Piggy Squirrel

Proud of your latest creation: Piggy Squirrel

Dear Js,

I thought of something the other day…

The irony of being a parent: Parents want to do more for their children. But happiness comes from doing less and being present.

Someone you love will always drive you to better yourself: To be more successful. To have a big house with a big yard. To be able to send kids to a good school. To earn more to provide a comfortable life. Often, these forces pull parents away from kids. Kids take time; work takes time. But there’s only so much time in a day. Something has to give. So our struggle is to resist that temptation in order to remain present with you.

Because the eternal folly of humanity is being inept at being happy with the present. We love to sacrifice the happiness we have now for the promise of future happiness. Always cheating ourselves of today for tomorrow. The venom is there will always be a tomorrow to steal from your present, and the last tomorrow takes everything away. “Tomorrow” is seductive, and it will rob you of the only life you have, if you let it.

Somewhat relevant:

Earlier this week, we were supposed to go to the park. But you said, “I want to go far away.”

I thought a little, then said, “Okay.” I followed you that day, and you led me on an adventure!

End of the wall

An adventure to… the End of the Wall!

For the first time, we peeked on the other side. We saw the train tracks. But not too close! We cannot go too close to the train tracks. So you asked me to put you on my shoulders so I could take you closer, and you could see more things from up high. You usually only see the top of the train behind the wall. So you were excited to see the whole train.

Power lines bzzzzz

Power lines bzzzzz

Bike lane

Bike lane. Heading to the bridge.

We saw a funny bike. (Recumbent bicycle.) I sat down on the ground and showed you. You leaned back and tried to do it too.

Tree on tracks.

Tree on tracks.

Under the bridge of the train running over the station

Under the bridge of the train running over the station

After we told mama where we went, mama said, “I want to go to the end of the wall!! I’m cooking dinner after I nurse Julia :)”

The next day, mama hustled to prepare dinner early so she could come with us. You ditched me to hop in her backpack.

The next day, mama hustled to prepare dinner early so she could come with us. You ditched me to hop in her backpack.

The conductor waved at you! And you waved back… sorta:

You, children in general, take us for an adventure. It’s hard sometimes, because you force us to visit the places we already know… but with new eyes. You force us to think about things we stopped thinking about. Like, why do we need to wear pants? Your logic is well-developed now, so each time you ask Why, or say No, you’re expressing that it simply doesn’t make sense to you.

So if we just say, “You must wear pants because I say so,” it’s not particularly satisfying to you. Because it still doesn’t make sense. This forces us to evaluate and re-think WHY we do the things we do. And that’s why it’s so annoying. Because we don’t want to think!

But it’s not something that’s valuable only to a parents. It’s important every time you communicate. A big part of persuading someone is being able to give reasons why. In advertising, it’s called “Reason why advertising.” It’s about digging deep, thrashing around with an idea to find out WHY. To find out every good reason for doing something… or for buying something… or for a ridiculous discount… or for wearing pants.

So it’s a challenge. Why do we wear pants? Why must we go to school? Why do we have to eat dinner? Why must we go home when I’m having fun at the playground? It’s a challenge to find 20 good reasons for each one. But don’t be discouraged. Because often, while you won’t care about the 19 reasons, one will stick and one that sticks is all you need.

Whose house is it?

"I don't know either, Kimi..."

“I don’t know either, Kimi…”

Defiance is good. Because you never fail unless you stop trying:

The next day, you came back stronger:

“He didn’t just wave bye today…”

He blew me a kiss!

We were stopped by the Caltrain at Lafayette. A TRAIN! He asked, where is the train going? I said on Sunday, the train takes people to the Farmer’s Market. On Monday, the train takes some people to work, and some people to school.

On the way to school, he sang Down by the Bay non-stop. When we got there, I took a picture of his piggy squirrel.

I got him to leave it in the car so it won’t fall apart in school. When he got out he said, “I want to see the truck.” And we saw a white truck pull into the loading/unloading zone. I said the truck is going to work.

We did our usual morning routine. GOOD MORNING FRIENDS. Today, I kind of heard him whisper some words before I opened the door. Almost as if he whispered “ghmorningfrnds.” We said hi to Jaya, Ryan, Max, Jacob…

When I put him down, he walked by himself. I put the things in his cubby and he saw BUNNY! I gave it to him and he walked around holding it by its ears. I went to put his things away. Good Morning Gina. Ms Gina said, “You want to do our sticker project?”

Then she dumped a bunch of Yahoo Shopping stickers on the table. She showed them how to peel them. J was having trouble with his. I said give me the bunny – I’ll put him in the cubby so you can use two hands. Then I showed him how to bend the corner over to peel the sticker. He stuck it on his elephant.

Then he sat down for snack. A cup of cheerios and two slices of apple. I showed him the puzzle in the table in front of him. Then the markers behind him. Then I talked about the monkeys in the trees… and the snake and caterpillar.

When it was time for me to go, I hugged him tight and said daddy cannot stay. I said goodbye to his elephant and goodbye to J. I kissed him and said I love you. When I got to the door and looked back, he was looking at me with blank face, but he was waving bye! I waved bye, and blew him a kiss, then opened the door. When I looked up again, he had just blown me a kiss! I wasn’t looking because I didn’t expect him to do it back. So I did it a gain, and he did it again. I waved again, and he waved again. The whole time, he was sitting at the table, staring stoically.

“Hehe nothing special today. Well, little things…”

On the way there he said “I want to go a different way.” I asked, which way. He said I want to go the SLOW WAY. (the other day he wanted the FAST way.) So I said errrr if we take the slow way, we will take a long time to get to school. And snack time might be over. So he said, “I want to go THE FAST WAY.” So I said okay, we can go fast, but not tooo fast!

When we got there he said “I want to park next to the line.” I asked, “Do you know what the line is called?” He said “CAB!” I said “It’s called the curb.” He said, “Did I say the wrong thinggggggggggggg?” He said CARB. I said CURB. He said CURD I said CUR-B. He said CURB. I said CURB.

Then I gave him the same answer – we only park on the curb if there’s no space in the closer parking lot. I want to park in the closer parking lot so we are close to school So we don’t have to walk too far. He said, “I want to walk far.” So I had to keep explaining that far = long time = miss snack time etc etc.

But when we got there, there was a line of 3 cars, so I said the closer parking lot is full! Let’s check the next parking lot. He said, “I like the other parking lot.” We circled that one and it was full too. So I said, “We’re parking on the curb!” When I opened the door, he said, “I need more diapers.” I said you have diapers in your cubby. We brought them the other day.

His friends had just got back from potty time. Natalie smiled and shouted, “WE WENT TO THE POTTY!” They lined up and we went in with them. Then Myra said Natalie move out of the way. I said, “Excuse me Natalie.” She stepped into Starfish and stood right in the doorway.

I put J down and he walked around. I said there were pancakes. He ran to the table and gave me his morning toys to put in his cubby. I said pull out the chair and sit down. He said he wanted milk, not water. Then I put his things away.

As he was eating, I showed him the animals and dinosaurs in the table in front. And his friends drawing in the back. He turned around and put one arm over the back of his chair.

When I got ready to leave, he was almost standing, observing his friends draw. Arjun offered me his tissue paper. I said no thanks. The stereo was playing a song that said right foot stomp…. left foot stomp… and a bunch of kids in were following along at the circle.

I hugged him, kissed him, said bye. I said I’ll play with you later. He said “I want to go to the end of the wall.” I said he can talk to his friends about the end of the wall. Then I left. I kept checking back, and he was more engrossed in what his friends were doing behind him than me leaving.

“No, you cannot say good morning. I am mad”

On the way to school, I said good morning trees. J said good morning flowers. I said good morning sky. Good morning!

Then he said, “NO! You caNNOT say good morning!”

I asked, “Why not? I said good morning because it is morning and I’m happy.”

J said, “You’re not happy! You’re MAD!”

I said, “I’m not mad, I’m happy.”
Then he said, “I’m mad too!”

I asked why. He said “I’m mad because Ryan and Jacob. And Lazaros. Lazaros pushed me and I said NO LAZAROS! GO AWAY!”
Then he talked about brown truck mater and brown tow truck. Someone said can I see them and J said he ran away. He put them in the cubby so they are safe.

Then we saw a purple car transporter! It was carrying VWs covered up. I said look! He said that truck is carrying cars. I said it’s carrying cars because it’s the Car Transporter. He said like the trucks book! I said trains carry people, and car transporters carry cars. It’s taking the cars to work.

He asked, “Where are the cars going?” I said I don’t know… they didn’t tell us. “What’s their name?” I don’t know, they didn’t tell us. Then he said, “I KNOW THE CAR’S NAME.” What is the car’s name? “Err… PETER!” Peter the car? “Ya. PETER the car.”

Then he started singing a Good morning song that sounded like this.

He wanted to park at the different parking lot again. So I gave him 50 reasons why we were parking at the CCLC lot. One of them stuck because he stopped asking. Instead, he repeated the explanation he liked best: some cars park here, some cars park there. If there is space, we will park here. If there’s no space, they have to park over there.

I bumped his head on the lantern on the way to class. He didn’t smile this time. He was frowning. I asked Are you okay? He said, “My milk bottle is falling…” He was holding it from the top with one hand with his fingers, and he had his water bottle in his other.

GOOD MORNING FRIENDS. Natalie and Jayden were sitting at the table with Kaylee. Joshua joined them for oatmeal and apples. Natalie said, “Joshua’s daddy. Hi.” I said good morning Natalie. Jayden said “Joshua’s daddy – hi.” I said good morning Jayden. Natalie said, “Joshua’s daddy – Jayden said hi.” I said good morning Jayden.

Ryan was sitting alone by the door, looking at his shoes. He must be sad his dad left. I said good morning Ryan. He didn’t answer.

When J finished his first cup of oatmeal, I gave him more. Ms Gina was surprised everyone was eating oatmeal today.

Then Natalie and Jayden shouted, “DIVYA!” And Divya popped in with her dad. Then a few seconds later they shouted “MYRA!” And Myra appeared. Somehow they could see them before they came in and they were happy to see them.

When I bent down to say bye to J, Natalie said Bye bye Joshua’s daddy. And Jayden said bye bye. Then Ms Gina said bye bye. And I thought hang on, I haven’t even started yet! I said bye to J and told him we’ll play when I come back. He said I want to go to the End of the Wall. Then I said okay. Wait for me. He said ya. Then he said loudly BYE BYE. I waved as I went out. He looked at me the whole time. I could even see him looking through the window outside. So I kept waving and I touched the lantern outside too.

Funny moments:

At dinner, I said to J, careful, it’s hot. Hungry, you said, “It’s cool down now.” I said you need to wait for it to cool down. A few seconds later, “AAA it’s hot! I need some blow!”

And when I was doing the dishes yesterday, you made me laugh singing this:

Row row, row your boat
underneath the stream
Ha Ha fooled ya
I’m a submarine



P.S. – the Big Latch On 2013 is this weekend. Moms get together worldwide to break the world record for most moms breastfeeding simultaneously. Mama’s been organizing the South Bay location. She managed to persuade many companies to sponsor gifts for the breastfeeding mom. The goodie bags and raffles are fantastic this year. We also sent a story idea to every possible newspaper, radio and TV station that might be interested covering in the event, or listing the event in their calendar. I compiled a list of about 30 of them and mama spent one night personalizing the pitch to send to each one. We’re thinking of making this a yearly promotion. General formula: align with a hot event that the community wants to be a part of. At the event, sell before, during, after. Name capture for follow up, and to build list for subsequent events. Of course, selling means serving, and selling means giving. She’ll be there to answer questions, hand out helpful/informative lead-generation booklets, etc.

P.P.S. – J – My throat hurts talking to you. I think I figured out two reasons. One is because you’re short. I always have to bend down to talk to you, which makes me use my vocal cords in an unnatural way. You also have a high voice at a certain pitch. This makes me unconsciously match your pitch one octave lower, which is still a few tones higher than my natural voice. Good thing you now have friends you can call to talk with:

P.P.P.S. – J2 – You can lift your head at tummy time now! Like a cobra!