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.
Maddie’s short fuse grew a little shorter tonight when she demanded an immediate release from her high chair. Dinner hadn’t been over for more than a minute when a squeal erupted from my precocious soon to be one-year-old daughter.
Maddie’s parents were shocked to see that the baby was trying to tear off her shirt as a show of civil disobedience. Once she discovered she couldn’t free herself from the chair, she knew she had to do something radical. Moments later, the topless protest was on.
However, pulling her shirt all the way off was not as easy as Maddie had anticipated. She succeeded in getting the shirt over her head, but was not able to free her arms.
All three of us found this predicament especially entertaining. Maddie started laughing her head off. We couldn’t tell if the baby was stunned by her own ridiculousness or entertained by the fact that her parents were cracking up. We freed Maddie from the chair and fixed her shirt before she was off on her next adventure in the kitchen.
Along with Cabinet Opening 101, Maddie is taking graduate level courses in “Pulling over Trashcans” and “Opening the refrigerator and resting her arms on the bottom shelf. She’s already looking at next month’s syllabus that includes a course on Parental Coercion and Terror.
As Maddie closes in on her 5-month-birthday, I am always stunned by her staggering sense of timing. I don’t know if it’s a matter of Circadian rhythms or if she has tagged me with one of those LoJack transmitter implants that people insert into their pets – but after 3pm, Maddie always knows two things for sure.
The baby senses the split second her father sits or lies down and she knows the exact moment he has finished preparing a meal. I know this because these actions (sitting down) or (completed food preparation) triggers a maniacal verbal reaction (screaming or crying) from my perpetually energetic bundle of love. It’s become so frequent that it is no longer a surprise, you can literally set your watch by it.
It is these specific moments where Maddie either suddenly feels slighted, abandoned or put upon and must retaliate with extreme prejudice. It also doesn’t matter where she happens to be at the time. She could be sitting in the kitchen with me, hanging from my arm or asleep in the crib, but it is always at that moment of relaxation or mealtime that Maddie chooses to act out.
As a result, we are always extra tired and get a steady diet of stone-cold meals – but c’mon, you have to admit that is more than a little impressive on Maddie’s side. Can she sense the relaxation setting in before she strikes? Does she secretly hear the salivary glands being triggered by the promise of a meal?
Whether Maddie is making sure that she is the center of attention or not, I always wonder how she knows. This afternoon, I had the baby monitor sitting on the desk behind me. I slipped off my shoes, put my feet up on the couch and bam!! Maddie rocked the house with loud protesting noises indicating that she was ready for pick up.
It’s also interesting that during the morning and early afternoon, this skill rarely comes into play because Maddie is such a happy baby during those times. It’s always right before the afternoon turns into evening where the whacky little girl goes on the hunt.
To be honest, I don’t really have a problem with it – I am just in complete awe that my daughter possesses such a sophisticated skill set before she can even eat solid foods or crawl.