When you were just a bean in my belly, we flew to San Francisco, Philadelphia, NYC, and Memphis. We would have you in Paris by month 9, Tokyo by a year. (In our dreams.) Well, we took our first trip with you outside the womb this month, and it was the last… for awhile, anyway. After celebrating a nice Christmas at home, just you, Dad, and me, we packed the car and left for Denison at bedtime. Once we hit the usual traffic jam in Waco/Hillsboro, you were pretty disoriented (who wants to sleep in a 5-point harness?), so I breastfed you while you were in your carseat to soothe you back to sleep. Despite having the longest stretch on the Carleton Swim Team, I never knew I could stretch quite like that. You seemed amused. After the traffic cleared, I went back to the front seat to fight sleep with your father. Driving at night may be the answer for some families, but those are families whose kids sleep 10-hour stretches at night. NOT to be attempted by the sleep deprived!
Once we got to the hotel, you were shaking, as you had no idea where we were. Once in our room, we realized you were in fact longer than your pack-n-play and would have to sleep in bed (aka Mom’s Diner) with us. When you were younger, I secretly loved those nights when you were so inconsolable that we’d just bring you into bed with us—and we still do well side by side during morning naps. (When they happen—lately you seem to be dropping the morning nap in favor of more crawl time.) But an entire night is hard, especially now that you’re constantly on the move. You were also fighting your second ear infection of the winter, and now we can see you were cutting tooth #6. And we had to use disposable diapers which give you a major rash. Combined with the diarrhea that comes with antibiotics, your rear zone was a no zone. Needless to say, we all slept about 4 hours total in 2 days. But you smiled and laughed the whole way through, and the bright spot was that you got to meet Mi-Maw, your great-grandmother. I couldn’t keep the tears in—it was a special moment.
Now back at home, you’ve started to feed yourself rice crackers. You take a bite for yourself, and then you lean forward and offer some to me, the dog, or the blank space in front of you. So generous already! Riley is thrilled that you’ve joined the world of autonomous eaters, and she will surely be your best friend for life. You love to play hide-and-seek (with her and us) in the laundry basket and in the lace curtains. You think we can’t see you through those holes, but we can! How you giggle when I call you out––I could play this with you for hours.
You’ve also started to show a preference for certain books. Ok, just one book. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, all the time. Yesterday I read it to you at least 32 times. You love to kiss the animals on every page—except the blue horse. You also avoid kissing the teacher, like any good child who is leery of authority figures. Your favorite page is the one with all the children, which makes me think you will seek many friends in your life. Every time I pick up that book, your face lights up, and it makes all those 6am wakeup calls worth it.