Cate 15 Months

{I started writing this a few days after your fifteen month day and it kept getting pushed to my drafts folder.And here I am over a month late finally publishing this post.}

Dear Cate,

Rarely do I make these letters public for everyone to read because I find myself writing deeply, purposefully and truly to you when you hit these milestones in life.  But, today I wanted to share with the world you and why I love you unconditionally.    
Fifteen months ago you completed our family.  Most people would classify you as a toddler, but I don’t. You are still my baby girl.   Maybe because I know in the depths of my heart you are my last I am trying to hang on to the baby in you just a little bit longer. Or maybe because you are so small and your features are so delicate although your hair and temperament tell a different story. 

Fifteen months later I am on a roller coaster with you either exasperated by your screaming for “ju” or so clearly amazed by your ability to follow simple directions “go get your shoes” or “throw that in the garbage”  that I am speechless.   At some point every day I catch myself staring in awe of how busy you are just doing.  Busy defines you. You never stop moving and always want to be in the middle of everything. The center of attention at all times. 

You are spunky and loud and emotional.  You love completely and hug and kiss with sound and all and your absolute favorite place to be is in your daddy’s or my arms.  You want to be in the mix and close.  You love to read books on your daddy’s lap and there is not a day that you don’t beg me to pick you up and usually I oblige.  You love to be snuggled and you snuggle back.  You let us rock you willing- resting your head on our shoulders and usually dozing to sleep the minute we rock.    

You hang on to toys and do not relent when your brother wants them.  And when he reaches, you scream.  You really let us know.  But, then you usually give it to him reminding your daddy and me just how innocent and sweet you can be.  You love your brother… man do you love him. Usually going up to his feet and saying “ticka ticka” trying to get him to laugh. Most days, he politely tells you he is not interested and to go away please. But those days when he does want to play your day is made.  

You are aggressive and stubborn. You laugh when we tell you no, you smile at us when you get what you want and shake your head yes and no with such emotion it is hard not to laugh.  Sometimes, you remind us you are still so young when we ask “Cate, do you want to jump off a cliff?” and you shake your head with emotion yes and we know that you are still so small and still needing us. 

Your entire life you have done things on your own time. We keep willing you to meet milestones when you are “supposed to” and yet you don’t. At one year no one was worried that you weren’t walking but we were told that if you weren’t by 15 months that was another story and an issue. And in your true form, you walked at 14.5 months. On your own time.   

I look at your daddy when you are being you and I tell him he is your daughter.  But, really Cate, fifteen months later, you are mine. You are me in every way, shape and form and the truth is that maybe that is why I love you fiercely yet you drive me crazy.  You are me.  I am not sure that is a good thing. Heck, it scares the hell out of me if I am being honest.  Meeting my match some would say.  I worry you got the worst of me. The bad things…the stubborn temperament, the need to be busy and the pure emotional way you respond to everything.   

You wore your first dress this month complete with tights. And your brother kept asking how you put them on and why you were wearing them.  And I was lost in my own thoughts seeing leotards and ballet flats, homecoming dresses and wedding dresses. You dressed up and you were beautiful…and you are mine.

And then I think about you and how much I want you to stay young, be little and keep your innocence as long as you can.  And I tell you with raw honesty that you growing up scares the hell out of me because the world little girl has changed so much. So much that some days I don’t think I am equipped to guide you or your brother through it.  The innocence that I grew up with is gone somehow.  We live in a world where technology and violence dominate the news and yet I want you to know none of it.  I want your worries to be my responsibility so that you can be carefree.   Run with your shoes off, try to something new without fear of failure and live.  Just live with innocence, explore with recklessness and le me guide you as you navigate life.

I love you baby girl.  Stay young and innocent a bit longer okay?


Disaster Day- A Thursday and a 15 Month Appointment

Thursdays. The craziest day of my week hands down EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK.

Maybe it is the meeting on the other campus but for some reason Thursday is hurried, rushed, busy and chaos.
Maybe it is because it is towards the end of the week so my patience is already a bit thinner than it is on say a Monday.
Maybe it is all in my head but after you read my day, you will agree Thursday’s never end well.

So, last Thursday was no different. I didn’t even get a thankful post up the past two Thursdays. Last week, I was in a meeting from 10:30-12:45 on one campus. I drove to our other campus and had to teach at 1:15. I taught until 1:55. I had to be back in the city for a 3:00 pediatrician’s appointment. So, I find my car keys, yes I thought I lost them, grab some water and get in my car.

At this point, in my car, I realize that I have not had lunch. Awesome.
At this point, I realize my husband is not coming with me. Awesome.
At this point, I realize I have had a ton to drink, nothing to eat, and I have to pee. Awesome.

I get to the office at 2:40 and I am waiting for Anne, our nanny, to arrive with Brady. I am standing outside talking to my ma about how badly I have to go to the bathroom. I am debating if I have time to run in the office, pee, and get back outside to grab Brady from Anne’s car. We (yes she helped me make the decision) decide I do not. Anne shows up. She tells me she had to physically wake my napping child up to bring him to the doctor. Awesome. See where this is going…

After he recognizes me in his sleepy daze and gets out of the car, we walk in the lobby where the fish tank is located. He takes one glance, one look at it, and starts wailing. Why? Pretty sure he knew exactly where we were. Awesome.

I check in and ask if I can use the bathroom. I then realize I have a choice. Leave my crying child in the lobby with the nurse or bring him with me. Keep in mind it is cold here in the Windy City. I am bundled up, so is he and I am lugging his diaper bag full of goodies. I decide the best option is to bring him with me. Besides work, I rarely get to pee privately anymore so its not a big deal. So, I get my coat off and start to pee. Brady at the same time manages to walk under the SUPER LOUD AND POWERFUL hand dryer and triggers it to start. It does. I jump and create quite a mess. But not as far as he did. He screamed. A scream that was so loud and awful I forgot I was going to the bathroom. Awesome. Pee everywhere and a toddler who is standing stoically underneath the SUPER LOUD AND POWERFUL hand dryer wailing with real hot tears flowing down his face.

We emerge from the bathroom and everyone is staring. I have wet hands because I was not going to start the SUPER LOUD AND POWERFUL hand dryer again since my toddler was still crying. No sooner do we emerge but they call us back. The nurse tells me to undress him down to the diaper. I do. The crying becomes wailing. All I can think about is that I still have to pee since I did not finish. I take him to the scale in the hallway. Crying continues. I mean at this point, the crying is deafening but almost white noise.

30 pounds exactly. 33 1/2 inches.

Wow, my toddler is truly growing up before my eyes. The nurse tries to measure his head. People, you would have thought she was cutting a finger off with a butter knife. The kid was not having it. The crying was so bad as we waited for the doctor, I called in reinforcement.

Step 1- Call husband. Who is trying his best to calm Brady down over the phone. But the problem is he, like me, can’t stop laughing but Brady is doing the whole hiccup/sigh thing he is so worked up even though he is not even crying anymore.

Step 2- Get out Annie’s Fruit Snacks. The crack food for toddlers. They are $4.69 for five packs. And they are WORTH EVERY SINGLE PENNY. Yes, they are organic. Yes, I think they are tasty. Most importantly, my kid likes them so much he focuses on eating each one. So, I was rationing them. And, trying to figure out what to do when they were gone.

By then, the doctor came in. It was short and sweet and Brady cried through most of it as Dr. P kept saying “typical toddler behavior” and smiling. So, we moved on to the dreaded shots.

Every time so far, due to my child’s ridiculous teenager-type strength, two nurses come in and each poke at the same time different legs. Not this time. It was Thursday. Need I say more. One nurse. Three freaking shots. ONE PAINFUL POKE AT A TIME. Brady wailing through all of it. Refusing to even look at me. Swatting at my face as I am holding him down watching the tears roll down his face. The nurse leaves me alone to pick up the pieces. I get him dressed pick him up and I go to check out.

The last thing I hear is “Here is your order for blood work to check for lead and anemia”. All I can think is not on a Thursday and no way I am doing this one. Glenn’s turn. Don’t you think? I am just hoping with the “snowstorm of the ages” coming this Thursday gets a bit better. Is that too much to ask?