Maddie and her family hit the road heading west this morning to avoid the living hell known as I-95. We decided that the entire family would be more comfortable in a bigger ride, so months ago, we decided to rent an SUV for our holiday trip.
The bigger vehicle allows one of the parents to hang out with the Mad Madster in the back seat. This arrangement seems to work well for all parties involved. Now when the baby is awake, the parent in the back can provide either food or entertainment to keep the baby happy and the spirit of Christmas alive during a long trip.
Gina took the first shift in the back seat and marveled at all elbowroom. She also noticed that Maddie is paying far too much attention to the straps on the car seat, almost as if she is planning an escape. The baby seems to understand the fact that if she can get out the straps, she won’t be locked in. Hopefully this scenario won’t play itself out for a few months yet, but the possibility is now on our radar.
Maddie was getting some pretty good sleep during this particular trip – but the time had come to take a break and air out the baby. First we took care of a little diaper change and then gave Maddie a chance to stare at some of her fellow travelers.
Once our break was over, it was my turn for a little backseat time with Maddie. I gave her a bottle and then watched as she quickly faded off to sleep.
Gina and I have both noticed that when Maddie is sleeping on the road – she has developed a very cute habit of checking her surroundings. She appears to be sleeping soundly when her eyes suddenly snap open and she stares directly at you. The baby looks deeply into your eyes for about 6 seconds, makes sure you are the person she expected to see and then she’s out again. But this new habit also begs the following question: Is Maddie really checking out her surroundings or is she quietly plotting, getting ready to make a break for it? Only time will tell!
Abby Wambach made a national name for herself this summer as she single-handedly propelled the United States women into the World Cup Soccer finals. Her winning and tying goals were scored not with either of her feet, but with a series of spectacular headers.
Well Maddie hasn’t played any soccer yet – but she’s constantly practicing her kicking and header skills during burp-time. This has really transformed eating time into quite a hazardous occupation. What began as a cute quirk has morphed into the wild swinging head of the Mad Madster.
During burp time, Maddie breaks out her wild battering ram. She uses that cute little cabeza as a weapon to bludgeon all those who dare to interrupt her sacred eating time.
At first, you approach the activity like a game of Donkey Kong. Maddie is like a little Mario swinging the hammer at the fire fish. If you bob and weave at the right time, her little head speeds by and you continue the burping process. However, since the speeding head snaps without rhyme or reason – sometimes there is an unfortunate crack of heads or meeting of the minds.
Of course the major concern is for Maddie – we don’t want her headbutts to cause her any pain. So far, Maddie’s most frequent collisions have come against Gina’s collarbone and my cheekbone.
I try to block Maddie’s shots as they come in and one of the most successful ways to achieve this is by resting my head against hers. This way, her wild head connects harmlessly with my neck.
The funny thing is that Maddie really has no control over this action. Her neck muscles are gaining strength and what better time is there to test your newfound power than when some idiot is trying to burp you?
You have to wonder if Wambach’s parents faced similar challenges when their little striker was just a baby.
Almost a week after Maddie’s 2-month vaccination ordeal – her appetite is finally coming around again. But her newfound hunger has come with a loud and painful price – a new and exciting screaming and crying bug.
I pulled out all stops and tried everything I could to tame the Mad Madster – but all of my efforts were fruitless. As the day wore on, I could feel all of the energy being sucked out of my body. Every time I almost coaxed her to sleep, she would come on like a wolverine squealing and protesting my feeble efforts.
I already consider myself cosmically blessed that Maddie has always been so sweet and agreeable during the day – but today was a whole new experience.
The pattern evolved like this:
- Desperation eating
- Hour of happiness
- Hour of carnage
The entire morning and afternoon devolved into a contest of wills – I desperately wanted a nap, but Maddie was committed to crying and screaming. This scenario repeated itself throughout the day, which left both of us completely drained.
Maddie and I finally made our way outside for some fresh air, but we ran into some unexpected and unwelcome trouble. A group of idiot protesters were acting like fools in front of the Starbucks and their negative energy woke up the baby and got her upset all over again. I asked the Jersey City Police to crack some heads and shut them up, but I don’t think that fits into their job description. Too bad!
We met Gina at the Path station and made our way home with a very unhappy baby. We fed her as soon as we walked in the door, but about an hour later, Maddie went back on the warpath. After about 20 minutes of anger and fussiness, Maddie’s mom came up with a brilliant solution to our problem.
She told me to cook up a mini-bottle of just two ounces. Maddie sucked it down and for the first time all day, the baby seemed completely satisfied. We put her in the swing and she finally got some real quality sleep. (4 hours worth)
Looks like Maddie just needed some extra vittles – too bad that Stay Home PaPa is a little slow on the draw and thank god her Momma has all the brains!
You can’t master the Madster – You can only hope to contain her! There was one thing I heard my parents scream at me about 28-thousand times when I was a kid – “Stop fidgeting!” Well, I’m proud to say that my daughter has inherited the amazing gift of perpetual movement and I couldn’t be any happier! Whenever Maddie is awake, she’s always moving and grooving and once this little girl learns how to crawl, the Land Speed World record will be in some serious jeopardy.
Every day – Once she opens those amazing eyes – Those stunning little legs and arms just never stop pumping. She always appears to be shadow riding in some sort of imaginary Tour de France race and unlike the other riders – she has no need for the jack-up juice.
Those little legs are non-stop churning pistons of power that would make the Olympic sprinter, Usain Bolt green with envy. I can only assume that Serena Williams is already thanking her lucky starts that she will be long gone and retired before she has to face a player like Maddie. At seven weeks old, Maddie’s potential for speed and explosiveness is nothing short of frightening.
And let us not forget Maddie’s magic arms and hands that are always showing off her uncanny ability to block any and all attempts to get a bottle or pacifier into her mouth. That’s actually the greatest feeding challenge we face every day – trying to sneak the food past her fists of fury.
Suffice it to say that Maddie is always swinging for the fences and the sky is the limit!