Letters to Jack: Month 16 (and change)

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Oh, my dear boy,

This month a Grump Monster overtook my sweet, carefree little guy. The crying, the whining, the collapsing on the floor in utter anguish, the I-want-that-damn-thing-over-there-why-aren’t-you-getting-it-right-this-instant-woman grunting.

I blame two things for this emerging personality: 1) You’re at a developmental stage of having opinions, wants and dislikes, and 2) You still aren’t speaking. I speak English pretty well and I still have trouble expressing myself. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for you.

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That doesn’t make it easier on the rest of us, however. You also seem to rub off on Charlie, who whines alongside you. Then it’s surround-sound in my house and I want to hide in a dark closet with earplugs. But I’m sure you’d both find me and whine in there, too.

You’re not getting along with Charlie. You hate when he’s up in your space, especially when you’re both vying for my attention. You’ve started pushing him away, screeching in his face, even biting his limbs. Charlie, smelling blood, knows this pisses you off and doubles down on his affection toward me when you’re near.

“Charlie, stop doing this on purpose to make your brother mad,” I say.

“I’m nottttttttt,” he replies, climbing onto my lap, burrowing his head into my neck, petting my cheek.

“Boys, share Mom,” your Dad warns, ineffectively.

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You’ve had a difficult month for other reasons, too. Your dad and I left you and Charlie with a babysitter to have a rare night out with friends at BFF Ashleigh’s annual No Kids Allowed Mardi Gras party. About 90 minutes into it, the babysitter called. “There’re blueberries everywhere!” she wailed.

Turns out you had the stomach flu and proceeded to vomit for the next several days (once onto my face). Then, of course, I got sick, so basically the entire month of February was shit.

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In addition, Dad irrevocably scarred you for life by taking you through a drive-thru car wash. You cried the moment it started and didn’t stop for an hour. The next day, we took you to the beach at high-tide, and we think the roar of the waves reminded you of the car wash, and you sobbed again.

Since then, you’re no longer sleeping through the night. So, that’s also been fun.

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This month, you’ve gone cuckoo for books. Any book. Anywhere. You are obsessed with whatever book is in front of you, flipping through it again and again.

It’s because of these books that I’m not too concerned about your language development. I ask you to point out an object — the dog, the cup, the banana, the tree — and you get it right every time. You almost always do the sign for the word, too. Something just hasn’t clicked in the verbal part of your brain.

You’ve taken up some gardening, too. Mostly, this involves you sitting in holes I’ve just dug, or spilling the watering can all over you and THEN sitting in the hole I just dug.

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We took you to the cabin for the first time. It was fun to watch you explore, to point out the lake and the birds and trees, to watch your eyes grow wide and say “ooooooooohhhhhh” at the new surroundings. You slept in a pack-and-play in our room and when you woke up too early in the morning, I brought you into bed with me. We snuggled and fell asleep next to each other for the first time since you moved into your own room at six months. It was heaven.

My little guy, here’s hoping the next month will be easier — for your sake, for Charlie’s sake, and for the sake of our dark closets.

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One Response to Letters to Jack: Month 16 (and change)

  1. Barbara Crawford says:

    So nice to read this instead of having to live it 24/7! Though I have gotten my small share. Love you for keeping this tradition up despite your full schedule.

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