Dylan,

I’m sorry I can’t stop cramming my hand up the bottoms of your pantlegs in order to squeeze your Pillsbury-rolls while yelling “FAT THIGHS! FAT THIGHS!”

I’m sorry I squish your butt during bath time. I’m sorry I love it so much when I ask where your belly is, and you tentatively lift your shirt, poke your own bellybutton, and say “Beh.” I’m sorry I enjoy making you scream and laugh when I smell your feet, then dramatically reel back holding my nose. (I’m sorry, but they really do smell. Like stinky little boyfeet.)

I’m sorry you can be such a douchebag. I’m sorry you hate diaper changes so goddamned much and that you throw the world’s biggest screaming fit every single time you must endure one. I’m sorry you have the temper of a Myanmar dictator and frequently become overcome with fits of apoplectic rage. I’m sorry you routinely hit, pinch, throw things, go boneless, become stiff, furiously gag yourself, and shriek at the top of your formidable lungs.

I’m sorry I am not more patient with you during those moments. I’m sorry for the times I have yelled, slammed doors, and done nothing to hide my frustration. I’m sorry for behaving as though I am simply enduring your presence, rather than enjoying it.

I’m sorry this is such a tough stage. I’m sorry if I’m not very good at handling it. I’m sorry if it’s not completely and utterly obvious to you how much I love you with every flawed, inadequate molecule in my body.

I’m sorry, but you’ll always secretly be my favorite.

:::

Riley,

I’m sorry I sometimes transfer the frustrations caused by other situations onto you. I’m sorry I sometimes tell you to be quiet, when all you’re doing is talking. I’m sorry I can’t always focus my whole attention on the charming little boy you have become. I’m sorry you rarely get my full energy and engagement in the games you want to play, the conversations you want to have, and the activities you want to do.

I’m sorry that every so often you say, “What the HELL?” and instead of chastising you, I laugh.

I’m sorry you can be such a whiner. I’m sorry you’re so weird about getting dirt on your feet, and that you have a total system meltdown if there’s a microscopic rock in your shoe. I’m sorry you routinely become absolutely encrusted with filth from playing outside, then lose your mind if you see a stray floating piece of grass in the bathtub. I’m sorry you seem to have picked up your brother’s habit of jumping up and down while making horrible crabby sounds when you don’t get your way. I’m sorry I’m not more understanding about these things.

I’m sorry your father taught you to like AC/DC and now you can sing lustily along with “Down Payment Blues”. No, really, I am.

I’m sorry I constantly gross you out by gushing over your lovely big brown eyes, and your heartbreakingly knobby knees, and that I insist on hugs and kisses every day. I’m sorry I’ll never in a million years be able to remember all the hilariously awesome things you are saying these days, try as I might to write them all down. I’m sorry I still enjoy carrying you around, even though you’re such a big kid now. I’m sorry I don’t know how to put into words how very much I love you.

I’m sorry, but you’ll always secretly be my favorite.

Comments

64 Responses to “Blanket apologies”

  1. Myg on June 18th, 2009 1:57 pm

    Ahhhh … I’ve got twin boys who are almost 5 months and some days, man. You love them so much and you want to be perfect and you know you can’t be but still, that wanting thing is there and you wonder how they will see you someday. But here it is. You’ve just told the truth and they’ll love you forever for it. Someday.

  2. Sunny on June 18th, 2009 2:01 pm

    Grrah, if only someone thought my fat thighs were that cute. Somehow it just doesn’t translate to a 37 yr old.

  3. jenB on June 18th, 2009 2:27 pm

    You made me cry while I am supposed to be outside helping my parents trim the hedge! seriously. Lovely post.

  4. Jill on June 18th, 2009 5:06 pm

    Get out of mah head, woman! This could be me, writing to my two boys! About all the same things. Awesome!!

  5. Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) on June 18th, 2009 5:47 pm

    Isn’t it so frustrating trying to change a screaming, squirming toddlers diaper??? It can drive a mom nuts!

    I love the favorites part! My twin sister and I always teased each other by saying “Mom told me she loves me more!”

  6. Sharla on June 18th, 2009 6:51 pm

    Wow, I wasn’t expecting to cry tonight! I feel completely the same way about pretty much all of the things you wrote about, especially in the first part of Riley’s letter. I am constantly beating myself up about how much of a crappy mom I feel like sometimes. I feel so bad about the energy and attention I lack in giving my 3 yr old boy because my 1 yr old girl is loudly demanding it. I feel bad for him, because he deserves so much more. It’s so crazy because I was already thinking about this before I read your post. I purposely spent a little extra time with my son tonight, before bedtime, and it’s amazing what a difference it made in his mood and attitude. So, this was on my mind already and reading your post sent me over the edge in tears, haha. As always…thank you for the wonderful post.

  7. Audubon Ron on June 18th, 2009 7:23 pm

    TO THIS DAY, I smell my wife’s feet, draw back with my mouth open and wrinkle my nose and say, “POO FOO.”

  8. Maria on June 18th, 2009 7:52 pm

    This felt very real to me.

    I’m always so grateful to read this blog. In all honesty, if I had to leave the blogosphere (gag) behind and choose one blog to read, it would be this one. Your boys are about six months older than mine (each) and I always feel like I’m getting a little peek into the future. Or I think, fuck yeah, I understand this.

    Thank you.

    My baby’s feet smell too. WTF.

  9. sdg on June 19th, 2009 6:14 am

    And now, truly more than ever, Welcome to Parenthood…there’s a long road ahead – get comfortable.

  10. shriek house on June 19th, 2009 6:23 am

    Thank you. I’m in the midst of the two-kid blues, and it’s just seeming so impossible, and… just thank you.

  11. erin on June 19th, 2009 1:44 pm

    One of my favorite posts EVER. In the history of blogging.

  12. nic @mybottlesup on June 19th, 2009 4:52 pm

    i’m sorry, but this post will always secretly be my favorite.

  13. Crawford on June 20th, 2009 7:20 am

    The part about enduring rather than enjoying his presence resonated particularly well with me. It breaks my heart when I realize I’m doing that. When they’re talking and talking and taking their time and being children…and I just want to get on to the next thing…

  14. Teri on June 25th, 2009 2:31 pm

    Do we have the same children? right down to the big brown eyes and knobbly knees?
    Lovely post.

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