Ethan (41 months) / Maya (17 months)

Dear Ethan and Maya,

As you were born in Canada, we have to remind ourselves to speak Chinese to you more often. Because being called a banana is NO FUN. It might be cute when we dress you in a banana costume for Halloween. But it does not happen for a grown-up. You going out dressing all yellow? PSYCHO. Ethan, you are the difficult one as you once refused to speak nor listen to anything in Chinese. Last time we tried to teach you a bit Japanese, you totally ignored it but kept saying French. CE QU’UN CANADIEN! So, Maya, we are determined to get you stick with Chinese. I would say it works out pretty well, because you don’t seem to understand English at all. Anytime we absent-mindedly speak English to you, you don’t follow. You take NO as my instruction for you to throw food on floor, push buttons to turn on the dishwasher, climb up the couch and step on your father’s groin, and most precisely, GO AHEAD, HIT YOUR BROTHER MORE. And all you say now is either GOR GOR (“that one” in English) or NG OI (“I don’t want it” in English). Every morning, I go into your room only hearing you say GOR GOR requesting for this or that. During breakfast, we have to go through a complete round of cereal boxes, to make sure which GOR GOR you refer to, but not the one that you NG OI. The sad part of this though is you only say GOR GOR and NG OI. Eat your toast, Maya. NG OI. You want some yogurt? NG OI. What do you want? GOR GOR. What? GOR GOR. Which one? Banana? NG OI. Sausage? NG OI. Just finish your toast! NG OI. Look, Auntie Anita (your least favorite person) is coming. NG OI. And all day long we only hear GOR GOR and NG OI, and me saying GOD PLEASE HELP ME. And the amount of GOR GOR and NG OI that you say is so enormous. In the shower wanting that rubber ducky, on the changing table refusing to get dressed, even when you are crying that you have to catch your breath in between each scream you will mumble softly GOR GOR. And your father and I always have a hard time not giggling. Last time it happened in a grocery store, other shoppers were like, “What language are you teaching her?”

You love to destroy things. You little fingers love to tear apart book jackets, pull at tags, poke into a box of Vaseline and smear it all over your well-washed hair. The other day after I witnessed how you rip off the crayon wrapper and broke the crayon in half with your teeth, I decided to throw away the can opener and let you do the job. One morning last week when I was trying to use the bathroom without you sticking to my legs, as usual, I let you play with a box of tampons. Your face started to light up when you saw I opened the cabinet and reached your favorite toy. You would normally open the top flap and take out the tampons one at a time, shattered them on the floor, and put them back in the box as I tell you so. That day after a brief quiet moment, something terribly wrong happened. You approached me with a BENT tampon and a fraction of wrapper on your upper lip.

Speaking of QUIET MOMENT, which does not normally happen when you both are around. Usually we only hear the sound of piercing outcry or feisty bash. Recently you’ve started to take turns to close the door on each others. Every time I hear the door banging, I will come quick just to see whose body gets cut in half. Most of the time, you both will flinch from my furious yell, then reunite to work on the next thing to demolish. And that is what you both do together now – make plans to crash the house. Last time, when three minutes passed by you both went so silent, the air started to get sucked out of the house. I could sense something was wrong when you both were no where to be found, until I peaked inside the ajar door of my bedroom, only to see all my bras and underpants shattered all over the floor and the bed, you both tucked into the space between the WIDE OPENED cabinet and the bed, busy dressing each others with my thongs. ON THE HEADS.

While not fighting to push each others down the stairs, you join hands to kill me. Last night, your father and I were lounging at the couch chatting, and ASSUMING you were playing together. Except five minutes later, the unoccupied part of the couch were loaded with the 400 books you relocated from your rooms. Ethan, you’ve got a good pair of hands now, cause there is nothing more joyous and entertaining for Maya to follow you around the house, passing you things one by one, and you put them behind the television, under the bed, in the bathtub and closet. AND NEVER PUT THEM BACK. And Ethan, if they are not where you are able to locate them the day after, Oh you forgot the fact that you put your Tonka truck in the toilet and flushed it yesterday, and you want it, like NOW! And I can’t find it THIS SECOND, I’d better gouge out my eyeballs for you.


Ethan, we’ve realized that we are at the stage where we have to be careful about what we say in front of you because you will remember it fondly. Not that we curse a lot, well okay it is that. IT IS EXACTLY THAT. We cannot go a single sentence without putting in some sort of curse words. ALRIGHT?! The other day, we were making cupcake together. You followed and narrated my every step with different ingredients.

You: Okay, now let me put some vanilla, alright?

Me: Just a little bit.

You: Alright. Alright. Can I put more, mommy?

Me: No, just a little bit.

You: Why? Are we going to die?

I was about to puke everything from my stomach into that bowl of batter. I looked at you very sternly thinking maybe I should stop telling your father to die too often now.


So much fun we have this month. Being possible to really do things together, cooking, doing laundry, loading dishwasher. Did I tell you how much I hoped this day to come, so I would no longer be required to read that same book, or play that same puzzle, or watch that same Sesame Street all the time. Because nothing is enjoyable anymore if you have to do it over 600 times. And kids, the most fun part is we’ve gotten to celebrate every day by eating lots of cakes and pies, singing Happy Birthday and blowing candles. EVERY DAY. Do we only sing Happy Birthday when it’s a real birthday? Am I breaking all sorts of rules by letting you eat sweets as frequently as we do? There are rules that you shouldn’t drink water from your bubble bath, rules that you shouldn’t play with tampons or you shouldn’t have heard about tampons at this age or don’t ever mention DIE DEAD DEATH at all. But I don’t care. I don’t think you should too. So those rules can suck it.


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