
It will still be sometime before the baby can actually feed herself, but for one triumphant evening, she cut the parents out of the food consumption process and made a statement about what we might expect in the months to come.
“You have interfered with my meals for the last time,” inferred Maddie. “The next time I don’t get the bottle when I want it, you will have to deal with these super human hands of destruction.”
It seems that Maddie would have us believe that she has already had her hands registered as lethal weapons. Don’t get me wrong, she does have an amazing grip – but she might have to keep her ridiculous parents around for just a little bit longer, possibly for burping purposes.
If you have been following the exploits of Maddie – you already know that she’s gotten quite vocal during feeding time. OK, that’s a gross understatement, my little girl has fought tooth and nail time against the burp by screaming at the top of her lungs. But today Maddie’s grandmother, MiMi rolled into town for a clash of the titans, Jersey City style.
MiMi and Maddie were delighted to see each other, but clearly there was a bit of trouble brewing! Despite the dire warnings, MiMi embraced the challenge and headed down that long hard long road known as feeding time.
It all began so peacefully, but you could see trouble looming just over the horizon. Maddie knocked down three ounces, eyeing MiMi the entire time and when it came time to burp – the pleasantries were over.
Maddie went right to work; battering her opponent with a series of jabs, kicks and cries. MiMi took the flurry in stride, but was amazed by the ferocity of the baby’s attack. However, at this point, Maddie was just getting warmed up.
The temper tantrum grew in intensity and it was game on! MiMi continued to pat that back and started matching wits with the 3-month-old.
“Oh my goodness! This is just anger, young lady.”
“You’re going to have to give me a burp – being angry won’t help!”
The clash rolled on and MiMi held on tight praying for burp.
Neither side was ready to give an inch. The more Maddie protested, the more MiMi tried to talk the baby off the ledge.
“Oh my goodness – you are so loud! You are just going to get louder, by the time you are six months old, you’re going to shake the paint off the walls!”
Suddenly, a tiny burp rang out and the stalemate was over. I’m not sure who registered the win in this opening match – but it’s only day one. Perhaps this is the test where we finally determine who has the edge – the irresistible force –OR- the immovable object, stay tuned!!
We have a long way to go before even contemplating what type of career Maddie may choose to pursue – but one trait that has really been shining through in the last couple of days is her flair for the dramatic.
Maddie has always been an avid eater, but her recent wild demands for food have been laced with more and more drama. We have already risen to the challenge of having food ready to go every three hours if she wants it. But even a five second delay is five seconds too long if Maddie decides it is time to eat.
Even sitting Maddie down five feet away to grab the bottle has become a life and death struggle that is expressed with her newfound desperation cry for food. This new cry starts off the like the old one, but then revs up like an old engine that won’t catch, wild emotion emanating with each snort. Then we hit the full on drama-soaked cry of a baby that decided she was hungry less than ten seconds ago.
Once the bottle hits Maddie’s lips – her performance comes to a stunningly abrupt halt. Of course we realize that most babies use crying to communicate, but we really feel like Maddie is adding a little extra something to express her developing acting prowess.
No one likes to be hungry, but to go from smiling, to screaming bloody murder to happily eating all in under 15 seconds, seems just a little bit suspect. Don’t get me wrong; I actually love each and every performance and can’t wait to see my little girl on stage. But for the time being, my wife and I feel blessed to get these up close and personal silver screen auditions several times a day. Maddie Drama and the Hunger Blues is coming to a theater near you – Don’t you dare miss it!