Ethan (14 months)

Dear Ethan,

You turned 14 months old a few days ago. Why this letter came in late? Look, you don’t ask this kind of question until the day you wipe my butt. Now, I will answer you with “Well…”, and you will take it.

For quite some time, I’ve noticed that you are not fond of wearing clothes, especially on a changing mat. What is a changing mat? This is something that used to be a changing mat but has recently become a red-hot iron board filled with cactus needles that whenever you are put onto it, your body would burst into flame, and you howl as the needles force into your skin. Whenever I try to pull a sweater over your head or put a coat on your body, your attack baby demon would come out and attack me by pulling my hair and punting my belly. And SHOES! Ethan, why do you have two feet to double my pain? After every sweaty attempt to put shoes on your feet, I will have to make sure your legs are not fractured, cause the energy I spend on restraining your legs from moving around and twisting your feet back to a right position is equivalent to how much I would spend on dismembering a hockey player alive. It’s seriously freezing out there now. Sometimes only the thought of putting a whole set of winter gear on you is enough for me to reconsider staying home.


I don’t even remember since when your unwillingness to eat normally has become our routine. At least 3 times a day, either me or your father has to act like some kind of circus folks, be it jumping over a fire hula hoop to turn ourselves into a fire ball or swallowing a sharp sword so a bleed fountain would emerge from our mouths. We have to completely distract you so we can put food into your mouth without your knowledge. Otherwise, you will act like I’m assaulting you when I try to feed you, gluing tight your lips, thrusting away my hand like I’m holding some poison, refusing to play with any of tons of toys scattered on your table and floor. And you know what you do to the food that I put into your mouth? You hold it in your mouth munching it into paste. When I tell you to swallow it, you will spit it out with your head shaking. So the food paste will messily shatter all over your overflowing bib pocket, clothes, high chair and floor. Same situation happens in any public place. And that made us to start seriously looking for a portable mob that we can carry along to clean the restaurant floor after your visit just to avoid being blacklisted.


The first time you figured out which button to activate your toy saxophone to play music, and you dance along shaking your head and bouncing your body, we thought the world couldn’t be any cuter. In fact, we thought the first time you did anything were cute, but then when you continued to do these things, we quickly realized that what may seem cute the first time will usually become pretty annoying the second time or the 900th for that matter.

About that saxophone music, once it’s started, you CANNOT TURN IT OFF until the whole song is played, then it ends with a ghastly uproar which sounds very much like a chainsaw, only I swear, it seems louder. If there’s any competition for the most hideous and creepy music a toy could create, this saxophone would definitely be the winner. And you would be one proud owner who magnifies its influence. Here is what you are addicted to do with it: you hold the saxophone in your hand when you hit the button and this horrible music roared into the room. Before the music has even started for 5 seconds, you hit another button to initiate a new song, after 3 seconds, you hit another button to start over the song, hit a button, start over, hit a button, start over……And you know when it’s going to run out of battery, the music will be completely distorted. And this is how you watch “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” without the image but only the sound.


I cannot stress enough how desperately I’ve been wanting to see you walking on your own. You can walk a relatively long distance now with us holding your hands, though you still prefer crawling and demand to be carried. Now, you know which door in the house we go through when we need to go out. Sometimes you crawl over and point at that door trying to let us know that you want to go out. And this actually gives me a mix of feelings. I always thought that you’d be this little reptile that I’d be carrying around in my arms. And yet, you’ve started to have the desire to reach the outside world. Very soon, you will be able to walk across this door on your own without even letting me know, getting into the socialized network called “Friends”, a circle filled with happiness but also heartaches, which I’m still not ready to send you into. I know once you start walking, you will not stop. And this makes me feel gratifying but sad which you will never understand until you have your own child.


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