Ethan (18 months)

Dear Ethan,

Tomorrow you will turn 18 months old.

I’ve been trying to make it through your whole life without explicitly talking about THIS. But how many times can I skip doing THIS when THIS has already become part of my life too. Before I had you, I did not realize how obsessive I could be about human feces. And how up close and personal I could be treating your stool like my closest friend! Listen, Ethan, I did more than once pry your poop out when it was hanging from your bottom. Now, you may find it unbelievably gross and embarrassed when you are reading this one day. But you should know that I did that BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. That’s what mothers do.


Everyday one and only major conversation between your father and me is your poop. Now, since your father works from home most of the time, making sure the system attached to your bottom is working fine has become a priority among all his office works. And the daily report to me, oh, that routine, that annoying routine that your father would be willing to have his pay cut to skip doing anymore. Why? Because he knows I will drill deeper and deeper until the day I successfully get him to dig into your stool to make sure what you eat the day before is completely gone from your digestive system.

Me: Did Ethan poop today?

Your father: Yes, around 10am, after breakfast, on his diaper, not in potty though I have put him on for more than 20 minutes.

Me: Was it big?

Your father: Yes, sort of.

Me: Sort of? How big?

Your father: Like a golf ball.
Me: That’s it? Golf ball is not considered as BIG. He ate so much yesterday.

Your father: (usually about to cry) I will try to sit him again later.

Am I being harsh? Imagine this: I’m either pulling out your poop or breathing your father’s toxic fart gas. My brain is too deteriorated to think leniently.

Normally you poop more than twice a day. So, when you are not pooping for ONE DAY, you are considered to be severely constipated. We usually try to hide this horrifying fact from your grandma who will otherwise try to fix it with HER WAY! Now, after you know what she did to you, you may not like it for the sake of gastronomy. Me neither. But trust me, Ethan, IT WORKS PERFECTLY!!! Her classic killer app is FIG. Now, you go to her house every Sunday so your father can golf and I can breathe. Your grandma will feed you all day long with figs. I almost passed out first time I found out she gave your 2 oranges and 4 figs in a row. Since then she has not even mentioned it at all. Instead she put it in your meal without letting us know. Imagine fig in your beef porridge! Gross! I know! But I also know the fact that you would become a massive pooper afterwards. And when it did finally come out, it was THHHHHHHHHHHHIS huge and looked like an atom bomb and once even clogged the toilet that we had to flush at least 20 times, I couldn’t be more relieved.


You’ve started your 2-day-a-week daycare schedule this month. The idea came up after we’d realized that if we let your grandpa look after you any longer, we’d all be seeing each other in jail very soon. In fact I’m very impressed about your grandpa’s creativity on taking care of you. How about super-under-age driving? Fun, huh?! At less than 2 years old, you’ve already been put on the driver’s seat when the car engine was on. Your grandpa let your honk, jam the radio stereo, steer the wheel… if your legs were long enough for the pedals, you would be taken off to California on your own. It was nice and sunny last Sunday afternoon, instead of taking you to play swing in the park as what normal grandparents do, your grandpa got you to screw the traffic system of one of the busiest streets in Vancouver. Sounds adventurous, huh?! He basically let you press the pedestrian crossing button, NON STOP, FIERCELY! So the traffic light went idle, all the cars were forced to stop moving just to let you enjoy the tic-tac-tic-tac audio signals it triggered. I’m so glad that one of the drivers spotted you both and yelled the hell out of you. Cause if I were him, I would either call the police or drive up to the curb and get you both out of the way.

We knew that you would not like daycare. You hate to see your father hang your jacket in your locker before leaving you to the teachers. You hate taking nap in the same room with other kids. You hate using sippy cup as you’ve been using straws……But when you settle in, play toys, lock eyes and interact with other kids, you start to see something new. And we know we’ve made the right decision.


I had a day off last week. We spent the day stacking blocks, dancing along with your favorite Sesame Street music, playing at the park. When you started to get tired, we sat together with your body draping across my chest. I read you books until you fell asleep quietly without nagging at all. It actually reminded me the moment the nurse first laid you on me in the delivery room. Sometimes I wonder if my memory will go away maybe in 10 years that I won’t remember what it’s like to feel your body heat for the first time. But that afternoon I felt it again. And I realized that without even knowing it we will continue to pull each other back to those first few minutes together as a mother and her child. You let me understand it’s not a matter of forgetting what it felt like, it’s a matter of being reminded of it by living it over and over again.


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