I am incredibly amazed how hysterical you get when you start to have articles of clothing removed. Not hysterical from an angry standpoint but it’s as if when you’re naked, it some how evokes this animal within you who is trying to claw their way out. There is an enthusiasm beyond comprehension that you exhibit when you’re naked and it’s a joy for nudity that I’m a little jealous of. Unfortunately, responsibility and age seem to erase the joy of removing one’s shirt and running around the house demanding everyone to “LOOK AT MY BELLY!!!” It’s not to say that no adults enjoy the sheer intensity of nudity that most children experience although they typically go in to “entertainment’ or hang out at certain resorts with people I can only imagine are named Duke and Butch. No no, the thrill of getting naked is certainly gone but I will continue to watch you vibrate across the house when I remove your clothes before bath time.
You have always been an excellent child when it came time to put you to bed. I have heard stories of children flat out refusing, demanding just one more of something or constantly getting out of bed and having to be escorted back. I finally understand the true meaning of every tired parent’s favorite book, “Go the F**k to Sleep.” You have an impressive list of nightly routines you have to act out and ask before I can finally close the door before you belt out, “hold on a second – you forgot something.” There are times I return and you’re unable to follow up that statement with anything which drives me mad but you’ve gotten smart. Now when I return, you say in your sweetest voice, “I love you with all my heart.” You’re smart because you know this statement won’t make me mad and you know that this is the perfect time to ask for one more kiss. As I’m leaving, you remind me that it wasn’t a big kiss – you wanted a big kiss. But wait, where is my hug to go with that kiss? Didn’t you mention I could have a sip of water too? Miles now joins in on the action and demands a hug as well because I have been in there for a full 36 hours at this point. Once I hear the farts making their way in to the room, I’m out because I’m not changing another diaper and I refuse to wait another fifteen minutes while you sit on the toilet reading books and singing songs. Yes, that’s great, love you to. Yes, love you with all my heart. Momma has got to go now – save me that hug for tomorrow. And just like that I run downstairs and turn the baby monitor way down low and pretend you’re fast asleep. My mantra is if I can’t hear you, you must be ok. So far so good. This mentality works most nights but sometimes guilt gets the best of me and I’ll have to go in to your bedroom one more time to properly say good night. This occasionally means waking you up out of a dead sleep and scaring the bejesus out of you but it’s enough to bring me comfort.
There are many times I question whether you and Miles should be in your own room and this is based on the fact that I have heard you on several occasions through the monitor tell Miles to “lay down and go to sleep – you’re being too loud.” This in itself is astonishing because your voice could break glass. There have been mornings when Miles wakes up painfully early and I know you’re fast asleep. He of course is used to you providing entertainment until I arrive to bring you downstairs for breakfast so he tries to wake you up by screaming at you from his crib. I feel bad because I know you’re tired but most of all I know if you don’t get enough sleep, I’m the one who has to deal with the wrath of crabby you. The problem is, when you two are awake, you do entertain each other until I’m ready to get you. Without that comradery, I fear my shower may be cut short to nothing at all. Looks like you just may need to endure Miles a little longer.
You’re driving me mad with your constant need to know what the “schedule” is for the day. You ask me, “what happens after breakfast? What happens after lunch? What happens after nap? What happens after dinner?” I guarantee the answer to all of these questions will not be the answer you are looking for. No, we are not going to Disneyland today and no, we are not going to a birthday party because let’s be honest, you live for princesses and cake.
This past month brought the passing of our Maddy. You were tremendously close with her and I have wonderful memories of the two of you interacting. Unfortunately, you’re at the age where you don’t understand everything but you understand just enough to make conversations awkward. Having said that, I had to figure out a way of broaching the subject as to why Madeline won’t be coming home. I found myself at a crossroads – should I lie and say she went off to fun on the farm or do I play the religious card and say she’s in Heaven, which your Atheist Uncle will tell you is just as bad as saying she’s having fun on the farm. Regardless, I decided to introduce the term ‘Heaven’ to you. Now, I am not a religious person but I do find myself to be spiritual. My parents didn’t have me baptized when I was younger despite attending a Catholic church so that I could make this decision for myself and I greatly respect them for that decision. I feel it’s only fair that I present you and Miles with the same religious freedom. You do attend a Christian preschool and Jesus is discussed quite a bit but how much you understand is beyond my comprehension. You may think he’s a character on Nickelodeon for all I know but he has been introduced. So when the time came and you asked me where Maddy was, I in turn told you that she’s now in Heaven. Your response was, “which Heaven?” I explain to you that there is only one Heaven and Maddy is having fun eating massive amounts of peanut butter and kibble and lying in the grass. You tell me that you miss her and I begin to think that maybe you understand a little bit. That is until the next day when you ask me if we can go to Heaven and pick her up.
At the end of the day, whether you decide to believe in Heaven is up to you. If you want to believe there is a giant unicorn in the sky who poops rainbows, I’m all for it as long as you’re happy and as long as you don’t have a problem with my beliefs and try to convince me otherwise. I’m not joining any damn cults, I don’t care how awesome you think it is.