I’ve been counting down the days to David’s fourteen month birthday for a while now. There isn’t any sort of milestone or celebration, but I went over my texts this month and my plan happens to reset on the same day as David’s fourteen month birthday.
For a while now every text I’ve sent or received has come straight out of David’s college fund.
In the two weeks since David’s 13-month update, David has been Teething. Not your normal, lowercase teething, this is uppercase Teething. What he is going through is a proper noun. He’s getting something like 12 teeth all at once. If you have a baby right now, don’t worry about the teething phase because David is doing all the teething for all the babies in the world.
In the past two weeks he’s had a fever, hasn’t slept through the night once and has spent every waking hour screaming.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Wow. That doesn’t sound like teething. That sounds like maybe something more serious…maybe an ear infection?”
You read my mind.
Yesterday between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. David didn’t go more than five minutes without screaming, so I took him to the doctor.
The doctor examined him, and even did a strep and checked his blood. Turns out he’s healthy as a horse. A fire-breathing horse that kicks and bites and scratches chalkboards with his fingernails.
I used to feel bad for David because he can’t talk. If he wants a Cheerio or to wear his blue pants instead of his brown pants, his only options are 1) cry 2) cry louder.
This month I found out that he actually has lots of options. He can also flail, scratch his eyes out, bang his head on the floor, and set our house on fire.
I’d like to know how babies are born knowing exactly how to contort their bodies so that they are impossible to hold. If I try to pick him up during a tantrum, he throws his head back, arches his back and dislocates his arms from his shoulders.
Do we somehow lose this instinct? Is that why selfdefense classes exist? If you’re being attacked, just go limp, kick and scream, and imagine your mom isn’t letting you watch a fourth episode of Thomas the Tank Engine.
Speaking of Thomas. DID SOMEONE SAY THOMAS? Suddenly David is willing to sit quietly and watch YouTube videos of Thomas on our computer. It’s nice when he wakes up at 6 a.m. and we’re still a little bleary-eyed. We can wrap up in a blanket and watch Thomas while we wait for the sun to come up.
It’s a different story during the day when we happen to walk by the computer and David realizes we’re not watching Thomas. Then I realize we’ve created another reason for him to throw a tantrum.
He also, suddenly likes books. I’ve been trying to get him to read books for 14 months now, and it finally worked. He has several favorites, a peek-a-boo book, a book about building a road, and a book about going to a Virginia Tech football game. The VT book is historical fiction, because the Hokies win every single time.
These days most people have fancy smart phones with data plans, so very few people ever go over on text messages anymore. Since my phone is already archaic, I’m sure that when you’re my age even Daddy’s cool new iPhone will seem bulky. Texting will probably be obsolete; the memory of using your thumbs to communicate will seem cumbersome and laughable.
And will people still be writing blogs? With keyboards? On the same machine they use to watch old Thomas videos narrated by Ringo Starr? (No, really. They are.)
All that technology stuff will probably change.
But one thing will not change. When you’re my age and have babies of your own, they will need their mommy and daddy to hold them close and kiss their forehead and sing lullabies to them while they scream and cry. And when you’re in that situation, you might even say some of the same things I say: I don’t know what’s wrong, and I don’t know what to do, but if I could fix this I would.
David, this is a hard, hard phase you’re going through, and I haven’t always handled it the right way. But what I keep trying to remind myself is that the main reason it’s so hard is because I love you so much.
Did you hear that? I love you so, so much.
(Administrator of Ibuprofen)