dear nixon: volume 9

At just over a year old, the longest stretch you’ve ever slept at one time, in your whole entire life, is four hours.

This incredible event happened in the car on the way back from Nebraska, coming home from the 4th of July.

We were fairly certain you’d expired.

I used to feel like we were doing something “wrong” because you didn’t sleep like other babies WHO I HAD READ ABOUT ON THE INTERNET.

But hey, also judging from the Internet, the amber necklace you wear is a completely useless, albeit trendy, choking hazard, but it will magically help with your teething pain and drooling.

Co-sleeping is going to end with you being ruthlessly smothered, and probably sleeping with us until you’re like 15, but you also might wind up less anxious and more independent—
you know, if you survive.

Because you’re vaccinated, we don’t have to worry about you catching any of the fun illnesses best known from their roles in The Oregon Trail (ASHLEY HAS DIED OF DYSENTERY), but we do have to worry about what’s actually IN these vaccines, as well as how that manifests into horrible, disfiguring things that might make your legs fall off someday.

All that said, it took me almost this whole past year to have the realization that you sleep like you do because THAT IS HOW YOU SLEEP.

Likewise, daddy and I parent you and make the choices we’re making because that’s how we parent.

You are safe, loved and taken care of.
You eat everything.
You like books, sharing food with the dog, and waving to the water as the tub drains.

In the grand scheme of things, regardless of what the internet has to say about it, you’re turning out okay.

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Because it’s winter, and also because we don’t have a cool slide or a neat mushy-bouncy floor, daddy and I have been taking you to the play place inside of the mall that has both of these things.

I have cursed myself approx. 700 times for not bringing wipes along with us to clean your hands afterward, and yet not once have I remembered to actually bring them.

I find comfort in the fact that probably it’s like immune system training.

One thing we’ve noticed in our recent goings is that Parents of the Play Place generally seem to favor referring to their kids’ ages by month. We’re either lazy or just not as into math as everyone else is, so while I think it’s rad when a mom can remember that her child is approximately 29 months old, we’re pretty firmly in the “oh, he’s one” camp if & when people ask.

You’ll upgrade to “almost 2” sometime this summer, dude.
Mama ain’t got time to math.

We also, contrary to the posted signage, smuggle in snacks for ourselves.
PLEASE NO ONE OUT US TO THE PLAY PLACE POLICE, just come sit with us and we’ll totally share.


In milestone news, this past month we ordered you your very own meal for the first time.

Up to this point, you could hang pretty well with the random slices-and-dices from whatever daddy & I ordered—
but lately, this practice has turned into you basically eating all of our food, and me sitting there like, WTF where did my sandwich go and why I am so hungry this is terrible.

It must be said: Chick-Fil-A is legit.
As a company, they have really shitty moral standards, but damned if they don’t also have clean high chairs, and really friendly employees with exceptional manners, and aren’t just wonderful as can be for offering GOOD fruit and grilled nuggets so I can feed you nice things.


Now that you’re fully mobile, you love helping clean up and put stuff away. Even at baby work, you’ll casually grab books off the floor and go put them back on the shelf like ain’t no thang.

It greatly distresses you that we won’t let you use the vacuum by yourself, which tells me that I’m more OCD about cleaning up than even I imagined.

Even at night, when you’re like OVER IT, LET’S SLEEP, you’ll still reach out and close the copy of Goodnight Moon in my hands, gently take it from me, and attempt to return it to its spot on my nightstand.
Also, a moment for how “goodnight nobody” just comes out of nowhere in that book and throws a nice, depressing wrench in things.
Here we are like, GOODNIGHT CARPET AND CROWN MOLDING AND MITTENS AND HAIR ACCESSORIES AND MUSH AND NOBODY.

What the hell, Margaret Wise Brown.
What were you even going through.


The other night at Target, you were pretty solid on the fact that you could carry our basket.

So we let you.

And for the 4 very exciting inches that you were able to travel with it, you were the proudest little boy to have ever existed at a Target, ever.

I love watching you do life, little dude of mine.


Things you’re really into this month:

– “Reading” in the car (which amounts to a lot of squeaks and various babble inflections as you turn the pages)
– Using the Nixon-sized broom grandma bought you to “sweep” the floor
– Mostly successfully feeding yourself with Nixon-sized silverware
– Successfully drinking from a straw, sometimes followed by a dramatic exhale wherein all the water you just drank runs down your chin like a waterfall
– Absconding with washcloths/napkins and using them to dust chairs… the cat tower… the cats… yourself
– Screaming, usually for no reason beyond it’s a skill you possess and would like to share with others
– Realizing that you can be chased, and joyously drunk-running away from us every time you remember that’s an option
– Bringing your snacks with you to sit directly in front of the vent every time the heat comes on


We got the raddest compliment the other day.

At a favorite local dive with the best breakfast burritos in town, the guy behind the counter commented on how much he enjoyed watching your daddy and I just playing and hanging out with you while we were there.

There is no greater compliment than one about how you’re NOT messing up your tiny human, man.

I’ve always made a point to high five (literally or verbally; usually both) other parents on their awesome human-raising skills, but hearing that, and the way I felt afterward, basically sealed the deal on wanting to keep it up forever.
I’mma be 90, blindly high-fiving my way through a crowd to be like, I JUST THINK IT’S WONDERFUL HOW YOUR DAUGHTER USES HER MANNERS WHAT A GREAT LITTLE SOUL

You make me endlessly proud to be yours, babycakes.

mama.

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About ashley!

in love, obnoxiously happy, and up to a lot of awesome.
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