My dearest Samantha,
As I start writing this, I’m on an airplane flying away from you. We’ll be separated for weeks. Alas, as I look this over for posting, it’s already almost three weeks later. The job, and the housing search have been consuming my time. I had heard reports from a couple of people who had been out of work for a while about how long the days seemed when they finally were back in the 9-5 workforce. That has not been my experience. My workdays fly by, but I do get tired, especially when out house-hunting after work almost every day. I miss you and look forward to when I have a place for us all to live so that you and Mom can come join me.
I have no idea what shape your memory is in — I know you have some because you look around for lost or dropped toys, But is it enough to remember me when we’re reunited? Or will I have to go through another “break-in” period like Mom-mom is now going through. You like Mom-mom quite a bit, but prefer her at least 5 feet or so away. Being held by her causes a pretty big fuss.
But, this is your monthly newsletter. It’s about this past month, not about right now (and about you instead of me and Mom-Mom!). Much of this past month has been consuming for your parents as we prepare to move across the country and start our new life as Californians. Fortunately, we’d already had the Capehart family reunion scheduled for this month, and you got to meet your extended family on Pop-pop’s side. You met your great-aunts Scottie and Janet, as well as your great aunt and uncle John and Jane. All swooned appropriately. I think your great aunt Scottie knows your pictures better than I do as she talked about which of your pictures were on her desktop, and which were her screensaver. I’m so thankful that you have such a supportive family structure on both sides of your family. It’s a real blessing.
The support has been helpful, because this month marks your second with no significant weight gain. This was disturbing enough that we took you early to the pediatrician. As I think I noted in an earlier entry, if we don’t get you back on track shortly, you’ll have to go through all sorts of tests, and worry that we just don’t need while we move you across country. As a result, we’ve started “project fatbaby.” We’re going to tank you up however we can, while still trying to avoid refined sugars.
We added a few new foods to your repertoire this month: pear (which you hated) and peaches (which you tolerated.) Also, as part of the early stages of project fatbaby, we added ricotta cheese. Now when you get banana (your favorite), you get it mixed with ricotta. You don’t seem to mind too much.
Speaking of not minding, I’m still astonished at the times that you actually roll from your back to your tummy, a nice change of pace from your absolute abhorrence of tummy time from earlier. You’ve had it as a skill for a while, but you’re only just starting to do it with any regularity. We lavish you with praise whenever we see you do it. Needless to say, if you ever hope to crawl, you gotta get off your back!
I guess we knew that you liked to try new things, but a few things drove that home this month. You spent some time being entertained by Adrian — a 5-year-old child of colleagues of your mom’s. You were fascinated as he brought you his toys, read to you and more. You also let us go out to eat a few more times. You’re generally getting better about it, and in so doing, you found another treat while eating out — reaching into my water glass and playing with ice cubes. Boy, you loved it! Your little hand got so cold, but still you went back, splashing, squeezing ice cubes and trying to grab the water. We tried just giving you an ice cube while you were in your high chair at home, but you had very little interest in it. You want your hand down in that glass.
Your preference is now evident not just in food and play, but in reading too. A couple of the books we’ve been reading to you have become real favorites. Probably highest among them is “Little Gorilla” with stories and pictures by Ruth Bornstein. I was trying to read you another book, and you were squirming and reaching toward the table that had the books on them. I held you toward the table and you reached out and picked up Little Gorilla which we had read not 5 minutes earlier. Still, I acceded to your wish and re-read you little Gorilla. You will even turn the pages sometimes now when prompted and presented with the single page to turn. Occasionally you cry when I read you the page that says “Lion roars his loudest roar for him.” You don’t do this when mom reads to you, so I have cut out even my occasional sound effects on that page, and stick strictly to the story as written.
You’re getting stronger physically too. If you want to be pulled to standing by your arms, you now can be. Your rolling now comes easily to you both front-to back and vice versa. You’ll even spend some time in cobra pose looking around. It’s difficult to do, but we taunt you with things just out of reach so that the frustration will drive you to figure out movement to get to those things. But it’s hard for us to do, to intentionally frustrate you. As a child, I never really understood why my parents, who claimed to love me, wouldn’t do whatever they could to make my life easier. Now, in this transition from the youngest generation to the middle, I understand it a lot better. But it’s still tough. Fortunately, you’re a pretty easy-going gal. You even had an ear infection that we didn’t know about until we took you to the pediatrician over the weight thing. Of course, you still aren’t so easy going as to not spit out the medicine we have to give you. It now takes a steady hand and a good deal of patience to get you to take it.
You spit it right out, just as you’ve started spitting out sounds — each tumbling after the other. Your repertoire currently consists of primarily ‘ba’, ’em’, and ‘ga’ — and would you know it, a day or two after I left, you started saying “da”. (OK, I cheated, and horned in on Mom’s newsletter for next month, but it seemed to belong here.)
I love you, Sam. And I can’t wait to hear your ‘dada’s in person — even if they’re still directed at the cat!