Dear Ethan and Maya,
Why just one month has gone by and you both seem like a couple years older?
Maya, I think you have taken a dive into your terrible twos. Shouldn’t I be well-prepared having already gone through your brother’s terrible twos? Yes. I should. In fact, I am. For six months later. NOT NOW. Not ready to handle the situation when you act like I’m assaulting you when I try to feed you, shoving away that big full spoonful of tomato sauce onto the pure white wall, situation when you start to roll your body on the floor in a grocery store just because I refuse to let you lick that slab of beef ribs, situation when you fight my hand off yours trying to go down the stairs all by yourself, situation when you only have options of me holding you or you being on the floor, but not floating in the air where you can fly up above the refrigerator and pour out everything from the inside of those 17 cereal boxes. If there are laws against people under the age of 21 pretending to be 21 and go clubbing and be alcoholic, there should be laws against a child who is six months away from the age of two acting so terribly two.
There is no reason for your constant outrageous pitch of scream. Any time when your mouth is not eating, it is screaming. My mother flew all the way from Hong Kong to visit us for three weeks. The first morning when your usual nagging started that at one point you were stomping your feet against the floor so bad that you were going to crash it, I ran out and brought you back to the bathroom with me, set you next to the toilet and handed you a box of tampons. You shut up right away. Worried if I just flushed you away, my mother peeked inside the bathroom and shrieked. You had opened 2 tampons, one of them inside your mouth. She freaked out yet had a hard time not to laugh. When she intended to reach out trying to take it away from your mouth as she worried you might choke, I was all relaxed, “Mom, the most important thing is she’s not making any noise.” I think she was quite proud about the fact that she had raised a responsible daughter who happens to be an innovative parent. Mom, so much more for you to experience from this magnificent wild animal zoo in the following weeks. WELCOME.
“Bob the Builder” is now your favorite television show. In fact the only part that you enjoy the most is the opening theme song. Every morning after breakfast, you will pass me the remote and go all, “Bobbbbbbbbb! Bobbbbbbb!” wanting me to turn it on for you. You will spin and tap dance on the floor when the song starts, and request to play it from the beginning when it ends. Last time your grandmother tried to make you happy and sang you the song. At first, you looked pretty excited that Bobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb came out, seconds later you looked at her strangely like, stop, you are not doing it right, please just turn the real thing back on. Then you passed her the remote.
I thought I would have to hold my tears when I started to type THIS – Ethan, you are starting to grow out of your nap. First, you started to refuse to fall asleep after lunch. Last time it took 14 times of you going out of the room and being taken back or threatened to stay in the garage. And when we were finally convinced that you should be sleeping because of the silence, which was 40 minutes later, the silence only lasted for half an hour. At the beginning, we though we would all be dead. NO NAP NO LIFE. But turns out it has created a window for some me-and-you time which we both missed badly. We can play board game and blocks together without worrying your sister will shatter everything. I will ask you to draw something silly that you will draw something even sillier, and we will laugh so hard so blissful. And that’s when I continued to feel your growing knowledge to EVERYTHING that I might not even know. Once you drew a thing that you insisted was glue. How do you present glue on a drawing? I have no idea. I asked you what glue was supposed to look like.
“It looks like glue.” you said.
“Okay. Last time you used it to make art. What did you feel playing with it?”
You giggled at me and answered, “It feels like……..GLUE, MAMMY.” Like, why it’s so hard for you to understand?
And this is one of the many reasons I love to hang out with you – the conversations that you lead me into are always addictively fun. So addictive that if I had known talking with kids could be this entwining I would have had kids, like, forty years ago.
The other day when we were lounging on the couch flipping channels, we came across a scene where a couple done having sex and prepared to get dressed. “Why they take off the clothes?” you asked. Seriously I am totally aware of the importance of sex education for kids. And I know that I will be one sophisticated mother who gets herself prepared to this topic. Just I didn’t expect it would happen now for a three-year-old. No manual has ever mentioned that sex education should start this soon. The shock struck me so hard that I could only come up with a dumbest answer, “Because they are hot.” Fortunately you seemed to pretty contented with that. Except a brief moment later, we reached a channel where “Mad Men” was playing. What else can you see in “Mad Men” except smoking and sex? You reacted speedily fast and asked, “Mommy, are they hot too?”
“……Yes.” I answered, biting my lips to bleed.
“Why everyone is hot? I WANT TO BE HOT TOO!”
Every morning at around 7am, you wake up and come to our bed. We used to take you back to your room, so we could sleep for another 10 minutes before you came back to ours again. For some reason you’ve started to conclude that the wake-up time for the whole family is 8am. And now you will just come to our bed, lay down next to me and wait till 8am. You will snuggle deep into my neck and sometimes face wash me with your face. This is always a wonderful feeling, because I know you are not doing it just so that I will give you my iphone or a gummy bear. You are snuggling for the sake of snuggling, and I know these days are numbered and that it will only be a few years before you won’t be able to say the word Mommy without throwing up.
Kids, we know that the more you grow up, the less likely you are willing to give us kisses. Now we routinely ask you for a kiss or thousands of it whenever you request for something, because we all are crazy about your kisses. Maya, you are always the generous one. The amount of kisses that you give out is so enormous that one time when you asked for a cookie, both me and your father told you to kiss us each like 70 times before you completely forgot the fact that you kissed us because you wanted the cookie. I cannot put into word about how magical your kiss is to kill the stress over my head or to put a smile back to my teary face. A kiss, a hug, a snuggle, you will never know how many years of my life you have healed with this one gesture. Thank you.