Thursday, October 18, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
That said, I’ve never actually been scared of a real child. Even though my niece Hope once told her mom about a woman in her bedroom mirror with red eyes, I don’t consider Hope especially scary. But I wouldn’t go into her room at night.
I think it’s so easy for Hollywood to get to me because kids are supposed to be the height of innocence. So the idea of one of them suddenly turning evil is not only terrifying, but completely unexpected. It doesn’t help that they usually reserve the worst torment for their mothers.
The other night, Rob and I watched an episode of a TV show called Supernatural, in which a town’s children were kidnapped by changlings. The kids were kept in cages while the changlings took their forms and their places in the household. They’d follow their moms around and say things like “Come play with me, Mommy” in this monotone that made me shiver. Then, when the moms were sleeping at night, they’d feed on her by sucking on this wound on her neck.
All right, I know my summary made the show sound stupid and unbelievable, but it was really creepy. Really. Stop laughing at me.
Anyway, later that night, I was feeding Kaylee and thinking about how nice it is that she hasn’t been possessed by an evil spirit or kidnapped by a supernatural creature, and that she didn’t seem terribly interested in devouring my soul. And I put her head on my shoulder to pat her back, while she snoozed away.
And then, very slowly, she turned her head toward me and licked my neck.
I think she’s checking for weak spots. You know, for when she gets teeth.
Friday, October 12, 2007
It suddenly occurred to me the other day that I have still not sent off for official proof that you were born. We somehow left your keepsake birth certificate behind at the hospital in our rush to get home and start our life with you, and I keep forgetting to send out the form and the check for $17 to get an official one from the county. For all I know, the government doesn’t even acknowledge that you exist. But don’t worry, we do have some photographic evidence that you’re here, plus you keep scratching my face with your inhumanly strong fingernails, so I have some scars I can show people if they question your existence. (As a side note, you’ve completely stopped scratching yourself. That’s great, I just wish you hadn’t turned your wrath on me and your dad.)
Last month you suddenly noticed we have dogs. This month, you’ve decided they’re side-splittingly funny. And that you’d like to pull out handfuls of their hair and eat it. So while they’re still fascinated with you and like to lick your hands and feet, they’ve also learned to keep a careful distance.
And you’ve been so happy lately. Almost every day at daycare, someone tells me how happy you are all the time, and you’re always willing to share a smile with everyone you see. I hope you brighten other people’s days the way you do mine.
A couple of months ago, you learned how to growl. It was cute back then, but now it’s just crazy cute, because you’ve started doing it all the time. You growl all the way to daycare, you growl when we’re playing, when you’re frustrated, and when you’ve scooted off the daycare floor mat and you need to send out a distress signal so your teacher can figure out where you went.
Halloween is coming up soon and we’ve bought you a dragon costume to go with your growl. I don’t even know if dragons growl, but I do know that when we put you in that costume and you unleash your vicious “grrr errr errrrrrrr,” that all the adults just might collapse from the waves of cute emanating from your little body. But that’s ok, because then you’ll get all the candy to yourself. Good luck operating the blender to puree those candy bars.
And the grabbing. Oh, the grabbing. You’ve been reaching for every little thing that catches your attention, and some stuff that you don’t care about but that happens to be near your hand. The other night you grabbed a placemat and almost pulled my dinner into my lap before I stopped you. But it was my fault, really. I shouldn’t have taken all that time to blink.
This month, we’ve started feeding you solids, and you’ve taken to the new food with enthusiasm. So much enthusiasm, in fact, that I’ve now had the experience of cleaning squash out of your right nostril and carrots out of your eyelashes. Feeding you is one of the best parts of my day, because it’s almost always hilarious.
You’ve become so much fun that you’re addictive. I know of a few people outside our household who suffer from Kaylee withdrawal when they don’t get to see you for a couple of days. And your dad and I? We suffer after a couple of hours. Sometimes I head home from work, angry and near tears about something that happened that day, only to have all my frustration melt away the moment I see your bright smile. That’s what you do for us, sweetheart -- you make everything better, like magic.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I had a premonition today.
I dropped Kaylee off at daycare this morning and suddenly had this vision of her in a dozen years or so, telling me about cheerleader tryouts and the trials of juggling her busy social calendar, while I stand there staring at her perfect hairdo and watching her touch up her lipstick, wondering, “Whose child ARE you?”
My vision was brought on by the realization that my baby is quite popular -- more popular, in fact, than I’ve ever been in my life.
Whenever I take her to school, I get comments from strangers about how they “just love that little one” and what a cute smile she has. At her school’s open house night, Rob discovered that Kaylee has a little three-year-old friend who visits her regularly to play. Today, one of the daycare employees who floats from room to room, helping where needed, admitted to spending her lunch hours in the infant room, playing with my daughter.
It’s so weird knowing that my four-month-old baby has a social life that I’m not a part of, with friends I may never meet.
At least she’s not asking to borrow the car yet.
Friday, October 5, 2007
I was staring with grossed-out, worried-mom fascination at Kaylee’s left eye, which had decided to puff up and seal itself shut with ooze, and that’s when it hit me. I’m in charge of this little person, and she had a problem, and I didn’t know how to fix it.
Do you rinse the eye out with water? Call the doctor in the middle of the night, crying and screaming that your baby’s eye is about to fall out? Let the dog lick the ooze off? (He totally would do that.) Wait until morning, call in sick to work and take her to see the doctor?
Usually Kaylee keeps her problems simple – she needs a bottle, a diaper change or someone to hold her back from diving off the couch in her attempts to catch a dog. But every once in a while, she throws a little curveball, and I’m reminded that I’m really and truly clueless.
And it fills me with a little bit of terror, wondering about all the things she’ll have to talk about with her therapist when she’s older. (“Your mother did WHAT? She got poop on your head?!?!?!”) But more than that, I feel lucky to be entrusted with her life, and with her little hands, her cute little feet, her crusty eye and her snotty nose. And so far, she seems to think I’m doing ok.
But what does she know? She’s only four months old.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
So FINALLY, I get to take some pictures of Kaylee with food smeared all over her face. I’m so excited, since this is the main reason I became a parent.