Posts tagged ‘Dear Jacob’

December 8, 2011

Dear Jacob XVI

Dear Jacob,


Little by little you are figuring out your world. Sometimes it gets you in trouble. Most of your tantrums are precipitated by your trying to do something I do and landing yourself in a situation in which it’s likely that a) you’ll get hurt or b) you’ll break something. In those times, I try to see that you are only trying to figure it all out. Sometimes you are simply testing your limits, but even that is a natural part of growing up. And you really are growing up.


I admit I slacked off a little bit on the discipline the past few weeks, because I was having trouble figuring out what was making you lose your mind, and eventually I just wanted to avoid the tantrums. But since I’ve put my sheriff’s badge back on, you’ve responded very well to the boundaries I’ve set, so I think I dodged that messing-the-child-up bullet, which is good for everyone.


Now I see that when you do have tantrums—unless you’re really tired—they are with good reason. For the most part, you seem like a person who is able to laugh at himself, and I think that is a very good thing. You are still a pretty easygoing little guy, and the other day your dad and I kept saying to each other, “He’s such a good boy. . . . He’s just such a good boy.”


If your exploration doesn’t get you into trouble, it gives often gives me a great laugh. The other day, I cut your toenails in the morning (which you didn’t like at all). That evening, when I was putting you in your jammies, you found the clipper on the changing table and started to put it on your toes, like I had done. I’m not sure why you wanted to repeat what seemed to be an incredibly traumatizing experience, but it was funny all the same.


That day, too, you took another step toward properly using a spoon. You were holding the spoon in the right orientation, so I put a piece of chicken on it. You smiled, moved the spoon to your mouth, and ate the chicken. I celebrated! You put a blueberry on the spoon. Good job, I thought! Then you proceeded to take the blueberry off the spoon with your fingers and eat it. You moved to the next one: put blueberry on spoon, take blueberry off spoon, eat it, put blueberry on spoon, take blueberry off spoon, and so on. Essentially you were bouncing the blueberries off the spoon on the way to your mouth, which again was silly, but I see where you’re going. Who decided what the “proper” use of a spoon was anyway?


You also know that socks go on feet (though you haven’t figured out your socks don’t fit on my feet), you’ve figured out how to imitate a lot of what I do in the kitchen with your play kitchen (though it still frightens me when you come at me for a hug with your dull play knife in hand), and of course, you know how to give hugs and kisses/head butts.


It is so much fun to watch you figure out this silly world in your silly way, little man. And even if you never use a spoon “properly” (though I hope you do), I will love you forever and ever.



P.S. Sorry no pictures, Uncle Michael. More tomorrow, I hope!

November 22, 2011

Dear Jacob XV

Dear Jacob,

Shortly after you were born, I started to get nervous about the fact that I was embarking on a year (at least!) of living with a person who was not able to talk to me. That sort of silence is frightening. How was I going to know what you needed? How was I going to entertain you? How was I going to stand having no one to really talk to? Was I going to lose my mind?


Fourteen months later, every single one of those fears has been put to rest. You don’t use verbal words that often, and even your signing has become rather one-dimensional lately, but I think we’ve come to a pretty good understanding of one another, even without those.



I’ve learned that “maternal instinct” can be, in fact, a learned behavior. The tasks it took to care for you as a newborn were things that anyone would have been capable of doing. But because I did them, I came to know you better than probably anyone else in the world (though your dad is a really close second). With the help of your cues, a closer relationship with the clock, and that “maternal instinct”, I’d say I do a pretty okay job of keeping you happy each day.


I love that you’re starting to respond more when I talk to you. You can follow directions like “put the ball in the car” or “find your water cup.” You know that “bath” means it’s time to go into the bathroom (hooray!) and that “outside” means go to the door and get your shoes. You don’t always do these things, of course, and I’m also starting to see that you can hear selectively when you want to. We’re going to work on that.


I don’t always get things right, either. Sometimes it takes me a few tries to figure out what you want. I think it might take you a few times to figure out what you want, too. But when I ask if you’re hungry, and you giggle and run to the kitchen, I thank God that this year—or more—of virtual silence isn’t so silent at all.

You are such a fun little boy, Jacob, and such a good eater, if that’s what we’re talking about. I love you so much, and you are at the top of my list of things I’m grateful for this year and always.


Oh, and just so you know, I’m probably going to ask for a few hugs today. You’ll know what to do.


November 15, 2011

Dear Jacob XVI

Dear Jacob,

Every day when your daddy gets home from work, I tell him some of what you did during the day. All day long, I store up little anecdotes, things you’ve done, things that made you laugh, my triumph in calming a temper tantrum and getting you back to your giggly, happy self. In the evenings, I try to tell them all to your daddy, but there are always so many that I can’t keep track.

I want to remember every detail about who you are in each moment. Then I remind myself that each of these little things is a part of a bigger picture. I don’t have to worry about losing them, because they’re all little bits of the boy you are becoming.

Still there are some things that I’ve managed to retain long enough to share with your daddy. For example, the other day, in the span of about twenty minutes I learned that you know how to throw things in the garbage (even if they’re not trash) and that you can not only spin the toilet paper off the roll, but you can spin some of it back on, too.  Wow!  You learn so much every day!

You’re spending more time on my lap, whether it’s to have a snack, a hug, or to read a book (alleluia!). I love that time when I feel your sturdy weight settled in my arms, and I know you are calm and happy, and dare I say, exactly where you are meant to be.

You’ve also recently discovered that you LOVE corn Chex. If you see the box on the table, even when you have plenty left on your tray, you ask for more. I promise, Jacob, if I finish the box, I’ll get more. There will always be corn Chex for you if you want it (and if you don’t develop a corn allergy!). Oh, how you crack me up.

Pretty much the first thing I told you the first time it was just you and me was how incredibly loved you are. The love was pretty strong thirteen and a half months ago, but if you can believe it (and I hope you can), it just keeps getting stronger. You will be loved every day of your life, every day a little more than the last. You have such a special place in so many people’s hearts.

Do you know how many computer desktops you occupy? I can count five at least. One of your uncles (who will remain unnamed, but who lives in California and is not Joseph) recently asked for more pictures of you on this blog, because he loves watching you grow. We all love it, little boy. You are a miracle, you are a blessing, and you are our favorite little guy on the planet. I hope you stay as happy, healthy, and holy (more on that another day) as you are now as you continue to grow into the person God needs you to be.

I love you, Peanut Face.  Let’s have a dance party later, okay?


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