Year 01 - Week 43

Dear Kaylee,

It was a much calmer week this time around. After all of the adventures we had leading up to and into the new year, the past seven days must’ve seemed relatively tame. But it’s good to let life calm down from time to time. And even though you’re a social kid by nature, I think you enjoyed the quiet time as much as your mother and I did.

To be honest, my memory of the past week is a little bit foggy. That may have to do with the cold that all three of us were getting over at the beginning of the week, or it may have to do with how busy I’ve been at work during these first few days back at the office after two weeks off. Or it could be both. The only memory that’s clear in my head is that, whenever we did have time together, we seemed to have our usual amount of fun.

With one notable exception.

Last week — on Wednesday, I think — we had a little mishap with the sink. You were being particularly fussy, and you were refusing to eat your lunch. I’d been trying to get you to eat for about an hour, maybe a little bit less, when I gave up. I picked you up, plunked your nearly fully bowl of food into the sink, and turned on the faucet to rinse it out. Catching a whiff of the scent emanating from your diaper, I decided to take you upstairs for a quick change.

And I forgot to turn off the faucet.

By the time we finished with your quick change (which, because of your mood, turned out to be anything but quick) and returned downstairs to the kitchen, the sink was overflowing and the kitchen floor was under a half-inch of water. The bottom of your bowl had settled nicely into the drain, thus plugging the thing up. And we had been upstairs for nearly fifteen minutes. It was a total disaster, and it took every towel we had in the house to clean it up. I screamed a lot, and though I didn’t scream at you, I still felt bad later on for having screamed near you. You didn’t seem to be all that bothered by it, as you sat in your high-chair watching me mop things up. In fact, I think you even laughed a few times. Which is what I would have done, if I wasn’t the one on the floor with the towels.

The only lingering aftereffect of this ordeal was that our dishwasher stopped working. Your mother turned it on on Thursday morning, and by the time I got home on Thursday evening the dishwasher was still running, with an error code on its tiny digital display. We still haven’t figured out what’s wrong with it (I’ve tried every tip I’ve found on the Internet), and that means we’ll need a plumber eventually, but we’re trying to take it in stride. Yes, we can’t afford a plumber. Yes, fixing the damn thing is going to put us into more debt. But the plus side is that we can still wash dishes by hand. We still remember how to do that. And that will do until we can get a plumber in here.

By Saturday, I was done being stressed-out about the dishwasher — it’d get fixed when it got fixed, your mother assured me — and we decided to head out and use up the gift cards we’d received for Christmas. We spent nearly seven hours shopping that day, with trips to the mall, Barnes & Noble, Target, and the grocery store. And by the end of it, though I was ready for a long nap, I was happy to have gotten everything done. I ran into some trouble at B&N — they didn’t have any of the books I’d been wanting to buy in stock — but you and your mother were enjoying the children’s section the whole time, so it didn’t really affect you. And, other than that, everything went rather swimmingly.

On Sunday, we spent the day remembering my late grandmother, Norma, along with the rest of your Grammie Sue’s side of the family. It was the twenty-fifth anniversary of her passing, and, while not a fun event in any sense of the word, it was heartwarming to hear all of the stories that people told, and to realize that all of their remembrances gelled nicely with my vague recollections of her.

The Patriots beat the Jets in the NFL playoffs on Sunday too, and you were subject to lots of hoots and hollers every time they made a big play (and they made a lot). And, later that night, your Auntie Nisa and Uncle Bill stopped by on their way home to drop off some gifts for you. It’s always great when they stop by, because your mother and I can actually get things done, since someone is there to watch over you. And though we felt bad for only half paying attention to our guests, they said it was fine as we continued on with our taking down of the Christmas tree and our packing away for ornaments and things.

And that was your forty-third week of life. It was a lot more subdued than the previous couple of weeks, but you didn’t really seem to mind.

Love, Dad

LettersE. Christopher Clark