May 3, 2008

Dear Jack, Month 11

Dear Jack,

When I began writing your letter tonight I started to stress out. Why? Because your first birthday is less than one month away and I have no idea how we'll celebrate it. For most people, this might not be a problem. One month is plenty of time. For me, however, this is bad. You see, one month from today, we'll also be on day 3 of staff training. The "summer blur" will have begun. IN ONE MONTH! Whew. I need to take deep breaths here.

I know, I know. This letter is about you, for you . . . not me. But you'll be affected by the "summer blur" too. Our routine will change drastically. We've hired someone to help us take care of you at camp for the summer so that we can spend lots of time with you but things will be different. But I guess things change, don't they? Even if we lived a normal life with normal jobs, things would change anyway, wouldn't they?

I have to be honest with you, Jack. There have been days this month that made me want to give you away as a prize to the next person who told me how cute you are. On these days, it seems that I can't make you happy. You want to be picked up, but you also want to be put down . . . you want to play, but you want to be held . . . you want to pull things down off of every shelf, but you don't want anything on the floor . . . you're hungry, but you don't want to eat . . . you're tired, but you don't want to sleep. You've thrown lots of tantrums and I let you. I do my best to ignore it and you usually calm down pretty quickly when you realize that NO ONE'S LISTENING! When you aren't quite irritated enough to throw a tantrum, but still want us to know that you're upset with us, you crinkle your nose and mouth up and just glare at us. It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen. Of course there are still plenty of good days, too. In fact, the first few days of your twelfth month have been fantastic (but more about that at the end of this month)!

I was holding you the other day when your dad was leaving the house, and he kissed me before he left. This must have been the first time you ever noticed this, because you thought this was HILARIOUS. You continue to laugh and applaud every time we kiss. I'm sure that someday you will think it's gross when you see us kiss, so I will enjoy it while it lasts. But I hope you'll always know that your mom and your dad love each other very much.

You've been walking steady for several weeks now and with the help of the vaccuum cleaner, you've started running, too. You are SO AFRAID of the vaccuum. I got you up from a nap last week, and you toddled out into the hallway. You immediately let out a screech and ran back toward me. It seems I forgot to put it away and just the sight of it bothered you. The Roomba isn't as much of an issue for you, and you even got brave enough to follow it around a little bit. But the minute that thing hit a wall and started coming in your direction you panicked!

You've tried all kinds of food now, and after the introduction of small bits of pizza, you began refusing foods that up until this point, you have liked. You want whatever we're eating and you can now tell the difference between what you're eating and what your dad and I are eating. We can no longer get away with eating tacos for dinner while you sit next to us eating your lima beans.

I think this month has been all about you testing the waters a little bit and trying to figure out how you fit into this crazy world. This is only the beginning and I promise that I'll do my best to help you get it all figured out.


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