I had a dream last night. Eli had done something — I don’t know what, but it was wrong, and I had told him so, and he’d nodded and not really paid attention in the way he does. I was filled with rage, at his ignoring me, at him not understanding his wrongness. I wanted to take him and shake him, limbs flying, until he got it. Then I woke up.

We’re in a strange and frightening transition. Eli is moving from being a lump of baby to a creature who can comprehend and reason. I’m caught in the middle, not sure how much discipline to administer, frustrated that he ignores what I say or tests me. I wonder how we will cope with him.

Then I come home from work. “Daddy home!” he cries and rushes headlong, throwing his little body into me, all bird bones and high-pitched voice.