Maddie, my precocious 6-month-old daughter, decided that tonight was the night where she would exert her will over her father and the entire household. Her strategy was sound, stand your ground, stay awake and defy those parental bedtime guidelines.
Bedtime is rarely a problem in our household as long as Maddie gets a decent nap during the day. Sadly, that did not happen. Maddie’s DOC Headband is giving her some skin issues so we had to go back to the headband technician at 1:30 this afternoon. The timing could not have been worse. We missed out on Maddie’s primetime naptime and that set the stage for a nighttime battle of epic proportions.
At 7pm, Maddie and her father began our established nighttime rituals. Take a bath, put on the jammas, say goodnight to the house, kill the lights and drink one last bottle. Everything went off like clockwork, the baby was nearly sleeping in my lap as I gently laid her in the crib.
You would have thought I lowered her into a pit of alligators. She went wild, flailing and screaming and giving her dad a little bit of “HELLO DOLLY!” Fair enough, I lifted her out of that “Crib of Horrors,” and snuggled her into my arms where she was quickly falling asleep yet again. I lowered her back into the crib and again the invisible Gremlins shocked her awake.
Now my little angle is inconsolable and I know what she wants. Her every cry and whimper speaks loud and clear, “PaPa, why don’t you just snuggle me all night long and we’ll call it even.” Now don’t get me wrong, I normally let that sweet little girl nap on me when she wants to – but at night, she stays in the DANG crib!
So now father and daughter are stuck – locked in a battle of wills where only one person will get their way. I know, without question, that Maddie will sleep better in her crib, so I really have no choice. For her sake, I must prevail.
After two more failed attempts, I took my disgruntled bundle of love back out into the living room. She smiled longingly at her grandmother, begging to be released from her father’s evil grasp. I handed Maddie over to her grandma and the baby smiled at me triumphantly! But when MiMi tried to put Maddie down to sleep, once again all Hades broke loose!
I recovered Sweet Madeleine from MiMi and restarted the arduous process of putting my baby to bed. After 90 short little minutes and six failed attempts, the princess was finally sleeping in her crib. Free at last, Free at last!
My baby girl is absolutely as cute as can be – but when it comes to feeding time, her eating habits become a spectacle that would make the most rabid of Gremlins green with envy.
Maddie doesn’t actually grow the ears and teeth like a Gremlin – but the noises that come from her when she’s really ready to eat, stretch the boundaries and fabric of reality.
Stage one begins with stunted grunts. These noises are very similar to the sounds that come from a very anxious pug. There’s no turning back now – her little shuttle is belching fire and a full conflagration is just moments away.
Stage two is the desperation gulping. Maddie is convinced that someone is hiding in the shadows waiting to sweep away her nourishment at any moment. Therefore she must drink like the wind before the milk-goblins sneak in to snatch her stash of mother’s milk.
Stage three is when Maddie degrades into the same madcap Gremlins that mistakenly got fed after midnight. Pandemonium ensues, complete with snapping, breaking plates and panic in the streets. But there is a distinct difference between the Gremlins and Maddie – her noises are actually very cute. They are urgent, high-pitched squeaks – which gives the whole situation the cute and comical spin that only babies can produce.
Her intensity is off the charts and if she loses contact for even a moment – her lungs send out shock waves that cause the buildings to sway as far away as Midtown Manhattan.
But all of this frenetic activity comes at a price – the second her hunger is satisfied – she plunges into a deep food coma.
Maddie wants to make sure she has your full attention. Her moods and habits are nothing short of an adventure even though they are always bound to change at any minute. One thing is for sure – you never know where Maddie might take you next.