• Tired as a Mother

    I was wearing my “Tired as a Mother” shirt this morning, and Leon asked what the first word said. I said “tired,” so he looked at other words and said, “That spells, ‘Wake up!'”

  • P is for Phonics

    Leon has been doing great lately. He can write his name and a few other letters, he’s learning phonics (“Pizza starts with P!”), and he can sign his ABCs as fast as I can sing them. His teacher is amused that he’s so enthralled with the alphabet; as soon as we walk in the room on Monday mornings, he’s craning his neck to see if the letter of the week was changed to what he predicted. He even tries to “read” based on context (“S-T-A-R-B-U-C-K-S! That spells ‘coffee’!”). 

    He’s so sweet and goofy, and he apparently has a reputation at daycare for being pretty animated and lively. He’s got a few (girl) friends at daycare who talk about him often — one told her mom that he’s cute and one told her mom he’s her boyfriend. And after one boy had a particularly rough transition into preschool from being home with his grandma all day, I encouraged Leon to play with him. His mom came to us during the friendship party on Friday and invited Leon to his birthday party; she said he talks about Leon as soon as he wakes up in the morning!

    After consulting with his pediatrician, we dismissed him from occupational therapy. He has been doing well with noises lately (which may or may not be due to OT?), and although he still gets upset occasionally, he can verbalize that he’s uncomfortable and needs his headphones, which we considered sufficient progress. He still asks to see Ms. Emily from time to time — but as for Minh and me, we don’t miss waking up early, driving over an hour in rush hour traffic, missing work, and paying $100 per session!

  • Bossypants

    Leon: “Mommy, I need my pouch over there.”
    Me: “That’s kind of bossy…”test
    Leon: “I need my pouch over there.”
    Me: “Do you know what ‘bossy’ means?”test
    Leon: “Yeah. It means you go get my pouch.”

  • Worry About Yourself, Kid

    At 10:35 PM, roughly three hours after Leon’s bedtime…

    Leon: “Why Daddy not sleeping? Daddy not following directions!”

  • Why, Of Course

    Leon: *counting on his fingers*
    Me: “What are you counting, buddy?”
    Leon: “Numbers.”

    Silly me.

  • Gross Though

    Apparently my latest party trick is perplexedly pulling a wad of tissue out of my ear that my kid crammed in there and I forgot about. 🙃

  • Snitching on Daddy

    Me: “Let’s go potty before we take a shower.”
    Leon: “I want to pee in the shower!”
    Me: “You can’t do that!”
    Leon: “Daddy says so.”


  • It’ll Grow on You


    Leon, pointing to Minh’s beard: “Daddy, what’s this?”
    Minh: “That’s my beard. I haven’t trimmed it in a while, have I?”
    Leon: “It’s OK, Daddy.”


    Leon, pointing to Minh’s clean-shaven chin: “Why you got a new one, Daddy?”

  • A Third Letter to my Son

    To my baby boy,

    I first met you three years ago, but I’ve known you for a while. You were in our hearts for years, and then for months you and I shared a body. I felt your kicks, your hiccups, your stretches. I fought mastitis and clogged ducts in order to feed you for a year. I rocked you back and forth in the wee hours of the night until you were old enough to fall back to sleep on your own. 

    You’ve learned so much in the past three years. You now know how to write the letters “A” and “O,” you can sign several letters, and you can read/spell your name with ease. You know your colors in Spanish and how to count to “twenty-ten.” You know how to cut with scissors and how to do a perfect somersault. You know when it’s time to be silly and when it’s time to sit criss-cross applesauce.

    You don’t understand yet, but someday I hope you realize how loved you are. How we’ll go to the lengths of the world for you. How much we enjoy your silly, sometimes-sassy attitude. How we hope you grow up to be considerate, independent, and happy. How we hope to teach you everything you need to know to navigate this crazy world.

    We love you so, SO much. Happy third birthday, Leon Maddox ❤️

  • Alphabet Practice

    Me, watching a driver swerve back and forth on the road: “What the hell?!”
    Leon: “H. H for ‘hell’!”