Letters to Jack: Month 11

_MG_2798Oh, dear Jack,

Let me describe some of things I’ve done lately:

  • Left coffee creamer on the kitchen counter for two days
  • Forgot to pack post-swim-class shorts for Charlie, who had to walk out of the YMCA in his undies (he may never forgive me)
  • Poured gasoline all over myself at the gas station when I pulled the nozzle out too early
  • Failed to include an actual check in the envelope I mailed to the landscaper with my monthly bill

This, my boy, is what sleep deprivation will do to you. You’ve never been a stellar sleeper, but for the last two weeks, you’ve regressed to a sleep schedule even worse than when you were a newborn. One half-hour nap ALL DAY. Waking up in the middle of the night and unable to calm down or go back to sleep for hours. Falling to sleep again, only to be up in 20 minutes, crying.

What. The. Hell. Is. Going. On.

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What’s even weirder is the lack of sleep doesn’t seem to phase you. In the morning, you beam. All day, you happily play and explore. Dad started calling you “emoticon” because you always look like the emoji of the colon and the capital d.  ( 😀 )

I can’t understand why you aren’t exhausted – you walk all day! This was the month you said goodbye to crawling and hello to (mostly) full-time toddling. It’s extremely cute watching you waddle across the room, arms raised like you’re surrendering to police or raisin’ the roof.

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You’ve also begun to climb onto the couch. I discovered this when I went into the other room for a few moments and heard you fall off of the couch. Sorry, dude. It’s really, really hard to keep an eye on you every second in this house, so we’ve started bribing Charlie to “baby sit” you during those interludes. He seems proud of this new job.

As you get older, you and Charlie are playing more together. You chase each other through the play tunnel. He pushes a ball toward you, you try to bite it, he exasperates, “Ohhhhh, Jack!” These are some of my happiest moments as a mother. I teared up the other night when you sang back and forth to one another.

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I was wrong last month when I thought you were beginning to sign “more.” You’re still not signing anything deliberately, even waving. You may be close to “all done,” but it’s likely you’re just discovering that your wrists twist. Still no intentional words, but you’re beginning to mimic “uh-oh,” though it’s just “uh” right now.

You like to clap and you’ve mastered the sippy cup. You enjoy emptying the contents of every drawer that isn’t baby proofed. Your favorite game with Dad and me is to shake our hands back and forth, which we pretend makes our entire body to wiggle.

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We’re supplementing you with more iron because your blood work after six weeks showed your iron levels are still too low. I don’t understand the biology of why your body isn’t absorbing iron better. You drink iron-fortified formula, we feed you iron-rich foods mixed with iron-fortified cereals. What gives? Your pediatrician says some kids just need help “filling their tanks.” Shrug.

The process of getting that blood work was somewhat traumatizing for both of us. I realized when I got to the lab that your doctor wanted not just a finger prick, but a sample from the vein in your arm. Getting blood from adults can be challenging; just imagine what it was like to slide a needle into your tiny, perfect baby vein. It took three tries. My poor baby!

You turn a year old next month. Can you believe it? What an adventurous year it’s been for all of us. I can’t wait to celebrate with you.

But first I need to get some sleep.

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