Letters to Charlie: Month 15

Dear Charlie,

A look at my Google search history offers a glimpse of the challenges we faced this month:

– Get toddler to eat vegetables
– Why don’t children like vegetables
– Toddler throw food on floor
– 15-month-old tantrums
– Toddler constipation
– ASL mommy is sad when you don’t eat
– Baby double teeth in one month
– Tylenol and Orajel OK?
– What to do when child won’t leave the park
– What time does Starbucks open

So, there were some tough times this month. Several of your teeth decided to come in at the same time, which was no fun for anyone. You began experiencing emotional swings (likely related to the insane teething) in which you were jubilant one moment and in the next had thrown yourself onto the floor in a fit of wailing, despair. We even had to leave Dad’s favorite Mexican restaurant because we couldn’t calm you down.

There were great moments, too, of course. You can now say “mama,” a word that your Dad argued you knew months ago. I am now convinced. You babble “mamamamamama” when you look for me or when you wake up. In fact, it’s my cue that you’re fully awake at 5 a.m. and all hopes are dashed for more sleep.

You also started singing this month, and not just the sing-songy sounds that all babies make. You know the opening chords to your Baby Signing Time videos, and you belt them out when Dad and I turn the TV on to watch them. We’re a family of songbirds, so I’m excited you may be joining in soon.

Speaking of baby sign language, I’m now a true believer. When we started teaching you ASL, I figured you’d pick up a few basics like “food,” “all done,” and “milk.” But your brain is like a sponge and you grasp new signs every day. We’re having entire conversations! Words you can sign: dog, hat, tree, airplane, car, bird, milk, all done, food, banana, ball, sky, boat, bus, bath, bird, fish, baby, grandma, bear, more, cracker, shoes, moon, please, down, up, wash hands, book, brush teeth. (On a side note, you can also say “moon,” “car,” “ball,” and “book.”)

The best sign you know is “sleep.” One night a few weeks ago, I asked if you were sleepy when laid your head on the couch. You looked up and signed “sleep.”

ZOMG. “….Are you sleepy, Charlie?”

You nodded and signed sleep again.

“OK, time to go to sleep.”

You turned and walked into your room. I put you in the crib, turned off the lights, and said goodnight. You fell right asleep.

And you did the same thing a few nights ago!


I have to tell you – those Baby Signing Time videos make your Dad and I emotional. Each video closes with a mushy, sentimental song. I actually made fun of your Dad for tearing up (I may or may not have called him a “pussy”), until he made me listen to it after 2-3 glasses of wine.

For me it feels like yesterday, just yesterday to me
I looked into your tiny face, your tiny face held me
Of course I know all children grow
All children grow of course I know…..
I didn’t know how fast you’d grow


I had another emotional meltdown putting you to bed one night. It had been a rough “toddler” day. I was exhausted and drained and just wanted you to go to sleep. As I rocked your warm, snuggly body and you drank the last of your milk, I swear I channeled the me from 15 years in the future.

I imagined what it would be like when you were a teenager, when you no longer needed me to hold you or hug you. In my mind I saw you shout “Bye, Mom,” and rush out of the house to meet your friends or – gasp – a girlfriend. How I would long for these days, when we were each other’s entire world, when you could curl up in my lap before bed and wouldn’t mind me planting dozens of kisses atop your head.


I’ll end this letter with a sweet video of your Dad giving you “froggy hugs.” Since you were a tiny baby, he’s snorgled you with a giant, stuffed tree frog that we named Ferguson. Now you’re old enough to hug the frog back. It’s one of your favorite pastimes.

My favorite pastime? Starbucks (which opens at 6 a.m., by the way).

This entry was posted in Charlie, development, health, Letters to Charlie, parenthood, sleep and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Letters to Charlie: Month 15

  1. Jennifer says:

    I just took an Ativan to help me go to sleep before leaving for Disney, so I am sobbbing too as I read this. The picture of Charlie and his water bottle–wow, he looks so mature! He’s a Gap Baby model.

  2. Just me says:

    The songs that Rachel Coleman wrote for signing time are heart breaking. We love all of the signing times in our house.

  3. Ginger says:

    Ok, you made me sob twice in one post. I guess that’s my punishment for reading during my lunch hour.

    (how adorable is he by the way??)

  4. Van says:

    Okay…now I’m starting to feel like I need these baby signing videos. We starting using ASL a little bit more intensely when Charlotte started speech therapy and it has helped SO MUCH!!!! But our last sessions before we move are next week so these signing videos might just do the trick. I love this post. And Starbucks. And Charlie. And You. ::hugs::

  5. Barbara and Charles III says:


    When your husband Charles turned two years old I remember sitting with him and a tape recorder, talking together, and me telling him earnestly how much I would always love him. Inside, I felt the slow departure of my babychild. Having just sat across from him at a trattoria in Little Italy, listening to his laugh, his wide-ranging interests and knowledge, his thoughtful assessments and plans, feeling his deep happiness, I have to say—look backward with joy, look forward with trust. Perhaps Charlie will, on one of those dates, find a remarkable, generous, gorgeous, smart, dynamic person to share in his life. It does happen…

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