Dear Little: Chrysalides

Dear Little,

Last night during dinner, you introduced your dad to the word “chrysalides.” You explained that this was the plural of the word, chrysalis.

I seconded your assertion because that’s what I learned with all your paperwork, notes back from the teacher, and school projects when you guys did a few weeks on the butterfly life-cycle. It was a word that I had never heard before this year and thought it was cool.

Then the following exchange occurred:

A: “Mommy? What was the word you had a kid for many chrysalis?”

M: “I think we used the word chrysalises.”

A: “But, it’s wrong.”

M: “Apparently, and now  we know that.”

A: “Daddy? What did you call it?”

D: “I think I also would have  called it chrysalises.”

A: “So, your teachers didn’t teach you that word when you were kids?”

D: “No, kiddo. I don’t think they did.”

M: “Or, it’s been so long since we were kids that we forgot.”

A: “Well, I’m never going to forget that word.”

3 seconds later:

A: “Hey, Mom? This pasta looks like chrysalises!”

Never forget, kiddo.

Never forget.

Love,

Mom

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Dear Little: Good Little Reader

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Dear Little –

You survived your first sleepover at Maddy’s house. Her parents also survived for those old enough to read and understand what having two 4-and 5-year-olds in a small apartment overnight could be like.

Your dad and I went to watch the Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me taping. It was nice to get away and know that you were in for a fun night.

After the show, I put my phone back on and saw I missed a ton of messages from Maddy’s mom.  I panicked. Are you not going to bed? Did you fall at the park? Are you in the ER? Did Maddy decide she didn’t want to share her parents overnight?

My panic turned instantly into laughter as I think this is my new favorite text, ever.

patriarchy

Yes.

Yes, you are a good little reader.

Love,
Mom

Dear Little: The Future Of You

Hey Little,

Hard not to be absolutely crushed today. In a week where rights for women started to feel a stranglehold from the Supreme Court and the Court also agreed that banning people from specific countries was lawful, the swing vote has just announced his retirement.

While that might not seem like a big deal, it really is.

If in your lifetime it’s harder for you to get healthcare as an American, or specifically as a woman, I’m sorry. We did this to you.

If in your lifetime a friend of yours is deported in the middle of the night because of ICE, I’m so sorry. We voted this for you.

If in your lifetime you have to get a mammogram at 26 because our family history, like I did, and insurance won’t cover it, I’m sorry. We voted this for you by putting people in charge who care more about corporations instead of health. (I write as I’m on the phone inquiring about a mammogram bill that will not be covered by insurance because suddenly we’re not covered anymore).

If in your lifetime you have friends who are bullied because they wear certain religious coverings, dress differently, or have an accent, I’m sorry. We’ve normalized that for you and your friends.

I’d like to think that we’re better than this. Clearly, we are not. Your country isn’t what it’s supposed to be. With liberty and justice for all…(*)

Maybe someday that will be true and this will be over and you won’t have to worry about in your lifetime. But until then, you will go with me to vote in every election, midterm and primary – and I won’t stop voting for you, your friends, or your future.

Love,

Mom

Dear Little: Lockdown, Part 2

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It’s been over a year since the first time I wrote to you about the complicated feelings we adults have about lockdown drills. It’s something I literally can’t talk with you about yet because you think this is a game, as you should because you are 5.

 

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The flag as pictured this morning in remembrance of the 10 students who died on Friday in Texas. These students were going to school, just like you. And here you are, preparing for a full lockdown drill. Again.

Kiddo, it’s hard.

 

The flag is still at half-staff from the last school shooting. Maybe we should just keep it there because what’s the point to put it back up? There will likely be another three this week. There were two school shootings last week.

Three this month.

16 this year.

And yet, you keep marching into school, oblivious to the very real danger we parents and your teachers are preparing for with these drills. I’m not nieve to think that simple measures and common sense legislation, accountability and a change in how America views its addiction to weaponry will stop every single violent act with a gun.

But it will help.

I’ve been a mess all day long after seeing the police cars heading towards the schools knowing that this time it’s a drill, but what about next time?

I’m glad that there are reactive measures put in place for if this happens in your school, but unless proactive measures are taken, this will be a matter of when this happens to you or someone we know, not if. What are we supposed to do, Kiddo? Do we pull you out of school? Do we run for office? Do we just keep sending you places and hope for the best? I have literally no idea what I’m supposed to do as your parent here, and it’s all I can think of today.

I don’t want to get the call that the 10 parents got on Friday. I don’t want to get the call that over 400 parents have received in over 200 school shootings since Newtown (when you were just 4 months old).

I’m sick to my stomach.

When you read this as an adult, I can’t even imagine what you’ll say except that we adults put you guys in this situation. And, you’d be right.

Nothing has changed in the last year except for the body count.

Love,

-Mom

Dear Little: Sleep

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Apparently, I was so tired from this event that it didn’t get published until…April. This was about a year ago. Still cute, though. XO, Mom.

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Hey Little.

Let’s talk a bit about sleep, shall we? We aren’t a co-sleeping family. It’s not that we didn’t want to have you sleep in our bed and it’s not like we didn’t read all the pros and cons of sleeping as a family in those first few months of your wee little life.

It’s simple: Dad and I had a full sized bed and four animals that each outweighed you. There was no space for you, and if there was space, the was no safe space for you in the bed. The crib was the safest place for you. And while there were many (many, many, many) nights I thought it would be easier to have you in bed with us, it just wasn’t something we thought would work.

As a result, you slept so well in your own room from a very early age. You slept through the night at 2 months old (oh, THANK YOU). As much as I wanted you to be the kid that slept anywhere at any time, you weren’t. You only have ever slept in your bed, unless you are sick. Then I can get a photo of you sleeping somewhere else.

The couch.


We don’t have any photos of you sleeping in mashed potatoes that we can make funny comments about, or falling asleep playing with your dolls in the office…
So when you got bigger and wanted to sleep with us, we got a King sized bed. And you do sleep on me, but it’s not the restful, sweet, picturesque scene you might imagine. You snore in my ear. You push me to the outside of the giant bed and take all the blankets. My dreams of having you sleep with us were crushed by the reality of your active sleeping style. This came to a head last night.

I ended up sleeping on the floor, in your blow up bed at your grandparent’s home. Your dad woke up next to you, not me. I didn’t sleep on the floor but I could at least relax. It was the most rest I had in three days, with the added bonus of you coughing and hacking in my face in the middle of the night because you have been sick. My place is next to you… But man kiddo. I don’t fit in your tiny bed with you; you can’t fit in our massive bed with us, and you certainly do not fit with both of us in your dad’s childhood bed.

Bunny, I love you. I love you more when I can sleep.  Next time you are sick, I’ll snuggle. I’ll snuggle you when we read bedtime stories, but I just can’t actively sleep with you because you are too active a sleeper. It’s like you are reenacting all the positions of an NFL championship game in your sleep and I just can’t get tackled and grunted on anymore.

Love,

Mom.

Dear Little: Star Wars

Hey, Little,

Last week, we watched “Star Wars: A New Hope,” widely regarded as the first Star Wars movie. I mean, it was the first made, but there are three movies that came out decades later but took place decades before…nevermind. Not important.

After watching the rebels blow up the Death Star and the ending credits rolled, I asked you what you thought they were going to do next.

“Well, Mommy, I think the Dark Vader will just make a bigger Death Star.”

HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT?!?

(So, um…Rian Johnson? If you need an assistant, I know a 5-year-old little girl who should probably be in the writing room.)

I’m seriously considering live-Tweeting your viewing of the second movie this afternoon. I mean, we find out some pretty interesting things in this movie and I’m pretty sure you’re going to have some adora-words to express what’s going on in your head during the viewing. If you call the Luke/Leia thing before you see it, I’m going to assume you’ve been able to read all along and have been reading spoiler websites.

Love,

-Mom

Dear Little: Heels

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Dear Little,

Yesterday was Easter, or as you called it, “Yay, it’s a dress-up day!”

As part of dressing up to go to Bella’s for dinner, you decided to go all out. You wanted high heels to go with your sparkly dress and butterfly leggings. You’re five, for the record. Heels and kindergarteners are not usually simpatico. That said, you were insistent. Instead of getting upset that you didn’t own a pair of high heels (again, you’re 5!), you decided to engineer your own.

After I got dressed, I found you in the kitchen with some purple kids glue, two Quatro Lego (the big, big bricks traditionally for wee-little kids to avoid a choking incident) and your old silver Ugg knockoffs. You were determined.

I did mention the kid’s glue wasn’t going to cut it, so I grabbed the super glue, but other than that, this was entirely your rodeo. You glued the pokey bit of the Lego up to the heel of the soft sole and did the same to the other boot.

 

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It’s about this point that every parent is squirming. For her, these are beautiful heels. For us, this is a painful reality at 3am. Stepping on these nubs with anything less than a steel toe boot is up as high on the pain scale as having a fingernail removed or hearing the Barney Theme Song on repeat.

After you assembled the Lego heels and I explained through tears that fingers and super glue don’t mix, you got dressed and we gave them a test walk.

 

They weren’t too bad. I mean, they looked really uncomfortable but it’s better you learn that about women’s fashion as soon as possible as that’s just simply the reality. You were pretty wobbly, but no worse than most of my friends walking in heels (and we’re in our late thirties). All in all, good job! I was really proud of your engineering and determination.

On our drive over to Bella’s something dawned on me. If Lego DID cooperate with a high heel maker, I’d wear those shoes. A simple black shoe with just Quatros stacked for the heel could really work. Want a lower heel that day? Take off a brick. Want to really go for it? Add 3 bricks. Not feeling red? Change the heel to blue bricks. Want to make a fashion statement? Multicolored bricks for just the heel. Customizable colors and heel height. I think, kiddo, you might be onto something.

Dear Little: Get Lucky

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Dear Little –

“She’s up all night to the sun.
She’s up all night to get some.
She’s up all night for good fun.
She’s up all night to get lucky.”

Someday you’ll discover that the song “Get Lucky, ” a song you request so you can bop your head on your way to Kindergarten most days, isn’t about staying up late, eating lots of cotton candy and being lucky enough see a shooting star.

Sorry.

Love,

Mom