Since Maddie was born in July 2011, she has endured more than her share of extreme weather events. So far she’s already made it through one hurricane and one earthquake. So please forgive her if Hurricane Sandy doesn’t really grab her attention.
With a historic storm surge bearing down on New York City, Maddie’s parents packed up the car at 6 o’clock this morning and headed south. We hopped on the New Jersey Turnpike and Maddie was complaining to the beat of the band.
It was almost as if she knew we were going the wrong way. I had Maddie’s mom check the road conditions in Delaware on the iPhone and we got some strange news. The funny little folks in Delaware shut down all roadways at 5am – UH-OH!
“Way to Go!” thought Maddie. So now it was time for us to head west and find a new way to Maddie’s grandparents house. After a couple of hours, we pulled off to feed Maddie breakfast. As soon as we exited, Maddie fell completely asleep – UH-OH!
Time to recalibrate again!
About an hour down the road the princess woke up and was more than ready for a pit stop. We found a Mickey-D’s around Gettysburg and dragged Maddie out into the driving hurricane rain.
Mom and Maddie sat down while I was ordering food at the counter. Maddie could see me from the table and kept screaming, “Heyyy, Daaaa!” Most of the people line found this very entertaining.
We made it safely to the grandparents’ house and Maddie could not have been more pleased.
This is a girl that doesn’t like the warm temps at all – but once it creeps under fifty degrees, she is in her element. Today we were outside and the wind chill had to be in the mid-thirties. I kept wrapping Maddie up in her warm blanket and she kept snatching it off and waving it over her head.
Despite Maddie’s cold weather antics, we have made progress in one critical area. Maddie now realizes that if she wants to go outside, shoes have become a non-negotiable part of her life.
Now that it’s chilly, Maddie signals that she is ready to go outside by hand-delivering her bear jacket and then bringing out a pair of shoes. This is one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the history of clothing. We really believed that Maddie would be refusing to wear her shoes well into her teens.
But this is no time to celebrate – The next Herculean task on our agenda is to get Maddie into gloves or mittens before the temps dip into the twenties.
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.
Despite all the trials and tribulations Monday had to offer, Maddie had a fantastic and magical day playing, wrestling and entertaining her cousins from Alaska. Never mind the fact that the weather gods have a mean streak about a mile long. Maddie’s cousins Porter and Catie just endured a a terrible winter season in Alaska only to come to New Jersey for some record cold weather and rain. Yet somehow, we were blissfully ignorant of this fact when we walked to breakfast this morning.
The four of us polished off our meals with great enthusiasm and were ready to catch a ferry into the city. As soon as we waltzed out of the diner, a heavy and cold rain set in. It pelted the area with a vengeance throughout the morning and our best-laid plans were torn asunder. We trudged home in the rain knowing that today’s travel plans were shot.
Maddie reasoned that her only recourse for the morning was to take a long nap and try to work things out while she was asleep. By the time her eyes popped open, it was just about time for lunch. Maddie reasoned that a bit of good company and delicious food was just the ticket to turn the day around.
Her dad packed her up in the stroller and set off in the rain while the grandparents drove the cousins to our lunch spot. Maddie feasted on fries and fruit, and made several loud crackling announcements to the lunchtime crowd. During lunch, the sun managed to peak out and Maddie thought she still might be able to treat her cousins to some pool time. However, as soon as we got to the pool about an hour later, the sun shriveled up into the clouds like a scared turtle. Maddie was more than happy to dip her feet in the water and kick around a bit, but without the sun, it was just too cold.
The baby opted for one more nap and try to pick up where she left off earlier. By the time she woke up, it was time to drive the cousins back to their grandparent’s house. About 30 miles into the trip, Maddie was treated to her very first flat tire experience. This led to an unscheduled stop at the Goodyear Tire Store off the highway. Between the rain, car trouble and unseasonably cold weather, Maddie is worried that it may be some time before her cousins dare to make their next trip back East.