Maddie has been enduring the heat like a champ this week. But the early morning walks and visits to the pool are taking a hit as the heat index flirts with the 100-degree range. Maddie has taken a keen interest in all of the geese in the area, but even the birds can’t compete with a 72-degree air-conditioned room with the shades drawn.
So the challenge now is how to keep an outdoor girl entertained while indoors. As always, trashing and shredding paper ranks high on Maddie’s activity schedule. But bumping her head on multiple surfaces is quickly moving up the list. The baby has also discovered the amazing world of yanking open up cabinets and raiding the contents inside.
We also employed a new strategy of taking Maddie shopping at least once a day. The stores are cool and full of people for the baby to stare at and heckle. These trips also give Maddie a chance to sample new and exotic foods including goldfish and teddy grahams.
What been most impressive through out the week is Maddie’s good nature. It’s obvious that she does not care for the oppressive heat, but she’s not letting it dampen her moods at all. She’s been simply content to fight through the heat and appreciate all the time she is spending indoors.
Trying to accurately predict my 8-month-old daughter’s reaction to outside stimulus is nothing short of impossible. For three days this week, Maddie hated the very thought of getting near any water that was sitting in the tub. Today you could barely stop her from striking out on her own into the Atlantic Ocean.
That’s right, the baby who was afraid to take a bath can’t wait to climb into the ocean. It all started with a sudden keen interest with the sand between her toes.
I was feeding Maddie a bottle on the beach when her foot slipped off of me and into the sand. Suddenly the bottle was totally forgotten as Maddie struggled to immerse her feet deep into the sand. She kicked at it and did her best to get sand between her toes. She squeaked with sheer delight and was more than ready for crack at the waves.
We brought Maddie out to the water and let one of those mini-waves wash over her feet. Her eyes went wide with fear and apprehension as the chilly water rushed past her feet. But that lasted less than two seconds, as she started playing and splashing. Apparently the beach and the water really agree with her.
You could already tell that Maddie thought that dry sand was a fantastic invention. But she quickly decided that dry sand couldn’t hold a candle to wet sand mixed with salt water. She was completely in her element and had no desire to head in even after a half an hour. But with her fair skin, we can only expose her to the sunlight for so long.
Finally it was time for us to head in, clear out the sand and seek out the day’s next adventure. In just the past week, Maddie has mastered flying, swimming and body surfing. Tomorrow she wants to try some cliff diving mixed in with a little bit of parasailing.
For an 8-month-old, Maddie continues to prove that you can’t keep a good baby down. If a couple hours on a plane didn’t bother Maddie, why would her first venture into the swimming pool be a big deal?
Fingers were crossed and blessings were said as we eased the baby into the pool. Maddie loves taking a bath, but this was a wide open pool with strange sounds and people everywhere.
As the water came up around her, Maddie looked completely undisturbed by the entire process. We got her in and she looked at us with those, “What am I supposed to do now?” stares. The baby was like, “Oh nice, that wet stuff – Is there a catch?” Heck, when it’s bath time, you can’t get Maddie to stop splashing for 2 minutes. The pool just wasn’t that exciting for her.
Maddie’s parents were just the opposite. We were scurrying around, taking pictures and setting the baby adrift in her new floaty toy. Other kids got in the water to check out Maddie, but again – Not Impressed! We finally had to give her some toys in the water just to avoid her demanding an immediate extraction.
So Maddie kicked around in her little pink French foreign legion hat and we kept splashing on the sunscreen to make sure those pink little cheeks didn’t turn red.
Before too long, the baby was ready to move on to bigger and more interesting pursuits than splashing around in a giant stinky tub. We hustled her back to the house for a well-deserved nap and she went down with minimal protests.
So now we have to wonder – what does it take to really impress this little thrill-seeker? I guess skydiving is next on the list, but that will have to wait until she’s at least 10-months-old. It seems that for now, the streets of Jersey City still provide more excitement than any other single activity we can get the baby involved in.
Hopefully we aren’t filled with a false sense of confidence. We still have gauge Maddie’s reaction to her return plane ride that is now just a few days off.
With Maddie’s first flight less than 48 hours away, there are a myriad of scenarios we must be prepared for. Last time I flew, it was just a couple of months before Maddie was born.
Back then, the rocket scientists from the glorious TSA tried to put my pregnant wife through one of their full body scans. “Don’t worry, it’s safe!” grumbled the TSA mega-mind with the impressive grade school education. Thanks doc, but we will opt in for the humiliating cavity search rather than process the baby in your giant microwave oven.
I can only imagine what these hard-core guardians of the gate are going try with the baby. I imagine if they don’t try to send her through the luggage scanners along with our shoes and deadly belt buckles, we will be ahead of the game.
Maddie’s first flight will be a short one, but trying to anticipate her needs and reactions may be a challenge. At 8-months-old, she already has some strong opinions on how she should be dealt with according to her celebrity status.
So how do we handle things in the jet if Maddie goes dark side and terrorizes the pilot or one of the passengers? What if she takes a bite out the landing gear? What is proper protocol for a screaming baby on a flight?
We are all American citizens, but can one of Maddie’s outbursts lead to a mandatory deportation scenario?
There are so many questions that just won’t be answered until we land at our destination. The obvious course of action is to be cool and just let things evolve naturally. But there’s only so much we can do if the baby flips the script on us.
It’s also entirely possible that Maddie’s behavior will be perfect in public. She may very well save all that angst for when we get to the hotel. We know that either way we will have to pay the piper – the only question is will it happen in a public or private setting?