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Dear Mallory

You are a good, sweet girl. I love that you like to help your little sister. However, I don’t love that you think it “helps” when you wake Phoebe up in the morning, drag her out of bed, and lead her down the hall to the bathroom while I’m taking a shower. It would be far more helpful if you would just let her sleep.

You have imagination to spare and it’s nice to see you getting so involved in the books you read and the movies you watch. It’s not so nice when you choose to re-enact certain scenes. For example, you didn’t really need to use a green and red magic marker in an attempt to paint your face like Mulan’s in her matchmaking scene. And you don’t need to tell me, every time we hear “A Whole New World,” that Aladdin is really your boyfriend Skyler or that Jasmine is really you. You’ve told me numerous times and I don’t forget that easily.

You are brimming with generosity and you love to celebrate with your family and friends. It’s very cute that you label every day someone’s pretend birthday. However, I don’t know if I need any more pretend birthday presents, aka shopping bags filled with random household items (paperback books, the sewing kit, one glove, an orange). Also, I’m not sure if the neighbors would understand if I let you put “presents” in each of their mailboxes.

You love to play pretend and that’s a wonderful thing. I’m honored when you ask me to pretend along with you, but frankly it’s a bit tiresome when you dictate every single thing I’m supposed to pretend to say and do. Also, sometimes I’d just like to eat lunch rather than pretending that I’m the baby and you’re the mommy and Phoebe’s the sister and we’re having a lemonade stand so where’s the money?

Inquisitiveness is a fine character trait, but you need to learn that sometimes the final answer is, "This is none of your business" or "I don't know" or "No." In these cases it does not help to ask the question repeatedly in a shrill voice. Nor does it help when you declare that you will keep asking until you receive the answer you desire.

I understand that affirmation is really important to you, but I do wish that you would understand that I can’t respond to everything you say, especially not the exact instant after you say it. Also, please accept alternate responses. When you say, “This is Skyler singing in this part, okay Mommy?”, it should be acceptable for me to say, “Uh huh,” or “Yes,” or even just nod my head. If I do use one of these alternate affirmations you should just move on instead of repeating, “Okay Mommy? Okay Mommy?” until I say, “Okay” as well. Honestly sometimes I get tired of saying “Okay” back to you.

It’s nice that you say your prayers by yourself every night and rather touching that you whisper them. A personal relationship with God is very important. However, it is not necessary to follow up each night by loudly inquiring, “Mommy, did you HEAR me whispering my prayers?” I never hear you and at this point I don’t even want to. Please stop asking.

Also: The thing on your bedroom ceiling that you think is a bug is actually a shadow of the fan pull cast by your nightlight. This is true every night. And finally, the people on TV cannot see you. Not the good guys, not the bad guys, not the in-between-guys. No one on TV can see you. You can stop asking about that because the answer is not going to change.

I love you!


And an open postscript to all members of my family:

I place a handtowel on the oven door handle for a purpose. That purpose is so that there will always be a towel in a specific place when I need to dry my hands. I’m not sure why all of you are so intent on thwarting this purpose. I know that the shortest one of you thinks it’s fun to repeatedly pull the towel off the handle and throw it on the floor, but the rest of you have no excuse for not returning the towel to its proper position after you use it. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.


aimee said…
Great letter. If only she could read it... :)

And that is a great idea-having a towel in the same place every time. Too bad I don't do that. Yes, I am afraid I would be as bad as your other family members, although not as bad as the shortest.

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