Tuesday, July 7, 2009


We had some dark days in our household this weekend. With my foot broken, Dave now has to get up to tend to Ellis in the middle of the night. 13 months and counting….He still doesn’t consistently sleep through the night. I am used to the sleep deprivation, and in general can operate with less sleep. Dave, who is doing most of the household work since he is the only bipedal person around, is now also getting up between 2 and 5 times a night with Ellis. He is exhausted. I am disengaged and glum. Ellis is sleepless and teething. A fine team we make.

On Saturday we bought a cheap wheely office chair. This has greatly increased my mobility and heightened my spirit. I can now wheel around our wooden floored apartment, bring things to and fro, and even carry Ellis from room to room. I don’t have to ask Dave to bring me every small thing I need.

Ellis has a walking push toy that he uses to get from room to room. My sister made a small pouch for it out of duct tape, so that he can transport small toys. He loves it. Inspired by this, I attached a small tote bag to my office chair to keep my cell phone and other essential items in.

We moved some of the furniture around so that Ellis and I have a clear path to wheel around and so we can get into every room.

Dave put hook and eyes on the kitchen and bathroom door so Ellis can roam freely in the other baby proofed rooms, which allows me to be able to take care of him without having to chase him down.

Sometimes I find myself with Ellis alone in a room, both of us with our wheeled vehicles, putting essential items in our pouches, or struggling to navigate around the dining room table, or trying over and over again to complete a task. I feel a special kind of closeness with him in those moments.

I try to take inspiration from watching him. He tries things over and over and over until he learns to master a new skill. In one year he has progressed from a six pound newborn to this little person with abilities and preferences. He works hard everyday and everyday edges towards independence. I ask the universe to give me his patience and his studied focus.

On Sunday, we packed up and went to the lake. We had to drive, even though its just down the street. I hate driving, and I love to walk, but this summer, if nothing else, is a lesson in improvisation.

We can’t make it down to the beach we usually go to…(stairs, no place to park close by) so instead we go to the south part of the lake where the canoeists and wind surfers launch. There is a close parking lot, for loading and unloading boats and wind surfing boards. There is a nice clean strip of beautiful white sand. And other than the wind surfers, it is mostly empty.

We set up shop here. Ellis loves the sand and the water. He yells in delight. He buries his feet. He watches as an instructor teaches a woman how to wind surf, and as she tries over and over to get up on the board, pull the sail up and point it in the right direction. I feel my body relax. The sun feels great. I take off my boot cast and walk like a sand crab to the edge of the water and sit in four inches of water as the waves roll in.

After a few hours, Ellis gets cold. He lips start to turn blue. Dave starts to pack up and bring our bags to the car. I wrap Ellis in a towel and hold him close, and we sit looking out at the water, and watch as finally the student wind surfer gets her balance and finds the wind and sails away from us across the lake.