Tag Archives: Letter

Dear HD: An Almost-Four Letter

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Dear Happy Dude,

You know how once in a while, you just have a hard time saying goodbye to me during school drop-off? You’ll be fine for weeks at a time and then one day, you just suddenly wrap your arms around my leg and say, “No. You’re not leaving.”

And then, when I try to peel you off, your eyes start to water and I quickly remind you that you really, really love school? Eventually your fabulous teachers take over so that I can hightail it out of there and before you know it, you’re having fun and you forget that you really did not want me to leave. You know what I’m talking about, right?

Well, I have a secret for you…

Once in a while, this happens to Mommy, too.

Usually, it’s when we’re having a really good morning. You turn off the iPad and get dressed as soon as I ask. You don’t complain that your sleeves are too bumpy or that your shoelaces aren’t tucked in perfectly. We get out the door unfrazzled.

I drive you to school and we sing Backyardigans’ songs in the car. You say things like, “Remember that time I was brushing my teeth and the toothpaste hit the mirror when I spit? That was so cwazy!” and I say, “I sure do remember that” because it was only like an hour ago.

We walk hand-in-hand to the playground and you tell me things like, “Sometimes my friends are silly! And sometimes they’re just nice.” And when I answer, “You’re lucky to have so many nice friends,” you say, “I’m YOUR friend too, Mom.” And my heart. OY, my heart.

And then, on this kind of day, we enter the playground, you hug my legs and yell, “Bye Mom!” and run away.

“Wait!” I yell, “Come back and give me a kiss!”

You do and you look like this:

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And then even though you run away again, I don’t leave. I can’t. Not yet.

Yup, it happens to Moms, too. And today was one of those days.

I just found myself rooted to that playground mulch, watching you find your friends, wishing that I could just freeze time for a few tiny minutes and keep you in this place. This just-days-shy-of-four-years-old place.

Because HD, here it is… I really think you’re a perfect you.

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… EVEN THOUGH you were up three times last night complaining, “My mouth really hurts. My mouth still really hurts. Sleeping is not helping my mouth to stop hurting.” And then at 5:15 this morning, when I sleepily shuffled to the bathroom with you, you looked at me wide awake and said, “Do you know what yellow plus black makes? Because I don’t.”

… EVEN THOUGH you won’t eat anything that could even remotely be considered healthy except for applesauce from a pouch and MAYBE an apple slice on a good day (with NO SKIN). And if I do what the experts say and just put a vegetable on your plate, you will either scrape it off onto the table OR refuse to eat anything else until I remove it. Good times.

… EVEN THOUGH you’re still having too many accidents for my liking, including one that prompted me to post this on Facebook the other day:

“It is NEVER a good thing when an almost-four year old yells from the bathroom, “MOM!! Um, I got a little problem here!””

(Let’s just SAY I threw a pair of underwear, pants AND a plastic stool right into the garbage because I couldn’t cope with the mess.)

… EVEN THOUGH your addiction to The Backyardigans has almost surpassed that of your previous addiction to Cars and you walk around quoting Pablo, Tyrone and Austin all day which can get a TINY bit annoying.

Despite all of these things and the occasional whining and bedtime shenanigans, I STILL think you’re a perfect you.

I think that you striking a ninja pose whenever you see a camera is perfect.

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I think you being somewhat neutral on pumpkin-picking is perfect.

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I think you moving through life on your own terms, at your own pace is perfect.

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I think you’re VERY funny and goofy and clever and creative and usually quite calm and MOSTLY always happy. And all of that is perfect.

I think that after you turn four on Saturday, you’ll still be all of these things, but you just won’t feel like a baby anymore and my eyes will water for sure.

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Four = Big Kid. But it’s like I always tell you HD, you’ll always be my baby. And I’ll always think you’re a perfect you.

Love you the most… don’t even think about it.

xoxoxox
Mom

“YOU DON’T LOVE ME!”

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Hey Kids,

In one of my last posts, I mentioned how no matter what you do, I will always love you. One of my friends read it and asked me if I’ve gotten the, “YOU DON’T LOVE ME!” yet. Luckily, I haven’t but I’m sure someday, when you’re not getting something you want, like a video game or a car or a boyfriend’s approval, I’m going to hear it.

When that happens, I’m going to say something like, “Come on now, you know that’s not true,” and you’re going to say, “IT IS SO TRUE!” and then you’re going to try to think of ways to prove it. Well, I’ve decided to make it easier for you.

Here is a list of things that I’m currently doing and probably will still be doing when you are looking for the evidence of my un-love.

  • I yell at you. More than any of us would like.
  • I feel joy when Daddy offers to take all three of you out for a while. And maybe – just maybe – I express that joy out loud. With jubilance.
  • I don’t make it to every single school event like the Walk-a-Thon or Field Day or Readers Showcase. USUALLY I’m missing one to attend another, but I’ll admit, once in a blue moon, I’m missing one to attend Starbucks.
  • Sometimes when you ask me to play with you, I say Sorry, I can’t because I’m working. Heh heh. And I know that that particular jig will be up soon but so far you’re still buying it, so I’m still selling it.

Side note: When you do start to question my computer work, you should know that these are just a few of things I’m doing on the computer instead of playing our 18th game of War.

      • Researching your summer plans like art camp, lacrosse camp, ice hockey camp, general sports camp, swim lessons, swim camp, all-around sports and swim camp, space camp, music camp, farm camp.
      • Vacation planning: checking out drivable family resorts, dude ranches, amusement parks, houses in the Outer Banks, things to do in the car for twelve hours when you drive to the Outer Banks, legal and safe ways to drug your kids when you need to be in the car for twelve hours.
      • Shopping for clothes that have no tags, no seams, no ruffles, nothing but soft, loose fabric and nothing scratchy whatsoever. Oh and for “sports shorts and sports shirts… because that’s the only things I like,” says the Nibbit.
      • Dealing with official second grade class mom business and preschool politics – field trips and teacher gifts and end-of-the-year parties, oh my.
      • Organizing playdates and buying birthday party presents and more swim goggles.
      • Googling “Swimming Candy Birthday Parties… with Animals.”
      • Sure, it’s possible that I dropped in on Facebook for a minute here and there, but even THAT was to complain brag about you guys!

You get the point. Stop whining about my WORK. It’s important. For all of us.

  • I make you taste foods you KNOW you’ll HATE because they’re DISGUSTING. And then, to make matters worse, I refuse to give you brownie sundaes every single day.
  • I force you to look people in the eye and say, “Hello,” or “Thank you for the ride” or “Thank you for having me to your house for three hours and feeding me a nicer meal than I would have gotten at home.”
  • I get distracted when you’re asking me questions like “How is paper made?” or “Can we play Candyland every day, all the time?” or “Yesterday, when I was born, was it raining?” (all real questions)
  • I encourage you to try new things like riding a two-wheeler or putting your dirty laundry in the laundry basket or sleeping past 6-0-0.
  • I throw away some of your art. A lot of your art. Most of your art. But c’mon, is it really “ART?”
  • I say, “… in a minute!” too often. And then make you wait a tiny bit longer than that.
  • I’m always making you brush your teeth or go to the bathroom or change into clothes or pajamas or clean up your toys or [insert any of the many things I’m currently nagging you about when this becomes relevant].
  • I won’t always play one more game, give five more minutes, sing one more song or stay just a little longer.

OK, is that enough “proof” for you to throw at me? Go ahead, sling it. I’m ready.

But here’s the thing –  you will NEVER be more wrong than the day you think – or yell – that I don’t love you. There isn’t a more wrong sentiment in the world. That’s the absolute wrongest.

No matter how much I nag or how mean I am, regardless of my unfair rules or my embarrassing ways and most importantly, no matter how misunderstood you feel, you should always know that you are LOVED. You are my most important work. Even more important than shopping on Zappos.

You guys, you know I always want you to be happy. But that’s a tricky thing to say because right now, you would say, “Then just give me ice cream everyday!” and in a few years, you’ll say, “Then just trust that I won’t do anything stupid and let me stay out all night!” And so it goes.

I DO want you to be happy but not at the expense of the physical or emotional well-being of yourselves or others. So I’m not always going to give you what you think you need for happiness – a toy, a snack, permission. In fact, I will probably be saying no a LOT for the next 20 years.

But that will NEVER EVER EVER mean that I don’t love you. In fact, it will usually mean quite the opposite. And that is something you will probably not understand until if and when you have a kid of your own.

Because I do love you. No matter what you do. No matter where you go. No matter who you are. 

So go ahead yell “YOU DON’T LOVE ME!” all you want. You will NEVER be more wrong.

xoxo
Mom

PS. This is all true for Dad, too. He’ll probably say “no” even more than I will… but he loves you forever, too.
PPS. It’s likely that I’ve said some of this exact same stuff in past posts or letters to you guys. But this is a message that doesn’t get old. So roll your eyes and say, “Maaaaa! You already told us that like 100 times!” I don’t care. I still love you. See?

 

BIRTHS

2013: Year in Review

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Happy Holidays!

We’ve never been a family who includes a holiday brag letter with our card but we’ve been so ridiculously accomplished this year, it seemed unfair not to share it all with our loved ones. Please read on…

Let’s start with our youngest, Happy Dude (age 3). What a star he’s turning out to be! Why just this week, he broke his own previous records for nighttime tantrums AND hours logged on an iPad prior to 6:00am. He can name 18 of the characters from the Monsters Inc. franchise as well as EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER to EVER appear in a Cars movie!

We’re also proud of his ever-expanding palette. In the past week alone, he’s tried chocolate in seven different forms: bar, Santa, ice cream, hot, milk, Kiss and Teddy Grahams. And you would be truly impressed with the enthusiasm in which he protests fruits and vegetables. He’s managed to not [knowingly] ingest one single thing of nutritional value in the past twelve months!

Happy Dude started a few extracurriculars this year including Spring “Playing in the Infield Dirt” and Fall “Resting on the Sidelines.” Of course he received a medal for each which we took to mean he was the absolute BEST at both Dirt-Playing and Resting.

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HD’s other accomplishments include: organizing his impressive collection of toy cars by color on a weekly basis; saying KA-CHOW! a lot; and making this face:

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Onto the Nibbit (age 5)… The Nibbit’s ability to push, pull, pinch, tickle, tackle, wrestle and generally bother anyone in his immediate vicinity remains strong; his consistency and dedication to being what we have labeled, “Nibbity” is admirable.

Our middle child did try a bunch of new things this year… he started soccer and we later heard from the coach that “those elbows will serve him well in later years.” He played flag football, opting to ignore the whole “flag” part and tackle at will. And he continued to play baseball… which is not USUALLY a full-contact sport, unless you’re playing with our Nibbit! He also played a LOT of Wrestle Baby.

The Nibbit remains the biggest game-player in the house, as well. In fact, this past year he has established a full-blown addiction to a card game called Palace, which we’re told, in certain circles, is also called Shithead. (Those would be, DRINKING circles. So we have THAT to look forward to.) He also excels at Uno and War. You know, life skills.

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His other accomplishments this year included: learning the words to the popular Taylor Swift song, “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” and wiping his own ass.  Also, learning the word ass. (Thank you, Home Alone.)

The Loud One (age 7) spent most of 2013 in her own happy head, as usual. She wrote and illustrated countless animal stories, in which animal characters found themselves in unusual predicaments and then other animal characters rescued them. Sometimes an unexpected ending presented itself… and the animal died.

In a surprising twist of her own, LO has become a fan of the urban sport called Parkour these past few months, which involves jumping off of high platforms, flipping on trampolines and spinning around scaffolding bars. We can only guess that she likes it more than gymnastics because she doesn’t have to wear that damn leotard… and she can yell as much as she wants.

Loud One also surprised us on the soccer field this year by actually playing.

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She is successfully navigating the turbulent waters of 2nd grade; in fact, her math knowledge has officially exceeded her mother’s, which makes homework time frustrating for everybody! Yay!

Her other accomplishments include: developing an ongoing written relationship with the Tooth Fairy; catching and trapping bugs and other small creatures; and mastering the Rainbow Loom.

Our family enjoyed several vacations this year including a trip to Turks & Caicos where KJ spent the week hobbling around on crutches and kmac sustained a water slide injury that to this day prevents her from doing push-ups. (Bummer!) Other travel adventures included catching fish, eating fish, catching lizards, feeding sharks and catching the uptown bus.

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Remember the cute Batman? Best Photobomb of 2013!

KJ continues to claim that his independently owned business is doing well, but kmac suspects he may be secretly playing golf 3-4 times a week. As long as he’s not home messing up her kitchen, she doesn’t care. His crown achievement this year has been successfully supporting the Yankees, the Jets and the Notre Dame football team without teaching his kids the f-word. (We are aware that the season is not over yet, so there’s still time.)

Kmac is proud to have become a living cliché by participating in all the usual school volunteer gigs and spending her days in yoga class pants. She writes a blog with a readership estimated at approximately 23, an 8% increase from last year. (Well, she thinks it’s about 8%, but she’s not really sure.)

Well, that about sums up all of our family news. Overall, it’s been an incredibly productive year, full of proud accomplishments, a fair amount of angry yelling but also, lots of laughter.

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We wish all 23 of you a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and a Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you all the things you desire – which, if you’re anything like us, include Margaritas and a LOT more sleep.

A Letter that Says Nice Things

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Warning: I get a little sappy in this letter to my kids. If that’s not your thing, I get it. Move along; come back another day. I’ll be bitching again really soon.

Dear Loud One, Nibbit & Happy Dude,

I have this vision of you guys someday pulling up this blog and reading through post after post in which I’m mostly complaining about you. Now, I may be giving myself too much credit; it’s possible that you’ll have ZERO interest in reading anything I’ve expressed here because well, I’m your MOM, and omg, why would you ever want to read anything written by your mother? I get it.

But on the off-chance you’re bored one day because all of your friends have gone to the mall but you can’t go because you’ve been grounded for lying to us about being at the mall last weekend when really you were at a person of the opposite gender’s house unsupervised and you decide to pull up this blog, in which case I say GET OFF THE INTERNET! (or whatever the latest World Wide Web Information Super Highway is called in the future) YOU’RE GROUNDED AND YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ONLINE! But if you ignore me and continue onto this site: I want you to read this post. THIS one. The one you’re reading right now.

Because this is the one where I tell you that I think you’re AWESOME.

On Monday night, I took a good look at the pictures recently uploaded from the “good camera,” (as opposed to the iPhone, which we sadly use way more often). They were all taken over the past month or so… and I got a little verklempt. To a stranger, they don’t look like pictures of anything extraordinary, but a few just struck a chord.

First…

Soccer

LO, you have no idea how much Dad and I loved watching you play soccer this fall. Of course we loved watching you improve to the point where you were scoring and even more often, saving goals in every game, but it was so much more than that.

You wore the shorts. And the team shirt. And the shin guards and the socks. And the CLEATS! And you put it all on, by yourself. Every week.

You were EXCITED to get out there and be a part of a team of girls, many of whom you didn’t know in the beginning. Every week.

You cheered LOUDLY (like you’d do it any other way) from the sidelines when you were subbed out and I really think those three-person pyramids you created inspired your teammates in a big way. Every week.

I would jokingly say to other parents on the sidelines that what you lacked in ability, you made up for with enthusiasm. And volume. But honestly, you were pretty good out there! (I’m sorry that I sound so surprised, LO.)

You showed up to play, with determination and enthusiasm EVERY WEEK. And you made us so proud.

And then you gave us the “what? why are you taking so many pictures?” face, which was also great. Because it wasn’t long ago that you wouldn’t even put on the damn cleats. Now you’re a team player.

I know every parent in America has a photo like this one… doesn't make them any less special.

I know every parent in America has a photo like this one… doesn’t make them any less special.

 

OK, so then I got to HD’s birthday pictures…

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… and I felt really sad that my baby is three years old! My YOUNGEST kid is THREE. Three is the official not-a-baby age, am I right?

And while I’m excited for all of the things that having no babies may potentially bring, like sleepful nights and strollerless airport experiences, I LIKE babies. I’m the crazy lady who gets a little too close to your newborn and says things like, “I might just eat you up!” or “I need to take you home with me right now!” (Note to self: stop saying that to strangers or risk arrest.)

This inevitably leads people to ask me if I’d consider another baby and the answer is YES! I would consider it, if only it were not a medical impossibility. And also, certain to lead to divorce.

Anyway kids, the point is, Happy Dude will always be the baby of our family. And it’s hard for me to accept that he’s three now.

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Although if I’ve learned anything from the other two of you, three-year-olds aren’t really THAT close to full independence. Almost-five-year-olds are still pretty needy. As are seven-years-olds. So, I guess I’m still good. 🙂

Listen, I love you guys. Even if you read some of this blog and start to think otherwise, know that I really think you three are something special.

I vent a lot here, and make a lot of jokes, but ultimately, you’re my favorite people in the whole world. I think you’re truly funny (when you’re not being stupidly silly) and amazingly interesting. I’m confident you’re all pretty creative and there may even be a degree of intelligence (but that really remains to be seen). Also, I’m fairly certain you’re growing up to be compassionate and kind, which is most important in my book.

Lastly, I love to watch you chase tackle hang conspire laugh with love each other. Those moments are always my favorite part of the day.

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Love you always infinity,

Mom

PS. Nibbit, I realize this letter is a CLASSIC case of middle-child-negligence … LO rocks the soccer field, Happy Dude turns three and the Nibbit… is ignored. Despite no specifics mentioned here, I think you’re fantastic. And you’re somewhat skilled at taking selfies, as well.

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Note to readers: It’s possible the sentimentality induced by the photos were prompted by the fact that it was Veteran’s Day and I had spent most of the day sobbing at the videos of the surprise reunions between soldiers and their families. (If there is a soul out there who can watch one of those things with bawling, I’d like to meet you. And knock on your heart of STONE.) Thank you to all of our service men and women, and their families, for sacrificing so much of their lives, so that we can enjoy ours freely.

A Letter of Clarification

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Dear Offspring,

It’s possible that, given my current state of caffeine-deprived and calorie-deficient, I’ve been slightly crankier than usual. But it’s for my long-term health, goddammit so I would hope you could support me here.

But noooo, instead you guys are all “Mommy, this pizza is so delicious! Mommy, why aren’t YOU having ice cream? Mommy, aren’t you tired of smoothies and soup?”

Cruel. Just cruel.

Cruel. Just cruel.

SABOTEURS!

Anyway, cranky or not, there are a few things I’d like to clarify as we move on in our life together:

  • You’re NEVER going to be “done sweeping” at 2:00am. 2:00am is the middle of sweeptime. If you wake up at 2:00, you should promptly remind yourself that Mommy and Daddy are still happily sweeping and you should be as well, AT LEAST until 7:00am. 7:00am is an acceptable awake time. (Although you know we’re suckers and we’ll give the iPad at 6:00.)
  • You can have Cookie Crisp OR chocolate chip waffles. Not both. Do I look like a gigantic pushover to you? Wait, what? Cookie Crisp has less sugar than Cheerios? OK, nevermind. Mother of the Year!
  • I have brought you to the playground (you’re welcome)… but now you expect me to play with you, too? That’s why I had THREE of you. So I wouldn’t have to do that stuff.
  • Do you think crying, “I want Daddy to put me to bed!” upsets me? Because it doesn’t. I want Daddy to put you to bed as well.
  • When I say “Knock it off!” I don’t mean it literally.
  • When I say “Now!” I do.
  • Pajamas can be worn at least three times before washing. Unless you’ve peed on them. Also, please don’t pee on your pajamas.
  • Underwear and socks need to be washed after one wearing. Yes, even if you haven’t peed on them. BECAUSE I’M THE MOM AND I SAID SO.
  • Because I’m the Mom and I said so” is a perfectly acceptable answer to many questions despite what the newfangled parenting books say about respecting our kids and honest communication. And yes, despite what you think now, you will absolutely say it to your own kids someday.
  • Whenever you yell, “I wish Amanda were here!” you should know, NO ONE wishes Amanda were here more than I do. Trust me.
  • Throwing a fit when you lose a game is a surefire way to be sure no one will ever want to play games with you. Man up and shake hands.
  • On the other hand, gloating when you’re winning is equally ugly. It’s a fine line between good-natured smack talk and unsportsmanlike conduct. Keeping your mouth shut is always a safe bet. (This kind of works in life in general as well.
  • “Please put those dirty clothes in the laundry basket” means exactly what it says. Here are the things it doesn’t mean: throw the dirty clothes in the hallway outside the laundry room, throw the dirty clothes on the laundry room floor, put the dirty clothes over your head and walk around with zombie arms saying “WHERE IS THE LAUNDRY ROOM?” in a spooky voice.
  • Yes, I DO work. YOU are my work.
  • No, you cannot have “all of the shoes that light-up.”
  • Yes, it is true that carrots help you see better.
  • No, not by actually sticking them in your eyes.
  • Even when you’re telling me that I’m mean and you don’t like me, I still love you.
  • But I’d like you more if you’d stop telling me that I’m mean and you don’t like me.

Yours forever in the laundry room,

Mom

To the Nibbit, with love (I swear)

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Dear Nibbit,

I love you. Let me repeat that so you really hear it. I love love love you.

But, I have to tell you something (and I want you to know that I say this out of the-above-stated love): You are DRIVING. ME. CRAZY.

Like driven-to-the-edge-flailing-on-my-tippy-toes-waving-my-arms-in-circles-to-maintain-my-balance-on-the-edge crazy. (OK, so that didn’t really sound like it was so much “out of love.” Sorry. Let’s get out of it.)

You stop when I need you to go; you run when I need you to slow down; you stand when I need you to sit and when I need you to stand? You collapse on the floor like the top scoop of a melting ice cream cone. Plop. And it’s just as tricky to scrape you back up off the floor. I say yes; you say no. I say please; you say something to the effect of, “Blah blah blah baby diaper!”

Some days I’m closer to the edge than others. Some days I can do all the right things… diffuse our stand-offs with humor, tolerate a little more freshness, maintain an admirable degree of patience, etc. and I am able to keep a respectable distance from that precipice.

But other days? Not so much. And I am sorry about that.

But you push, buddy. You push and push and push and then JUST when I’m about to topple over into the abyss of really losing my shit, you look at me with those giant, blue seaballs and they open so wide that I can see all of you – mischief and silliness and laughter and more than a little bit of crazy – and I wonder if maybe you’re just trying to figure it all out.

Maybe you’re just trying to figure out how much you can push. How much we can take. How to make yourself heard. How to gain some control. How to get some attention. How to differentiate yourself from The Loud One – who gets to do everything first – and Happy Dude – who gets to do everything cute.

Maybe that’s it? Or maybe I’m giving you too much credit. (I do worry that this is what parents of brats tell themselves.)

Me too, Marilu! But sometimes it feels like I don't have a choice.

Clearly, I need this book.

 

But I don’t think so. Because bottom line, I know you’re awesome.

I think all of this crap (and by “all of this crap,” I mean, “all of YOUR crap”) – the freshness, the defiance, the physical aggression – is going to slowly disappear dissipate decrease. Or at least you’re going to get a grip on it. I think we’re going to get a grip on it. We’re going to get out of it. Hopefully soon.

I can’t wait for that day. Because the Nibbit, you are funny and sweet and smart and affectionate. And I can’t wait to be able to play card games and ride bikes and build forts with you without having to take deep breaths and count to ten, physically pry you off of your brother or say any of the following:

  • Please keep your hands to yourself.
  • Do not tell me what you’re NOT going to do.
  • I don’t want to ask you again.
  • If you can’t be a good listener, I will have to [remove some type of screen you’re your life for the next xx period of time.]

 

I write this today because, believe it or not, I don’t want to complain about your behavior anymore. To you, to Dad, to Aunt Lori or to any other mother that will listen. I’m tired of venting about you. So now, I’ve gotten it all out there. And now, I’m going to try to stop. I’m going to try to coast through the rest of this phase (please Lord, let it be a phase) with as much patience as I can possibly muster.

I’m going to focus on your awesomeness instead of your, well, Nibbitness.

I’m going to take a lot of deep breaths.

I’m going to step back from the edge. Because trust me, I don’t like to be there.

All of that said, if this is indeed “just a phase,” it would be really fantastic if you could maybe just… end it?

Love you to outer space on a rocket ship like the one we saw on YouTube and back,

Mom

A Love Letter

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Dear Loud One,

It’s Valentine’s Day Night and millions of people are putting roses in vases right now and cramming into crowded restaurants to whisper things like “I’m so happy you’re my Valentine this year!” and “This has been the best year month week of my life! I will love you forever!” and exchanging heart-shaped boxes of calories that the girl will probably end up devouring the following weekend when the guy tells her that he just needs some space and that “it’s not HER, it’s him” which we all know is a BIG LIE but when you’re hearing it, you manage to convince yourself that this may actually be the ONE TIME that line has been said in total and complete honesty and…

<breathe>

Loud One, here’s the thing. Valentine’s Day is a hyped-up, sort-of-fake holiday that has gained momentum over the years thanks to Hallmark, Russell Stover and Tiffany. (And Kay’s but only because we simply cannot avoid those commercials with the stupid jingle Every kiss begins with Kay’s, even thought we have a DVR. How do they do that?)

BUT. You will not be immune to Cupid’s charms. There will come a time when you yearn for the mushy cards, the heart-shaped boxes and the little blue magic box. These desires may pass; they may not. Regardless, there are a few things I want you to remember about this “holiday” and the person you choose to spend it with.

1. Your Valentine of the future MUST treat you well on this day (and all days, but that’s obvious) unless it’s been mutually agreed upon ahead of time that you will just ignore the hype and not buy any presents (in which case, he should still get you a tiny, little something anyway because you’re the best and he couldn’t resist.)

Side note: Most boys DO NOT understand that last part. Take my advice and tell them up front that what you meant by “Let’s not exchange gifts,” was really, “Why don’t you just buy me a little something?” They’re boys, honey; they can’t help it.)

2. Don’t ever settle to be anyone’s second choice Valentine. If you’re not somebody’s OBVIOUS first choice, than grab a few of your kick-ass girlfriends and open a bottle of wine/soda/chocolate milk/juice box (depending on how old you are) and celebrate your independence. This won’t always feel easy. Sometimes it will feel sad, but you’ll obviously have Ben & Jerry’s there to cheer you up because let me tell you LO, those boys will ALWAYS be there for you during the rough times. And just know… this too shall pass.

3. Don’t give your heart out to just anyone who will take it. You know how you brought 21 Valentine’s hearts to school today? And you gave one to everyone including the boy who’s not always that nice? And then everyone just stuffed them in their homemade heart boxes and some of those kids didn’t even say thank you? Well, that’s PERFECT for 1st grade; that’s exactly what is supposed to happen when you’re six years old.

But when you get older, you should save your Valentine’s heart for that one special person who’s going to open it, love it, appreciate it and not squish it into any box. They may even want to keep it pressed between two pages of a heavy dictionary or encyclopedia to protect it and take it out years later and remember how special it made them feel. (“What’s an encyclopedia?” you ask? Hmmm… it’s like a written version of the Internet.)

4. On the other hand, don’t hold back either. Always be confident that your Valentine’s heart is special and worthy. Sometimes you’ll have to take a risk and a deep breath and hold it out unsure of how it will be received. If it’s taken and appreciated, exhale and smile.

And if not? Call me immediately. You can cry and I’ll remind you that sometimes love sucks and also, because I’m your mother, I’ll probably say that he’s an asshole and doesn’t deserve someone like you. And then I MIGHT, without you knowing, find him and just hurt him a little bit.

5. Lastly, keep the faith. You’ll spend many Valentine’s wishing you were with someone… or someone else. But on some February 14th far in the future, you’ll end up on the couch, eating take-out and watching Mad Men (or some show set in the 90s) next to the Valentine with whom you were always meant to be.

Just like me and Dad.

You’ll always be MY special Valentine, LO.

xoxo,
Mom

This will probably be appropriate at some point in your life. Hang in there.

This will probably be appropriate at some point in your life. Hang in there.

PS. To the Nibbit and Happy Dude, I have some Valentine’s advice for you guys, too. Don’t eff it up. Treat girls well. Buy teddy bears if their age ends in “-teen” and jewelry if not. And if they tell you that you’re “not exchanging gifts this year,” get them a little something anyway. It doesn’t take much boys; man up.