Sometimes parents know they are playing with fire, but still decide to crack open the old gas can. Little Maddie-Bean was in rare form this morning. When that happens, it always a good idea to keep Maddie under wraps and out of the public eye.
But Maddie’s parents were determined to go out to lunch and hope for the best. We walked into the restaurant like the all-American family. Maddie was smiling from ear to ear as Mom and Dad walked her to the table.
We ordered Maddie’s meal before we even sat down. Time was short and the longer we could keep Maddie engaged, the better chance we had of getting out unscathed. Maddie’s kid’s lo mein came in a flash and we were in good shape.
Or so we thought. After just a few bites, Maddie began to let the noodles fly. And once the noodles gained sufficient orbit, Maddie needed more. Anything that was within reach was suddenly fair game. That included crunchy noodles, her sippy cup and little bits of chicken.
Then Maddie switched into flirtation mode. She directed her attention to at least three separate tables and caught the attention of at least two other restaurant patrons who were enamored with her angelic smile.
Even though lunch was a little messier than anticipated, we all had a good time and left with a minimal amount of embarrassment.
Maddie was up at the crack of dawn to take care of her morning schedule that was packed with stair climbing exhibitions and multiple steps around the house. She was definitely very crusty and even her morning walk could not break her out of the funk.
Surely a little breakfast would help her turn the corner. Nope, not happening. Maddie was extra-crispy with two sides of attitude and had no interest in eating. We wondered if those baby molars were ready to make a push.
We got to lunch with the grandparents with the hope that Maddie could keep herself together during the meal. That apparently was wishful thinking. Maddie started crying as soon as we sat down and wasn’t interested in being comforted by either parent. This is also when we realized that Maddie’s back teeth were knocking at her gums.
The restaurant staff and patrons seemed quite relieved when we began packing up our gear to roll. Once we were in the car, it didn’t take Maddie long to pass out. Once she was asleep, it was time for a stealth mission to Target. The only problem was that Maddie was awake as soon as we pulled up.
We popped her in a cart and she was ready to roll. She had a great deal to say to her fellow shoppers, but at least the crying had stalled. We hit the baby wagon wheel snacks first and Maddie was happy to partake.
We made the rounds and somehow, some way – the baby was at peace. The shopping trip must have been just what the doctor ordered because Maddie spent the rest of the evening laughing and playing with her parents without a care in the world. We are delighted that this put Maddie in a great mood, we just have no idea why it worked.
As usual, Maddie was enjoying various samples from around the table. However, her favorite food during this lunch period was definitely spaghetti. Spaghetti is awesome because of its amazing gaming potential.
Maddie made sure to catch her grandfather’s eye as she was making a lasso with a small string of my pasta. She very sweetly held out her hand to grandpa offering to share some of that delicious spaghetti with him. Touched by the gesture, he gently reached out to accept her tender offering.
As soon as his hand was about six inches away, she snatched the pasta away and slammed it into her mouth. Then she made small grunting noises as she feasted on not just the food, but also her victory. The whole table erupted into laughter as Maddie chomped on her false offering.
Encouraged by the raucous laughter, this game included about three more rounds as her grandfather was also an eager participant. Once again, that stunning little personality is growing into a true force of nature.
The 4th of July was one of those dog days of summer that saw the temperature soar past the 95-degree mark. Long before the fireworks lit up the Hudson River for the Independence Day Extravaganza, trouble rolled into town in the form of my 11-month-old baby girl named Maddie.
She was not impressed with the oppressive heat and warned her parents early in the day that any long trips outside would be greatly frowned upon. However, the baby’s parents love to live on the edge and had a grand trip planned to good old Ellis Island.
Since the ferry is just a hop skip and a jump away, we packed Maddie into her stroller and began our walk to Liberty State Park. Just about 500 yards into the trip, things started heading south in a big hurry. Maddie was swinging for the fences, amazed by the complete idiocy of her parents.
Maddie doesn’t speak yet, but made her point of view perfectly clear. “You can not be serious!” It’s 12-hundred degrees Celsius and these road scholar parents of mine are dragging me into a park where no one ever bothered to plant any trees.
As the sun relentlessly beat down upon us, we realized it was time to switch gears. We made a bee-line for a nearby restaurant that I know opens at noon. We marveled at the brilliance right up until we walked into the restaurant. “Sorry, because of the 4th of July, we don’t open until 1 o’clock.”
That’s just PERFECT – How Quaint!!
It was 11:45am and I told restaurant boy that they always open at noon as indicated on their door. He chuckled and said not today. We hid in the shade for about 15 extra minutes before making a hasty retreat back home.
Once we were safely ensconced back in the comfort of our air-conditioned home, Maddie regained her sense of humor and put on a wild child display for the ages. She ripped around the house making it very clear that this particular holiday would be better spent indoors. Once again proving that sometimes my 11-month-old daughter possesses more common sense than I do.
Despite all the trials and tribulations Monday had to offer, Maddie had a fantastic and magical day playing, wrestling and entertaining her cousins from Alaska. Never mind the fact that the weather gods have a mean streak about a mile long. Maddie’s cousins Porter and Catie just endured a a terrible winter season in Alaska only to come to New Jersey for some record cold weather and rain. Yet somehow, we were blissfully ignorant of this fact when we walked to breakfast this morning.
The four of us polished off our meals with great enthusiasm and were ready to catch a ferry into the city. As soon as we waltzed out of the diner, a heavy and cold rain set in. It pelted the area with a vengeance throughout the morning and our best-laid plans were torn asunder. We trudged home in the rain knowing that today’s travel plans were shot.
Maddie reasoned that her only recourse for the morning was to take a long nap and try to work things out while she was asleep. By the time her eyes popped open, it was just about time for lunch. Maddie reasoned that a bit of good company and delicious food was just the ticket to turn the day around.
Her dad packed her up in the stroller and set off in the rain while the grandparents drove the cousins to our lunch spot. Maddie feasted on fries and fruit, and made several loud crackling announcements to the lunchtime crowd. During lunch, the sun managed to peak out and Maddie thought she still might be able to treat her cousins to some pool time. However, as soon as we got to the pool about an hour later, the sun shriveled up into the clouds like a scared turtle. Maddie was more than happy to dip her feet in the water and kick around a bit, but without the sun, it was just too cold.
The baby opted for one more nap and try to pick up where she left off earlier. By the time she woke up, it was time to drive the cousins back to their grandparent’s house. About 30 miles into the trip, Maddie was treated to her very first flat tire experience. This led to an unscheduled stop at the Goodyear Tire Store off the highway. Between the rain, car trouble and unseasonably cold weather, Maddie is worried that it may be some time before her cousins dare to make their next trip back East.
After getting a bit of rest, Maddie was in search of a little action for her lunch break on Friday afternoon. And as luck would have it, her mom had just enough time to squeeze in lunch with the family. We met at a local spot called the Liberty House with amazing views of Lower Manhattan. At this point, even Maddie seemed impressed.
That is until we sat down. I don’t know if her seat had electricity coursing through it, but she instantly started thrashing around like there were ants in her pants. I whipped out a dried plum just in time to calm the savage beast – but it was obvious that Maddie was a little too pumped up. We had to stay on top of her before she was able to put together a special shock and awe campaign for her fellow diners.
We used a variety of Jedi Mind Tricks including food and entertainment to keep the baby in a civil frame of mind. Much to our surprise, things were shaping up very nicely. The food came out fast, but Maddie’s patience had finally run out. Just as her meltdown was taking shape, the server saved our skin with a box of crayons.
We took the crayons through our normal progression of keeping Maddie’s interest for as long as possible. First we helped her examine the box before releasing the crayons inside. Maddie seemed interested in the coloring aspect for a while, but soon lost interest and was ready to start chomping on them.
The baby took great offense when she realized that she would be allowed to eat the crayons and it obvious that it was time wrap things up. We thanked the waiter, called for the check and started giving Maddie a quick tour of the grounds. Even though it was brief lunch, we all had a great time and can’t wait to do it again.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. Sitting a pair of 8-month-old girls within about ten feet of each other is a prime example of flirting with disaster. Two little girls who had never met before, decided it was best to announce their presence with authority. Not just to one another, but also to the entire dining room.
It all started when the little girl next to our table started eyeballing Maddie. We will never know if this was a challenge or simple curiosity. But Maddie knew just what to do – she spontaneously started crying as if she had been pinched in the arm. This could have been a simple case of hunger, but the timing was almost too perfect.
After listening to Maddie cry for a short period of time, the other little girl thought it was important that she chime in on this one. Once I distracted Maddie with a carrot, they both stopped crying at the same time. Hmmm, what were these little demons up to?
I started chatting with the mother at the other table and found out that her little one was almost the exact same age as Madeleine. I also noted that her baby was eating some type of crunchy cereal. When I asked her about it, she offered me some to share with Maddie. This was a good thing as Maddie was pretty much fed up with all the lettuce and carrots I had been pushing on her.
However, as the mother offered me these tiny nuggets, her own daughter went nuts. She wanted to know how her mom could be giving away her precious food to some strange baby she had never met. This produced a chain reaction as Maddie joined in on this chorus of tears. Now the entire restaurant was being treated to the dulcet tones of the unhappy duo.
I was trying to get Maddie to try some cereal, but she was determined to match her new friend in pitch, tone and volume. They actually sounded quite good together. (Not really) However, once I got some cereal into Maddie’s trap, she lost all interest in the crying game. Again, as soon as Maddie stopped crying, her friend instantly relaxed as well.
This is when I realized that these devious divas were having a great time at their parent’s expense. What’s not to love here? Two sets of parents scrambling around trying to convince their girls to simmer down.
This was a case of two babies matching their actions and responses based solely on what the other one was doing. Were they communicating? Were they showing off? Again we will never know, but it’s good to see Maddie embracing teamwork at such a young and tender age.