Dear Jack: I Figured Out Your 1st Crush is Dove Cameron from Liv and Maddie

7 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

As your current Netflix binge-watching show of choice is Disney’s Liv and Maddie, now a 2nd time through, I correctly assumed that part of why you like the show so much is because of the actress who plays the main characters and twin sisters of the show, Dove Cameron.

I mentioned this to Mommy, who immediately asked you:

“Jack, do you think Liv and Maddie are pretty? Do you think they’re cute?”

Your inability to speak served as the obvious answer to the question.

Eventually, you attempted to play the whole thing down, as you unsuccessfully convinced us with an “I guess…”

I’m just proud of myself for figuring the thing out.

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Holly: You are Trying So Hard to Have Legitimate Conversations But…

2 and a half years old.

Dear Holly,

Last Sunday while you were playing with your brother’s toys in his bedroom while Mommy sorted out his closet, you took it upon yourself to create a story line.

You swung your purse over your shoulder then grabbed your brother’s poop emoji stuffed animal, then enthusiastically yet routinely announced, “Hey Poop, want to go to church?… Yeah?… Okay, let’s go!”

From there, you pretended to load up Poop in the car for the ride to church.

And yesterday as I was driving you to school, I said, “Look Holly! Those men are putting a new roof on that house!”

Seeing the apparent fun of being able to walk on top of a house, you proclaimed, “I want to walk on the roof for my Christmas.”

In your mind, these scenarios are completely realistic.

That’s good enough for me.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Instead of Going to Bed, Would You Rather Just Watch Dancing with the Stars?

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Holly,

For the slight majority of the time when I put you to bed, you fall asleep shortly afterwards and that’s the end of it.

But for the other times, you find a way to delay the process:

“Elsa Band-Aid?”

“Water?”

“Hug Jack?”

This past week though, we tried a new one out on me and Mommy both.

Twenty minutes after I had put you to bed and assumed you were asleep, you started softly knocking on your bedroom door.

Mommy curiously opened it.

With a confident smile, you cheerfully announced, “Mommy, it’s time to watch!”

You just wanted to see the rest of Dancing with the Stars. Your plan worked… sort of.

We let you watch about 10 minutes before sending you back to bed.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Love to Perform Concerts, Singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

2 years, 4 months.

Dear Holly,

For a solid three weeks now, you have been filling any quiet space with an eternal loop of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Because it happens to have the same exact melody as “The ABC Song”, you often interchange the lyrics.

Not to mention, you pronounce “twinkle” as twunkle.

You weren’t shy one bit when I decided to press record on my camera, so I could show Mommy your performance, once she got back from the grocery store.

Perhaps this is the beginning of your singing career…

Love,

Daddy

 

Dear Holly: You Wore a Poop Emoji Band-Aid On Your Forehead to Church, While Your Parents Never Questioned It

2 years, 3 months.

Dear Holly,

The funniest part of this story is that it wasn’t until Mommy was making dinner last Sunday evening, around 5:30, that I even bothered bringing it up:

“So Holly’s been wearing a poop emoji Band-Aid on her forehead since I woke up this morning. We went to church, and then went to the doughnut shop, and the rest of the afternoon has now passed. Up until this point we haven’t talked about it.”

Mommy’s answer was everything I knew it would be. It was the explanation I didn’t need, since I already knew the answer because I know you that well. It was the very reason I never mentioned it all day:

“Yeah, Holly saw that I bought new Band-Aids and she wanted one on her forehead- so I let her. It wasn’t worth the fight.”

Needless to say, you’re going through that “wears Band-Aids excessively and unnecessarily” stage.

Earlier last week, I came downstairs from vacuuming, and you had two on each arm and two on each leg. You looked up at me in an attempt to earn all my sympathy:

“Daddy, I got boo-boos!”

You were the equivalent of a cartoon kitten who went skateboarding for the first time.

To you right now, Band-Aids are a fashion accessory. But you are also able to understand that in order to somewhat justify wasting them, you have to write a loose narrative as to why you’ve earned the right to wear the Band-Aids.

But you know good and well I’ll immediately settle for, “Daddy, I got boo-boos!”

Like Mommy said, it’s just not worth the fight.

In your psychological and social development right now, this is important to you.

Not to mention, I can’t deny it’s giving me access to being able to take some pretty funny and eventually embarrassing pictures of you these days.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Learned How to Jump This Week… While Wearing Your Brother’s Pokemon Underwear!

2 years, 2 months.

Dear Holly,

You’ve been on a mission this week. I’m not sure what inspired it. Maybe you’ve been seeing your friends do it at school, or maybe you’ve just simply developed your muscles to the point you can.

But after just a few days of practice, you finally taught yourself how to jump!

You’ve been leaping across our living room like a frog. You’ve even been making the sound: “Ribb-ribb-ribb-ribb…”

I had been noticing for the past couple of weeks that it looked like you were practicing. You just couldn’t figure out how to actually get your feet off the ground; as if it were supposed to be an automatic thing that happened after you squatted.

Your newly learned jumping skill just happened to be the same week that your brother talked you into wearing same of his old Pokemon underwear over your clothes.

Of all the cute clothes you have in your closet, you have decided that your brother’s old underwear are better choice.

Actually though, it reminds me of a conversation I was having with Mommy this week, how I myself have cool newer t-shirts that I never wear enough; as if I’m saving them for some special occasion that never happens.

Instead, I tend to wear only my old faded clothes when we’re home.

The irony is that for the people I love the most, I wear the worst clothes; and for the rest of the world, I have to put on a fashion show that no one is paying attention to.

So maybe you have inspired me to just start wearing what I really want to wear, even when it’s just our family at our house.

As for now, I have a feeling that it will just be the new norm to be seeing you jumping around the house in boys’ Pokemon underwear.

 

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: It’s Hard to Take a Normal Picture of You These Days

7 years, 7 months.

Dear Jack,

As I began looking through the more than a thousand pictures I took of our family’s recent trip to northern California, it didn’t take me long to notice a pattern: It was rare to see you just smiling normally in a photo.

Instead, the majority of the pictures show you making some kind of silly face.

Whether it’s a scary monster face, or an over-the-top smile, or just you simply photo-bombing someone else’s photo, you are all about being silly in photos.

Granted, I was able to get some normal pictures of you during our vacation. And that’s good enough for me.

I accept you, as you are, as a 7 and a half year-old boy. I want you to be able to express yourself that way.

So I accept that at this point in your life, you’ve had your picture taken enough to where it’s become a bit of a joke to you.

I don’t mind this. I completely realize that in a matter of about 5 years, I’ll be lucky to even get you to pose for a picture where you’re smiling- in any form. Because you’ll be in that teenage phrase where you are embarrassed by me.

This is actually something I’ve always wondered about: At what point will I no longer be able to include new photos of you in my letters to you? At what point can I no longer get away with including you in my blog?

I recognize that at some point, your need for privacy may override the fact that I love celebrating and documenting whatever is going on in your life each week.

So despite me having written about you at least once every week since Mommy and I knew you were going to be born, that may need to come to an end, some time in the future; or at least, maybe I’ll need to do it less frequently.

It’s very clear to me: Silly, happy pictures of you are much better than no pictures at all.

Love,

Daddy