stay at home PaPa
The set up was perfect.
We recreated every detail down to the time of day, temperature, even clothing.
Our drive down to Virginia a week earlier had been a smashing success – Maddie slept the whole way and we were in awe of our brilliance.
Enter the Klumps – despite our elaborate planning and meticulous attention to detail – Maddie proved that what works one time, is no guarantee for success during the next go around.
Our seamless drive down to Virginia was the polar opposite of last night’s funny little trip home.
The little lioness was wild right of the box. As we gently placed her in the car seat – “The child done lost her mind!” The screaming started and we realized that we might be in for a rocky trip. We went through the checklist – Maddie was in good shape, but man, she was cantankerous! The little lungs that initially emitted a tropical depression, were revving up to hurricane speed. We made it a little less than 20 minutes when we pulled over see if we could calm the storm. 45 minutes later, the little girl was finally ready for sleep.
The next 140 miles were smooth as silk, it was the magical carpet ride we had all dreamed about – until we ran head long into the diabolical maze of NIGHT CONSTRUCTION!! Oh yes, I-95 went down to one lane ONLY 2 different times during a 6-mile span in the useless state of Delaware!
Somehow Maddie slept her way through it – but it was the construction project on the wild and wonderful New Jersey Turnpike that proved to be our undoing. Mad Maddie unleashed the fury and we were stuck in the toxic New Jersey soup.
Finally we made our way to a rest stop so Maddie could pick up some Mom’s milk – but by that time – the weary trio just wanted it to be over.
Less than an hour later – Mom and baby were safely tucked away in bed – and Stay Home PaPa was left to ponder where it all went wrong.
It doesn’t happen every day, but when Maddie goes to the dark side, it almost always happens between 3am and 6am.
Her jaws began to snap and her screams reach a fever pitch that will not be silenced for any significant length of time. It’s actually quite a phenomenon to behold. Gina and I first encountered this fearsome predatory behavior the day she was born in the hospital.
Since then, we have struggled with what we were doing that was so wrong. What terrible mistakes were we making as parents that would make someone we love so much so terribly angry?
What strikes us during these episodes is the intensity and determination displayed these each tantrum. Maddie is bound and determined to rage for this short period of time even if all of her basic needs are met.
Its part of the learning curve I suppose. Unmistakable patterns have developed and once you have determined that the diaper is clean, the swaddle is sound and the belly is full – you just strap in and hang on for the ride of your life.
I’m actually learning to appreciate these magnificent and shocking acts of nature. A couple hours of unbridled fury is not the end of the world. I also have to respect a tiny little lady who is so determined to share her strong opinions with anybody in earshot.
Who knows where this special brand of obstinacy could take Maddie. Whether this mind set is directed towards studies, athletics or exploration – her competitors will likely shrivel up in fear at the mere mention of her name.
It’s also remarkable that these incidents only occur during such a small three-hour window. This actually provides the recipient with shades of hope that the sun will rise and the storm shall pass.
What our baby has accomplished in the past three days truly goes beyond the scope. Our little jet setter has traveled the I-95 New York/DC corridor, attended a wedding and even her own baby shower. Maddie made it through each event with class and dignity – charming all that have come into contact with her.
It seems that we might also have an Oscar worthy actress in our midst. Gina and I have speculated that when the crowd around Madeleine grows past the eight-person mark – she plays a little game of possum. No matter how much the volume swells around her – Maddie slips into a rich deep sleep – or does she?
Is it possible that this so called slumber of the angels may just be a ruse? Both parents have noticed time and time again that when Maddie is immersed into a crowd of people – she covertly checks them out. It only lasts about a second and she only uses one eye – but she does a quick scan and then is seemingly knocked out again.
Gina and I are starting to wonder if she’s really sleeping as soundly as she exhibits. When she sleeps with us – she never checks out anything – but in the crowd – she’s actually going undercover.
Is this just a quick check or perhaps some sort of atavistic defense mechanism?
I know what you’re thinking – a nine-day-old infant doesn’t plot anything. But Gina and I are quickly learning that it’s never a good idea to underestimate the one we call: “Maddie A!”
For four nights, our sweet little Madeleine played the role of the sleep destroyer. She decided that sleep for her parents was a privilege that must be earned – ENTER MOTHER’S MILK!!
The little girl who spread Freddy Krueger like terror across the nighttime – decided that with a little milk in her stomach – it was time to take it easy and start Chilaxxin!
Keep in mind that colostrum is great for babies, but not very filling. Therefore, Madeleine was undergoing the worst thing that can happen to a Martin or an Adams, HUNGER!
Packed with Mom’s magic, our little bean slept like she had gone 22 rounds with Clubber Lang (AKA – BA Baracus) All the gold on Mr. T’s wardrobe can’t equal the scope of what that mother’s milk did for us.
We have been utterly transformed and rejuvenated as Madeleine allowed us that one special night of sleep. Hey, you never forget your first time.
This is good news, because at the ripe old age of 5-days-old, Madeleine is taking her first trip out of state trip for her Aunt Joni’s wedding and her own special baby shower.
Stay tuned as Madeleine takes Washington DC!!
My wife Gina and I were told to report the hospital around 7pm for the arrival of our first child.
“Go home and relax,” they said. Oh sure, of course, just chill out, take a nap, get paid.
The fact of the matter is that two type “A” personalities can only take it sooo easy before the wheels come off.
After five years of enticement, I did finally get my wife to listen to and actually enjoy the Doors. (focus on the small victories)
Now that she has drifted off to sleep, I’ve already switched my music to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m left with their voices and my thoughts to help quell any inner anxieties.
In case your wondering, I’m a stay at home Dad. Welll, not yet, but soon enough.
I’ve heard multiple opinions on this matter.
“Jesus, get him some help.” “Men can’t manage a baby by themselves.” “Did Oswald act alone?”
I’ve decided that indeed I can raise this child – like a champ in case you are wondering. It just might take a little trial and error.
Popular opinion says everything is about to change. But don’t things always change? How crazy can this process really be?
That question will probably take many years to answer – but please use this as a guide or narrative as to where this unfolding adventure might lead us.