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Thursday
Dec172009

Dear Kaylee, at 31 months

Dear Kaylee,

Your Daddy and I are having an expensive month.  First we (I) broke our house, then the hospital kindly sent us a bill for a childbirth that hasn’t taken place yet, and today the brakes on Daddy’s car started making an ungodly squealing noise.  I’m sort of afraid to check the mail tomorrow.  But each time something else happens, after I put down the bill or close the door behind the water-damage cleanup crew, I go back to playing with my daughter, who is somehow completely unfazed by our financial woes.  And watching you giggle and laugh and throw yourself off the top of your little slide in the living room, trusting me completely to catch you before you hit the floor, makes me forget about our troubles and just enjoy the moment.  Thank you for that, sweetie.

This past month, you discovered Dora The Explorer after Daddy realized it was available for instant streaming on Netflix.  While I will admit that Dora is infinitely more tolerable than Barney, I’m pretty sure all the repetition in that show is making me dumber.  The map song, which appears in every episode and which contains the lyrics “I’m a map, I’m a map, I’m a map, I’m a map, I’m a map!” has almost certainly destroyed more of my brain cells than all the bar-hopping I did in college.  You seem to like it, though, and you get actively involved in the episodes, doing the monkey dance and helping Dora choose the correct items from her backpack.  That’s pretty much the only reason I keep letting you watch it.  Well, that and the threat of having a sobbing toddler scream, “I want to watch DOOOORRRRAAAAA!” until my ears bleed.

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We are rapidly approaching your last Christmas as an only child – assuming your baby brother doesn’t decide to make a really early appearance – and we can’t wait for you to see what Santa has in store for you.  Your dad and I went Christmas shopping for you immediately after touring the birth center where your brother will be born, and we must have still been high from the thought of bringing new life into the world or whatever, because we were insane enough to buy you a drum set.  A real, honest-to-God drum set.  With cymbals.  When we have a newborn on the way.  Clearly, we are geniuses.  At the time, we rationalized that we could set up your drums in the basement so you could play down there without disturbing the entire household.  But now I’m wondering whether the basement will be functional before Christmas, as we just found out today that there will be some tearing out of drywall and repainting, and I’m not sure how promptly that will happen.  Maybe the drums should be a birthday present instead.

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Ugh.  I am sitting in my office right now and I can hear you crying from your bedroom, and I’m coming to realize that we’ve created a little monster in recent months.  I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but we somehow got into the habit of letting you sleep in our room.  A lot of the time, we can get you to go to bed in your own room, and then if you wake up in the middle of the night we just bring you to our bed rather than go through the trouble of forcing you to stay in your own.  But then we had a few nights in a row where we were all ridiculously exhausted and we just let you go to bed in our room from the get-go.  And that is how we screwed ourselves over.  I regularly hear comments from other moms about how you’re always so calm and sweet and you never throw temper tantrums, and it is for them that I would have liked to have recorded tonight’s reaction to my insisting that you go to bed in your own room.  It was as if I’d told you that you could never watch Dora again.  There was wailing, there was sobbing, and – my personal favorite – the ragdoll strategy of going completely limp in my arms.  I was so close to giving in.  Is this your way of ensuring that your baby brother will be your only sibling?  Don’t worry, kid, because I don’t plan on having any more.  NOW PLEASE SLEEP IN YOUR OWN ROOM, OK?

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Despite the occasional setback though, you really do seem to cast yourself as a miniature adult whenever we’re hanging out with your friends.  After our exercise class, we often walk to the mall play area with other moms and their toddlers, and you’ve developed a tendency to insist that other kids hold your hand all the way to our destination.  You’re particularly insistent when those kids have been wandering off and been called back by their moms several times.  It’s like you think, “I’d better help keep my friend in line.”  I’m not sure whether you’re concerned that your friends will get in trouble, or if you’re siding with the moms in trying to restore order.  I suspect you’re siding with the moms.  This is probably not going to earn you any points in junior high, but I do appreciate the effort.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that you’re pretty much potty trained these days.  After a traumatic (for me) diaper change at Carl’s Jr. (seriously, what kind of fast-food place doesn’t have a changing table???) I declared that you were no longer allowed to wear diapers except for nap time and overnight, and you took to it like a champ.  We make exceptions at times, like say when our toilets aren’t working because Mommy doesn’t know what a broken pipe sounds like, but for the most part you understand that you’re a big girl now and big girls use the potty.  This occasionally leads to loud and inappropriate discussions in public places, like when you asked Gram and Papa whether they wear diapers or underwear during lunch at Country Buffet, but at least I don’t have to wipe shit off your butt when you’re standing barefoot on a public restroom floor anymore.  (Again, Carl’s Jr., get a damn changing table.)

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It’s about time for me to wrap this up, since I’m having people over tomorrow night and our house looks like your toy box threw up in every single room.  The next letter may be one to both you and your brother, so while it’s just me and you talking, I want you to know that I’m so proud to have you as my first-born, and you’re going to make the best big sister.

Love,

Mommy

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    Jackadillo Princess - Jackadillo Princess - Dear Kaylee, at 31 months

Reader Comments (6)

Yeah, Carl's Junior. Get a fraking changing table!

Maybe if we say it loud enough you'll get a Carl's Junior Web troll to show up and offer you free food.

December 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Or maybe ... just maybe, it's the World's way of telling you not to eat at Carl's Jr. (That ought to get 'em!)

December 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam

That can't be it. No way the world would deprive me of their chicken bacon ranch sandwiches. I think it means I'm supposed to use the drive-through.

December 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I just had a conversation about this with the S.O. It also involved the fact that there are never changing tables in the men's room. I asked him what he would do if he were on an outing with his kid and had to change a diaper. He said, "I'd just go to the front counter to do it. That would send a message." So, there you go, Heather. Next time you're at Carl's Jr. and need to wipe a shitty ass, you march right up to the counter and do it.

December 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Oooooh, that pisses me off almost more than not having any changing tables at all. I guess changing diapers is women's work. We were at a restaurant a few months ago and I sent Rob off to change Kaylee's diaper because I knew the women's room had a changing table, so I assumed that in our advanced society, the men's room would have one too. He had to bring her back to me and make me change her because the men's room didn't have one. I do believe we discussed changing her diaper on the table, as we were done eating.

December 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

I can't wait to read the posts of your days -- and nights -- listening to the future Meg White practicing her craft. Your high of visiting the birthing center may lead to a raucous and rocking future for your firstborn!

December 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

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