Ethan (39 months) / Maya (15 months)

Dear Ethan and Maya,

The majority of the past month has been spent watching your personalities explode. It has taken place mostly when you were interacting with each other. And I have to admit that I was a little terrified early on because normally your being together is deafeningly feisty and violent. Just like how animals fight for survival, I believe that’s how you develop your true characters.

Ethan, I have mentioned that you still find it unacceptable that Maya came to your life and destroyed everything that you have established, mostly the Lego tower, Thomas the Train tunnel and recently your collection of books that you have to display on your desk in a certain way that even myself have a hard time remembering. Whenever you both are put together, you are two beasts trapped in a cage. TWO. YES. Because Maya, the once little mellow birdie who never retaliated has become one irritable little turd. You always want to go for what your brother is playing with, which will normally get on his nerve, and all he does is to shove you off or to pound himself on the floor with a loud turbulent of scream. I used to come to you right away and scold the hell out of your brother because you were always the ill-fated one with that heartrending teary face. But now, oh my God, ARE YOU A DIFFERENT KID? Not only that you’ve started to stay strong and shoot back that ear-splitting yelp, last time when Ethan voraciously took away a piece of cheese from you, you furiously slapped him in the face and bit his toe. Sometimes we threatened to lock your brother in garage (yes, a heads up of what it’s like being our children), he would reluctantly share his toy with you, but then you would become all aloof and thrust it away. As much as I’m convinced that you won’t be any less bitchy as your mother is, I didn’t expect it to come this soon. Over a crayon fight the other day when you were banging your forehead against the wall and your shrieking brother bailing over those shattered crayons on the floor, I looked at them feeling gruesome as they were ready to climb up my body to gouge out my eyes and teeth.


Are we there yet? To the good parts? Yes, kids, of course there are good parts. Like, Ethan, how you’ve turned into a wild, hilarious fireball who knows how to electrify a room. As you hit three years old, we couldn’t be more eager to enroll you in as many classes as possible to fill up your free time, not because we want to groom you into a professional athlete or musician, just keeping you at home peacefully never seems possible. We’d rather have someone else to tame the beast inside you. BUT WHO THE HELL CAN! On your first sport lesson, instead of really kicking soccer balls with your leg, you were too busy hiding them. And you know what you did after you successfully hid them? You approached your coach and told him, “The ball is missing!” At first, he didn’t seem to care, but then you stretched your neck upward so hard that he had to respond and look for the balls. And right there, you turned to me with that mischievous grin telling me, “See? THIS is what I think worth my time, Mommy, I’m not here to play balls.” When the coach was able to get everybody to sit down and listen to him, you wasn’t paying attention. At one point, you pulled yourself up with your mouth wide open, lead over one inch apart from his face, and announced, “Look! Look! My teeth so beautiful.” I haven’t seen that coach since then. Maybe because he found you too annoying. Maybe he was too embarrassed to face my belly laughs. But honestly, if he felt humiliated by my child who happens to be super cute and hilarious, SORRY, I CAN’T REALLY CARE.

Maya, recently you’ve been doing a lot of imitations. You observe what we do, then you try to do the same thing immediately. Like how you try to comb your hair with your little comb, except you only keep poking your ear and forehead. When you hear us laugh over a conversation, sometimes even when you are far away, you will wobble over and join us with giggles. Silly giggles. I have no idea where you learned this from, now whenever you cough or fake coughing, you pat your chest automatically like a 70-year-old smoker. One night I sneezed a little bit when I was putting you to bed, you pat my chest while you fake coughing to go with me. Seriously, I could hear my heart sing at that moment.

Ethan, I believe one of the major reasons that you love to read books is because it allows you to show off your amazing memory. From alphabet books to story books, you’ve mastered the act of memorizing every single one we read to you, and often you will read them back to us, not word to word, but always understanding what is happening on each page. Sometimes when I’m lazy I’ll try to skip few pages of that book that we’ve read over 400 times, and you are always able to catch me and force me to go back and read it the right way, which is no fun at all because IT IS BORING.  You are going to be way behind your friends in college if you force yourself to read every page in your text book. People who read the whole book are people who do not own televisions or computers. Boring people that you do not want to be. You’d better save that brain power for more important things, like looking for a better place to hide the soccer ball.


Kids, I don’t think I can deny the fact that things have changed between your father and me. Things have become so difficult for us in terms of being parents, life partners and adults. This is true that my priority has been shifted to you both over the past year. I have allowed this priority to block me from being a reasonable person, and this simply made living with another adult extremely suffocating. I know your father is suffocating, and I wish I could put my pain and sorrow into words if that helps me feel better. But right now, I feel like I’m dragging to a wrong direction day by day. The end of unhappiness is too far to be seen.

I want you to know that it has nothing to do with either one of you. It’s just me and your father. And I cannot write this without thinking how you stretched your mouth to show your teeth to the coach’s face in a soccer class, Ethan, and how you maddeningly bit your brother’s big toe because he took away your tiny piece of cheese, Maya. You both are the only force that constantly pulls me up to the surface from underwater that I involuntarily sink into all the time.


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