dear bee // 30.

Dear Bee,

You little nine-month-old, you. There are three party tricks you know: clapping, waving and shaking your head “No“. It’s always a “No” with you – never a “Yes” – and I sort of like your spunk, kid. I don’t like it as much when it’s Bedtime (No) or Avocado Time (No) or Stop Climbing The Dog Time (No). But overall, I like it. Sometimes we encourage you to use your party tricks in context, like waving at the mailman or your grandmother, but you get them mixed up and you start clapping bye-bye or waving no and then you get confused so you just do them all in a row. Clap-wave-No, clap-wave-No, like a scratched CD, skipping and disoriented.

You have five and a half teeth now, and your dad says he spotted a sixth but I sort of think it was a Cheerio part. We’re still on the fence.

Sleeping is not going well for you, Bee. Actually, it’s going quite well for you in that you are not doing it, which seems to be your end goal. But for your father and me, it’s not going well. On the bright side, you are so good at lowering our expectations that, sometimes, you’ll wake up only three times in one night and we praise the Lord. We bounce out of bed, refreshed and recharged, having slept all of five hours. “Five hours!” we exclaim, eating proverbial bread crumbs directly out of your hand as you laugh and sneer at our limited mortal knowledge.

Naps are no better. Yesterday you took a 17-minute power snooze and checked napping off your list for the rest of the day. It was a pretty efficient move, as if you’d scheduled a 9am staff meeting first thing in the morning so you could sneak out of the office to golf with your pals for the duration of your work hours. Well played, Bee.

There’s a boy you like named Auggie, and I’m fighting the arranged marriage thing so hard, because he is just darling. A few days ago, you were at his house and you threw up bananas and blueberries four times and he saw the whole thing and the kid version of myself was crazy embarrassed for you. But then the adult part of me came to terms with the fact that you’re just a baby and embarrassment isn’t an emotional level you likely understand, but I still blushed on your behalf. Your dad cleaned it up and then you smooched Auggie and I tried not to wonder if he thought you smelled like fruit vomit.

You’re still race-crawling like a mad woman, tearing through our office and dining room and kitchen, leaving a paper trail that would make the IRS beam with pride. I’m always saving receipts and junk mail and old magazines now, perfect for holding your attention for the approximate eight seconds you’re willing to offer one particular item. You’re an archaeologist drunk on adrenaline – moving quickly and intentionally from one object to the next – pausing only to survey your damaged artifacts before crawling fast-like to the next excavation site, tools in tow.

Perhaps you need a hard hat. You happen to look mighty svelte in yellow.


  • Love so much about this letter (especially the part of Bee having playdates with Cassie’s little adorable man!) But SO sorry to hear the sleep issues are so bad :( BOO…. I cannot BELIEVE Bee has that many teeth! Dean is six months now and has yet to break a tooth thru those gums. I feel like he’ll be a kindergarten and flash a toothless grin for his first school picture!

    Also, to make you feel better, I’ve heard from several people that gifted babies tend to a) be bad sleepers and b) need CONSTANT new stimulation in front of them.

    As if you didn’t already know your daughter was a baby genius, right? :)

    • Ah, thank you! To be honest, I don’t mind the sleep issues that much. This time goes so quickly – I like to think I’m at least getting maximum play out of it! :) Hope you and sweet Dean are well! I can think of nothing cuter than a toothless kindergartener. :)

  • Such a sweet letter Erin! It is always reassuring to hear from other mamas who are struggling with sleep – my 8 month old is on an exercise regimen that can only take place at 3 a.m, apparently. The other day I met a mom of a 5 week old who said she was excited for when her baby was as old as my son so that she would “sleep every night from 7 to 7.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we’re still waiting for that day to come, ha!

    • Ha, so true!!! Bee slept well as a newborn, but the switch flipped around 6 months and I don’t have the heart to sleep-train her (she vomits if we let her cry more than 3 minutes – every. single. time!). So for now, I’m just riding the wave of little sleep. It’s amazing how well we adapt, yes? ;)

      • I came to your site through ETST. My 7mo old daughter (who we also call B!) did the sleep swap thing around 6 months as well. dang it! I was so thankful that we lucked out with a good sleeper, then BAM! She has been up 3x/night for the last month! It’s been rough! Every book / blog / site will tell you a different way to “fix” it. My husband says, “she just loves you so much & wants to see you.” ha. it’ll get better. . . it has to, right!? =)

      • Ha – I’m right there with you, Danielle! It seems true for most parenting aspects – just when you think you’ve got it down, a rug is swept from under you! I suppose they’re teaching us to be humble, those sweet babies. :)

  • I motion to rid the world of the notion that babies sleep “well” at all before age 2. And even if you’re a lucky enough parent to have gotten a couple weeks worth of 8 hour nights, never ever count on it lasting!
    But of course the sleep (or lack there of) is just all part of the magic in the days that pass too quickly. Sometimes I feel like if I ever got as much sleep as I wanted, when I awoke, my little toddler would be off to college!

  • Oh, sleep. Forrest is doing better – usually I’m only up once a night now instead of multiple times, but I also stopped jumping up each time he squawked because he seemed to go right back to sleep as soon as I stumbled out of bed, dressed, and went down the hall to his room. KNOCK ON WOOD though, cause as soon as I say that he’ll decided not to sleep! I can’t wait till he discovers he can do the ‘No’ too, heaven knows he hears it enough. = )

  • Ah…I always love these letters the best! We have an 8 month old who has also decided that Sleep is for the Weak and old me is shaking her head at new me and the idea that I can get anything done on less than 9 hours straight snoozing. Yet…somehow I am! We also have given up napping during the day. I keep telling myself: a) it’s not forever and b) it’s not forever. Thanks for sharing another beautiful message!

  • Oh Erin, Isley will be 10 months old on Saturday and sleeping has gone out the window for us too. She was doing so well and I have no clue what happened but we are up every night multiple times. I’m hoping maybe its just teething. Aside from the new night waking she was born with clubfoot and while her feet are corrected she has to wear a brace at night. Her favorite way to let us know she’s awake is to clank her brace against the crib rail. Its like our own personal prison riot;)

  • Oh. My. God. That expression is priceless.

    Parenting mantra that always gets me though everything (mostly): This Too Shall Pass.

  • Hi, first post, and i’m not usually a poster or blog follower, but these letters to bee are just gorgeous. I have a 9.5month old too. Your writing is so engaging, i look forward to every letter and ferociously nodding my head to all the things that apply to my family too. Would certainly purchase if you ever considered publishing. What a wonderful way to document Bee’s 1st year – she’ll love it. Keep up the fantastic work!

    • Ah, thank you, Susana. You’re so kind!! And man, if your 9.5 month old is anything like mine, I wish you an afternoon with your feet up and some hot coffee! :)

  • Just found you somehow and I don’t even remember how because this letter washed all memory from my mind. I adore it. I feel it. I am living it. And you put it so eloquently and perfectly. Thank you for sharing it (and I LOVE that photo too!).

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