Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fifteen Months: My Letter to Little Man

Last time I wrote you this letter, you and I were still staying at home together, spending our days like lazy fat cats, spending too much time in places where I could spend money I didn't have, and hanging out until it was your bed time.

And this past month, I went and ruined our lives. You started daycare and I started a job. And I have to admit, Little Man, I really, really love my job. It's not that I didn't love being with you, I did. But unfortunately, we just can't be a one-income family right now. And the day we chose to have you, we realized that it would mean less chocolate for me so that we could buy you cool shoes.

My biggest regret about having to go back to work is having to put you in daycare. Because, so far, you're really, really hated going there. I knew you were going through separation anxiety. I knew that it would be a difficult transition. But never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this.

You lasted a full three days in daycare. Then you came home that night cranky as hell. You woke up during the night on fire and by morning, it was obvious that you weren't going anywhere. The doctor told us it was a cold, and just to keep you medicated. I hated the fact she didn't say anything about us needing to be medicated to put up with your incessant whining. Then your fever spiked three days after that, and we came to find out that you had pneumonia. My heart stopped. No matter how many times the doctor could say that pneumonia isn't a big deal in kids, I can't describe the guilt I felt that day, my sweet, sweet boy. I did this to you. I made you sick. I took you out of your germ-filled bubble and put you in a room with children covered in cooties that you had so far been kept away from somehow. And those germs took one look at your angelic face and thought "we must destroy him, he's too damn cute."

Because germs are cruel that way.

And to make things worse, I couldn't nurse you back to health, because it was my first week in a new job, and your father and I felt that I'd be jeopardizing things if I stayed home with you. And so he sat at home with you and nursed you back to health, while I sat in my blue cubicle and cried.

Although you've always loved your Daddy, I feel that now you might love him more. I know it's not a contest, and at the end of the day, it shouldn't matter. But I can no longer get you to speak my name. When you wake up and see me, one of the first things you ask me is "Daddy?" When I ask you my name, you light up and shout "Daddy!!!!" It's Daddy this and Daddy that. Yeah, I get it, Daddy's cool. Now can you please freaking pretend that I matter at all?

Through it all though, you haven't lost your sense of humor. You love to entertain, and when I laugh at your jokes, you cackle in delight like you're agreeing that, yes, you are indeed the funniest person in the world.

You went through one heck of a growth spurt this month. You've gone from this fat baby to this tall skinny boy. The pneumonia definitely didn't help things and you now weigh less than at your 12-month check up. This drops you down to the fifth percentile in weight. That means 95 percent of 15-month old outweigh you. But you've got a brown belt in karate already, so I know you can kick their fat butts if you need to.

I've been able to teach you new tricks, including blowing kisses. You do this with such gusto, that sometimes I feel like I'll be blown away from the strength of your kisses. You also love to speak in your foreign language, making all these tongue swirls and speaking in alien and making us laugh when we respond to you by imitating you and you nod gravely, like "yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about.

Not that you don't speak lots of words now. You've got the best of both world where you can pick and choose your words. So you say "dog," but you say "chat," which apparently is easier to say than cat. You say "shoes" and "please", which are much easier to say in English, but you've chosen "fini" and "merci," because really expecting anyone to properly pronouce thank you is ridiculous.

You've shown us that your way is the high way this month, throwing tantrums that include Earth-shaking body throws if we don't understand you or attempt to appease you with things that used to make you happy like a cookie or a million dollars. We now choose to pretend that we have a tantrum-avoidance shield, sitting on the couch, carrying on a conversation like we didn't have a 15-month old turning purple on the carpet, who is repeatedly banging his fist in frustration against the floor, because really, one should be allowed to smash Maman and Daddy's new plasma TV with the dog's food bowl, just because one feels like it.




random_mommy said...

In that picture with the tie (ADORABLE!), little man totally looks like a stock broker. i think ties were made for him.

although, i can kind of picture him looking at me sternly and barking 'you're fired!'

and do tell more about this plasma tv??!? is it the best thing ever?! does it make tv even better than it already is?

Catwoman said...

If I had it my way, Little Man would wear a tie every day. But then he'd probably get his ass kicked at daycare. He already is the freak who carries a stuffed frog around all day. And eats the paste.

Actually, it's not technically a plasma TV, it's an LCD. Same difference to a woman like me. It's a big ass TV with a flat screen. And yes, TV is even better. McSteamy's abs look even more rippled and his towel in that incredible scene looks even more perilously hung from those perfect hip bones.