Year 01 | Week 12

Dear Kaylee,

We have our good days and our bad ones, the ones where moments for rest are plentiful and the ones where you’ll scream if we stop moving for even a second. But, all in all, things are okay. You and I manage to fit a lot of things into our day when we’re home together, perhaps too many things. You get your sleep, sure, and your food. But I also feel as though it’s my job to continue all the good work that the daycare people are doing on the days that I don’t have you. We work on belly time, we work on holding things like rattles and such, we read together, and we dance. By the end of the day, I have nothing left. You, on the other hand… well, sometimes, as I’ve said, you just don’t want to stop.

Then again, sometimes, at the end of a long day, you look like this:

So, it’s always a crap shoot who will get pooped out first. Most of the time you win, though. Of that, I should be clear.

On Sunday morning, your Grammie and Grampie Clark babysat you for the first time so that your mom and I could go to the movies. You’d been babysat once or twice before, when your mom had job interviews to attend, but I had never been there, in the car, driving away from you. So, for me, it was something like a first. And it was a first for your grandparents, too, who seem to have enjoyed every minute of it. (Except, maybe, for all the coughing. You were still getting over your cold. Still are, even as I type this.)

On Tuesday afternoon, after a day or so without pooping at all, you produced a diaper the likes of which I’d never seen. There was so much in there that you were caked in it, from front to back. I could see no skin, only poop. And just a few minutes before, following a feeding, I had been wondering why no amount of burping was soothing you. I’m telling you, when I looked at that diaper, I felt faint. I had no idea a body so small could produce so much with just a few quick toots.

On Tuesday evening, something you’d made at daycare on Monday helped to melt away all the stress I’d built up over a day of feeling like an awful father. Monday marked the start of parent’s week at your daycare. To celebrate, all the kids, regardless of age, had been making things for their parents. And you, with a little help from your teachers, were no different. What I found on the coffee table on Tuesday night was a piece of construction paper I hadn’t noticed your mom bring home the night before. And on that construction paper was a vibrantly multi-colored tree, with footprints for leaves. Your footprints, it turned out. For whatever reason, your first piece of art wiped all the bad thoughts away, if only for a few minutes. And I thank you for that Kaylee. For that, and for everything else, I thank you.

Love, Dad