Dear Rylie,
You are now 18 months and a week old.

Let me begin by saying that you are beautiful. Absolutely stunning. People stop me every day, every where to look at you… to finger your curls… to brush your rosy cheeks. You are a gorgeous child.
You have decided you like to eat… though, you will only do it on your terms. Blueberry muffins, peanut butter sandwiches, chicken nuggets, and cottage cheese… these are your mainstays. You eat things in very strange combination, but you eat and I do not question.
You are not really talking. I suppose your fluent Chinese doesn’t count. You do communicate, though. Incessantly. You have a word for bellybutton, cow, mamma, cat, and chicken. Your newest thing is shrieking in happiness… like turning the corner in the grocery aisle Tuesday and seeing a display of bendy straws. The sound that came out of your body sent 3 workers rushing to our aid only to double-over laughing at your glee. Straws. You just liked the straws.

You weighed in at 21 pounds this morning- that’s the 15th percentile, and way up from the 5th percentile the last time. Nice job with the peanut butter sandwiches. You’re also 36 inches tall… or 38, I can’t remember now. But that’s the 55th percentile… rock on with your average self!

Ry, you are not walking yet. You are a very cautious child… no climbing down off of things, no slippery things, no walking without holding our hands. Dr. H is concerned about how you don’t bend your knees… about your ‘peg legged pirate walk.’ He wants you to go in for developmental and neurological testing. Excuse me while I die a little bit.
You are sleeping off the poison they put in you right now… your cheeks are red and your eyes are puffy from crying, but you are sleeping now… and you’re gorgeous. I am trying to turn off this ticker tape in my head… was it my medicine? Was it the bug spray I used when you were growing? Is it your vaccinations? Is there radon on our soil? Did I carry too much during the 9th month? -or- Are you completely fine? Do you just like walking like a pirate and growling like a bulldozer?
I called to make you an appointment but was told everyone is on vacation for the Summer and they’ll call me in August. Erm… I don’t really think that’s gonna cut it for us. You don’t just say the words “neurological concern” and then put me on hold until August. So, I’m working on that for you. I’m on it. Mamma’s on it! Mamma’s on it every minute of the day until someone gives me an answer.
I swear, Child. If this is all just a funny pirate joke to you, you’ll be on animal poop duty for the rest of your chore life. And, if it’s not a joke and we have a roads of therapy ahead of us… well, I’ll buy you a pony. And also, whatever else you want. I’m not kidding.
You are 18 months old and a week today. And you are exactly the same child now that you were when you were born. I’m still getting to know you. And I’m gonna learn how to take care of you… you, in all your beauty and all your uniqueness. A girl pirate. That’s awesome.
I love you,


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

19 responses to “pirates

  • sunday

    oh my goodness katie, rylie must get all her beauty from you! you are beautiful, and your mother’s heart is beautiful as well. how hard it is for a mother to hear those things about their precious child, but I will be praying that Rylie is just cautious and that she does just like to walk like a pirate, of course she does! i love you my sweet friend.

  • thekooiet

    I completely agree with Sunday…you thought Rylie looked like Curt, but she’s looking like you more and more every time I see her – absolutely beautiful.

    I completely KNOW how this feels – the “neurological concern.” It’s absolutely gut wrenching terrible. You’re right – waiting until August is not acceptable – no way. Mamma’s can’t live like that.

    You just keep looking at your baby…watching her as she plays, as she eats, as she sleeps, and as she communicates with the world. She is happy, she is healthy, and she is a beautiful creation…God loves her more than you could ever imagine. He loves that little girl that he made and allowed you to nurture.

    Sometimes it really hurts being a mother…

    May God hold your heart tenderly today, may He wipe your tears and comfort you. May He give you strength, and peace that passes all understanding.

    It’s all gonna be alright.

  • Anonymous

    No matter what the testing results are, she’ll be the same child tomorrow that she was yesterday.

  • ecky

    dont even stress!
    babies do things on their own schedule.
    all those charts and books are just there to make us crazy and doubt ourselves and worry and it’s just silly.
    you said it yourself…
    you have a beautiful little girl who is making her own time tables and really…who doesnt like pirate walking and growling at bendy straws.
    (many of my friends have visited developmental specialists…for slow crawling, for late sitting, for not wanting to eat solid foods…we even saw someone because our first doctor thought hazel should be sleeping longer. phoooey on her.)

    wow is my girl beefy. we think she weighs 20 pounds now…it’s all in her cheeks and thighs! she’s on the opposite end of the charts and so we have worries that she’s gonna be obese. i guess
    that’s what parenting sometimes is…worrying because you love so so so much and want everything to the best it can be.

  • ebadrina

    Ry, no worries. Rory likes pirates. Boys like pirates. There’s a lot to like about pirates. You and I both know that Jack Sparrow is your current fave character, and that in time, you will grow out of it. You have great posture, though. It is obvious from the pictures that 1) you can bend your knees when you want to, 2) you have great situational awareness, especially around the farm, and 3) you are a beautiful little girl who is cautiously optimistic about peanut butter sandwiches and bendy straws.
    Normal and exceptional, all at the same time, that’s who you are.

  • CortneyTree

    Babe, don’t sweat it. I can only imagine how scary the words “neurological” ANYthing are, but I’m convinced this is just the way Ry has decided to do things. Don’t know how far back in the Dooce archives you’ve read, but they went through a very similar thing with Leta, and she turned out to be nothing more than an extremely stubborn child who didn’t like to feel pressure on the bottoms of her feet. It’s good to double check, it’s good to make *sure*, mostly it’s just plain good to KNOW–but no matter what, you’re there for her, and you know your child better than anyone.

    Who *doesn’t* love a pirate, anyway?

  • Chelsey Meek

    I LOVE girl pirates.

  • Lisa and Gary...

    I preface a lot of my comments with, “I don’t know you, but…” So, in keeping: I don’t know you, but…your heart is beautiful. Your daughter is beautiful. You will carry either burdens or pirate jokes with grace and courage and a sense of humor. Prayers for all the Mulders from The Valley of the Sun.


  • Anonymous

    Just wanted to let you know Katie a former neighbor of ours, her great-granddaughter was not walking either and she scooted (sp?) across the floor to get where she wanted. Her parents took her to Children’s in Pgh. for all the testing, etc. They could not find a thing wrong.

    When she was almost two, she decided she was ready to get up and walk. It was just one of those freaky things.

    I know it is breaking your heart but hang in there! Seriously, wait till August to make an appointment? Oh my, yes call in August and they will schedule you an appointment in November/December cause they are booked from April scheduling. That is unreal!!

    Thoughts and prayers for you and your family.


  • Dan, Annie, Will and Mocha

    Wow, what an amazing letter. I always repeat myself about this but can you really write Will letters from me.
    Katie, I feel you with these things, the vaccinations, the pesticides, all that stuff. But you know, this is when we must trust that “He” has our best interest. There is a bigger plan here than we can see, a bigger picture. concentrate on that bigger picture while you call, wait, get frustrated and love your girl and husband. There are mighty things happening, MIGHTY. It is so easy to type that, not sure why I can’t get it myself.
    you all are in my prayers. And….note..girl pirates are very cool and Will and rylie would probably understand eachother perfectly.

  • Grace

    It’s the “not knowing” that is the hardest, isn’t it? Once you know, one way or the other, you can deal. But know that God created Rylie, God loves Rylie, and God choose to give her to you to love second only to Him. You are a wonderful mother and she is a wonderful child… and I’m praying for you both.

  • Miss Laura

    If the issue is that Dr. H is affiliated with Spectrum Health and wants to send you to only Spectrum Health specialists (like my doctor), just bear this in mind…

    …I hear they crash helicopters into hospitals over at Spectrum.

    And my friend who does PR for Spectrum is going to see this on her Google Alerts when she gets into the office in the morning and will be mad at me. Sorry, Annis.

    Your child is perfection.

  • Amy

    So today was a deep-breath-day for you. Not so fun for a momma. I read this and then I remembered that last letter you wrote to Rylie. Remember– the “you’re okay” one? I loved that one. And she is gonna be ok. She’s Rylie. She’s perfect. And she’s yours.

    Uncertainty is so hard. And uncertainty about our babies? No thank you. But rest and peace in the midst of that kind of uncertainty is a strangely wonderful experience.

  • EllieRichellie

    There’s absolutely no way on earth that I can say “don’t worry”. It’s the right and privilege of motherhood to worry ’til the cows come home. Remember the kiddo in the pink “magic boots”? She popped out at a whopping 3 lbs and change. I still worry about EVERYTHING. Go ahead and worry. It comes with the love.

  • Wende

    This requires email, I think. 😀

  • Rachel

    Again, Katie, another beautiful letter to your beautiful, sweet daughter. I am so sorry that you are even having to deal with this. I’ll be praying for you guys, and maybe one day we will get to see each other again and introduce our lil’ ones to each other! Thanks for your sweet comment on our blog! Zane is totally into older women, especially ones as awesome as Rylie

  • Anonymous

    Sweet Kate… no conant child walked before 20 months. they all walk just fine now, a couple are even pretty doggone good athletes!! hang in there… trusting in the bigger picture… the one we can’t see, taste or touch! Ha! the easy one! love you girl… elly

  • the dicocco gang

    I love love love you girl….
    I love love love both of you girls.

    I’m certain my tears are all mixed up… flowing for a hundred reasons… some beautiful, some sorry, some scary, some just because the first one started and these joined in for the ride. That’s the way of life. Contradictions and paradox and joy and fear and ashes and beauty all wrapped up and streaming down our cheeks and mingling with the tears of a thousand at the throne of God.

    I love love love you girl.

  • Anonymous

    Have you had him evaluated by a rheumatologist? juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a possibility. I would look into it if I were you.

talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: