Dad Battles Baby’s Sickness, Baby Takes on Trash Can

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Open Sesame!!

Just as Maddie was starting to feel better, her Dad got a real taste of exactly what was troubling the baby. Suffice it to say that Mom had to take over sole caretaking responsibilities while dad battled the nasty stomach bug.

While Mom set her sights on Maddie, the baby had a new adversary to tackle.

For weeks now, we have not been able to stop Maddie from digging into the kitchen trash and removing items of interest. It was a game at first, but once it became a contest of wills, there was no stopping Maddie from dumpster diving.

That’s when Maddie’s parents decided to flip the script on the baby.

We tracked down a taller trashcan that’s equipped with a butterfly lid. This lids opens up and out. At first, Maddie was determined to crack the code. She tried to coax the can open. When that didn’t work, it was time for more drastic measures.

Maddie started placing items on top of can and knocking them off. But no matter how much abuse she heaped upon the new can, she couldn’t get inside. It only took about a half an hour for Maddie to lose all interest in the new trashcan.

When you have an opponent like the Mad Madster, you have to celebrate the small victories!

Baby Goes All In to Keep Father Guessing

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Can I get another one of these to go?

Today was an unusual day as I got to enjoy the many faces of Maddie in a rapid-fire succession. She went from euphoric to angry to unmanageable and back again all in less than two hours. To be fair though, Maddie is almost 8-months-old and has more than enough on her plate right now.

She’s dealing with a daily assortment of new foods being introduced to her, there are some teething issues, her new found ability to standup and the frustrating talent of zipping backwards when she wants to move forward. Couple this shopping list with the fact that she’s a bit on the impatient side and we have a full menu of possibilities.

Maddie woke up on the right side of the crib this morning, even it did happen just before 5am. She went right to town on breakfast and was in the perfect mood. The baby was playful, full of wonder and ready for a little outdoor time. We got out early and took a brisk walk into this stunningly warm Jersey weather.

She delighted passersby across Jersey City with a smile that lit up the Hudson River along with the rising sun. Each feeding and nap was met with good-natured cheer and enthusiasm. That is until the 1:30 bottle-feeding.

This is when the wagon slid off the rails so to speak. Right at the beginning of the bottle, Maddie flipped the script. Suddenly she was troubled, angry and had no interest in being held at all. This is when I started trying out a variety of possible remedies to help stifle this 0-60 mood shift. Tummy time worked for a while and so did some quiet time in the crib. But these fixes were only temporary.

After about 30 minutes, I tried to feed her again with mixed results. At least she drank something on this go around. Then we struggled with the possibility of another nap, but Maddie finally relented.

When she woke up this time, it was if nothing negative had ever happened. She picked right back up with the good mood she had presented first thing in the morning. Based on her wakeup diaper change, I deduced that she had a bad tummy earlier and just wanted to be left alone to work through it.

When it comes to Maddie, these changes are lightning-quick so you have ready for carnage or love at a moments notice.

Dueling Babies Clear Out Restaurant

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If you only knew the power of the Dark Side!

Where there is smoke, there is fire. Sitting a pair of 8-month-old girls within about ten feet of each other is a prime example of flirting with disaster. Two little girls who had never met before, decided it was best to announce their presence with authority. Not just to one another, but also to the entire dining room.

It all started when the little girl next to our table started eyeballing Maddie. We will never know if this was a challenge or simple curiosity. But Maddie knew just what to do – she spontaneously started crying as if she had been pinched in the arm. This could have been a simple case of hunger, but the timing was almost too perfect.

After listening to Maddie cry for a short period of time, the other little girl thought it was important that she chime in on this one. Once I distracted Maddie with a carrot, they both stopped crying at the same time. Hmmm, what were these little demons up to?

I started chatting with the mother at the other table and found out that her little one was almost the exact same age as Madeleine. I also noted that her baby was eating some type of crunchy cereal. When I asked her about it, she offered me some to share with Maddie. This was a good thing as Maddie was pretty much fed up with all the lettuce and carrots I had been pushing on her.

However, as the mother offered me these tiny nuggets, her own daughter went nuts. She wanted to know how her mom could be giving away her precious food to some strange baby she had never met. This produced a chain reaction as Maddie joined in on this chorus of tears. Now the entire restaurant was being treated to the dulcet tones of the unhappy duo.

I was trying to get Maddie to try some cereal, but she was determined to match her new friend in pitch, tone and volume. They actually sounded quite good together. (Not really) However, once I got some cereal into Maddie’s trap, she lost all interest in the crying game. Again, as soon as Maddie stopped crying, her friend instantly relaxed as well.

This is when I realized that these devious divas were having a great time at their parent’s expense. What’s not to love here? Two sets of parents scrambling around trying to convince their girls to simmer down.

This was a case of two babies matching their actions and responses based solely on what the other one was doing. Were they communicating? Were they showing off? Again we will never know, but it’s good to see Maddie embracing teamwork at such a young and tender age.

Pardon the Interruption – Maddie Gets Fired Up

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Do I make you nervous?

My 7-month-old daughter has always been the model of decorum in public settings. But sweet Madeleine may well be on her way to reversing that trend.

It started in church this morning. Maddie was being as sweet as can be and once again charming all those around her, including her father. Maddie was sitting on my lap when she turned around, put her hand on my face and gave me the most amazing smile. It will always be one of those perfect moments frozen in time.

So as you can see, Maddie was in a calm and happy place, shrouded in butterscotch and ponies. But suddenly she found herself troubled by a disturbance in the force. We were just minutes from Communion when you could see her patience dry up all at once.

First she got frustrated and then she got very loud. So loud in fact that when Mom headed up for Communion, Maddie and I scooted out the back door. What’s funny is that nobody seemed to notice Maddie’s little outburst except her parents. We’re funny that way.

Fast forward to a couple hours later at a local restaurant. Maddie had just finished eating and seemed to be high spirits. However, looks can be deceiving. Once again and without warning, Maddie was off to the races.

The baby was more than happy to share her discontent with her fellow restaurant patrons. “Check Please!” As you might have guessed, the lunchtime festivities were over. We got Maddie back in the car and she was sound asleep within two minutes.

So whether this was a pair of isolated instances or the beginning of a new trend, I struggle to keep Maddie in the dark about how I really feel about these little tantrums. I absolutely love to watch her in action whether she is batting her eyes at a stranger or swinging for the fences.

Her little grunting noises and snorts of protest are just too cute. Of course I don’t want to encourage her to act out, but it’s impossible for me not love and enjoy someone like her who is just bursting with all that pent up energy and craziness.

Baby Demands Change of Scenery

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Who's riding dirty now?

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.

Naptime Blues Wilt Under Extreme Heat

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Hey look, my parents think I'm a popsicle!

If you’ve been following Maddie’s madcap adventures for the past 3 weeks, you know that naptime has been a bust. A harrowing series of scant 30-minute naps per day have worn out the baby and pushed her parents to the brink.

It seems that all of that is behind us now due to one simple discovery. The baby has not been warm enough during naptime.

Three weeks ago, when we peeled Maddie off of her dad and into the crib, her sleep duration went to the dogs. I originally thought that the loss of my smiling grill and sparkling personality killed the baby’s ability to nap. But amazingly, it was something else altogether. It turns out that the only thing Maddie was missing was Daddy’s torch-like body heat!

So how did the NASA scientists in Maddie’s household make this landmark discovery???

Yesterday, Maddie and her Dad were making a lightning-fast run to Starbucks. By the time they got home, Maddie was hanging limply from the Bjorn sound asleep. Dad rushed inside and gently laid her in the crib. He unzipped her winter gear, but didn’t risk taking off the whole thing.

TWO HOURS LATER the little munchkin was still sawing wood! Sleeping like the angel she is. Eureka! Maddie was struggling with lousy naps because her parents haven’t been bundling her up before naptime. We have never been able to use blankets because Maddie just kicks them off or pulls them over her head.

Thankfully, we have a nifty little invention that we use at night called a Sleep-Sack. It keeps her warm and stops her from munching on or playing with her toes (no seriously!) The problem is that we weren’t using the sack for her naps.

Today we put on the SACK for naptime and once again she slept like a champ during every session. Maddie is taking naps again – Let Freedom Ring!