Even though Maddie is just a few days short of her first birthday, there are already a few characteristics that have really taken root. One of those traits is a complete lack of patience when it comes to unraveling how things work. Today’s flip phone temper tantrum seriously left her father shaking his head.
For weeks now, dad has foolishly let Maddie mess with his flip phone. Flip phones are relatively tough and if they stay closed, the baby doesn’t accidentally get into a long drawn out conversation with “Peggy” in the Ukraine.
The trouble began this afternoon when Maddie spied the open flip phone laying on the couch. I snapped the phone shut before the little NASCAR princess could close in on her conquest. This has never been an issue before, but today was obviously a different story.
Maddie snagged the phone and immediately went hard to work on the task of prying open the phone. No big deal, she would either snap it open or she wouldn’t. I was hoping to keep it closed for another couple weeks, but if she opened it, so be it.
For three steady minutes, Maddie studied the mobile device from every angle. She combed the phone buttons and releases. She even whapped it on the ground a few times, but the magic communication shell would not yield its secrets. Suddenly Maddie popped on to her feet, stuck the phone in my face and started screaming.
I calculated that this outburst would last for about 2-3 minutes and fizzle out due to lack of interest. I was far from correct. This went on and on and broke down into a Mexican standoff. I was not opening the phone and Maddie was flabbergasted that I was not following orders.
The fact of the matter is that the next 15 minutes became a contest of wills. Would I let the baby ravage the phone or would I listen to her forlorn cries of desperation? In the end, the baby finally yielded – but not before she burst my eardrums and exhibited a temper tantrum that would make Mt. Vesuvius green with envy. It becomes a little more apparent each day that I’m in serious trouble.
Few things rip into a peaceful bedtime routine like the curse of the late afternoon/early evening nap. But what can do when that’s when the baby wants to nap? Apparently, not too much.
When Maddie snags a good nap in the morning or early afternoon, bedtime is a breeze. But if she is still napping around 4pm, undesirable nuggets can hit the fan with great velocity. There was a time when we foolishly believed that any nap the baby took was a good one. Maddie has been more than happy to dispel this misconception for us.
At 5pm this afternoon we could feel our anxiety mounting as Maddie slept like the angel she truly is. At this point we knew two things were in store for us.
- Once the baby woke up, she would be in a wonderful mood.
- Once it was time for bed, it would be time to pay the piper and deal with what we like to call the wild banana syndrome.
Both of these predictions soon came to pass. Maddie woke up sweet as sugar magnolias. She was fun, charming and bursting with love. We fed her pork and vegetables and she was the perfect little lady.
But once it was time for bed, a dark shadow crept over the house. That sweet disposition tuned sour and the angry bedtime antics began. First came the angry protests that quickly escalated into an-all out temper tantrum. The nerve of these idiot parents trying to put me to bed, do I look tired to you??
Letting Maddie work it out in the crib is never a big hit either. She expects full payment of these parental follies and wants it all up front. She also demonstrates great athletic prowess by flipping from one side of the crib to the other.
In the end, it just takes a little extra love and patience along with about 45 minutes of hanging out in close proximity to the crib. Eventually the queen burns herself out and is hopefully asleep for the night. All that’s left to do is go to bed early and hope tomorrow delivers an earlier naptime that doesn’t trigger another extended witching hour.