Year 01 | Week 06

Dear Kaylee,

We spent this past weekend up in Maine, at your Grammie Julee’s house. It was your first overnight trip away from home and you did well, all things considered. Getting to sleep and staying asleep on Saturday evening was a chore for you, but you were in an unfamiliar place, sleeping in a portable playyard that you only ever nap in at home. It was bound to be stressful for you, and you let us know it. When I woke in the middle of the night for my turn at trying to sooth you back to sleep, you weren’t about to go down without a fight. The first time I put you down, having believed you were fast asleep on my shoulder, your eyes shot open almost immediately. Your eyes gave off an accusatory glare. “Where do you think you’re going, pops?” you asked me with your silent stare. And then, knowing what was coming if I didn’t comply, I picked you back up and we started over again.

You did eventually get back to sleep and then, after catching a few more Zzzs myself, I got up and spent some quality time with my other baby, the novel I’d been working on for ages and ages. Your mother and I had spent a good deal of Saturday morning printing and punching holes in the mammoth manuscript so that I could tote it along with us to Maine, and I wasn’t about to let a quiet morning pass without digging into it a bit. Thankfully, you slept right through that early morning session. I didn’t have to tend to you even once. And that meant that your mom got to sleep, too, a luxury she’d been missing out on in recent nights.

On Sunday, it was the same old routine. Moments of fussiness alternated with moments of exceptional cuteness. You hung out with us and with your grammie. We got you some belly time. And we reacquainted you with your Cookie Monster doll, which was fast becoming one of your favorites. Your mom’s theory was that your preference for the lovable monster had to do with his bright blue color. I like to think that it was something I passed on, that preference for the rebel, the miscreant. And it was a trait that I hoped would keep you from liking Elmo later on. Damn that ubiquitous Elmo and the conformists who all flocked to him! I wanted you to be alternative, an original. That you liked the Cookie Monster was a great step in the right direction.

Ahem, anyway…

Something else I’d passed on to you, at least in the opinion of your mom and your grammie, was my face. We had a good bit of discussion about you looking a lot like me and I really didn’t want to hear it. You seemed so pretty to me, and I didn’t want to admit that my features could look pretty on a baby girl. I mean, I’d seen what I looked like as a girl, having done drag for a video shoot a few years ago, and I didn’t want to think of you turning out like that. You looked cute enough now, but what if you really did look like me and all of my horribly non-feminine traits came out at, like, puberty? It was too ghastly to imagine.

I ended up staring at you a lot then, trying to figure out if they were right. It was silly, but silly’s who I am.

Love, Dad