Ethan (20 months)

Dear Ethan,

You turned 20 months old a couple days ago.

The most momentary thing happened last month of your life is you eat three full meals a day accompanied with in-between snacks. I have no idea if you are experiencing a growth spurt or you’ve come to the realization that you are completely unacceptable doing this to us, you eat like a monster. We know that this probably won’t last, so every time you eat a good meal, we shower you with positive feedback like, “Good boy!”, “Ethan, you’ve done a great job!” or “Look, who didn’t try to kill his mommy!”

Since you spend quite some time on dining table now, it has brought us a good chance to teach you table manners before you successfully absorb all of our bad habits. Now whenever you nag to demand more food, we stop you and tell you to ask us nicely with “Please”. Then we wait for you to comply by giving us an adorably high-pitched “PISS”. Or we will try something else, like spanking or poking your eyes out of their sockets, because as much as we want to teach you manner, we in fact find you saying “PISS” extremely hilarious. We didn’t realize how well the whole thing works out until you started to abuse the use of “Please” and ask for something that you think isn’t unreasonable, like chocolate mousse in the middle of dinner, or a toy train for you to roll over on your toast.


There are very limited occasions that you are not there by my legs whenever I need to get changed. You love to hang around in our bedroom, attempt to destroy your father’s radio clock or wipe our closet mirror with your tongue. Once you see me walk in the room and get undressed. You stop doing anything and go all excited, giggling and pointing at my bare breast. As I’ve noticed that you are not that ecstatic when you see your father naked, I know that you are into boobs. And I can’t stress how pleased I feel towards this gesture of yours. Not that I’m against homosexuals, I have some closed friends who are gay, and I love them all for their unique, passionate and friendly characters. But I’m glad that you know you have choices. One thing that we seriously need to address though. Now, whenever you see my bras, you say MOMMY MOMMY and try to grab them. And  I will have to stop you doing this anymore. As much as you are amazed what a pair of nice breasts your mommy has, the last thing I want is that you’d think of me when you are “having fun” with your future girlfriends.

You are now at the stage of trying to communicate with us. When I ask you if you want snack, you pull me over to the refrigerator and say “yogoo” if you want yogurt. You tell me “boo boo” when you want me to change your diaper after you poop. You say “bao bao” (Means “full” in English) when you eat enough at dinner, though sometimes it happens even before we finish setting the table. The very moment your communication skill explodes is when you want to watch Sesame Street video. One of the huge mistakes that we’ve ever made is to let you watch the video on our laptops! I said mistake because you’ve become seriously addicted to computer that whenever we take you away from it, you would turn yourself into flame and burn yourself to death. It doesn’t help that we have more computers in our house than in the entire BC province, thanks to your geeky father, and you are constantly hit with the temptation. Now, when you spot a computer, however far or high from your reach, you will say “Momo!” with you arm extending to the keyboard. The very reason that we introduced you to Sesame Street videos was we found that it really worked on interrupting your tantrums. We’ve learned which part in a specific episode that you are crazy about, the part where every monsters gather to sing about some colors or shapes, and it makes you want to dance. I now have difficulty getting rid of those songs from my head, and sometimes I hum along them unconsciously even when I’m at work. But I’m not complaining because it brings me to think about how you shake your head and swing your body when you dance. It takes a portion of my brain dedicated to the thought of where you are and what you are doing now. And it makes me feel less stressful while working.


Ethan, I don’t mind being bombarded with Elmo’s voice in my head as much as I mind how fast you are becoming a little boy. I didn’t think I would notice that because I see you every day, but sometimes I enter your room in the morning and you look a little taller or your cheeks are a little leaner. Now you even fit in those pants that we received from friends some time ago when they were still too long for you. Sometimes I quietly watch you playing across the room by yourself, I see an independent handsome little guy there. I will selfishly interrupt you and ask you if you want to play piggy-back. You will look up and say “Pig Pig”. Then I sit on floor, you climb up on my back with your arms around my neck, I support your legs with my arms. When I go 1-2-3-FLY and lift you up, you will giggle maniacally. I feel your weight on my back. And it reminds me how tiny you were when you first came out from my belly. You were so light. I used to worry that I would get tired of holding you in my arms, or having you lie on my back because you are getting bigger and bigger. But I want to assure that I won’t ever get tired of this at all, because I know there is nothing can ever bring me closer to you.

Few days ago, you started to notice my big mole below my neck on my back when we were playing piggy-back. Whenever people see my mole, they bug me with advice telling me that I have a huge dark blot at my back that I need to get rid of, cause it brings me an uneasy life. I was very sensitive about this mole growing up, worrying what kind of life would be ahead of me. Then years went by, I’ve striven towards my  independence, my career, my family……and now you. People used to ask me about you and I’d usually begin with, “Well, he never stops…” and then, “I never thought it would be this hard. I finally realized what that mole has brought me.”


Yet, the first time you found my mole by touching it and said “Mo Mo”, though I’m still wondering where you learned this word from, at that split second my body became completely stiff with goose bumps all over my skin. Without hesitation, I held you up to my face and smothered you in kisses and you laughed with your entire body. Now whenever we do this game, you go straight to touch my mole on my back. My pulse is forever closer to the surface of my neck because of you, because of my responsibility toward you, and I can’t thank you enough for the dimension that this has added to what it means to be alive. And it makes having this mole worth the uneasy life I endure.


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