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

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Dear Jack: A 1st Grader Boy’s Christmas is One that Requires Pokemon

7 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Every couple of years, the theme changes and you’re suddenly into a new toy; one that will further challenge your current state of mind. I enjoy seeing shift that occurs every couple of years. I have grown to expect it now.

For example, when you were 2 years-old, everything was Hot Wheels. When you were 3, it was Thomas the Train. At age 4 and 5, you couldn’t get enough stuffed animals.

But at age 6 and now 7, your obsession has been Pokemon. You even told me you still believe there’s a chance that Pokemon are actually real. You are serious about Pokemon!

It’s becoming difficult for me to understand how you can even trade cards anymore with your friends, as I would have to imagine you already have two of every card ever made!

Apparently though, that was still not the case, even after Christmas, when multiple friends and family members gave you gift cards; which are mostly being spent on more Pokemon cards.

Even our next door neighbors surprised us with a gift package on our front door, which included a pack of Pokemon cards!

To really top things off, my Uncle Al brought you a shoe box full of vintage Pokemon cards from 20 years ago. They came with some baseball cards he ordered off of the internet.

Not to mention, Nonna ordered you a big bag full of Pokemon figurines, as well.

What else could you possibly need?

Uncle Andrew and Aunt Dana figured you could use a few new books:

Farting Pokemon Coloring Book and I Need a New Butt!

Yeah, those are just right for what you and your friends at school talk about when you’re not talking about Pokemon.

I just can’t imagine though, a year from now, how you could still be in to Pokemon cards. How will there be any left?

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: You’ve Discovered the Ability to Make Fake Pokemon Cards… And Trade Them on the Bus! (Oops.)

7 years.

Dear Jack,

A couple of weeks ago when we were visiting family in Alabama, you disappeared with your Uncle Andrew and made your way to the printer. When you returned, you came back with new and extremely rare Pokemon cards.

They were so rare that it turns out you are the only boy in the world to own them. That’s because you and your uncle created them on the computer.

What was so phenomenal about the cards was the amount of damage they did to the other characters. Instead of 120 damage, they did 999,999.

Yeah, that’s not normal.

Uncle Andrew also creatively made a Jack-Man card for you as well, based on the character from our YouTube series.

I didn’t think much about what you’d actually do with these cards once you got back to school. I never thought of the importance of proactively warning you to not actually trade these counterfeit cards, as opposed to simply to showing them to your friends for a laugh.

Therefore, the next day as I met you at the bus stop in neighborhood, you met me with great excitement:

“Daddy, look at this cool new card I got today on the bus! Look how much damage it does!”

I casually asked you in response, “Oh, which card did you trade to get it?”

Your response was completely unguarded:

“I gave him one of the cards I made with Uncle Andrew.”

Needless to say, after I explained why you weren’t actually supposed to trade the fake cards as part of a legitimate trade, you then volunteered to give your friend on the bus one of your better real cards the next day.

All is well. It was a good life lesson learned.

Plus, it’s a little bit hilarious. I didn’t let you know that, though.

Love,

Daddy

 

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 7th Birthday

7 years old today!

Dear Jack,

It was still completely dark outside this morning when you walked into the bedroom and quietly asked me, “Daddy, can I open some of my birthday presents now?”

As your sister munched on a waffle, you preceded to unwrap your gifts from Mommy and me; all of which were explicitly Pokemon-themed.

This marks your first birthday in which stuffed animals nor Lego blocks were part of the excitement. No way. You’re seven now. This is serious stuff:

Everything is Pokemon!

Out of all the money spent on your birthday gifts, you appeared most excited and proud of the Pokemon binder we got you to hold all your cards. That was less than 10 dollars well spent!

You even asked me, “Daddy, how did you and Mommy get my name on the folder?”

I didn’t spell out how simple a concept it actually was; that the binder and the sheets only cost a few bucks each from WalMart and that Mommy simply printed off the Pikachu picture and then typed “Jack’s Pokemon Cards” from our printer.

As you spouted off a constant news reel for the rest of the morning about all the Pokemon cards you now have, I heard you say you were “organizing all the Pokemon cards according to how they evolve” and that you now have around 400 cards.

Mommy and I visited you for lunch today at school, just a few hours later. You told us that you had already traded some of the cards you got this morning for your birthday from us.

And I guess that’s the whole point- it’s fun to trade them, even just hours after getting new ones!

We are so proud to have you as our son. You are one intelligent and creative boy. Out of all the little boys in the whole entire world, we’d pick you every single time.

Happy Birthday, Jack.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 2nd Birthday

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 3rd Birthday

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 4th Birthday

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 5th Birthday

Dear Jack: A Dad’s Letter to His Son on His 6th Birthday

Dear Jack: Your “Pokemon Card Business Meeting” with Your Best Friend, Duncan

6 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack,

You were so excited all last week to know that your best friend, Duncan, was going to be coming over to our house on Saturday morning. Now that fall soccer season is over, this made the first weekend in which you wouldn’t be seeing each other.

But for two hours, the two of you got hang out and just do whatever you wanted to.

Perhaps somewhat ironically, you were noticeably much calmer and self-contained with him over. Instead of two nearly 7-year olds running around crazy in the living room, the two of you spent most of the time having what I am calling a “Pokemon Card Business Meeting.”

It looked, and sounded, quite serious. You both brought out your huge Pokemon card binders and committed to what seemed to me as a never-ended business meeting.

As you both traded and bartered, I kept hearing stats that I couldn’t keep up worth, as I heard these strangely named Pokemon characters and how much damage each one does, and whether it’s an EX or not…

I am convinced the two of you had so much fun. But I have to say, it looked all business to me!

These days, I recognize it’s often a challenge for you to figure out what to do when you’re at home; as the temptation to play with your sister, even if she is already occupied, is always there. It feels like a daily occurrence that I have to say, “Jack, find something to do before I assign you some mandatory fun myself…”

With Duncan over at our house, I never said that once.

If Duncan is the kind of company you keep, and that is the kind of activity you choose to do, I say, hey… Let’s have Duncan over more often!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: I am Training Your Brother How to Teach You, Not Taunt You

1 year, 2 months.

Dear Holly,

You are a very gracious little sister, that’s for sure. For the past several weeks, I have been patiently (?) teaching your brother what exactly it means to gently play with his 1 year-old sibling.

Your brother is 6 and half years-old; he’ll be starting 1st grade a month from now. In his mind, you’re his peer. In his mind, he can play with you the same way he plays with other boys his age. In his mind, you’re not a fraction of his size.

For now, I pretty much have to have a “just don’t touch your sister” rule for him, because he has this habit of either knocking you down, or carrying  you from one side of the room to room but that literally dropping you on the floor.

I’ve also been explaining to him how he’s not competing with you. He has this habit of wanting to play with whatever toy you’re playing with, yet the moment you stop playing with it and he finally gets it, he then wants to new toy you’re playing with.

It’s a cycle of him constantly wanting whatever toy you have.

This week I specifically trained him on his role: to teach his little sister on to do things.

That way, there’s no need for him to want your toy, but instead, to play with you by showing you how to play with it, without taking the toy away from you.

He’ll eventually mellow out and transition into his role.

With all that being said, most of the time, it’s not an issue.

Instead, it’s very clear he loves and adores you.

A few weeks I came home to see you playing with a homemade miniature Pokemon-themed basketball goal and basket. Your brother had made it just for you!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Holly: You Evolve into the Snubbull Pokemon When You Get “Hangry” (Hungry + Angry)

1 year, 1 month.

Dear Holly,

I admit- it’s a rare thing to ever see you upset about anything. You’re just a happy, beboppin’ little girl.

You assume the world is all marshmallows and unicorns, and I feel that Mommy and I do our best to make sure that is indeed the case, as best we can.

Undeniably, you are the kind of the baby girl who I just naturally want to make happy. You’re low-maintenance- and of course, you’re adorable! You’re the epitome of cuteness.

With that being said, thanks to your 6 and a half year-old brother, I am now quite familiar with the fundamentals of Pokemon characters; how many of them have the ability to evolve into stronger, fiercer versions of themselves.

Every single day when your brother comes home from school, he eagerly shows me the newest Pokemon cards he received by trading some others that he had just received days before.

As I was flipping through the 4 new cards he got that day, Snubbull immediately stopped me in my tracks:

“Why does this one look so familiar?” I thought to myself. I just couldn’t figure it out.

But just a few days later, I came home from work, to a beautiful strawberry-blonde little girl who was literally changing colors, as she morphed into an angry red version of her usual self.

That was a result of you being equally hungry and tired, yet Mommy and I couldn’t get you fastened into your high chair fast enough.

It wasn’t until I took these pictures later that day that the theory presented itself: that you evolve into Snubbull, the Pokemon fairy, when you are “hangry”.

I don’t want my little girl to have to evolve into a Pokemon character. It’s just too sad to see you upset. I just want to keep you happy, Sweetie!

Love,

Daddy