Year 01 - Week 44

Dear Kaylee,

You turned ten months old this week, and to celebrate that milestone our local football franchise won a game for you that they weren’t supposed to win. You and your mother and I drove down to watch the game with your Grammie Sue and your Grampie Earl, and we had ourselves a tense afternoon in front of the boob-tube, followed by a tasty spaghetti dinner. In terms of the spaghetti dinner, it was hard to tell what you enjoyed more: eating it or wearing it. But in terms of the Patriots game, it was clear that you enjoyed the quiet moments more than you enjoyed the sudden outbursts of your family that punctuated the afternoon. You did your best to get a nap in, but there were too many big plays (and, therefore, big reactions), so you didn’t get much sleep at all.

The other thing I remember about this week is how much you pooped. It wasn’t until later in the week, upon questioning me about what I’d been feeding you, that your mother was able to deduce the probable cause of all this defecation (how could I forget the poop-inducing properties of fruit?), so I did a fair amount of worrying about the fact that every diaper I took off of you was full of crap. But eventually I came to accept that, as with all the strange things that you do, if pooping this much didn’t stop you from being the happy-go-lucky Kaylee that we all know and love, then it wasn’t really something to worry about. That seems to be the golden rule, the thing the nurses always ask: “Is she otherwise okay?”

“Yes. She’s just full of shit.”

“Well, Mr. Clark, I’m sure you know that condition is hereditary…”

And, speaking of nurses, I should also tell you that the whole staff at your doctor’s office was very understanding this week when I, your paranoid father, decided that I’d accidentally broken your little toe while putting on a sneaker. It’d been a rough day, and the toe was red, so I couldn’t be called completely irrational. But, by the time we got to the doctor’s office, by the time you were giggling as he rattled off the rhyme about those little piggies while examining your foot, I felt pretty foolish.

The thing is, while we were there the doc decided to examine your ears too — “We’re trained to check everything,” he told me — and discovered that A) they were filled with a lot of gunk that needed to be cleared out (and boy, did you enjoy that!); and B) you had an ear infection.

So, in the end, your father’s paranoia doesn’t always lead to bad things. Well, it led to bad things that day, in terms of the double ear irrigation that you absolutely hated (it took three of us to hold you down). But, in the end, it’s sometimes good that your dad is as much of a worry-wart as he is.

At least I like to think so.

Love, Dad

LettersE. Christopher Clark