A Painted House

Dear Edison: Month Eleven

Posted on: October 23, 2011

Dear Edison,

You just turned eleven months old.  Naturally this means you’re only a few weeks away from reaching a whole year of age but as I’m in complete disbelief and denial about that, let’s just focus on what’s taken place during this month, ok?

You’re working very hard at taking your new mobility and parlaying it into a heart attack for Mama.  First you learned to sit up from a crawling position onto your knees.  Which, by the way, is face-meltingly adorable when you peek up over the edge of the couch cushions to see what I’m doing up here.  It’s not quite as darling when you use those superpowers for bad and choose the moment when I’m trying to get dinner together to pull up on my pant leg and whine like an angry sheep.  Anyway, that heart attack.  It didn’t take long before pulling up onto your knees led to tiny you facing the steep incline of the stairs.  Thankfully I was right there watching when the idea first popped into your brain, as clearly as if a thought bubble had appeared above your head, that you could climb that mountain.   I waited to intervene to see how you’d do and when you effortlessly reached the third stair on your first attempt I decided it was time we invest in a ball and chain.  A baby gate is a good idea but only if the other three people in this house remember to leave it closed; most notably the larger version of yourself who feels the need to run upstairs and check on his ceiling fan several times a day.  A solid cast iron weight would keep you grounded and save Mommy that coronary upon finding you either half way up to the top or half way down to your death, depending on how glass-half-full I’m feeling.

You started babbling “Dada” this month, much to the delight of your father.  You’ve been saying Mama for the past five months so Daddy was really, really ready for you to figure out his name.  I shouldn’t tell you this but I’m pretty sure you could get just about anything your heart desires if you’d aimed a well-timed “Dada” and those enormous, shining eyes of yours at your Dad.  And the things your heart desires most?  The TV remote, my cell phone, Daddy’s glasses, anything anyone near you is placing into their mouths, and every toy in this house in which your brother shows an interest.

During this month for the first time I spent two days and two nights away from you, Edison. I flew to Kansas City to visit some friends, leaving you and James in the capable hands of your Dad.  In preparation for my 48-hour absence I worked and worked and worked to stock the freezer with enough milk to keep you full the entire weekend.  You’ve proven stubborn in the past when it comes to drinking from a bottle but I figured two days is a long time to hold out; surely you’d give in and eat after an attempt or two.  Boy, did I underestimate just how stubborn you can be.  Over those two days, ten feedings in which you should have downed at least sixty ounces, you drank approximately eight ounces, and those from a straw cup instead of a bottle.  And you weren’t even sad about the change of program.  You filled your tummy with people food with barely disguised glee, largely ignoring your liquid diet.  You know who was sad about that?  Your mother who spent weeks building up that stash of liquid gold just for you, so that you wouldn’t have to deal with the unfamiliar taste of formula In my absence.  And you chose scrambled eggs instead.  For shame, Edison.  But lest I sound too much like one of those guilt-shoveling mothers, it did my heart good to know that you wouldn’t take your nourishment from just any old source.  Only Mama would do.  And though I enjoyed my bit of time “off” to recharge, I found myself sighing in contentment when I was once again back in your rocking chair, cuddling you close.

Love, Mama

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