Dear Jack: Playing Supermarket Sweep After Dinner

8 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

It has become an undeniable tradition that in our home, after dinner, you and your sister decide to play what I refer to as Supermarket Sweep.

This is when you grab your sister’s baby doll stroller, and she takes her toy shopping cart (filled with toy groceries), and the two of you compete in a series of races; back and forth literally from one side of the house to the other.

While it is a contest of speed for the two of you, I see it as a contest of who is having more fun- you and your sister.

So, it appears to have been a tie every single time!

Love,

Daddy

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Dear Jack: You Did an Amazing Job on Your 1st Speaking Part in a Play!

8 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

As if I weren’t already proud of you for applying my “life lessons” advice by being the one to volunteer for a speaking part in a play any chance you get, I am even prouder now that you perfectly executed your lines in your 2nd grade’s “Spring Into Music” performance.

I didn’t realize until the actual performance, that you were one of only a few other 2nd graders with a speaking part.

Mommy and I were both right in our reasoning for why we both had been separately encouraging you all year to volunteer to have a speaking part in a play:

My reasoning was that by default, boys typically don’t naturally want to volunteer for a speaking part. Therefore, those who volunteer, get chosen.

Mommy’s reasoning was that it would help you build confidence in yourself and cause you to gain new skills.

Our predictions came true.

I have a feeling you are going to be eager to volunteer to speak in a play the next chance you get!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: I’ve Never Once Seen You Act Shy

2 years, 10 months.

This week at work one of my coworkers was asking me what your personality is like, after she saw a picture of you being your happy self.

It got me thinking: I have never once seen you act shy.

You are such a happy, outgoing little girl. Wherever we go, you’re just glad to be there and you aren’t afraid to interact with friendly strangers who tell you how cute you are.

I’ve noticed you definitely aren’t camera shy, either.

Sometimes I casually ask you, “Holly, you want to be in a video with me?”

You instantly and enthusiastically agree every time.

You’re just not a shy kid.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You Have Your 1st Speaking Part in a Play, Because You Volunteered for It

8 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

I’ve been telling you all week how proud I am of you for volunteering to have a speaking part in your upcoming play at school. Two students from every class in 2nd grade will have a speaking part in the play.

This is your line:

“Our first song is ‘Top of the Music to You’; in this song, we live about the orchestra, which consists of four instrument families: woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion.”

As your parent, I never know how seriously you let my life advice soak in. But for the past couple of months now, I have been telling you what an advantage it is to be the boy in your class who jumps at the chance to participate in a play. It builds confidence and provides opportunities in life; so I have learned. (This is coming from a dad who has been on national TV, of course.)

I explained that typically in elementary school, boys are afraid to get up in front of people and have a speaking part.

But not you. You volunteered and you got the part!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Like to Make and Eat “Panic Cakes”

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

Ever since you got your Peppa the Pig kitchen play set for Christmas, you have been somewhat obsessed with the concept of making pancakes, or as you pronounce it… panic cakes.

Picking up on this, Mommy decided to make some buckwheat pancakes a few Saturday mornings ago, and it turns out, you love to eat pancakes- not just pretend to make them.

It’s now to the point where Mommy has to make enough on the weekend so that you have enough to eat leftovers throughout the rest of the week; each morning before school.

In fact, you love them so much, that you sort of have a little panic attack if you don’t get your panic cakes!

So maybe “panic cakes” isn’t that far off of a pronunciation…

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your New “Household Chores for Cash” Program

8 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Every night after dinner now, you and I now tag-team drying the dishes. Specifically, you handle drying and putting away the countless number of plastic water bottles, cups, and containers it apparently takes for our family to function on a daily basis.

Plus, every Wednesday and Sunday, you are now responsible for collecting the garbage from the five smaller wastebaskets throughout our house, so that I can combine them with the tall kitchen garbage, then take them outside to the main garbage bin.

I must say, this system has been working very well over the past few weeks in has been in effect.

For a few dollars a week, I am impressed by the way you get the work done amazingly without complaining.

Sure, the money helps- but I also recognize you’re definitely old enough now to secretly crave some sense of responsibility.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: Mommy Painted Your Nails for the 1st Time

2 years, 9 months.

Dear Holly,

All last week, you kept asking Mommy: “We paint my fingers and my toes this weekend?”

There was much anticipation for this event.

So Sunday afternoon, before you and your brother watched a movie with Mommy, she took you to the bathroom floor where she carefully painted each of your fingernails and toenails.

Needless to say, you were so proud to have Mommy do this for you.

I wasn’t surprised at all when I dropped you off at school on Monday and the first thing you did when you saw your teacher, Mrs. Kim, was to display your fingers and proclaim:

“Look! Mommy painted my nails!”

Yeah, you are such a little girl.

Love,

Daddy