Ethan (19 months)

Dear Ethan,

You turn 19 months old tomorrow.

Although you are improving a lot adapting to the new daycare environment – you cry less when you father kisses you goodbye and you don’t nag that much during the day, you are still referred by the teachers as STUBBORN since you are not acting as happily as other kids are. The other day your father told me your teacher’s comment followed by “He’s so having your gene.” I confronted him, “Tell me who is the one in this house who insists to have THREE computers to work with altogether all the time even for a simple weather check?!”

When I was thinking if we have sent you to a wrong daycare for their strange No Bare Foot policy¬†and now ridiculous comment on a kid, we found that you have picked up a new habit. You used to just drop whatever you had in your hands on floor before you moved on to take another toy or got prepared to go out. Yes, leaving the house and staying outside all day without coming back is your favorite activity now. You will go all crazy and get your socks, shoes and jacket when you sense a bit that we may be going out. Now, we have to hide all keys and shoes from you, so you will not just grab it, treat it like some magic key, go direct to the door, bang the door knob with it, and yell to get out. Now you don’t just let go of what you have in your hands when you don’t need it. Instead, you put it back to where it locates. If this is what the daycare taught you, you are definitely staying. I’ve never been the daughter my mom wants, I ran away from home before college. Why? Remember you don’t ask me questions like that before you wipe my butt? I’ve never expected to raise a disciplined child of my own. The first time I saw you putting back your toys, I looked around the house wondering if someone was joking with me. The other day, I asked you to put the clock back to my bed table after you were done playing with it. Initially, you placed it facing down before you looked back and realized it’s not right. You took countless attempts to put it upright even though I told you that you’ve done a great job and it’s OK to go. YOU WERE STILL NOT GIVING UP, NO WAY! When I had to take you away after I came back from peeing, I know I’m ready to accept the fact that you ARE stubborn.


Turn out that you’ve started to recognize some numbers and alphabets. One afternoon we were in the middle of the living room floor playing blocks together. I randomly picked up a block with a “6” on, and told you it’s SIX. You looked at that block and said out loud NINE! Yesterday, I showed you a promotional pamphlet with a “Give the Gift” slogan on. I pointed and read you letter by letter G-I-V-E-T-H-E-G-I-F-T. When I tried to repeat starting with the first G in GIVE, you pointed at another G in GIFT! After showing you off to your father, we concluded that one of the explanations for this is that you pay close attention to “Sesame Street”, that you thrive to learn despite your lazy parents. But we also agreed that we would take full credit anyway by telling people it’s because of our superior genes.

Over the past few weeks, you’ve been absorbing the news that come October, life as you know it is going to be over. You will no longer be the most spoiled kid on the planet that all you do is complain, be it for not given the TV remote, or not taken out to park. By the time the new baby comes, you’d be assigned to do diapers. You’ve been shown how for 19 months already now, aren’t you experienced? Yes, got to put you to work early!

We brought you to my last sonogram appointment. When the doctor found the wiggly baby in my belly, you shouted, “Baby! Baby!” While everybody in the room was amazed, I felt so relieved that you were not able to ask me where did I get that baby from, because I was not prepared at all to talk to you about your father’s penis.

But most importantly, I’m glad that you are not up to the thought that you might be neglected as the new baby comes. Ethan, this is NOT going to happen. We love you. We adore you. You will always be our first born, our special child who first changed our hearts, and nothing could ever take that away. Very soon, you will be the big brother of this baby. Surely, there will be moments when you both will try to kill each other emotionally or physically. Also I do think you will need each other to call to complain about the fact that your parents are nuts. But I know that at some point this baby will look up to you one day and be proud that she has the coolest brother in the world.


I can never figure out the magic behind siblings relationship. But I do know the bond is still here even though I screwed mine. And over these years since I’ve joint your father’s family and witnessed the relationship between your father and his sisters, I do hope this is the relationship you will have with this baby – a bond so strong that it doesn’t matter if they have nothing but parents in common. They are lifelines, people who were there witnessing everything that made their kids who they are. Is their relationship perfect? No. But I’m sure they would sacrifice anything for each other, and one of the many reasons we decided to have another child was to give you the possibility of that friendship.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *