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.
Carrying you down the stairs after your nap this afternoon, my mind began to wander.
With each step we walked down, I imagined the times you’ll come down the stairs in the future.
I thought of the first time you’ll walk down the stairs yourself.
I thought of the first time you’ll sneak down early, to see what Santa leaves you. And the first time you’ll look for Easter eggs before mommy and daddy wake up.
I imagined you walking down, dressed for your first day of school.
I thought of you walking down the stairs in your prom dress, and pausing for us to take pictures.
I imagined you waking down the stairs on your way to your high school graduation. And then your college graduation.
I imagined you walking down those stairs a final time before you move away.
And then I thought of you walking down those stairs, on your way to get married.
Then we reached the bottom of the stairs, and I carried you into the living room and put you down on the floor for you to play with your toys again.
What a wonderful baby you are . . . you don’t cry or fuss, you just watch what’s going on around you . . . until it’s time to eat or change a diaper. And even then, you just get squirmy and fussy, you hardly ever cry.
The woman taking care of you called her state representative today, trying to get your social worker to make progress.
Sunday, mommy and I joined a new church, and told all the people there all about you, and asked them to pray for you and for the family taking care of you, and for your social worker and all the social services staff.
I went to church last night – the Maundy Thursday service. That’s when we remember the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples. Mommy and I had been in the same church Ash Wednesday, 44 days earlier.
On Ash Wednesday, I sat there thinking, “we’ll have her with us when we come back Easter.”
Last night, I was in the same pew facing the fact that you won’t be with us Easter. After 44 days of waiting, and looking forward to seeing you, and 44 days of your social worker doing nearly nothing, we still don’t have you.
I’ve had many emotional experiences at this church, and last night was really tough. All types of emotions swirled through me at the same time. Memories of past sadnesses and present loneliness because you and your mommy are so far away. I also had feelings of love and joy and optimism thinking about the time we will spend together in the future. The family we’ll be together, and the family we’ll share at this church.
All of these emotions overcame me last night because the emotions are connected, good and bad, happy and sad, all overlapping like hands and fingers interlocking in prayer. Tears of joy mixed with tears of sadness.
After visiting this church off and on over the past seven years, I told the minister that mommy and I intend to join the church on Easter.
“Welcome home,” he said.
We miss you so much, that we’re going to visit you, today. We plan to be there for a few days.
We went shopping and bought you new clothes because you’re growing so fast!
Mommy’s friends gave her a baby shower, and diapers. Lots of diapers. Evidently, you use a lot of diapers? That’s what we’ve been told. I don’t know, so I’ll have to believe them until I can learn for myself. We packed up the diapers that fit you now, and your clothes, and I’ll bring them to you, later today.
We bought you new sleepers and pretty dresses. We bought larger clothes for later, and we bought a pretty dress for Easter. We were praying and hoping that we’d have you with us for Easter, but Easter is a little more than two weeks away, and it looks like we won’t be together then.
But we’ll be together today.