Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Letters: my pirate

My Dear Captain,

There are moments, and quite a few lately, when your oldest-child mother doesn't know what to do with your middle-child self.

To be sure, you embody quite the conundrum.  Your natural disposition seems to be a largely content one.  You toddle around, happy to copy everything your older brother does.  Lucky for you he very rarely minds this.  You are almost always obedient and the one thing you say regularly that we can make any sense of is a prolific and unprovoked "thank you."  I don't think I've ever known anyone sweeter.

captain duplo

But like any dimensional human being, you've got your dark sides.  The frustration of not being able to tell us what you want has been leading to some unattractive fits.  We have got to figure out what you need to be able to learn to speak.  Appointments are scheduled, my dear.  I do what I can.


I'm not very good at focusing on you and your very important needs lately.  You've got two brothers who are squeakier wheels than you just now.  This is how your little hands ended up cracked and bleeding, and why I can't seem to stay on top of your eczema in general this winter. Your poor little chapped cheeks are fully loaded with mom guilt.  I suspect that your stunted speech is aggravated by the very same brand of neglect.  I wish I knew how to fix it all.

captain duplo

There are people who would venture to tell me that I've bitten off more than I can chew, and that it was irresponsible of me to have more children more quickly than I can keep up with.  There may be something to that, but not only is there nothing I can do about that now, but I can confidently say that every member of our family is madly in love with every other member of our family.  We wouldn't be willing to change a thing even if we could.  Even if we can't consistently stay on top of messes or keep aquaphor applied in a steady enough stream, we're still all tripping over ourselves with adoration.  I'm sorry that you seem to be bearing the brunt of our collective familial shortcomings.  I'll go out on a limb and hope it builds character.  Not that you're not enough of a character already.  You're a character who gives the best kisses, the best hugs, and is the funniest thing ever when he tries to jump or dance.  You're the character with the implicit arrangement with Sir O that the two of you will share every desirable thing that crosses your paths. I find the two of you sneaking into the pantry about every 5 minutes, and how you manage to coordinate your silent stealth is a secret that only brothers can share, because I'm certainly not privy to it.  You're the character who refuses to kick the bottle habit even though it's the only vice the pediatrician lists with an exclamation mark.  We've got to get you talking; I cannot wait to hear what you have to say.

captain duplo


Katie May said...

Not only is Graham completely adorable, in a little man-ly sort of way, but he seems to have a personality to match! Thanks for posting this very honest post because (as you know) I can relate!

Chelsea said...

Two suggestions that may or may not be helpful... I use Vanicream. It is thicker, but still not greasy. It seems to work better for me than Aquiphor. Next, have you tried sign language until you can help with the speach? My best friend, Julianna has 3 boys and a girl. She taught all of them basic sign language starting very young, but I am sure he could still learn it. Maybe start with signs for hungry, tired, thirsty, pain, etc. My husband is totally blind, so the sign language doesn't work in our house, but I thought I'd throw it out there. You are in our prayers!

Brittany said...

I certainly think he is adorable. Even just from pictures he looks like such a sweet little boy. An old soul maybe? Either way, he is lucky to have been born into your family, and I'm sure he would agree with that! :)

Cheryl said...

So much of this post is me! Thank you for showing that we are not the only ones dealing with the frustrations of 3 very small children. Ask your doctor about a steroid ointment for the skin. I have some that saves Bubba's skin when I get around to putting it on! Thanks for sharing!

Holly Dunn said...

Em--I think all of my kids have been slow in developing their speech (especially when I compared them to Heidi's kids!) Grandma always reminds me that Warren didn't speak one word until he was 3. For about the last year, I have been using "Signing Time" videos for John, from our local library. As your friend Chelsea suggested, these have really helped Johnny be able to communicate with us. He loves the videos, and watches them over and over. It's amazing what he has learned! He has really learned his ABC's from the videos as well. For what it's worth, I am really struggling with Joey's ecezma this winter as well.

Em said...

We have been signing with him - but so far he only uses "more" and "please" consistently.
I'm sure I could be more consistent about it though.

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