that was our first stop.
It’s very rare when I actually wake up the baby. Maddie either wakes me up or I cater to her whenever she wakes up. So it was a new experience when I had to get her up this morning to go to a doctor’s appointment in the city.
Many people use the word precious very freely. Not me. It’s a word that I have rarely had any occasion to use unless I was doing a Lord of the Rings imitation of Smeagol. But Maddie’s reaction to being woken up this morning was the spot on definition of the word precious.
I softly called her name. Maddie wiggled and just barely opened her eyes to determine who was waking her up. She saw it was her father and gave me the warmest and most loving smile I have ever seen. Then she closed her eyes and went back to sleep.
I gently prompted her again, “Madddieee.”
She greeted me with that same smile before quickly falling back asleep.
Its little moments like this that makes this the best job anyone could hope for.
However, by the time we got out the door, we were in a serious time crunch. I bundled Maddie up in the stroller against the nasty wind blowing off of the Hudson River and took off.
We had 14 minutes to scamper one mile, buy a ferry ticket and board the ferry. And they’re off… Maddie and I were half speed walking and half jogging as we made our way through the streets of Jersey City.
I could see the ferry crossing the river as we steamed towards the ticket terminal. We burst through the doors with our adrenaline pumping! There was only one person in line – Niiccee!!
Maddie wheeled up behind the woman in line who was counting out $13.75 in quarters??? And the clerk was going through each one, “Nope, this quarter is Canadian – oops, so is this one.” Meanwhile, our ferry is docking right out front and the clock is ticking. “Oh, this one is American, right?”
“Hmmm, let’s see, I only need one more dollar,” said the befuddled woman. Before she could make a move I slapped down a buck and calmly said “Sold – Please print her ticket and give me one to Wall Street!” Maddie eyed me curiously as people started to board our boat.
The clerk laid down the woman’s ticket and ours came next. I snatched the ticket just as the ferryman was chaining up the entrance – “One more coming!” I announced. He lifted the chain as Maddie and I darted onto the platform. The boat lurched backwards and Maddie gave me that coy smile that said, “You can not be serious!”
The snow was piling up outside and the wind was charging up the Hudson River. All it took was one quick peek at the raging storm outside for the 6-month-old Mad Madster to make up her mind! “I’m going in!”
At this point, Maddie doesn’t particularly care for the taste of bagels, but she loves walking to the little shop where everyone is ready to share a smile and comment with her.
She snapped on her warmest pink bear outfit and called on her father for a little transportation (at least that guy is good for something!) Maddie got all snapped into her Bjorn and was ready for a crack at some real snowmageddon! Her father was a little tentative on the icy steps, but the little girl was restless and demanding some real action.
The harsh snowy wind gave little Maddie a good lick in the chops and I wondered how she would handle it. I paused at a parked SUV and peered at our reflection. This way I could see the baby’s face and gauge her reaction to this frontal blast a frigid air. It was obvious right away that she was fascinated by Mother Nature’s fury and it was time to press on.
I used a scarf as a baby windscreen and kept talking to Maddie during our trudge acorss the snowy sidewalks. Every time we passed a taller vehicle, I took a quick glimpse to make sure the baby was fighting the good fight. A few times we even had to walk backwards to keep the wind from blasting into the face of our little princess.
Once we entered the bagel place, the heat inside seemed more shocking to Maddie than the cold air we had just wandered in from. The place was pretty empty for 7:30 on a Sunday morning, so Maddie focused on grabbing the attention of the boys behind the counter. They all went to great lengths to greet and welcome her.
The walk home was better for both of us because the wind was now at my back. The snow began falling more heavily and the Yukon Baby shared these words with her father, “Buckle up buttercup and keep it moving!” I picked up the pace, but as usual, Maddie was just toughing it out and taking it all in.
One of the first things I noticed in our reflection as I walked up the stairs to our home was that Maddie must be bulletproof or have a built-in heat generator in that bear outfit. Her father was completely blanketed in snow from head to toe and Maddie was pristine – looking like she had just come off the runway. Even weather can’t bust the honey badger!