Here you are eating lunch.
You got sick yesterday.
When I got you up, your nose was a crusty green (you didn’t mind until I tried to clean it for you.)
You didn’t eat as much breakfast as usual.
You obviously didn’t feel good.
Daddy wasn’t sure what to do. I had an important meeting I needed to attend, but you’re more important than events or meetings.
(Even if it’s an event with the governor.)
I delayed leaving the house, but you never seemed to get better or worse.
Finally, I took you to daycare. Almost an hour later, when I was an hour’s drive away, the sitter called to say you weren’t well, and she was worried about you. An hour later, you weren’t getting any better.
Daddy struggled with what to do — be with my sick baby, or fulfill the responsibilities of my job.
Both of your grandfathers were raised in a time when a man’s job defined who he was. One was a minister and one a career military officer. Both of them placed a very high emphasis on their jobs.
I’m not like your grandfathers.
So daddy called a coworker to come help, and I left the event (and the governor) to pick you up.
You’re not a very fussy baby, but you obviously weren’t feeling very good.
At 11 p.m. your temperature was 102.5.
When you woke up at 4:30 a.m., your temperature was down to around 100.
Mommy took you to the doctor today, and we learned you had ear infections in both ears.
Daddy also learned you’re more important than the governor or anyone else.
Well, it finally happened, shopping with you the other day at Costco.
Walking around the store, your head is up as you try to see everything at once. Turning from side to side and then back again in the seat, you look at other people, at the shelves, the lights of the ceiling, the items I put in the basket, Everything is interesting and fascinating.
I carry on a continuous conversation with you while we shop. We talk about everything that’s going on. The shopping list. The things I put in the cart. Your reaction to things. The free samples. We interact with each other as you interact with the environment. It’s usual.
There were little girls and boys around your age at the store. But they don’t behave the way you do. They cower in the carts like trapped, wide-eyed animals that look like this:
You’re clearly different from many babies your age. When we take you out people complement you. They can see your excitement.
Other shoppers return your smile and comment on how happy you are.
They say things like, “oh, she’s so pretty.”
”Look at that smile. “
She’s so precious.”
”How old is she?” the Costco employee asked.
”14 months this past Monday.”
And then it happened –
”Is she your granddaughter?”
”She’s my daughter.”
Someone was going to ask that, I just thought I’d be older when they did.
Plenty of people are grandparents when they reach the age Mommy and Daddy are now.
Mommy and Daddy have friends from high school who are grandparents.
The reality is we’re old enough to be your grandparents, but we’re just Mommy and Daddy, and you’re our little girl.
If I were an active 14-month-old girl, where would I put the remote?
* * *
Daddy looked in the kitchen cabinets and drawers, in the trash and recycling, in your toy kitchen, in your toy boxes, in the ball pit, in the couch cushions — everywhere you were.
You had the remote in your hands as you walked by, and then a few minutes later, you didn’t have it.
Turns out, you put it in your baby stroller. That obviously seemed like a good place for it.
It’s up to us to decipher what you’re trying to say.
Some things you say are pretty simple.
Other utterings are a little more complex.
They are different words, but mean the same thing. When we’re trying to put a shoe on you or give you something and you would rather do it – “Idoitdoidoit.”
Deciphering often has a lot to do with context.
“Idon.” I have no idea what it means. I thought I did when I wrote it down but as I try to explain it here, the meaning eludes me. It’s not what you say when you’re done eating. When you’re done, you just drop surplus food or a bottle onto the floor without a sound.
“Aye.” Accompanied by the point of your little finger, it means you want something, we just have to figure out what it is.
Mommy tries to get you to “use your words,” while daddy is trying to just use words himself.
“What do you want?”
“Do you want the apple?”
Your tone never changes. Seemingly, you could go on for hours saying the same word and pointing.
“The kiwi?” It’s on the counter next to the apple.
“Kiwi or apple?” I ask, holding them both to you.
“Aye.” You point at the kiwi.
And then you eat it all.
You eat a lot.
You move a lot and you eat a lot. You’re walking nearly everywhere. You only crawl to get up or down a step, but you’re really great at turning around and lowering yourself down. Down the back stairs or over the side of the bed, you turn around and down you go.
Saturday we went to celebrate Easter with Mommy’s side of the family.
At dinner with the family – there were 25 of us – you consumed an entire pear. For dessert. After already eating a lot of dinner. Daddy cut a piece of the pear and you ate it. And you kept eating until it was gone.
You can drink as much as 12 ounces from the liquid solids bottle during a meal. You’re not eating with a fork or spoon yet, but you can eat a lot with your hands. If we try to make you eat with a spoon, you squeal and say, “idoitdoidoit.” But you don’t. You smile happily while you play with the spoon and eat with your other hand.
There can be a lot of squealing and sometimes you just scream. At 14 months-old, it’s like you’ve entered the terrible twos. I can’t imagine what you’ll be like in 10 months.