Dear J,

Look at what you made. You found a way to put that loader together. It wasn’t the way it was designed, but you made it your own way.

Speaking of puzzles, you can make jigsaw puzzles by yourself now… with verbal nudges from your mom. She will tell you to do the wheels first, then suggest alternatives whenever you get stuck. I was surprised today — after dinner, you said you were going to play in the living room, and you sat to work on the Fire Truck puzzle by yourself. After a few minutes, you moved on to something else, but I saw that you had connected 4 pieces. They were the 4 bottom pieces with the wheels. 3 pieces were correct. The 4th piece was the right piece, just rotated 180 degrees. But the connector was close enough that you thought it should fit, so you jammed them together. But that must’ve confused you, because you abandoned it after that.

We had a lot of fun at the zoo! (That’s the Fennec Fox. Your mom loves their massive ears.) You were a ball of energy! We met your classmate Jayden there and you wanted to follow her everywhere. You ran everywhere! You ran from animal to play structure. You climbed up and down.

You even wanted to slide down a three-story spiral chute. I had to explain to you that you were too little still. You dragged me up rope nets. And you ran to say good morning to the cows and pigs and you fed goats! They almost bit your fingers off! (Mama didn’t know!) The goats then got rowdy and tried to bully you for food but I smacked them and kneed them in the face while I stood up to show who’s boss.

Your spatial awareness is fantastic. You’re more aware of your surroundings than I am. We were up on a tower, and you saw Jayden running downstairs. You said “I want to see Jayden!” then ran down, and circled round the tower to where she was. Of course by then she was gone, and you looked at me, raised your eyebrows and stuck your hands out to ask “Where’s Jayden?” I explained you got the spot right. She just went somewhere else.

Or we can be sitting in the car, you can anticipate when the bridges will come. You know we go under 3 bridges, and you know exactly when each bridge will fly above us… even though your car seat is facing backwards!

Something in your brain really likes music now. You can sing all day. One song after another. Nursery rhymes, songs we sing at home, songs you sing at school, words from books you transformed into a song… anything.

You’re also really into physical discovery. Still somewhat cautious, but you want to do things, climb things, investigate things with your body. Even when you don’t feel comfortable. As we climbed up the rope net, you made sounds like you were afraid, but you pressed me to help you go further. “Daddy help you? Daddy? Daddy?” You want to keep going.

Then later in the evening today, we went shopping with Mama at Safeway. A baby passed you in the aisle and went “DADADADADA!” and you yelled, “NNNO!” with a frown. It was the same kind of growling “NO!” you’d yell if someone tried to take away your favorite truck. I had to explain that he’s just a baby, and he can’t talk yet.

Later tonight, as you were falling asleep, you must’ve felt bad. Because, you repeated to me about the baby who went “DADADADA” and you explained to me that he’s learning to talk. You said it over and over. Until you finally said, “Goodnight baby. See you at the store tomorrow.”

Speaking of surprises, you were sitting in mama’s lap after dinner, when I picked up from the floor one of your tiny trains that whirrs when you push it forward. Without thinking, I pushed it as fast as I could up my chest. It went HRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! You jumped and spun around, trying to decide if you should cry or if I had a good explanation for it. So I said SURPRISE! I surprised you! Joshua was surprised. You got it, and you used it from then on. Then I realized how hard it is to teach someone that word because it’s hard (and possibly cruel) to simulate and repeat.

I walked you through what you experienced again, putting words to the events, and you got it.

“Joshua was surprised!”
“Daddy surprised you!”
You nodded, then repeat “Joshua was surprised!”
Then look at me with pride because you figured out what you were confused about.

New dinner plate!

New dinner plate!

An unpleasant surprise

We went to the park the other day and Mama sat on the swing next to you. You wanted to sit on the big boy swing instead of the buckets. Mama slipped getting off, and fell on her butt. She called Maria her midwife and she advised to go to the hospital, so she went and they kept her there for 8 hours. I slept 3 hours that night because i had to take over the morning routine. (Mama usually does it).

I have taken over bathtime, mama hurts too much to sit next to the tub. Julia is now moving like crazy inside the belly. Every time she moves, mama has to run to the bathroom.

You can climb into your car seat alone now. In fact, you want to. You say No Daddy I want to climb into the car seat myself. And you say “JOSHUA STRONG”. You like clipping yourself in too.

We went to Jaya’s house with Jaya, her mom, dad and Jayden. Played alot you loved it. The girls started screaming together. You learned to scream for the first time for fun too. Rolled down the death slide. Loved throwing the ball into the basketball hoop:

Not sure if this is a good or bad surprise: We rejoice your bowel movements. Because no one in this house is happy when we have to give you a suppository. Not even Kimi.


Haircut! You picked the pink car. We ambushed the instant you woke up from your nap and whisked you away. By the time you were done you didn’t know what hit you or if you were still dreaming. It went more painlessly than expected.

Goldie – it’s a stuffed yellow dog I had since I was a baby. You fell asleep with it tonight. My first stuffed animal is now yours. Not your first though. You have many toys. My mom calls your play area a toy store.

From mama: “Although I am very happy that he is enjoying his new classroom and classmates, I am not so sure about how much I like the whole “Mama, go to work” marching order he gives me if I linger too long at drop off :p”

Miralax – You ask me for milk at night before you sleep. I go downstairs, make myself some tea, pour your milk and mix Miralax in it to help you stay regular. Then I come up, and your eyes widen when you see me. I give the milk to you and you smile “Thank you daddy!” I say you’re welcome.

Now the twisted part in me watches you drink it, and I think that you don’t know what I put in there. It could be Miralax. If I put too much, you get diarrhea. I could be evil. Good thing I’m not. I remember Eric Clapton’s description of discovering his son’s body after falling out a window – “like a doll”. You’re so beautiful, inside and out, that I can’t think of being in a situation where I’d say something like that.

That scares the hell out of me.

Because of how perfect you are. Innocent. Hopeful. Curious. Creative. I see in you many things that have died in me. Some of them were directly because of my parents.

I know now that as a parent, my job is not to teach you. But to protect you so that you can grow free. You’re born with every tool you need to be all you can be. We parents just have to learn how not to fuck it up, when to step in, and when to hang back.

If your conclusion from today’s letter is you’ve changed dramatically since the last time I wrote, you are correct.



P.S. You still like firetrucks and still talk about the firefighters we visited and the cake mom baked for them. The other day, you took a nap with your firetruck:

Napping with firetruck.

Napping with firetruck.

You love trucks. You said, “One day! I will have white bus fire truck yellow bus blue bus. One day! Joshua will give daddy a firetruck one day!”

P.P.S. You’re like your mama. You like to take your time waking up. Yesterday morning, you laid in your bed for a while. Eventually you started singing skinamarinkadinkydink skinamarinkydoo (you burst into song often throughout the day nowadays.) And then finally you said, “Mama, do you want breakfast? I want breakfast? Let’s have breakfast mama. Yes Yes.” *Nod* *Nod*

P.P.P.S. Mama is leaving work (for good possibly!) next week! And Abu Vicky will be coming shortly after too! Julia will be here soon!