Ethan (13 months)

Dear Ethan,

You turn 13 months old today.


So, koala? Or kangaroo? Either one of them who attaches themselves to a physical body to do anything in life, you’ve become one! Over the past year, I’ve been convincing myself that I can do my things whenever you are taking a nap or playing with yourself. Then I’ve realized that this is not going to happen unless you are physically glued onto my body. And that’s how I train up myself to do any basic houseworks with only one arm, balance myself with only one leg while my another leg is trying to close the kitchen cabinet door that you opened before I picked you up. And you know what we do when I need to go? I put you on the floor next to the toilet playing with tampons and shampoo bottles, while I try to finish my business within 5 seconds before you remember you can put your hands into the toilet bowl and splash the water in it. Ethan, this is your mom who used to have a career and make lot of money. Now I poop when you sit on my feet and play with tampons. If you are neither drinking urine nor eating feces, that’s what I consider as a successful morning.


But, Ethan, it’s ok. Because you say mama more now. And at some point I’m glad about what it brought to me – After I returned to work, I was gleefully told that I look even slimmer than before I was pregnant!! After a rigorous 24/7 physical training for a whole year, my arms are toned up, tummy is flatten… For anyone who has complains about how annoying Jenny Craig commercial is just because they don’t seem to lose any weight by using her service, they should definitely hire you as their personal trainer. In case it doesn’t work, you could bring into your sleepless power to get them to attend to you for the whole night. Sleep deprivation should surely do the work of making skinny people.

So, I’ve gone back to work. Even before I did, I knew I would hate it cause I will be stuck in the office missing your very first step. However, this sucky situation has created a priceless opportunity to intensify your already very intense relationship with your grandpa who comes to our house to look after you whenever I need to work. Ethan, I have to tell you, your #1 favorite person in the world is any stranger on the street, and #2 is your grandpa. I have no idea how it happened, but the affectionate chemistry between you both is indescribable. One thing about your grandpa though is his fiery temper towards your grandma that at once made me believe that he regretted to marry her so badly. He has a habit to yell at her for anything she says, and no doubt she’s born to irritate him. A perfect couple in a weird way. But when you witness how she voluntarily reports her day to him after she gets home, and how he attentively listens to and grumbles about what she says, you know they were born to be together, no one else would possibly fit into their routine.

Besides your power to capture all family members attention, your coming to this family has also unveiled another facet of your grandpa’s personality that I’ve never seen before. Whenever he sees you, his giant golden wings would emerge from his back, he would become a flying Jesus and hop onto you.  And you would hustle along everything within your eyesight, and  reach to his loving embrace. Your magic simply turns his fury into benevolent affection and abundant patience for you. I’m sure his kisses for you are way more than he has ever given to all family members combined. A few weeks ago, you knocked your head against the floor when you tried to climb up the hanging blanket to our bed and slipped off. And I think you’ve almost given a heart attack to your grandpa who, up until now, still cannot forgive himself for not keeping his good eye on you. Ethan, even a 30 years younger Rambo would not be able to catch up with your countless dangerous games, not to mentioned your 68-year-old grandpa. He kept calling us to check on your bruised bump, and there I’ve seen how fragile and loving your raging grandpa is when facing you little monkey.


A couple weeks ago, I saw a YouTube clip of a baby dancing to a Beyonce’s music video. Amazed by what a groove that baby had, I started to worry as you still have no sign to walk or even stand on your own. I know I should not  compare, but it just concerned me when your next door buddies who are around your age have started to stand without support or even take a few steps. But you know what you did? You’ve learnt to wobble your head blissfully when you see your father do so or when you hear us say “Let’s dance!”. You would pick up a toy flower and bring it to my face, then I thank you telling you it smells so good, and you would smile. Ethan, I think this is what you are trying to tell me – Stop worrying about what comes next and simply enjoy what you are giving me now. I know someday you will be at an age where you will be embarrassed to even get close to me, but right now you can drool all over my shirt and rub your head in it. This is what you are giving me now, the chance to be a mother to a baby, a mother to you.


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