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.

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samantha jo campen
12 years ago

More. More posts like this.

LOVE.

penne
12 years ago

Lumps in throat lovely.

Years ago, I attended my husband’s grandmother’s funeral where each one of her ELEVEN children stood up and began their tribute with “You should know, I was Mama’s favorite.” And they all meant it. I can only aspire to be that good and fair.

What lucky little boys you have.

Anne
12 years ago

Aww, the last line of each made me smile. Isn’t it the luckies feeling in the world to be blessed with more than one favorite?

Brenda
Brenda
12 years ago

Yeah, what she said–forwarding to my boys, tears in my eyes.
Can you come fill out my kids baby books for me?
(And if you write a mommy book, I’ll buy it-full price.

Susie
Susie
12 years ago

:: weeping ::

Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

Oh how I love this post.

Erica
Erica
12 years ago

Love it.

Angella
12 years ago

Love this. LOVE THIS.

ladybughugs
12 years ago

Love it. Thanks for the reminder.

Lil’bug also freaks out if there’s something, besides toys, floating in her bath water. I’ve had to shower her on more than one occasion because of this. Frustrating beyond words. It’s just a hair/part of a dried leaf/ whatever!

Your post though, truly awesome.

Janet
Janet
12 years ago

Fucking awesome!

BellyGirl
12 years ago

I love all the little details. What a fab mommy you are.

Martha
Martha
12 years ago

Love, love, love this! My boy turns one today and I’m already feeling weepy. You pushed me over the edge.

Diane
Diane
12 years ago

I have not got adequate words….this is just great….thank you, thank you….now write that damn book

beach
beach
12 years ago

{{gulp}}with tears streaming….

Traci
Traci
12 years ago

Crying- you are the bomb, Linda.

Alison @ cluck and tweet

You capture this feeling so eloquently that, I, too, want to write apologies to my two children. Except that I have to yell at them for playing with the hose and wasting water first.

Kate
12 years ago

Oh yes. I so needed this post yesterday when I was losing my shoes every other minute. I needed it as a script.

Beautifully done Linda. Please don’t ever stop writing.

Kate
12 years ago

FYI – “losing my shoes” = “losing my shit”.

Nicole
12 years ago

I’M sorry that I will never be as good a writer as you… Damn!

Heather
12 years ago

Ah…so enjoy your posts.

Jillian
12 years ago

I need someone to come over and grab my thighs screaming that. But doing it lovingly. *laughing*

Motherhood is almost like a secret society. We love our children unconditionally, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make us lose our noodle on a regular basis. I think you’ve captured that perfectly. Well done.

oregoncoastgirl
oregoncoastgirl
12 years ago

Beautifully written!

[as a note, when I tried to click the link on my cell to go to your page, a whole lotta ‘prescription medication’ jibber jabber pops up on my screen after the ‘subscribe via email’ and before ‘daily piffle’. I’m not tech savvy, but I’m thinking something icky may be up in your website’s business.]

NancyJ
NancyJ
12 years ago

LOVE IT!!
I loved giving a deeeeeppp sniff behind my son’s (at the time) big ears. That developed into a nighttime routine of biting the tip of his nose, kissing him, smelling each ear and then biting the tip of his chin. To the point he would readily offer each part of his face to me…

Belle
Belle
12 years ago

Yes, indeedy, that was a terrific post. My siblings and I have always tried to figure out who was Mom & Dad’s favorite, and we never could. I think that’s the way it should be…to be equally loved, each in a different way. And that is the way it is with my two adult kids, too. Do not ever make me choose!

merry jennifer
12 years ago

These are fantastic letters. I found myself nodding in agreement as they remind me of my own children and things we’re going through now (they’re almost 6 and 3).

Love the post.

Cookie
12 years ago

Love, love, love this post. So cute. Plus, I can totally relate, having boys the same age. Thanks for sharing.

Lesley
Lesley
12 years ago

This made me laugh and feel wistful at the same time.

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

All kids – ok, most – are raised not to swear. All teenagers swear like banshees in private, in public. Usually out of earshot of their parents. All adults swear to some degree, some more, some less. How much depends on what the environment permits. Strange, huh? I think that was my favourite “I’m sorry.”

Secretly, though, they’re all my favourites. Hee.

Pam
Pam
12 years ago

So perfect. I loved both letters. I have kids about the same ages so I can definitely relate. I think you’re an awesome writer. So thanks for writing…

Mel
Mel
12 years ago

Oh wow. I think every parent can relate to this post at one time or another. I know I can. It almost made me cry and then Ian would be asking questions. Thanks for your elloquent words in putting emotions into truth.

Victoria
12 years ago

*hapy sigh*

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

ok, fine…UNCLE! …you made me cry.
as the mother of two small boys myself (4 months and 2.5 years) i am a little obsessed with how you handle everything and i love, love, love this post.
i’m stealing your idea and writing a letter to my boys…soon. when i can find a pen…and paper…and time…and, oh, whatever… thank you.

Alli Worthington
12 years ago

Wow, this was just perfection. Off to go stumble this. :)

Jessamyn
12 years ago

This post was (as usual) wonderful, and reminds me of a children’s book I bought recently – ostensibly for Annabel’s birthday, although at this point Katie is getting more out of it, I’m sure. It’s “You’re All My Favorites,” and the gist is that the three baby bears question their parents on how they can ALL be favorites, to which the parents’ response is that the oldest is their favorite first baby bear, the second is their favorite second baby bear, and the third is the third favorite. It doesn’t sound that great as I’m describing it, but it’s one of those that makes me teary. Much like your entry.

marie
marie
12 years ago

wow. wow….i so know how you feel.
i have 3 favorites, a 6 year-old girl, 4 year-old boy & 17 month-old boy. i wish i could explain how i feel so exactly. please don’t ever stop blogging.

Mary.
12 years ago

I want you to know this is one of my favorite things you’ve written, and I’ve been reading you since a long time before Riley. I love it because I can substitute the annoying things my 19 and 16 year old boys are doing, and it still works. Um, not that I’m shrieking fat thighs at my 16 year old, but you know what I mean. Heh. I still miss nibbling on his fat little tummy. How the time flies. And they will always be my favorites.

amy
amy
12 years ago

Ahhh. We still do the stinky feet game! “Mama! Smell my toeses. They smell like roses!” Bahahaha! Never gets old.

Maggie
Maggie
12 years ago

Can I just cut and paste these and change the names to my kids’? This line: “I’m sorry for behaving as though I am simply enduring your presence, rather than enjoying it.” especially touched a nerve with me and it is something I think about every day. I am glad I am not alone.

Cheryl S.
Cheryl S.
12 years ago

Wonderful. And so true.

Sarah Tindall
12 years ago

I love it!!! And it is amazing that boys smell like, well, boys from the moment they’re born. And I’m noticing that so many of us who blog are the mothers of boys- two boys to be exact. Is there something about raising two boys (and don’t forget hubby too) that drives us to the point of having to write it out????? Any sociologists out there? Ask the feds for a 20 billion dollar grant to discover why so many bloggers are the mothers of two boys. My paper listed the top 5 mom bloggers this week (don’t know how they arrived at their data) and 4 out of the 5 were moms of two boys!

Christina
12 years ago

This is awesome. I may have to do this myself… my favorite if of course the last line! My kids are so hugely different already and they are each my favorite but in different ways and for different things!

Claire
12 years ago

I love the part about squishing Dylan’s butt – we do that too and laugh all the time about it. This was great!

diane
diane
12 years ago

Oh Linda, please keep writing. Your words are a gift.

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

Gah! I’m crying at work!

I’m not a frequent poster but I’m a faithful reader. My boys are the same age as yours and seem to have very similar personalties. Seriously, this could be written for them as well. I’m sending my husband the link to this entry.

Red
Red
12 years ago

Heh. We call them “FATSOS” and are sure that in a few years we’ll have to explain to him that no, really, they are indeed called “thighs.”

So sweet.

p.s. travel sound machine with 20 options that douchebag baby can scroll through makes diaper changes bliss in our house these days. I could shave his head and he wouldn’t even notice….

NG
NG
12 years ago

My kid throws a fit about diaper changes too. What’s up with that?

Jasie VanGesen
12 years ago

This is so so so something I can relate to.

GingerB
12 years ago

Wonderful!

Sierra
12 years ago

Wow these were great. The first one especially echoed with what I’m going through with my toddler right now. There are a lot of moments when we just stare at each other in a mutual fit of “What is WRONG with you?!?!”

alomellin
alomellin
12 years ago

As usual…thank you. When I am in the midst of toddler HELL, it’s nice to be brought back to Earth. 90% of the time he is a hilarious, devious, energetic, bundle of joy. Why is it the 10% that sticks out so much? I appreciate you reminding me just how much I love my little boy, even if he is in the middle of this fourteenth fit of the day.

The Girl
12 years ago

I want a healthy baby, that’s all, but man… I would really love having a boy. Not any more than I’d love to have a girl (of course, blah, blah, blah) but okay maybe just a little bit more. Just a titch.