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Baking the Blues Away

Every mother knows the importance of a good schedule for her baby.

 I’m not talking about sleep training or scheduled feedings; we’re setting those hot-button topics aside.  I’m simply talking about a predictable routine for each day, so your baby has an idea of what’s coming next: walks, naps, playtime, and so forth, all happening in roughly the same order.  I’ve found this makes Madeleine much less anxious (and keeps me from watching the clock with a “Dear God, how will I fill the rest of the day?” sort of attitude).  Every morning when she wakes, we have our dressing routine complete with songs and stories, breakfast, and then our walk for the day.  We’ve been walking every day since she was three weeks old, partly because she loves the stimulation and partly because Mommy needs to get out of the house.

So imagine my chagrin when we had our first horrible-weather day for the year.  And I’m not a pansy about this; we’ve gone for walks with rain gear and stroller blankets already.  But when you have a very rainy day coupled with a very windy and cold day, that equals a Mommy who will find it impossible to hold her umbrella right side in and steer her stroller at the same time, no matter that Maddie’s under the complimentary rain bonnet and the maddie_in_kangaroo_kuddler.jpgstroller steers with one hand.  And the Bjorn's a no-go even with the waterproof Kangaroo Kuddler around it because the sideways-blowing rain will end up right in her face.

So I surrender to the inevitable and admit we’re not going out.  Faced with an extra hour to fill with a child needing to be stimulated (but not OVER stimulated!), I did what any woman would do.

I baked. 

happy_in_bouncy_seat.jpgMadeleine and I have gotten the evening meal thing pretty much down; she sits in her bouncy seat or Bumbo sitter at the edge of the kitchen while I chop and sauté, my stirrings interspersed with plenty of singing and dancing.  Maddie loves it, I burn lots of calories, and our neighbors across the driveway get a free show.  That’s cooking, though, which is fairly easy with most of my prep work done during naptime.  To fill our walk-time slot, I wanted to involve Madeleine more, not simply give her another floorshow.  So I decided to wear her, which then necessitated making something that didn’t involve an open flame or sharp knives.  I was thinking cookies.  And since it was cold outside, I went for snickerdoodles to get that great cinnamon smell in the air. 

I know I mentioned earlier that Maddie never took to the sling, though it’s not been for lack of trying.  She just seemed to get lost in all that material and gets a panicked look on her face every time I get it out again to give it another go.  A couple of friends of mine at mad_pics_047.jpgchurch have been using a different sling, one that uses far less material and keeps the baby closer to the body.  So I ordered one from Kangaroo Korner and Madeleine loves it!  These are not one-size-fits-all; these are ordered based on your measurements and whether you’re right- or left-handed.  I’ve been using it about a week, and Maddie’s quite content in it for about an hour or so before turning squirmy.  They don’t have the back support of a Bjorn, for example, but they give you more positions to try and free up your hands for, well, baking.

Anyway, the baking was a big hit.  With Maddie sitting sideways in the sling, she was fascinated by my measuring and sifting and stirring, and she loved smelling the vanilla and butter.  We were both happy at the end of our “walk time,” and I had yummy cookies to boot.


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