Perhaps watching the beginning of Bloodsport with Jean-Claude Van Damme with Maddie in the room wasn’t the best move last night. After all, she was already in the midst of a pretty impressive temper tantrum and every time she heard Jean-Claude’s voice, her fierce gaze contorted and her biceps quivered.
Recent diaper changes have been marred by violence as Maddie has begun the new practice of delivering roundhouse kicks to my head with every attempt to fasten the diaper along with hand thrusts that would make Mr. Miyagi bubble with pride. Every diaper change is now conducted with a precautionary mouth piece and padded crash helmet for that added Maddie protection.
Maddie’s aggressive training regimen now includes bare-knuckle pushups, triple back flips and unbridled boppy biting. My baby is also perfecting her uppercut motions and head-strike combos for reasons I am unable to comprehend. She’s even put up a Joe Eposito, “You’re the Best” poster in her crib!! (Listen to Maddie’s soundtrack at the bottom of this post)
Maddie got a head start on her training before she was born because her Mom continued kickboxing classes throughout the second trimester. This gave our little warrior the edge she needed to make sure she was keeping Dad in line.
Even in her deepest sleep – you will often hear a primal scream ring out accompanied by a double fist pump. I’ve taken to crouching in the corner at night with a large flashlight and an industrial grade cattle prod to ward off any unprovoked attacks.
The fact that my wife and I are completely ready for bed each evening by 8pm each is a pretty stern indicator of how life has changed a bit since the arrival of sweet baby Madeleine less than two weeks ago.
Sleep for all three of us has become an intricate game of cat and mouse.
During a recent car trip, Maddie was sound asleep with about 60 miles yet to drive. But Daddy was losing his edge and we had to make a high-risk stop to refuel the batteries. High risk because we risked incurring the wraith of the one they call Mad Maddie!
We glided to a gentle stop while I did a commando roll out of the vehicle applying just enough pressure to shut the door without any offending noise or vibration. I silently fled the vehicle in search of some caffeine.
I was gone no more than 90 seconds when I noticed my wife frantically signaling me from the passenger seat. It instantly dawned on me that the Phoenix must be stirring from her slumber – and our DEFCON Threat level had just been elevated to PANIC! The seismic readings were registering off the chart and my mini Mt. Vesuvius was ripe for an eruption!
Go Go Go – All hands on deck! This is not a drill. I scrambled towards my post, silently praying that all was not lost. I got to the driver’s side door initiating Silent Delta opening procedures while using Ninja breathing techniques to slow my heart rate.
As the door opened, I could sense the creature’s restlessness – I tried to strengthen my resolve, “Steady man, she’s not a lick over seven pounds!” But who was I trying to fool; those tiny lungs could rupture eardrums and shatter windows! The Banshee was nearly awake.
My wife silently implored me to get the vehicle in motion – as she dared a glance into car seat in the back. I slipped the car into reverse and the briefest of shockwaves hit – Maddie was coming to and she did not sound pleased!
I fumbled with the gears and got the car into drive – we didn’t have a prayer! We made it to the ramp heading for I-95 – hitting each gear seamlessly and praying for a miracle. My wife and I cringed as our daughter emitted a little grunt and cough – here we go – All hands, Shields Up, Brace for impact!!
I eased off at 60 mph and locked in the cruise control. Silence radiated from the back seat like a beacon of hope and promise.
A few miles down the road – we realized that we had dodged the bullet. With the crisis averted – Gina and I smirked at each other, basking in the satisfaction of the great escape. However, we also knew that although Maddie was asleep – she was plotting her next strike and next time we would not be so lucky!