Dear Ethan and Maya,
Earlier this month, we took you to a kids’ Christmas party organized by our company. Normally I wouldn’t bother any company activities because I am anti-social. But I am a parent who would make certain sacrifice for my children. With the surprisingly high attendance at the party, we had to line up for everything. Now here is the thing about me lining up – I DON’T LINE UP. If I don’t get the reservation confirmed for dinner, I won’t go to that restaurant. I would go back home right at the second I see a queue. But again, I am a good mother who is ready to sacrifice – wasting time to line up for some damn animal balloons.
Because I don’t normally line up, and so do you, Ethan. The moment we started standing in the queue, you were gone. To the Santa Claus telling him how much you don’t like him and attempting to crash the coffee table next to him. We were managed to avoid being identified as your parents. In front of us stood two teen girls dressing in their party dresses with ruffles and sequin, talking their best-friend-forever talk. Out of curiosity, Maya, you came up to touch their sparkling dresses. One of the girls started being obnoxious and two streams of red last shot out of her eyes and seared a 2-inch hole in your skull. No matter how hard I tried to stop you from touching their precious dresses, you insisted to do that. At one point, they got really irritated and said, “THAT’S ENOUGH!” BITCH would follow if I were not there. When it was almost their turns, you both ran over to the balloon guy wanting to closely see what he did. I think those girls were so close to call the cops that I had to reassure them that they would get their turns first.
Finally everybody got to have their balloons happily, including you, Maya, who was so excited that you brought your puppy balloon to the faces of those two girls and loudly claimed, “MINE!!!!!!!” I secretly wanted to high-five you, my feisty little bitch.
And Maya, how I love your personality! You don’t get to watch your favorite TV show, you will stand in front of the television to block your brother from watching it. We threaten you with a time-out as you won’t finish your meal, you shove everything off the table. Your brother is reading one of your books, you scream and yell, then you take a big bite on his arm, leaving a bruise on it. How fearless you are. Last week at your brother’s school Christmas party, your brother refused to sing the songs that he had been practising. All he wanted was for me to sit close to him. Then you came in to join the group, and started to shake the trampoline. You had no clue what they were singing. But it’s fun. It’s so fun that you enthusiastically became one of the performers waddling your body to dance along. You are simultaneously the most focused and most air-headed combination of our genes possible.
Ethan, I wasn’t surprised that you didn’t want to perform. And it’s fine, cause you will always have your sister on your back. Maybe you thought it was stupid, maybe you didn’t think you had practised enough, maybe you just didn’t want to sing in front of us as later you told us so. And it’s fine considered you are normally outrageously emotional. One night on the way home, you requested to put the music on in the car, we followed your command. Except your sister didn’t want the music. Yes, she turns out to be pretty emotional too! So we turned the music off, which we knew we had to turn it right back on. There is no such thing as IGNORE YOUR ORDER. We turned the damn music back on. Except you weren’t satisfied. You wanted us to DRIVE BACK TO WHERE WE STOPPED THE MUSIC! How did you come up with that? It should be classified as one of the extreme tortures to parents. When we told you it’s late that we had to go home and we were not going to go back, you became so frustrated that you wrestled against your car seat and kicked my seat with every strength in your body including the one across your forehead. That moment I just wanted to call my mother to curse her to ever bringing me to the world knowing that one day I might have a child of my own. I apologize now, Ethan, for what your children are going to do to you.
Last week was my mother’s birthday. We sent her a video of you singing Happy Birthday, blew the candles and ate the cake for her. I told you both that grandma turned 63 years old. And Ethan, right then I saw your brain trying to figure out if it’s possible for an age to count this high.
“But I am only 4. Is 63 SO many?” You asked.
“Yes, that’s SO MANY! Because grandma is old.” I told you knowingly.
Next day you talked to grandma on the phone, you nicely said Happy Birthday to her. Sitting next you, I noticed that at one point your eyes focused to a certain spot on the ottoman in an attempt to ask her a question, and suddenly you popped it out, “Popo, are you MANY YEARS OLD?” Despite the fact that grandma doesn’t care how old she is cause she doesn’t even look like she’s 63. I am glad that she doesn’t understand English, and she’s not planning to learn it. Because the words that she would understand from you could get her brain haemorrhaged all over the house.
For the past week you both and I have been very sick with a cold, a fever, and an endless hacking cough that I had to stay in bed for days. I am so tired of this, and it seems like the past few months have been nothing but a string of illnesses, flu, and stomach bugs. Most of the time we had to send you over to your grandparents or aunt just to avoid my virus. While being sick is not fun at all, it does allow me to just relax and enjoy the pureness of being with you when you are home. Three of us snuggle up in a blanket watching Sesame Street together. You dance or exercise along the show to make me giggle. One night Ethan you came over to sleep next to me on our bed. We snored through our congested sinuses, and at one point you rolled over and grabbed my arm and pulled it over so that my hand was cradling your little warm face. And then you fell back asleep underneath my fingers. One afternoon Maya, you woke up from your nap, I took you over to my bed hoping that I could nap a little longer. You calmly lied down next to me, rolling your eyes over the ceiling then you turned to me, moving your face to mine. Like you are telling me, poor you, mom. I know. I know.