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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Thirty four months. And counting.

Dear Emily, Emily, Emily, Emily, Emily,

Thirty four months ago today you exited my womb and entered our family. With your birth, you gave me something that I never before had.


You also gave me a reason to quit my job and start living life in the stroller lane. Some days I find it exhausting and other days I find it exhilarating. But soon you'll be too big to ride in a stroller and this fall you'll be starting preschool. Right now as I look at you sitting on the couch watching Dora, I can't believe how grown-up you are becoming. Every day I notice that you're a little bit taller, and that your face has a little less baby fat, and that your attitude is... well, let's just say that your attitude is growing in direct relationship to your ability to know exactly when I've left the room so that you can climb on the counter to nab a cookie.

Emily, here is an example of how you and I communicate. This actual exchange took place two seconds ago:

"Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama."
"Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Emily bagel, Emily bagel!"
"How do you ask?"
"Mama, Emily bagel, please. Okay!"
I hand you half a bagel, which you hold up to your ear.
"Hello, hello, yes, I see."
"Mama, mama, look! It's a telephone!"
"Is it a bagel or a telephone?"
"A bagel!"

Daddy hates it when you repeat his name five times. He thinks he has you trained to say his name only once. "Daddy." I have chosen to fight lose other battles. Plus he's wrong. You still say, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy," at the beginning of every sentence. You love your dad and that makes me very happy. He loves you, too, although last night he did not allow you to watch any TV before bed because he caught you playing in the toilet. Again. You didn't seem to mind, though, because he still let you sit next to him on the couch while he read his book and you chatted and sucked on raisins.

Emily, you have this interesting habit of sucking on your food. It's cute and--at the same time--disturbing. However, it seems to soothe you and since you no longer drink out of a bottle or use a pacifier, I am okay with your attempt at seeking inner peace from the juice of raisins. Besides, I don't really have a choice in the matter. (See reference to attitude above.)

Today a raisin dropped on the floor and I said to you, "Please pick up that grape." To which you replied, "It's a raisin." To which I said "Ah ha! I'll have you know that raisins are really grapes that have been dried!" But I knew that at that moment that you were right and that I was wrong and that you had totally called me on my utter stupidity. At that moment I witnessed just a brief taste of what our future together holds as you get smarter and smarter and I become more and more senile.

And I was very proud of you. And of me.

Love, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama

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