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

Monday, August 07, 2006


To The Boy Who Does His Own Stunts

Dear Thomas,

Yesterday you turned twenty months old.

Perhaps in celebration of this event, last Sunday you used a purple Sharpie to draw all over the white carpet in the living room, prompting Mommy to lose her mind and Daddy to write a blog post titled "How to remove purple permanent ink marker from white plush carpet."

Because of Daddy's persistent and ingenous cleaning abilities, I have decided you will be allowed to live another month. Thomas, seeing you draw on the carpet is an image my mind will never let go.

Other images my mind will never let go concern the relationship you have with your sister. Today, Emily held your hand, became a toddler-turned-docent, and forced you to go on a tour of the house, which you did with patience and a genuine sense of interest. And then at breakfast when she wanted another strawberry, you gave her the last one off your plate. Even I was impressed by that since right now I am eating an ice cream and cookie sandwich that I saved until you were in bed so that I wouldn't have to share it with you.

At breakfast -- no owie yet

What I'm saying is that despite my own selfishness and lack of appropriately modeled behavior, you are turning out okay.

When I dressed you this morning, I put on the T-shirt I got you at Target that reads I do all my own stunts. I like this shirt because the graphic on it reminds me of the D.R.I. slammer and it brings back memories of my sordid youth and of seeing punk bands play in Berkeley when I was in high school.

But when you slipped on leaves at the hiking trail and broke your fall with your face, I realized that for you, the whole world is something of a mosh pit. My little punk rocker: After a cry that pierced the eardrums of all living creatures in a one mile radius, you quickly got over your owie and went on to skip, run, and play with Emily and Mali, Squid's daughter. You can't keep a good stunt kid down.

Thomas with owie

During our woodland frolic, we happened upon a banana slug. You gently poked it several times with a stick, but stopped after I told you to stop, thereby proving that you are kind and gentle to animals. At Squid's house, you petted her cat with supreme gentleness and I contemplated the idea of getting a cat for you and Emily, despite the fact that I hate changing litter boxes and vacuuming cat hair.

Petting the cat

For you, my son, I could be persuaded to change my convictions. In many ways, I already have. This weekend I took you shopping and even though we were supposed to go to Costco to buy toilet paper and coffee, I instead found myself at Toys 'R Us, where I bought you every ball you wanted and a basketball hoop, too.

Thomas, here's the mushy part of the letter that you will hate when you're older, but every time you say, "Mama?" and I say, "Yes, Thomas?" and you reply, "High." my heart just melts. Especially because you pronounce it "hah" and it's so sweet.

And totally, completely punk rock, don't get me wrong.

Love, Mama

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