Maddie Not Sold on the “Pebbles Look”

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This was NOT my idea!

Maddie starts a mini-version of nursery school tomorrow. So today she was auditioning several looks for her school debut. I don’t think the “Fruity Pebbles” look won the contest – but Maddie was brave enough to give it a try.

Now that we are occasionally able to keep shoes on Maddie, we have been taking a series of short walks outside. Tomorrow we will be walking Maddie to her new school where she will spend a couple hours playing and interacting with other kids two days a week.

It’s going to be pretty tough on her dad – he already feels like he’s sending her off to college. But he realizes that spending dad after day with her Dad might not be the best tool to help her socialize with other children.

The only question now is will Dad be able to leave Maddie there when she starts crying. Tune into tomorrow for updates from Maddie’s first day of school.

Maddie Lifts Off at Lunch

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Is there something on my face?

Sometimes parents know they are playing with fire, but still decide to crack open the old gas can. Little Maddie-Bean was in rare form this morning. When that happens, it always a good idea to keep Maddie under wraps and out of the public eye.

But Maddie’s parents were determined to go out to lunch and hope for the best. We walked into the restaurant like the all-American family. Maddie was smiling from ear to ear as Mom and Dad walked her to the table.

We ordered Maddie’s meal before we even sat down. Time was short and the longer we could keep Maddie engaged, the better chance we had of getting out unscathed. Maddie’s kid’s lo mein came in a flash and we were in good shape.

Or so we thought. After just a few bites, Maddie began to let the noodles fly. And once the noodles gained sufficient orbit, Maddie needed more. Anything that was within reach was suddenly fair game. That included crunchy noodles, her sippy cup and little bits of chicken.

Then Maddie switched into flirtation mode. She directed her attention to at least three separate tables and caught the attention of at least two other restaurant patrons who were enamored with her angelic smile.

Even though lunch was a little messier than anticipated, we all had a good time and left with a minimal amount of embarrassment.

Baby Won’t Walk for the Camera

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Don’t make me get a restraining order!

She may not be talking about it, but Maddie is taking more and more short walks around the house. Three steps here, ten steps there and so on. But trying to catch these images on video is proving to be nearly impossible.

The little vixen is on to us and has decided to keep any video taped evidence of her walking out of the public spotlight. TMZ and Extra have offered great sums of money to see Mads strut her stuff, but she says they can keep it.

I have to admit, it’s humbling to be outsmarted by my one-year-old. Every time I point the camera in her direction, she drops to the floor and starts crawling straight for the camera. Her mother and I also failed in a photo-ambush attempt. Maddie’s mom set her camera up one side of the room and I set up on the other.

As soon as one of us attempted to hit record, Maddie was on the floor in a flash crawling away with a smug grin on her face. It’s become contest to catch the baby in the act of walking before she starts running wind sprints around the house. It’s obvious now that the baby will demonstrate her walking capabilities for the camera when she is good and ready and will not be coerced by the paparazzi that lurk behind every corner.

Dad Starts Cashing in on Kisses

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My kisses are sort of magical

For months now, Mommy has been the lucky recipient of the vast majority of Maddie’s kisses. I am absolutely delighted to see all that affection heaped upon Mom. However, I have to admit that I would like to share one once in a while myself. But kisses are one of those things that you hope for instead of ask for.

I have always showered Maddie with kisses and she has rewarded me with a long successful stint on the hug list. But this week, something changed. Without knowing how or why, I got promoted to Maddie’s priority kiss list. The kisses just come out of nowhere. We can be walking up the stairs or getting out of the car and all of the sudden my little angel is kissing me on the cheek.

For those of you who don’t have children but plan to, you are in for a real treat. There is something terribly overwhelming about being kissed by your little one. No matter what you are doing, it stops you dead in your tracks. You have a little celebration and thank the baby for taking time out to show some love.

As with anything else, I know it’s possible that the baby kisses could dry up tomorrow. So I’m stocking up now and saving them for the next dry spell. You never know when dad might land himself in the doghouse.

Mad Maddie and the Chocolate Factory

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Hey Dad, come get a whiff of this!

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. The baby wakes up in the morning and mom and dad go in to fetch her. The diaper gets changed and we head into the living room to start the day. Just as I put Maddie down, her mom asks, what’s that on Maddie’s collar? I take a quick look and wonder, “Do I really want to know?”

Mom picks up the baby and daddy mentally prepares himself for battle. I’m not sure what that brown stain is, but when is a brown stain ever good news to any parent? I readied myself for the worst and inched my nose closer to the offending collar.

I got in there to take my obligatory snort and found myself smiling at the result. It was chocolate, the best possible outcome for such a dirty investigation. Both parents pondered where the mysterious chocolate had come from.

Is Maddie a rogue chocolate runner?

(The dark world of chocolate smuggling)

Is the baby a chocolate mule for some Swiss candy company?

(Where are the profits?)

Did mom have chocolate on her hands?

(Mom’s stance: Deny Deny Deny)

Did poo magically transform into chocolate?

(We can always hope)

Does Maddie poop chocolate?

(Past history would contradict that possibility)

Does dad need his sniffer recalibrated?

(That would be some mistake!)

We will probably never know how Maddie woke up covered in chocolate – but let me leave you with this. It was the most pleasant surprise and the sweetest outcome any parent could have wished for!

Baby’s Impromptu Pole Dance at the Drycleaners

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Stop staring at my ladybugs!

You never know where things might end up when taking a morning walk with the Mad Madster. We dropped Mom off at the train and set out in search of a bagel for Maddie. The baby savagely tore into her first bagel chunk while we headed for home.

The smell of rain was in the air as we began our long trek home. Bagel crumbs littered the sky as Maddie the wood chipper went to work one another piece of bread. We were about half way home when the rain kicked in.

Maddie was protected under her bubble canopy, but insisted on kicking her feet out into the rain. She found the cold raindrops hitting her toes absolutely hysterical. She started giggling uncontrollably while she kicked out at the rain. If not for the restraints holding her in, she gladly would have hopped out of the stroller and started rolling through the gathering puddles.

As we turned the corner for home, we caught a quick wave from one of Maddie’s friends at the drycleaners. We ducked in out of the rain and I plopped Maddie up on the counter to say hello. After a quick greeting, Maddie fixed her attention on the shiny pole at the end of the table.

Before we knew it, Maddie transformed the drycleaners into her own Wednesday morning dance party. She grabbed the pole and executed her most prolific Maddie shuffle to date.

Everyone Leaves, Maddie Takes First Step

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Hold on, let me finish this text!

Maddie’s keen sense of timing continues to fire on all cylinders. The baby did quite a bit of standing during her birthday weekend, but gave no indication that she was ready to take her first step.

But Monday afternoon when her mom got home from work, Maddie decided the time had come. She stood up, took a quick look around and took her first step. Even though I missed the step, I expected more. I waited for the beams of light and listened for the orchestra to start playing “Ode to Joy.” Alas, none of these things happened.

Maddie sat down after taking her first step, but she was just getting warmed up. It didn’t take her long to stand up and take another step. I couldn’t believe I missed it again. But Maddie wasn’t going to let her dad miss out on this one.

She proposed an unspoken deal I couldn’t refuse. Maddie would rob me of my blackberry and I would sit there and stare at her. The baby stood up as her fingers flew over the touch screen. Then, staring straight at the phone, she took a no-look step. That’s good and bad I suppose.

I’m pleased that she is learning to walk, but it appears that we are already behind the curve in teaching her to watch where the heck she is going. Oh well, it’s all about the baby steps.

A Little Milk Makes Maddie Batty

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I can’t believe I drank the whole thing

They say milk does a body good – but how it impacts Maddie is still up for debate. Maddie was ripping through a big dinner tonight when we decided to give the old milk bottle another try. To say she liked would be a terrible understatement.

As soon as Maddie started drinking, she was all amped up and feeling good. So good in fact, that she kept swinging the sippy cup around her head between sips. This of course led to a forecast of heavy milk rain for the wooden floor with a smattering honeydew melon pieces.

As I bent down with a paper towel, I got a little conk on the head with the sippy cup. Next thing I know I feel milk misting over my scalp. I looked up to see Maddie laughing maniacally as she sprinkled my head with milk. I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to laugh, but the baby was so pleased with herself that I joined in on her raucous laughter.

Rather than take the milk away from her, I took shelter under the high chair and gave her toes a few well-placed bites. Now Maddie was practically beside herself with laughter. We kept up with our hunger games for a few more minutes before resuming our normal mealtime.

For a girl that turns one-year-old this weekend, Maddie already is exhibiting a seriously well-developed and advanced sense of humor.

Baby Stuns Brunch Crowd into Complete Silence

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I suppose we’re all paying attention now

My 11-month-old daughter Maddie has been in the process of finding new and creative ways to express herself. If you periodically read about the baby or if you have met her, it’s quite obvious that she does not like to be ignored. When you combine these two elements together, you have a potentially explosive situation on you hands.

This afternoon at brunch, Maddie had quite an adoring crowd surrounding her. Parents, grandparents and even Aunt Joni and Uncle Tim were showing Maddie the love. The restaurant was packed and Maddie was in high spirits.

At some point in the next ten minutes, the adults must have become involved in a conversation where Maddie’s opinion was not being sought at the time. We were sitting there chatting when a high-pitched screech split the air. Every single head in the restaurant swung in our direction.

This is not an exaggeration. Every person in that place was momentarily stunned into silence by the sheer volume and intensity of Maddie’s eruption. Some people were confused, some irritated and others just amused that a baby could stun such a large group of people into submission like that. The lull of silence lasted almost an entire two seconds before everyone resumed his or her previous activities.

As for our table, nobody really knew what to say. We exchanged some nervous glances and went on with our meal. Maddie’s parents are all too familiar with this type of outburst. However, it was fascinating to see the stinging reactions it produces in public. It appears that Maddie is not quite polished enough for the outside world, but we will keep trying.

Baby Takes First Crack at the Swings

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Does this ride come with a pony?

Maddie’s parents were so excited to introduce Maddie to the stunning world of swinging. That liberating little chair that launches you into orbit and more often than not brings you safely back to earth. Since Maddie is always up for a new adventure, we were excited to see her reaction to her first ride on the magic swing.

I lowered my baby into the swing and her mom started gently pushing her. We looked at Maddie expectantly – searching for that whisper of a thrill. This is the little girl who gets fired up for a water bottle or a shoestring. So you can only imagine her reaction to sailing through the air without a care in the world.

So let me break the suspense – Maddie was completely unimpressed! My little swinging angel was the complete picture of apathy. She was looking around at other people and wondering why she was wasting her time sitting in this cramped little chair.

Did I miss the laser show?

Maddie wasn’t angry or put out – she just had other interests to pursue that did not include swinging through the air. She was much more interested in seeing what the people around her were doing. And that’s another reason why the Madster is so fun to be with, she is always on the case. She locks into what’s going on around her and won’t be distracted by anything else – even flying back and forth through space.