Dear Ethan and Maya,
This month the weather has been quite cooperative that we’ve been able to let you enjoy some water fun. Before you came along, Maya, we had been to beaches and pools, those PUBLIC places where your brother would run around and disappear. Therefore we bought this house hoping to spend as much time as we could in the huge backyard, a confined outdoor area. Sounds like a prison? Don’t judge me until you really know your brother.
Attempting to make the backyard as fun as those public playgrounds and water-parks, we put in a swing, slide set and some inflatable pools, the recent one was 10′ x 10′, big enough for all four of us to jump in and relax! Well, that might be the real reason I love to hang out at the backyard – being able to loosen up and let you play the hell out of it not worrying if you would jump off from the top of the slide, head first.
So, Maya, you played in the pool for the very first time. After a little hesitation at first, you went fearlessly electrified sitting in there with your brother, watching him splash water and collecting those toys floating around you. You were totally fine with water spattering into your face, you smilingly turned your face away, then turned back hoping for more! I hadn’t prepared for the possibility that you would be so enthusiastic. And at first I was a little worried that your brother would drown you or not let you touch his toys, cause toy fighting is what you both do all the time now. But you know what, Ethan, not only you weren’t harsh with Maya, you readily showed her how to slide toys into water. Your father and I spent that terrific afternoon watching you both interact and laugh with each other.
But sometimes when things go haywire, I just want to dig my head into the pool and let that unbearable moment slip away. Ethan, there was one afternoon you woke up from nap yelling and bawling for the fact that you didn’t want to wake up or sleep. We let you play in the pool at the backyard hoping some fresh air would clear your wrecked mind. Your father tried to cheer you up by jumping in and out of the pool. You loved the idea, except you didn’t like to get your hair wet! Every time when your foolish father hopped into the pool, even at the end he only tiptoed in the water, he unavoidably splashed those few tiny drops of water over you, and you screamed! He then tried to distract you, encouraged you to play with a ball he picked up from the water, you screamed because you didn’t like it wet! Both your father and I can’t agree more that this is the right decision to let you hangout in this imprisoned area for the rest of your life, because we can’t possibly let you wear a head-to-toe waterproof diving suit to play in a public pool without feeling ridiculous!
Maya, since last month, you’ve learned to sit up by yourself. And I can’t stress enough how relieved it is, as I don’t have to carry you around all the time. And I have my two hands back to do things like prepare your bottle without scattering the formula powder everywhere on the kitchen counter. Kid, that can of formula is pricey! But you know what, you’ve started to crawl this month, which I have to admit I didn’t hope for it to happen this soon. Because having you sat on the floor immobile was kind of convenient. I didn’t have to worry that you’d be halfway across the room about to put your tongue into a light socket. However nightmare has started! Without any warnings, you are like sitting here by my feet five seconds ago. BOOM! You disappear. You’ve just dragged yourself over to our neighbor’s house.
And it has contributed effectively to fuel the fire in the toy fight between you both. Maya, you are always captivated by your brother and whatever he has ever touched. You will dump whatever you are playing with, and crawl over like an army eagerly aiming whatever your brother is playing. You will climb up on his back until your hand reaches his toy. And Ethan, you can never tolerant this kind of behavior that you will freak out screaming and swattering off Maya, who still have hard time accepting the fact that you throw tantrums way more frequent than she poops. And yesterday, she pooped 40 times because she ate that bowl of rice you were not willing to touch.
One afternoon in the playroom, you were persuaded to share toys with Maya and you wanted to put together some puzzles with her. Apparently, Maya, you are too young for puzzles except you love to bite on them. When you sensed that your brother was being friendly, you were fascinated, and all you did was to climb up on his back trying to clutch his ear and chew on his shirt. Surprisingly, Ethan, you didn’t get mad and let her maul you for quite a while until you realized she’s not into puzzles at all, although you patiently tried to squeeze one specific piece into her hand for so long. Your frustration began to grow so overwhelmingly that I had to take Maya away, and explained to you that she just wanted to play with something else right now. But it didn’t sound possible to you, all you noticed was puzzles on the floor waiting to be put together but NOTHING ELSE RIGHT NOW. You went over to Maya attempting to pick up Maya and kept yelling, “MAYA AND ETHAN PLAY PUZZLE TOGETHER!” Oh, we didn’t realize SIBLINGS PLAYING TOGETHER was so overrated.
I’m pretty damn glad this month is over, because your grandma is back from Toronto, meaning if we come across that moment of you both being hysterical and me being suicidal again, I will have someone to call, ask her to come pick you up, even at 4am! Over these few months when your grandma was away and we had no one to ship you over to, many nights your father and I fell lifeless into bed as if we just pulled each other’s body through the thick mud, aka Being Do-It-All Parents, and it totally sucks. We prayed every night hoping the past few months would go by faster.
And you both went blissful seeing her last Friday, the first time after these few months. Maya, you took a while to get your memory back, but after she stuffed you with food — her proudest expertise, second to collecting useless things — you spent the whole day drooling and following her like a parasite. And Ethan, one time when she took you to pee, you said to her, “No go to Toronto.”
I have to admit that I couldn’t be happier that you have this relationship with her. I had always hoped it would be this way, and witnessing your dizzying excitement to see her or your grandpa is exactly why we chose to start our family here. I always ask your father why it’s possible that they adore you both THIS much as I haven’t seen him being THIS affectionate to his parents. And I believe it’s just one of the many reasons you have the best grandparents that life could offer. Ethan, watching you reach grandpa’s hand and pull him over to play toys with you, and then seeing how much it touches him, I can say that in moments like those I think your father is forgiven, or at least they are willing to forget about it for a little while.