Dear Holly: Friday and Saturday Movie Night!

4 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

One of the many new additions to our home, in the midst of our home recent makeover, has been the new folding cushion beds.

While you do enjoy setting them up downstairs in the living room to “make a house”, their main purpose is to be used as beds/couches for our bonus room upstairs.

We now have a new tradition everyday Friday and Saturday night of letting you and your brother pick out a movie and fall asleep up there afterwards.

It’s more fun to sleep there because it’s somewhere other than your own bedroom.

And Mommy and I like it because it makes the bedtime routine much easier for us! The two of you basically just put yourselves to bed on those nights.

Love,

Daddy

Our Family Pet is a Syrian Hamster… And I Am Its Calm Assertive Pack Leader

I admit: I am not a dog person. Nor am I a cat person. I like dogs and cats, just not enough to become personally responsible for their survival and/or livelihood.

So beyond caring for my wife and kids, what living creature do I have enough capacity left to care for?

I’ve got just enough left in me for… a rodent.

Specifically, a Syrian hamster.

When my son turned 9, over a year ago, he wanted a hamster.

It became immediately obvious, the moment we brought him home from the pet store, that Alpha was going to be my pet instead.

To be clear, back in November 2018, I knew nothing about hamsters.

So, thank you YouTube.

I learned that we needed to buy an aquarium for him to live in, instead of the “cute” hamster cages they sell at the pet stores where you buy the hamsters.

I learned how to hand-tame him.

I also learned that Syrian hamsters, being nocturnal and solitary animals, typically bond with one specific person in the household; in the likeness of a dog respecting the authority of the calm assertive pack leader.

Every night after the kids get ready for bed, I take the hamster out to let him crawl around in my hands, as I create my own version of a hamster wheel for him.

That’s when the kids like to take turns petting the hamster; which is the extent of their involvement with him.

While we are able to leave him alone at our house for a weekend, Alpha gets to go to Alabama where we stay at my parents’ house for Christmas vacation; which was for a week and a half in 2020.

This year, Alpha enjoyed crawling around in the Christmas wrapping paper- and feasting on Pistachios.

Syrian Hamsters typically don’t live more than 3 years.

That means that this year, in 2021, the year I turn 40, Alpha the Syrian Hamster will be officially experiencing the start of his midlife crisis along with me.

Dear Holly: Taking Driving Lessons For Your New Surfer Girl Pink Jeep

4 years, 8 months.

Dear Holly,

You’ve been asking for a pink Jeep for a while now. Well, this year when it was being decided what you would get for Christmas, Mommy told me, “Like Daddy, like daughter.”

That means that your “main” Christmas gift this year was a pink, electric riding Jeep, which is now parked next to my black Jeep in our garage.

With this only being your first week into owning your Jeep, you’re still taking it a bit slow; as your brother is eager to give you daily driving lessons, until you are confident enough to drive your pink Jeep on your own.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Like Pretending to Be a School Teacher While Mommy is Working

4 years, 7 months.

Dear Holly,

Sometimes, we keep you home from preschool and let you hang out with Mommy and me as we work.

It’s amazing how truly independent you work; really not needy at all.

Instead, you specifically like to pretend to be a teacher, as you teach your baby dolls.

You also like pretending to type on your “computer”, which is actually whatever magazine happens to be lying around.

I suppose that being part of the “Covid Kid’ generation means that you are accustomed to entertaining yourself while your parents continue to do their jobs in the same room as you!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Getting to Help With Your Cousin’s New Kittens

10 years.

Dear Jack,

Last week, we just happened to be in town when your cousin Calla got her main Christmas present: two little kittens!

It was a huge surprise to not only her, but also to you!

The two of you had so much fun taking care of the kittens; even teaching them how to use a litter box.

Selfishly, I admit- one of the reasons I am happy about her getting two little kittens for Christmas is that you now have access to pet kittens, without them actually living at our house!

Hey, this is great for everybody.

Love,

Daddy