Year 01 | Week 09

Dear Kaylee,

Shirley Manson, the lead singer of the ‘90s-era band Garbage, once sang, “I’m only happy when it rains.” Well, Kaylee, I’m here to tell you that if Shirley Manson happened to be shacking up in New Hampshire this week, she would have been grinning a Cheshire cat sized grin. Because it’s been raining, Kaylee. It’s been raining for what seems like a week straight. Cats and dogs, the expression goes. It’s been raining cats and dogs. And I’m not entirely sure you’ve liked it.

I don’t mean to suggest that the rain’s been frightening you. I’m only trying to say it seems to weird you out a little bit, all this water falling from the sky, and all the noise it’s making as it pours down onto our window sills, onto our roof, onto the canopy of your car seat as we race you out to the car. You don’t know what to make of it. But like all things which weird you out, you seem to enjoy studying it, as was evidenced on Saturday morning when you sat with your mother and watched the storm through your bedroom window.

Yesterday, you started day care while two doors down your mother started her new job. And that was fairly exciting for the both of you, as I understand it. But probably not as exciting as trying to find a safe way home amidst continuing rainstorms which were flooding streets and highways all around our area. And today you had yourself your first doctor’s visit in two months, which was pretty exciting until they stuck you with three needles in rapid succession and you decided to abandon your normally calm demeanor for an afternoon of fussiness and screaming.

Your mother and I couldn’t believe how happy and content you were in the doctor’s office prior to the shots. After we’d undressed you and laid you down on the examination table, you seemed like nothing in the world could bother you, so long as there was crinkly paper underneath you making noises every time you moved. Oh, how guilty I felt for not adequately preparing you for the shock about to come. I did tell you a couple of times that you didn’t know what you were in for, but you just kept on smiling and squirming. The paper kept on crinkling and everything was all good.

Everything that the doctor had to say was positive. You were a little bit longer than average at 23.75 inches, and a little bit heavier as well, at 13 lbs, 4 oz, but neither of these things was cause for concern. We rattled off our list of questions, were eased by each of the doc’s answers, and then it was time for the nurse to come in and do the dirty work.

I’m not good with needles, so I focused on trying to distract you (maybe I was really trying to distract me...). My attempts did little good, not that I’d had much faith they would help to begin with. After an initial moment of shock and silent disbelief—did she just jam something into my thigh?—you were wailing away. There were three shots, at least one in each thigh, and it was over faster than I would have thought possible. I picked you up and comforted you as best I could and you simmered down very quickly. Though the rest of the day would be a challenge, your fussiness, as always, came only in spurts. Your even temperament has always amazed me and you did as well with the trauma of your shots as anyone could reasonably expect.

Your mom was off to work after that, and you and I were headed home. It was your first ride in my car and I think we did all right. Though I didn’t have the nifty mirror that your mom has, which allows her to see you via the rearview while driving, I didn’t end up panicking too much. And though my car was smaller than the one you were used to, and the backseat a bit more cramped, that didn’t seem to make any difference in how quickly you nodded off.

At home, as I’ve already said, you had your bouts of fussiness throughout the day. I tried to let you nap wherever you managed to fall asleep. The naps never lasted long, but that was okay. You’d had a trying day. And as long as I fed you, changed you, and held you whenever you cried for me to do so, everything was fine.

Love, Dad