Years ago when Maddie’s dad worked at the U.S. Open Tennis tournament, he had to wear his credentials at all times. Once the tournament ended, the credentials were retired to some dark corner of a bookcase until Maddie uncovered them during one of her many investigations.
Since the discovery, Maddie has taken to sporting her credentials all around the house. The funny thing is that she treats the credentials a little differently than her other items. What’s odd is that Maddie takes great pleasure in sharing toys, magazines and food with her relatives – but she never shares her credentials.
Maddie takes them on and off, but likes to keep them to herself. Maddie will show them to you, but only to visually inspect them, not handle them. She also likes to lie on the floor and examine them very closely herself.
She flips through them, looks at dad’s picture and examines the information printed on each card. We don’t know what Maddie’s attachment is to these credentials, we just know that she really likes them.
I have always been that jerky guy who keeps a running commentary going with the television while watching televised sports. I have long been guilty of praising, criticizing or hurling invectives at various athletes, teams, games officials and even commentators.
However, this little habit of mine has been undergoing a dramatic transformation thanks to Maddie, my stunning 6-month-old daughter. More and more, instead of taking the deafening verbal route, I’m keeping my comments to myself or making quick little noises to telepathically communicate with all of those blind sports officials and inept commentators.
There is a funny television commercial (link at the bottom) where a guy is watching a football game on his phone while having a romantic dinner with his significant other. When she accuses him of watching the game, he asks her, “What am I, some kind of summoner, who can just summon footage to his phone when he wants?”
As the commercial continues, the gentleman keeps a perfectly straight face but keeps reacting to the game with an oooh and a yesss!
This is very much the way Maddie’s father watches sports with her in the room now. When I make any noise, she snaps her attention over to me to see what I’m up to. Just like the guy in the commercial, I focus on Maddie so there is no evidence of any real emotion towards the television.
And when Maddie is sleeping on her Dad, sports must be watched with a Zen like serenity. No matter what malfeasance befalls my team or athlete, it is not worth waking up the baby. This reorganization of thought and actions is very foreign to me, but it is also strangely calming. Sporting events are actually much more enjoyable when you can put them into the proper perspective. This is yet another item on a long list of things I have to thank Maddie for.
No, Maddie is not hanging out with former tennis great Bjorn Borg, but she has taken up riding in the Baby Björn with her PaPa. It’s understood that there’s probably little connection between using the Baby Björn and future tennis greatness – Or is there?
Maddie adopted this new baby device with some trepidation – but it didn’t take long for her to settle in and become a real Björn pro. This uncanny ability of hers to adapt and overcome is something that will serve her well whether she opts to follow the career path of Bjorn Borg or Jason Bourne.
She is proving to be one tough little cookie and is developing quite a sense of adventure. Couple that pioneer spirit with Maddie’s keen powers of observation and the sky is the limit.
The real question now becomes: How are Maddie’s parents going to survive the next 18 years with our little high-octane fire eater? She already possesses a highly developed sense of stubbornness and is exhibiting a fierce brand of determination. The shortcoming that goes hand in hand with these traits is her staggering lack of patience.
In the battle of nature versus nurture – it will be a Herculean task to try and teach this little one to take a breath and count to ten. At this point, it seems more likely that she will count to one and come out swinging.
Our only hope is that we can somehow lead by example and display a biblical-like patience to show her the way towards tolerance. Never an easy task for a pair of parents who share the “Type-A” personality gene.
- “Oh my gosh, so cute!”
- “How old is that little angel?”
- “God bless her.”
- “She looks you Daddy!”