Friday, 30 May 2014

We laugh, we sigh, and we shake our heads

Dear Naveen,

A few weeks ago on our way to Daycare, a ten minute drive after we drop Deaglan off, a motorcycle passed us. “Momma,” you said, “I wish I was a moto-cycle dwiver.”

“Oh yeah?” I asked, “how come?”
“Because they’re weally, weally cool.”

Several hours later, that same day, on our way home, you told me that 
Adam*, a boy in your preschool room, had slapped you in the face.

“Did you tell Ms. Katie or Sarah?” I asked.
“No, but I wish I could have @*#$ him.”  You replied.
“NA-VEEEEN,” I said, “when someone hurts you, you need to tell a teacher.You don’t wish ____”

That night when I had a few minutes alone with your Dad, I told him the two stories.  His response and I hope you’re reading this as a grown man, sitting behind a mahogany desk, taking a well deserved break from the stacks of blueprints for your next skyscraper, or relaxing after deposing a very rich client’s husband, was to put into words what I’d feared all along:

“I told you” he said, “that kid’s gonna be a Hell’s Angel one day.”

Here’s the thing.

Your brother ruined “normal” for you.  He was a pretty predictable as three year olds go. He had the odd tantrum but on the whole was generally good natured and went with the flow. I feel often that this has not been the case with you.  

I mean this in the most loving-but-I’m–your-mom-so-I-can-say-this kind of way.

For instance you hate mornings. I think you would like them if you weren’t expected to eat breakfast or get dressed. You hate eggs and socks.  And most styles of pants.

You also hate public declarations of love.

From the time he learned to speak, your brother has told me at least a dozen times every day that he loves me. You however, could care less about my desperate need for validation.

On the drive home from school, if I adjust the rear-view mirror to see your little face, you scowl and tell me to stop looking at you. If I bump into you on the way to the kitchen, you accuse me of hitting you on purpose.  And lately, when you feel put out by one of my demands you’ve added the phrase “stinkin’ old” to whatever it is you’re protesting:

“I don’t want to lift the stinkin’ old toilet seat, Momma!”
“I hate stinkin’ old fish. I’m not eating!”
“I’m not wearing stinkin’ old shorts to school. I don’t care if it’s hot!”

You’re a grumpy old curmudgeon in a Preschooler’s body.  

And yet.

You're never far from me.  If we’re in the same room, you need to be in my arms or on my lap. If I’m in the basement doing laundry, you’re waiting for me at the top of the stairs. If I’m inside while you’re playing out back, you come in every few minutes and demand a hug.

“Let’s pretend I’m a baby,” you often say and insist we talk about the old days when you used to nurse. You ask me again and again what you used to call breast milk and are convinced that if I just tried, I could produce it for you even now. You have no intention of growing older you tell me all the time.

You adore your brother. When you draw pictures at school, they’re mostly for Deaglan. You mimic his speech, want the same toys and tell me secretly that your favorite colour is blue “just like Dekwen’s.” This past Saturday morning, I came downstairs to find the two of you sitting on the couch, his arm around you, watching cartoons.

I had no words.

You’ll be four tomorrow and I can’t help but mourn a little. Your chubby toddler legs have gotten lean and strong.  Your smooth little forehead is no longer adorably disproportioned to the rest of your face. You’ve grown into those gloriously abundant ears and you only sometimes sound like a native Bostonian – sadly, you’re learning to say your R’s.

This year you developed a fondness for video games, swear words and grilled salmon. The first two made me uneasy and anxious while the third was bittersweet because it was short-lived. Lately you sustain yourself on anything sugary and anything that resembles a pork chop. You hardly ever mention the vacuum cleaner anymore but you often wish out loud that you could drive a real car.

Don't worry, much to my dismay, that time will come soon enough my sweetheart. But for now, I want you to know that your Dad and I wouldn’t change a single thing about you; we laugh, we sigh, and we shake our heads daily, watching you unfold. I hope you’ll always be your own quirky, delightful, weird and wonderful self.

Unapologetic. Unconventional. Unpredictable.

And if you do end up joining a biker gang when you're older, then I hope you always stay Under the radar

Happy Birthday my sweet baby!

Love always,

Your old lady.

*The names and events in this scenario were changed to protect you from implication in any future crimes.

Some pictures of you from this past year.


  1. He's such a cutie! Is it something with the second child, I see so many of the same traits in my second. It's cute but scary.

  2. I loved this - my boys had the same pattern when they were young - the elder more conventional and quiet as a child, the younger a little wild man!


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