Congratulations, we’ve all made it through another year of life…some of us in better shape than others, as your mom has spent the better part of December recuperating from the first two years of child-rearing by sleeping in the guestroom. [I admit, I was scared at first of the prospect of dealing with you at night all by myself, but you know what? You’re basically a cute snuggly heater.]
It’s hard to summarize 2017 (or any year for that matter) with a kid in tow because everything just goes by in a blur. I recall all the big events like our trips to Asia and California because they were such a different scene from our daily lives. I suppose that’s why I write these letters and draw the cartoons so I can remember those small forgotten moments of daily life which are equally sweet.
All that being said, I always think it’s a fun exercise to just rattle off the top of my head the first 10 memories I have from the past year because it means those particular moments have made an indelible mark in my brain (I’m sure there are heavy doses of recency bias here)
- Hong Kong – wheeling you quickly past escalators hoping you don’t notice them otherwise we have to go up and down a few times; takes double the time to get anywhere with a pram; meeting your relatives
- Macau – the water was a bit too cold for everyone except you; the bright signs of Haagen Daaz attracted you like a moth to a light
- Taiwan – driving with your grandfather and grandmother from Kaohsiung to the hot springs where you were strapped and behaved so well in the car seat while your grandfather commented about how your grandmother will get charged triple by local street vendors selling coconut water the minute they see her
- California – your ye ye becoming your go-to bathroom buddy and Palm Springs to meet Emilia!
- That one time you jumped off the potty immediately after you took a dump and exclaimed “poo poo hao chou” (so stinky) followed by “oh my goodness” after peering at it
- Me dragging up my office Christmas tree through the office and hallways on the 24th of December just so we could complete your Christmas experience – sort of encapsulates how we parent your whole life…going that extra step
- The year we revealed TV to you via “Room on the Broom,” “The Gruffalo,” “Thomas the Choo Choo Train,” and “Fireman Sam”
- You living in your mom’s spice cupboard for 30 minutes every day.
- Your mother and I spending four hours putting together your play kitchen and me messing up some part of the kit per usual (that’s why you have on less stove top); took us so long we ordered Chipotle delivery.
- Rearranging our flat six or seven times? And I mean serious layout changes that involve deconstructing pieces of furniture and moving things upstairs and down…all in an effort to declutter and meet your needs of a larger and larger play space.
Looking forward to 2018!
I’m finally back home after almost three weeks of travel covering New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Seoul. Prior to the trip, I was looking forward to the change of scenery and nights of uninterrupted sleep, but by the third day into my travels, I missed sitting with you on the potty and having your leg in my face at night. The jet lag and travel of moving from city to city interrupted my sleep plenty, and no food or friend could fill the void of missing you.
I didn’t get to talk to you guys much while I was away due to the time zone differences and your busy schedule, but even when we did, it wasn’t much to write home about. We did get into a routine. You’d either grab the phone and take me around all over the house making me motion sick. Or you’d ask to see my hotel toilet, sink, tooth paste, refrigerator, and water bottle, in that order. Only in thinking back on it…although there was not much said in a traditional sense, those interactions are exactly how it would’ve been at home.
But I’m still glad to be back. You and your mother greeted me at 630 AM, already up from sending off your grandma just twenty minutes earlier. You seemed unsure at first, perhaps because I had been gone so long you didn’t know whether to believe your eyes. Or maybe you didn’t know how to react…so you simply went to go get your smell pots and brought them over to me to smell with you. It was endearing and only something I know you would do.
It’s always hard to see how much someone or something has changed when you see it everyday. Did I feel like you changed a lot over the course of three weeks? Yes and no. It wasn’t anything outright superficially or physically, but you have more fluidity to your speech and a high level of confidence in expressing your desires. I suppose that’s a euphemism for “you’re bossy.” Or as your mother likes to say, “you know what you want,” which is often how she describes herself. I wonder where you got that part of your from!