to my son, a week and a half after your second birthday

Dear Sequel,

On this day we ate cake. And because I forgot to take the camera out of manual mode this is quite literally the only shot from that day that isn't blurry. (Photographer shall remain unnamed.)
On this day we ate cake. And because I forgot to take the camera out of manual mode this is quite literally the only shot from that day that isn’t blurry. (Photographer shall remain unnamed.)

Typically I would write you this letter on your actual birthday, but let’s be honest. You’re my lovely, squishy second born and I am just trying to make sure you make it to the other side of your childhood without your sister covering you in glitter and Sharpie. And with a relatively affordable therapy bill.

So, here we are – nine days later. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you have to share the sun and shade with another child, little guy. Hopefully these experiences will motivate you to stay out of middle management.

You bring so much… energy to our home. We only hold you accountable for 75% of the damage done to our hardwood, walls, and upholstery because we understand we shouldn’t give you things – any things – without expecting you to use them as weapons of mass destruction.

You are creative. I am not sure how we didn’t realize the stairwell needed accents of chicken scratched yellow before you were able to wield a crayon. And just the other day I was remarking how great the window sill looked with all of the paint peeled off. Luckily it tested negative for lead, so we hope it at least tasted good.

You are strong. Hardly a day goes by without a demonstration of your physical strength. Those head butts, they hurt, but we are confident that with as much practice as you’re getting in you will one day be able to deliver them without you breaking down in tears as well. We are also surprised that you can dead-lift your sister, whom you only outweigh by two pounds.

You are soft. Before you came along I was always jealous when my friends would tell me about how cuddly their boys were, while your sister would much prefer we sit side-by-side and interact in a much more civilized manner. Then we had you, and each day I look forward to when you wake up, climb into our bed, and curl up to watch Curious George. It is the only reason I don’t wake like a sleeping dragon, and it definitely helps that you are like a memory-foam mattress – I just sink right in when I give you a squeeze.

You are a problem solver. Not to compare you to your sister, but yes to compare you to your sister, we never really considered the childproofing on the cabinets and drawers a riddle to be solved before you came along. But you accepted the unspoken challenge and triumphed. Now I am not sure where to put my cleaning supplies because they’ve always been under the sink, and Mommy’s OCD can’t handle them not being under the sink.

You are all boy. Before we had you I always believed that gender was a construct, created and perpetuated by society because that’s how society rolls. (Did I mention I studied at a private liberal arts university?) It wasn’t long until I realized I was wrong. No matter what toy I give you, your battery of tests are 100% boy: taste it, see if it rolls like a car, and then see if it bounces, because everything is either food, a car, or a ball. I imagine it will turn into a rousing game of “Will it float?” because your Dad is a Letterman guy. (I much prefer Jimmy Fallon, but I also have really good taste.)

But most of all, you bring laughter and joy to our home. By your facial expressions alone I can tell you will understand Mommy’s sarcasm, Daddy’s dry humor, and your sister’s awful original knock-knock jokes. You know just when to roll your eyes and throw shade – your comedic timing is impeccable.

You bring us so much love, and as long as you stop trying to surreptitiously grab my wine glass I can’t wait to experience each footfall of the next year with you and our little family.

Thank you for becoming 50% of the reason Mommy drinks,

Mrs SmartyPants




Screw Ebola, there is something far more frightening spreading across this country. A pandemic is sprouting up right beneath our noses and it needs to be addressed immediately. There is a band of freaky ass clowns showing their freaky assed faces in cities all around the country.

These have been reports in Wasco, CA, Albuquerque, NM, Fishers, IN and Jacksonville, FL. Don’t correct me thinking I’m wrong, because in a situation like this you can rest assured I am right. And this means freaky-ass clowns have been confirmed to be walking about in more American cities than Ebola patients. Surely they are plotting murder, because there is *no other reason* for a clown to be just walking around unless they are planning to murder someone.

According to the CDC to get the Ebola you apparently have to go to some pretty extreme measures, like making out with a patient’s toothbrush or doing Pilates in their used gym clothes. One week ago I would have merrily joined a debate about the severity of the Ebola situation, but we have far more pressing issues on our hands now.

One does not simply ignore clowns with soulless eyes wandering around under the cover of darkness.

I once knew someone who peed in their pants one Halloween when confronted with a clown on stilts with a chainsaw, right here in the state of Missouri.

That person definitely wasn’t me, and she definitely wasn’t old enough to drink and vote when she wet her pants in front of a sizable crowd of friends and strangers.


There is a serious problem on our hands right now, people. It has less to do with fevers and diarrhea, and more to do with a dark and troubled soul that is not of Kardashian blood who wanders around shrouded behind a mask of makeup.

I once watched a documentary about a sewer clown in Derry, Maine who had razor sharp teeth and preyed on children. According to the research team in the film, the killer clown they were tracking was like the locusts and comes back on a fairly regular schedule. The last two documented appearances were 1957 and 1984.

It is now 2014. You do the math.


Just nope.

Mrs SmartyPants