Dear Baby A,
We’re belatedly writing your monthly letter again, because you have been once again trying to drive us insane, and every free second that either one of us has had in the last few weeks, we’ve spent napping and storing up reserves of parent-patience.
Since last month’s letter you’ve learned that the most interesting way to get to the dog food bowl is to walk! You totter through the house, weaving back and forth like a drunken sorority girl, pulling everything you come in contact with along the way down to the floor. The placemats, every single magazine we own, all the frames we used to have neatly decorating our end tables and desks- that’s all over now. We’ve entered the Toddler phase of decorating, which basically means nothing exist on any shelf or table less than 4 feet tall unless it exists to amuse you.
I so wanted you to be one of those babies that would coo happily on the floor while pushing a car around a wooden racetrack, or sit in the kitchen with a wooden spoon and some pots and pans. You may be that child someday, but right now- you’re MY child. You are drawn like a junkyard magnet toward the surge protectors, the x box which you have already figured out how to open, the computer tower (which you have figured out how to turn off), and really just about anything sharp, electronic, and/or dangerous. Baby dolls? HA! Only if their eyes glow red and they give off a little jolt when you twist their head! No, you much prefer to live dangerously, yanking wires, pushing buttons, and generally shunning any toy that is a) not plugged into electricity and/or b) painted any color meant for children.
See? MY kid. The only thing is, if I claim the good (!) I guess I have to also take credit for the nocturnal shift in your personality. Nocturnal was cool when I was 17. Not so cool now. Besides Baby A, didn’t anyone fill you in on the second part of being nocturnal? Where you then SLEEP LATE in the morning? Did ya get that memo? Cause here at chez P/L, tension is high and relationships are muddy as a result of this 24-7 partying we’re having to put up with. Give it a rest, already.
This week, we actually got so desperate for 30 minutes alone one evening that we, after FOUR HOURS of attempting to “parent” you to sleep (which consists of us pinning you to our lap in the ‘sleep position’ while you struggle and growl until your eyes roll back in your head), we actually put the rail back on the crib and left you in there. That first 20 minutes was hard, sweetie, but I have to say that the evening of peace we got was almost worth it. Except said evening began ad midnight. The next night, I was able to do the “hard-pat” method when you collapsed from exhaustion into the crib, and we got a full 3 hours out of you before you were up for your evening party. What are you, getting ready to be a rave kid? Stop it. For the love of god, pick something. Stay up late or get up early. You can’t have both. I mean it.
Our experiment with the “cry it out” method was cut short 2 nights ago (on the 3rd night) when I decided that I’d rather look like a zombie and hate my life than live with that piercing scream one more second. They say I’ll get over that, and that once you learn to “self soothe”, bedtime will be smooth sailing from then until you’re in college. I guess we’ll never know. We don’t subscribe to the whole “crying is bad for them” philosophy, which is good, since during any given day, you will burst into rageful tears for NO REASON AT ALL. Lately it’s been one of two things that REALLY piss you off: 1) you are removed from something fun, or something fun (read-knives, dog food, electrical cords, the dog’s ears) is removed from you reach and 2) someone you wish to share company with has left you. It doesn’t matter really, where they go or for how long. If you want Daddy and daddy goes to the bathroom, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. It would be cute if I didn’t have 2 weeks from now to look forward to, when Daddy leaves every.single.morning.
It’s still truly strange to look up and see you walking across the room. You’re so confident and happy! You aren’t much of a lap baby until bedtime, which is OK for us I suppose, but I really do miss wearing you in the sling during the day. Partially because I miss being close to you, but also because that was a lot less work.
Your big sister starts middle school this year, after she gets home from secular humanist camp, where she’s going to discover some tricks to cement her place in hell. I’ve tried to talk her into staying home from school this year and being “home schooled”. Mostly she’d be studying history, and I’d teach her all about how loving on a farm was for girls her age, and how most girls her age actually spent their days taking care of their younger siblings and cooking, once they were finished cleaning the house.
She didn’t go for it, so I suppose it’s you and me again here in a couple of weeks. I’m scared a little, but I am looking forward to those morning naps together, which is the only time all day that I get to snuggle with you.
Next month you’ll be 1. Please forgive us for not throwing you a huge party. I mean, we ARE throwing a party, but it’ll probably be more like a “come drink sangria with us, we survived the first year!” kind of party. You won’t remember this year anyway, right? I mean we are getting you presents and everything. Like your new car seat? HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We’re also getting you a house.