Dear Ethan and Maya,
This month, we’ve kicked off the “going out as one happy family project”. Usually we plan ahead pretty well, because any mistakes could trigger both of your monstrous screams that would shatter all the glass windows of a shopping mall.
The other morning, after I was done dressing you, Ethan, I let you sit on the couch and watch “Sesame Street” for the 4th hour of that morning, so we could get Maya and ourselves ready without being disturbed. And Maya, apparently there is nothing so upsetting in the world as having to strap you into your car seat. Every time when you are in the car seat, we have to dodge your wailing screams before you are put in the car and take off. That morning, your brother probably thought he had enough of your screams as much as I had enough of his screams, he came over to your car seat and yelled, “What da h……………………happen!” Both your father and I blinked at each other, feeling amazed that our child has learned how to control his language in front of his parents. Then I was quick to answer you that maybe Maya doesn’t like car ride as you do, or sometimes it’s just sad to find oneself sitting in a pile of their own shit.
The other thing that we have to make sure right on track is the music being played on the ride. Ethan, there is no doubt you love music. And we’ve learned quickly not to play you any pop songs when you are cranky. NO LAME CHEESY POP SONGS! We’ve tried from the very loud heavy metal to the mellow acoustic and somewhere in between, but your reaction to all of these is to scream a disapproved scream as if to say “Why are you trying to kill me?”
After several life threatening attempts, we finally figured out your favorites are classical and jazz music. When we turn it on, your raging face will immediately turn into a radiant grin. However, you CAN’T STAND INTERMISSION BETWEEN SONGS! When there is silence, you will kick the back of our seats really hard yelling “Music! Music!” that seems to be instructing us to PLAY THE DAMN MUSIC NON-STOP, YOU DUMB!
Maya, when I was pregnant with you, I was advised not to consume shell fish or raw meat. And when we had sashimi or lobster during family dinner, your father would eat a lot hoping his fullness would soothe me. This advice is still on because I’m breastfeeding you. But I’m off the hook of eating raw meat. Don’t ask me why, I still have difficulty figuring out the whole human biology thing – you grow a human inside your belly before you push it out your vagina and feed it with your boobs. Weird or what?
So to celebrate, your father and I went to have sushi the other day. And the feeling I had was as satisfying as how you feel when you are done with your every mammoth explosive poop. Since what I eat is what you eat now, maybe you don’t like sushi, you became so cranky all day long the next day. Though you were fed, changed, burped, being held and rocked, there was not one whole minute you were not screaming. Yes, I am exaggerating, but you were that horrifying and there’s no window in the world I wouldn’t want to throw you out of.
At night, you’ve started to sleep in stretches that last anywhere from three to five hours, and you will go right back to sleep after you eat. When you wake up in the morning at about 9AM, you are always smiling. And Maya, those morning smiles are the most wonderful addition to my life, and I would forsake all the sashimi and lobster to see it every morning.
Ethan, you’ve finally found your appetite that you lost when you were born, cause you’ve been eating so much lately. Now, you basically finish every single meal. Sometimes you even ask for more. You are excited to get on your high chair when you see I’m setting the table. And you eat joyously all over your body. When you were first introduced to eat by yourself, I had a hard time controlling myself not to wipe the crumbs off your face or your hands. Now, you wipe your hands frequently during mealtime, and you ask us to wipe your nose if you feel there’s a tiny string of booger in there. You simply can’t stand to have anything messy on your body. And you can definitely blame me for passing on this particular quirk to you. People often ask me how I keep the house so clean when I should be busy enough to prepare meals and take care of two children. My answer to this is because I’m a sick person. I scrub everything vigorously because I’m insane. And you seem to have taken this trait very well. People may call us crazy, Ethan, but they can’t say our house is dirty.
Over these two months since your arrival, Maya, you’ve brought back the memory when I was taking care of your brother when he’s your age. When I look back the past two years, I finally feel like I have a handle on the responsibilities of this family, like I know what I’m doing, like the role of mother makes sense. Finally my instincts have kicked in at the right frequency, and I don’t go around all day thinking why your brother keeps running through the house and making noise.
And when I look at him now, it’s unbelievably amazing how two years of time can change a baby into a little person. And in fact I’m terrified that your two years will come by as quickly. I’ve already missed the first time you smiled at me, you smooshed on my chest, you cooed to make noise……I want to hold onto that.
And, Maya, I would never throw you out the window. I may, however, throw myself out.