5:30 seemed to strike a little earlier than usual this morning – but Maddie was in high spirits. I think were both looking forward to a good day with a nice long walk, but it was still a little bit early to get carried away making too many plans. After breakfast and a little bit of playtime, Maddie and I thought we might catch a little 7am catnap.
But just twenty minutes later, we were immersed in a Texas-sized Maddie meltdown of biblical proportions that would plague us well into the afternoon. It turns out that I used a batch of mother’s milk that did not agree with baby’s digestive system. (Information that would not be uncovered until later that day)
For those who know Maddie, it’s safe to say that when the baby is unhappy, she’s not terribly shy about sharing those feelings of discontent. So when the screaming started, I had no idea what was going on. Strike One!
I changed her diaper and that only seemed to make mattes worse! When her anger and screaming intensified, the only option I had left was to try and feed her an hour early. (At this point, I still have no idea that her stomach is torn up) So when I offered Maddie the bottle, she went right after it. Suddenly all was quiet, the anger faded into the morning light and all was seemingly forgotten and forgiven. But our success was far too short-lived
Moments later when I put Maddie on her tummy to get a burp, there were multiple eruptions from various exit points including burps, gaseous emissions, poops and copious amounts of spit-up. Houston, We have a PROBLEM!
For the next three tear-filled hours, I think both of us might have been crying, we went through 5 diapers, 4 bibs, 3 Motrin tablets (for PaPa) and two swaddle blankets. I held, rocked and soothed Maddie through the morning, but it was tough going for my little girl.
I was in the process of the 6th diaper change and I saw the shift right away, from the ashes of sickness arose the smile of a little girl who was feeling MUCH better. Maddie’s expression said it all; she had purged the morning stomach demons and was once again ready take on the world. I love a happy ending!
Maddie has never been overly impressed with the people tasked to feed her – but some recent stumbles during the feeding process have forced the baby to reevaluate the competency of the people around her.
For the second time in two days – our household has been rocked by catastrophic nipple failures. This occurs when you are more than halfway through a bottle-feeding and the nipple jams up. But there is no way for the feeder to know this and the only way to discover that this breakdown has taken place is the rising anxiety of a very frustrated baby.
Maddie quickly determines that this nipple stoppage is the result of saboteurs bent on starving her to death. She starts to flail as the ignorant feeder fumbles for an explanation. The baby’s eyes are on fire now as a crimson hue rises from her cheeks and creeps up to her forehead. Then the screaming kicks in as the feeder struggles to contemplate the cause of this latest outburst.
- Is it gas? Attempts to burp go very badly.
- Is it the diaper? You just made things worse.
- Place the bottle back in the mouth? Now you really did it!
The temper tantrum has reached fever pitch and the little girl has turned to the dark side! The feeder is reeling now, trying to figure out what to do tied down to the train tracks as a 60 mph freight train is only moments from impact.
Wait, it’s never happened before, but – could there be a problem with the bottle? I point the infernal device at my arm and squeeze. Not a drop?? Go to DEFCON 3, we have complete nipple failure.
By this time the baby is insane. It’s time for the Ozzy Osbourne emergency procedure – bite the head off of the nipple and execute a commando roll into the kitchen for a new one. Tough to do with the baby in one arm, but it’s the last and only hope for survival. With a bomb maker’s precision, the new nipple is secured using only one hand.
The hysterical child finally gets the repaired bottle and suddenly the house falls quiet. The feeder is left with their muddled thoughts, punishing headache and a wild disdain for those evil nipple gods!
Maddie had her first lunch in the company of another baby on Monday afternoon at a local Thai restaurant. As soon as we came through the door – I could see the look of fear and confusion clouding the face of the young man who was to be our server.
Strangely, having babies in his section was very unnerving for this young man. He stammered as he took our order – casting quick nervous glances from baby to baby as if one of them might jump on his head and bite him in the eye.
On the surface, the concept of using hot water to heat the baby’s bottle seems rather simple – but apparently there are several complexities to this process that never even occurred to me.
I told the waiter that I would eventually need some boiling water for the baby’s bottle. To his credit, he rushed a cup of boiling water right out to me – but Maddie was still sleeping and not ready for her bottle.
15 minutes later – Maddie was stirring, but the water had gotten cold. When I asked the server for a second cup of hot water – things took a very strange turn. He took the cup away and returned moments later with the same cup. I stuck my finger in the cup only discover that he had topped it off the cup with cold water.
Hmmm, I must be missing something. I called the server back and asked him if he could heat it up for me. He took the cup away and brought back a small ceramic teapot with a tiny hole in the top. The water was hot this time – but there was no cup and the baby’s bottle was too large to fit in the teapot.
OK – Let’s try again. I kindly asked the server to bring me an empty cup – sure enough; he came back with another cup – but this time it was full of cold water. At this point, Maddie is more than restless and our server has proven to be more than clueless. Let’s face it – this guy needs to be featured in the ESPN segment called, “C’Mon Man!”
Sorry Maddie – but today you are stuck with milk at room temperature. In retrospect, Maddie probably should have gone ahead and given the server a good bite on the arm. It might have been warmer than the cold water he kept bringing to the table.
There’s actually a great deal of gamesmanship when it comes to breast-feeding. Babies expose their parents to a myriad of tricks and tribulations to keep the milk bar open well past closing time.
Our baby (the maestro) is so well versed in the Milk-Manipulation Manifesto, that we decided to brand and define some her more overt tactics as she wages the never-ending battle for unlimited mother’s milk.
A blind series of head maneuvering for mother’s milk. Little Stevie tries to find her food source without bothering to open her eyes. This leads to the Stevie Wonder head fakes swiveling back and forth while blindly trying to locate the milk bar. This tactic rarely meets with any real success.
Baby is locked and loaded and seemingly ready to eat – but then inexplicably and spontaneously pops off – This is quite similar to the lineman who flattens the quarterback before the ball is snapped and then bitterly complains about the penalty.
This is when Little Helen breaks into a screaming feeding frenzy-induced tantrum accompanied by multiple kicks and flailing arms. If you notice a Helen Keller coming on – it’s best to put in a mouthpiece and crash helmet before things really heat up. Once she hits pay dirt however, the craziness is called off and all is right in the world yet again.
Sleeping on the Job:
The feeding is underway, but the baby is dead asleep at her post. She barely goes through the motions, but won’t allow the fact that she is sleeping to deter her from going for the gold. Any attempt to remove the subject from the bar results in vigorous, but short-lived attempts at additional feeding.
Gaming the System:
This is similar to sleeping on the job except for the fact that the baby is wide awake. She’s pretending to feed, but just going through the motions without taking on any milk. This is a direct attempt to mislead the coach so that the baby can stay in the game. The last thing she wants is to be pulled from the game to sit and sulk on the bench.
The customer feigns being satisfied after a feeding – but then quickly becomes distraught after realizing she really wasn’t full. Or was she? Even we can’t remember. If the milk bar isn’t opened again in short order, this could trigger a Helen Keller response and an angry call to the corporate office.