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!