Year 01 | Week 41

Dear Kaylee,

You celebrated your first Christmas this week, and though we sang “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” with you, they still hadn’t arrived by Christmas morning. So, that wish wasn’t fulfilled. But you did get just about one of everything else on the planet as a gift on Monday, and whenever I look at the frame your grandparents bought us, the one with a picture of your smiling face in it and a legend reading “I believe in Santa”, I can’t help but think, “I should hope so.”

The only thing your mother and I wished for last Christmas was a healthy and uncomplicated pregnancy, which we got, for the most part. And the only thing we wanted this year was a healthy and happy you. And we got that, too. Everything else was gravy.

But it was mighty tasty gravy, if you ask me.

When your Uncle John asked me earlier this autumn what you might like for a Christmas present, the only advice I could give him was to pick out something fun that was also educational. I felt like we didn’t have enough toys in the house, and that we particularly didn’t have enough toys that engaged you for extended periods of time. We had more than our fair share of dolls and stuffed animals. We had the ExerSaucer and the Jumperoo, of course. And we had several small toys that were probably better suited for a younger baby. But we didn’t have the kind of fun, educational equipment that you had access to at daycare.

Your Uncle John provided one of three spectacularly fun and educational items you received on Christmas morning with his purchase of a toy piano for you. It’s the only one of the three we’ve had time to set up so far, and you absolutely love it. No longer do you go after things you shouldn’t be going after. Instead, you go right for your piano. And when we get the other two big items set up, both gifts from your grandparents (a push/walker toy and a learning table), I’m sure you’re going to be going crazy deciding which to play with next. I can’t wait for that. To see you as happy and energized as I’ve seen you at daycare on the couple of occasions I’ve seen you there — that will be, and has been a real treat.

It was also a real treat to see you interact with the extended family. We don’t see them as much as I’d like, with our schedule as consistently crazy as it is, but you warm up to new people quite well. And once you’ve warmed up to them, you do your best to charm them to pieces. Everyone tells us how beautiful you are, how great a baby you appear to be, and everyone seems to really enjoy your company. It’s not that there haven’t been babies around in our family before; it’s just that it’s been a while since there was one so little. And everyone in the family seems to simply relish the opportunity to spend time with you.

This was the week you stood up on your own for the very first time; the week that your personal library doubled in size thanks to gifts of books, books, and more books; the week you conquered conjunctivitis and then ended up with again (mostly thanks to your parents stopping the administration of eye-drops too soon); the week we learned that the only person you’ll let strap you into your car seat without a fuss is your Grammie Sue; and the week that you slept through an entire car ride with your Uncle John without ever waking up. It was a great week, a busy week, and a week that was over way too soon.

Love, Dad

LettersE. Christopher Clark