My six-month-old pride and joy is not one to let the grass grow under her feet. Nope, Maddie is a girl who likes to shake things up after a meal and a nice nap.
If early afternoon arrives and Maddie feels like she has not spent enough time outside – her outdoor fever can strike without warning. A series of grunts and complaints start flying around to room notifying people that it’s time to beat feet and hit the shoe-leather express.
This afternoon was a perfect example of our plight. Maddie spent the afternoon vehemently complaining for no particular reason. She wasn’t interested in playing, sitting still, being held or eating. She wanted be out on the streets of Jersey City – also known as “Riding Dirty!”
Even when we strapped her into the stroller, Maddie wasn’t done dishing out some dishonorable parental mentions. However, once the stroller was actually moving, a sly and devious smile rippled across Maddie’s face. Ahh the great outdoors – this is what its all about my friends. Her reverie was briefly shattered by a passing dump truck, but she recovered in seconds.
A few minutes later, the baby and her parents rolled into a local restaurant not far from the house. Her restlessness and fussy britches act was long gone now. Maddie paid close attention to the conversations of other diners, watched the wait staff and shared her some of delighted squeaks and gurgles with her parents.
Just a little fresh air and the theater of restaurant operations was all Maddie needed to wind down and really enjoy her afternoon.
It’s still unclear whether this yearning to get outside is instinctual or if it was cultivated by her father’s string of trips with her each week. Either way, her outdoor adventure needs have basically become a staple in her day-to day life.
The snow was piling up outside and the wind was charging up the Hudson River. All it took was one quick peek at the raging storm outside for the 6-month-old Mad Madster to make up her mind! “I’m going in!”
At this point, Maddie doesn’t particularly care for the taste of bagels, but she loves walking to the little shop where everyone is ready to share a smile and comment with her.
She snapped on her warmest pink bear outfit and called on her father for a little transportation (at least that guy is good for something!) Maddie got all snapped into her Bjorn and was ready for a crack at some real snowmageddon! Her father was a little tentative on the icy steps, but the little girl was restless and demanding some real action.
The harsh snowy wind gave little Maddie a good lick in the chops and I wondered how she would handle it. I paused at a parked SUV and peered at our reflection. This way I could see the baby’s face and gauge her reaction to this frontal blast a frigid air. It was obvious right away that she was fascinated by Mother Nature’s fury and it was time to press on.
I used a scarf as a baby windscreen and kept talking to Maddie during our trudge acorss the snowy sidewalks. Every time we passed a taller vehicle, I took a quick glimpse to make sure the baby was fighting the good fight. A few times we even had to walk backwards to keep the wind from blasting into the face of our little princess.
Once we entered the bagel place, the heat inside seemed more shocking to Maddie than the cold air we had just wandered in from. The place was pretty empty for 7:30 on a Sunday morning, so Maddie focused on grabbing the attention of the boys behind the counter. They all went to great lengths to greet and welcome her.
The walk home was better for both of us because the wind was now at my back. The snow began falling more heavily and the Yukon Baby shared these words with her father, “Buckle up buttercup and keep it moving!” I picked up the pace, but as usual, Maddie was just toughing it out and taking it all in.
One of the first things I noticed in our reflection as I walked up the stairs to our home was that Maddie must be bulletproof or have a built-in heat generator in that bear outfit. Her father was completely blanketed in snow from head to toe and Maddie was pristine – looking like she had just come off the runway. Even weather can’t bust the honey badger!
After yesterday’s sleep debacle, it was time reintroduce Maddie to some intense outdoor time. One of the surest ways to put the little girl down for the count is a heavy does of fresh air during the day. So right after breakfast, I grabbed a shopping list from MiMi, popped Maddie into her stroller and set off for greener pastures.
As soon as we turned the corner, Maddie was sleeping it off. She stayed that way for a good hour – but all good things must come to an end. Maddie woke up on the way home from store in her new stroller – a stroller that faces front and not the backwards-facing model she is used to. This is where things really began to unravel.
Ever since the baby was born (when she wakes up in her stroller) she has always been able to see who was pushing her. Apparently not seeing her chauffeur caused Maddie a great deal of angst and she was not afraid to share her acute displeasure with her PaPa. She lit up her father just 100 yards away from her grandparent’s house. Bummer.
It was classic. Maddie calmed down every time I came around the stroller into her line of sight – but as soon as I went around to push her, she lost it again. We were now crawling in 7-foot increments and getting nowhere fast. Each time I appeared and then disappeared again, the howling got worse. So what do you do with a stroller full of groceries and an angry baby?
Since MiMi’s house was actually in view, it was time to pick up Maddie and carry her in my right arm and push the stroller with the left hand. It seemed like a great solution to me, but at least three passing cars slowed down to stare as they watched this one-man-band stagger up the sidewalk with a very intense looking baby.
Towards the end, Maddie started getting fussy again and to save a few precious minutes, it was time for a little off-roading. We ran up the grassy hill to get inside the house, but the stroller was bogging down in the grass. It was at this point I realized that if I slowed down and lost momentum, the stroller full of groceries would wither roll back down the hill or topple end over end.
We made it to the top of the hill where Maddie was quickly returned to her mother and all the groceries eventually made it in safely. Tomorrow we are headed to central Virginia to see more relatives, so Maddie can enjoy as much time in the car as possible – probably not the best idea we’ve ever had, but hey, it’s the holidays!