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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dear Corwin,

We’ve put off your first haircut for as long as we could because I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of having a pair of scissors an inch away from your scalp. I was also just a little bit worried you’d throw a fit (you don’t really throw hissy fits, but we saw a boy do it while having his haircut recently and it kind of stuck with me), but your hair was getting to be a bit of a mess, and it was time, so I sucked it up and we did it yesterday. You were 14 months and 12 days old then.

Your dad convinced me shaving your head would be safer and faster, so we went with that. You didn’t cry one bit. We let them play Dora on the tv to distract you, but you weren’t that interested. You played with a little piano and that kept you occupied. Halfway through, you stood up and extended your arms to reach for me, so I held you in my arms and we finished it together. I saw you flinch a couple of times, but I didn’t hear a single peep of complaint out of you. You were cautious, but not scared. You always manage to surprise me, my brave little boy.

And that’s just what you are now, a boy. When your dad and I ask you, “Corwin, where’s your hair?”, you touch your scalp then sign “no more”, grinning that mischievous boyish grin of yours. We’ve done this quite a bit today and it’s still funny. There has been a bit of crying on daddy’s shoulder though, while you’re not looking. I was still adjusting to the idea of you not being a baby anymore. I didn’t realize I still wasn’t all that ready to actually see it. Don’t grow up faster than you have to, my love. Always at a steady, even pace, and never ever hurried. And maybe occasionally look over your shoulder and wait for mommy’s heart to catch up.

Love,
Mommy

Dear Corwin,

You ran a fever for 48 hours and we had to rush you to the emergency room in the middle of the night, when it started to seem like your fever just wouldn’t go down. You cried for four hours at the ER. That caused me so much stress, I thought I was going to have a stroke. I’m not used to you crying for anywhere near that long. Your fever topped at 40.5 degrees Celsius. You finally fell asleep in exhaustion, tucked into a fetal position on my lap, with your arms wrapped around me and your head on my chest.

You were admitted and we got a semi-private room because all the private rooms on the pedia floor were taken. So we had you crying, and a 10-month-old girl with dengue on the other side of the room crying when you weren’t, all hours of the day and night. Sigh. When they took her blood for some tests in the middle of the night, she screamed bloody murder. You were asleep, but you cried with her. Sweet baby. I had to wake you up because you were inconsolable.

They had to hook you up to an IV. Your father made me stay outside the room because he knew I would bawl along with you. You put up quite a fight, so he had to wrestle you and hold you down while the doctor attempted to insert the needle inside your hands. She failed three times on your small hands, because you were so dehydrated that your veins kept bursting. I could hear you screaming and crying across the hallway in a different room, and I cried with you. You went out with bandages on both your hands. Your dad looked at me and tears welled up in his eyes. He said you looked up at him as if to ask why he was letting them hurt you. It’s safe to say this has been very, very traumatic for the both of us, maybe significantly more than it has been for you. When we praised you for being so brave, you clapped your bandaged hands. That’s my boy.

You and your dad had to do that again, this time on your arm. It took longer and you screamed and cried louder, and I stood outside the door of the examination room weeping. I wanted to go in but I might’ve done something crazy like inject the resident doctor with needles four times, too. Okay, that’s a joke. Sort of. Your father and I pride ourselves in being strong people, and brave almost to the point of being foolhardy. But seeing you that way was nothing we were prepared for. You’re still so little, and it hurt us so much to see you so ill.

We had to wrap your arm in a diaper so you wouldn’t tug at the wire or needle. We called it your robotic diaper arm. And we tried to make our hospital stay an “adventure” as best as we could. You charmed a nurse and she lent you toys from the locked play room. You spent some time pushing a toy car around the hallway, because apparently, pushing it is way more fun than riding it.

We were able to take you home this afternoon. You haven’t had a fever in 24 hours and we’re thankful. You’ve erupted in rashes though. You have roseola, and are finally on the mend. We’ve missed watching you play on your mat. We’ve missed watching you walk around, talking to yourself. Our hospital stay wasn’t completely unbearable. We actually had a bit of fun with it despite the circumstances, but we are so very glad to be home.

I just stared at you as you slept. It sounds a bit creepy when you’re not a mother, I guess, but I do that sometimes. You’re sleeping so peacefully tonight that just watching you this way is making all the stress from these past few days melt away. I think one of my most basic needs is the need to create. I need to write things, take pictures of things, just make things with my hands. Funnily enough, I have never felt the need to create a baby, and yet here you are. You are the purest, most beautiful thing I have ever made. And if you are the last thing I could make this perfectly, I could live with that.

Love,
Mommy

  • hi Lisa, oh my dear tearducts! i’m stalling work by being on facebook. now I’m sobbing and my nose is clogged. I’m happy to know though that you are back home and it isn’t anything serious like Dengue.

    I wouldn’t imagine how I would be in the hospital if Hero had to be admitted. The last time she had a fever it also went up to the 40’s. We had to bring her to the ER because it was going up and down for 2 days but never went away. We were lucky and were just told to continue caring for her at home.

    It was so painful for us because I had to wash her down with an ice cold towel every two hours, and she woke up crying this horrendous throat-wrenching bawl that i’ve never even heard before. I didn’t want to do it but I had to. It was the ugliest feeling ever.

    Hats off to you and Jeff and especially to Corwin. We can’t wait till they get to play together again 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    Fozzy, after three hours of him crying at the ER and getting nowhere, I was ready to take him home again. But the pedia on duty told me that I had to sign a waiver if we were going to take him home because he could have a seizure on the drive back with a fever that high. Omg, that did not ease my stress AT ALL, but I’m glad she made us stay.

    Oh, I know that feeling all too well now. 🙁 This parenting business is tough.

    Me, too!! February’s looking good for us. Can’t wait to squish Hero!!! (Insert evil laugh here.)ReplyCancel

Dear Corwin,

You’re 14 months old today. You’re so tall and animated that people always assume you’re older. But you’re a brand new toddler, and you definitely remind us whenever we forget. You cry a little bit more these days. Thankfully, your crying spells don’t last longer than half a minute, although it feels much, much longer in my head. Sometimes you go limp in my arms like a wet noodle when you cry. It’s equal parts funny and frustrating, but it’s okay, I know you’re going through some growing pains right now. We will ride this out.

I sense your immense frustration over growing all your teeth all at once, and not being allowed to do things like going underneath tables to tug at electrical wires. You try every day and check if my mind has changed. You started walking on your 11th month, and have been tugging your hand away from mine to walk on your own ever since. You are a stubborn, independent little thing and you are definitely my son. You will follow our rules though whether you like it or not. These rules are not for our convenience, but to keep you safe and well.

We’ve made a point of not letting you watch TV since you were born. You will become a parent eventually so let me tell you, it’s hard work. I’ve been tempted to just let you space out in front of a TV at times when you were difficult and I needed some calm and peace, but I didn’t. Some people think I’m a mean mom for denying you this for so long, not to mention cake and ice cream. They delight over how bright and communicative you are, but don’t consider that this might be because of how your father and I have chosen to raise you. I’m a picky eater and it’s terrible. I consider it a personal achievement that you aren’t.

Sometimes you’re not going to like me. I deny you things. It’s going to make me sad, but I will accept it. And you not liking me won’t make me budge.

But sometimes when the time is right, things will change. We’re letting you watch Dora the Explorer for just a few minutes every day now. You try to interact with the show as best as you can. It’s funny and sweet. Your eyes light up and you definitely don’t space out. You clap your hands when the characters do, and love it when they sing and dance. Sometimes, you decide you want to stop watching before your tv time is up and stand up and walk towards your toys or books, and that makes me happy.

You will never feel more self-doubt as you will when you become a parent, when you become completely responsible for someone else’s life. It’s nerve-wracking. People will judge you for your parenting choices. There are times YOU will judge yourself for your parenting choices. But you can study and do your research so you can make choices that are just right for your family. There’s no one right way of doing things, and what works for us might not work for other people. We just have to educate ourselves as best as we can, and make judgments based on each other’s cues.

Yesterday, you and I were waiting for your dad and we happened to walk past a barber shop for babies. We saw a boy your age getting his hair cut, crying hysterically, and scrambling to get away. We stopped by the window and waved at him. He slowly stopped crying and eventually smiled back. You played peek-a-boo with each other through the glass and you took out your pacifier and extended your arm to offer it to him. And my heart, my poor heart, felt like exploding all over again. I’m so proud of you, little one. I am pretty sure your empathy is something far beyond what I should be expecting of your age, and everything inside me lights up at the possibility that maybe I’m not such a bad mother after all. Haha. The little boy’s mother smiled at us gratefully, and I wanted to hug her and say it’s okay, shit happens.

Love,
Mommy

  • I love how you worry, how you speak to him and how much you feel. you’re an amazing mother, and he’s an amazing little man.ReplyCancel