I’m sorry I forgot to write you a birthday letter last year. It was a hard time for me but that’s not an excuse.
You’ve had quite an exciting few years. You’ve grown so much in every way.
You’re starting to know your letters really well. You love sitting on someone’s lap and telling them what the letters on their shirts are.
You know your alphabet and can sing it in a very heavy metal style… you do this a lot.
You’re excellent at climbing.
You have a great ear for music.
You still give the best hugs and snuggles.
You’ve made the past few years infinitely better. Your kindness, empathy, and joy are always welcomed.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re still stubborn and have a hard time listening when you don’t want to. Our biggest hurdle right now is potty training. You really don’t want to do that… sigh.
This year you’ll be doing home schooling with mum. I think you’ll love that, but the schedule might be hard on you after so many years of doing whatever you want. I won’t miss you screaming, “I want to say hi!” while I’m in a meeting, but I will miss watching you play.
I love you little Pegasus. I hope this is a great year for you.
Last time we went, Pegasus had just started walking and Dragon was so tiny.
This week was about Pegasus seeing a real classroom and playing with other kids his age. We also wanted to get Dragon excited for school next year. Dragon, you’ve been in digital school for almost three years and I think you’re stressed at the idea of changing.
People have been telling us that it would be better for the you two to be at school versus digital school.
I’ve been hesitant for a few reasons. First are the memories I have of being in grade school; I didn’t have a great experience and I really don’t want the same for you.
The second is more selfish, I’ll miss you. Right now I get to have lunch with you 3 times a week and hang out after. I also get to hear or be told what you did and I know that’ll change.
Change is inevitable and I know the best thing for Dragon is to go into in person school. I’ve been seeing signs that the screen combined with the sound quality is bothering you. You’re showing some pretty obvious signs of neurodiversity, which would be mitigated by having a teacher next to you and the resources at the school. I’m still worried about your temper and emotional regulation though. You also fidget more than I did at that age, which is saying something.
I’m not as convinced that Pegasus should be going into full day junior kindergarten. You are advanced in your language, math, and letters. Your small motor skills are excellent too. Unfortunately, your social skills are heavily influenced by your sister, so you’re more used to playing with kids rather than parallel play. During the open house, you actually got into a little fight with another kid. They didn’t want you to play with the kitchen and you really wanted to. You used your words, but they only spoke in partial phrases and didn’t. You ended up pushing the child almost twice your size against the wall. You did have fun and you would probably thrive with the right guidance.
Added to the fact that you are stubbornly refusing to fully potty train, I’m not sure it’ll be the best place for you. We definitely need to take you to the park and set up some play dates with other kids though.
All of this is complicated by my fear and stress. I’m trying really hard to not show it though. Covid is becoming a new normal and honestly I hate it. I’m still dealing with side effects, mostly breathing issues, from the first time I got it 3 years ago and I don’t want this for you. I was told that long covid seems to mostly get better with time, but I still worry about you both.
It was great seeing you playing with other people and I love how independent you were. You both checked in with us and wanted to share your joy, but you didn’t need us there.
Once again, things are changing and I don’t like it. I’m going to enjoy the next few months of us all being together as much as I can. I’ll try and store up the snuggles before they’re gone and appreciate the happy sounds before the house is too quiet.
Sunday morning, you and your sister were snuggling. Which apparently is code for wrestling or ultimate fighting, because a few minutes in, you started crying.
Your eye was red and you said it hurt. We couldn’t see anything in it. We tried to flush it out and you said it was okay so we forgot about it.
After breakfast, you burst into tears and said your eye hurt. We flushed it again and put a wet towel on your eye. That seemed to work.
Then every five to ten minutes, you burst into tears and your eye would look red again, so we called the nurse hotline (which is now 811) and the nurse told us to take you to the hospital.
CHEO had an estimated wait time of three and a half hours. Your mum went with you over dinner (about 3 hours) and then we switched. You refused to eat anything but your mum’s mixed nuts. I might have made them sound deliciously forbidden.
When you were called, we were brought to a room and waited less then a minute for the doctor. She was awesome; she put some numbing agent in your eye and then some orange dye that showed her where you were hurt. The dye went into the tear and it glowed orange. Really cool to see. Well… from my angle anyway.
Altogether, it was about 5 hours at CHEO, which is pretty good in my opinion.
You have a small tear in your cornea (the coloured part of your eye) but it’s not close to your pupil and it should heal quickly. We have some REALLY FUN (no not really) antibiotic cream to put in your eye every night for 5-7 nights.
You were really good. It’s certainly not the first place I wanted to take you after your vaccinations.
I’m really glad it wasn’t worse and I hope you heal quickly. Listening to your pitiful moans as you fell asleep tonight was hearbreaking.
I am so thankful for your Grand-dad; he drove us there and back three times across town. We are very lucky to have your grandparents to help out and that they’re so awesome.
You were assigned male at birth, well actually, at ultrasound.
You’re still discovering what you like and who you are. Somedays peanut butter sandwiches are “disgusting” and other days they’re the best thing in the world.
There are some things that you are firm on for now; you love Doctor Who, blueberries, your sister, Encanto, and dresses.
A few weeks ago, you sat and had a serious conversation with your mum. You asked if you could wear a dress for your birthday. One of the pretty dresses that Grannie made.
I’m embarrassed to say that my first instinct was to say no. Your mum reacted quicker than I did and said yes with only a little hesitation. I was a little worried at first about how people would react, how family might react, but a few days later we got a dress from Grannie (who was overjoyed someone else would get to wear the dresses that she worked so hard on.)
You’ve worn a few dresses now and honestly, it doesn’t feel weird. I’m glad you get the chance to wear pretty things. It’s something I remember wanting to do when I was young, but felt too embarrassed to ask.
I asked you tonight if you thought you were a boy or a girl and you answered, “Neither. I’m Pegasus.” (Okay, you said your name, not Pegasus.) I asked if you wanted me to use he, she, or they and you repeated, “I’m just Pegasus.” So that was fine. We’ll revisit that another time.
I’m not sure if you’ll grow up wanting to wear dresses, realize your trans, or just not care and do what you want. We’ll support you no matter what.
I really hope the world you grow up in gets better. A lot of us are trying, but even the most progressive among us have to step back and think about what we’re doing. It’s also important to listen to those that have come before.
No matter what you decide, you’re our child and we love you,
Your trying Papa. (Yes, yes, in both senses of the word trying.)
A few months ago, you had shellfish in pasta sauce. You had a really bad night. From that and another incident, we have been assuming that you have an intolerance. (No breathing issues or hives, just puking and upset stomach.) We’ll have to get you tested post Covid, but until then, we’ve been trying to avoid it.
Unfortunately, we gave you some food a two weeks ago that had been cooked with shrimp. You didn’t puke, but you had really bad diarrhea. I was tired and very surprised and I didn’t react great. I had to bring you to the other bathroom and clean you there, a quick shower seemed the right idea, but I think it might have been a little traumatizing for you.
So baths haven’t been much fun lately. You seem terrified you’ll poop in the tub unless you’ve already pooped. Even then, you don’t seem to enjoy and play the way you did before the incident. I’m sorry I didn’t handle it well and I hope I haven’t ruined baths for you.
This weekend, you watched Dragon’s bath and she had a great time, so hopefully that will help. I’ll probably try a bath with both of you together and see how that goes.
I hope we can go back to you loving the water. It’s hard to bathe you when you don’t want to be.
Boy have you grown in the past six months. From partial sentences to full conversations and descriptions. You are utterly adorable. You’re also a little terror at times, but that comes with big ideas, big emotions, and trying to deal with them.
Last Christmas, you didn’t seem to understand what was going on; this year you don’t know what is happening, but you know you should be excited about it. You asked for a cash register from Santa. I’m not sure if that’s because you wanted one or because Dragon had once mentioned she wanted one.
Right now, I take care of you while I work and I sometimes feel like I don’t give you enough attention, but that’s the way things have to be for now; soon things will change again. Your sister got her first vaccine and hopefully you’ll have yours early in the new year. That means that Dragon should be going to first grade in person. Then you’ll have Mum and I for most of the day.
When someone opens something you chant, “What is it, what is it, what is it?” in the cutest voice filled with excitement.
You’re starting to do imagination play where you make figures talk to each other and make up little stories.
You give the best snuggles.
You are terrible when you’re hungry or bored. You’ll scream and refuse to clean up. Just the other day, I was explaining other religious holidays to Dragon and you were bored so you just screamed. So frustrating.
There are 3 search and find books that you love and I swear they are the most soul sucking experiences. You’ve memorized all the locations of the stuff so you get bored part way, but insist on having me read them to you and then you just drift off. Sigh.
Overall, you are a wonderful little person and I’m proud to be your Papa. I hope you have fond memories of the holidays and I can’t wait to spend them with you for years to come.
Your mum and I had a plan. It was a good plan. Until Dragon went to school we’d have your schedule be 11pm sleeptime and 11am wake up. This meant we had more time with you and the grandparents after dinner.
It worked really well and we were getting mentally prepared to change it when the pandemic and first lockdown hit. We decided that since mum was mostly homeschooling Dragon that we’d keep going.
Now that Dragon is going to be going to full time digital school next week (Yikes) we’ll be switching your schedule to 8pm bedtime and 8am wakeup time.
I’m kinda terrified about how it’s going to work. Worried that we’ve messed up your internal clock or something. Hopefully everything will be okay, but I definitely expect it to be a hard first few weeks.
As much as this past year or so has been terribly scary and more than a little frustrating, I’ve enjoyed the extra time we’ve had together. I’m not sure you’ll remember much from this year but between the homeschooling activities and the extra time at night to snuggle, I’m not going to forget.
This feels like a big change for us, but if we do it right you won’t remember it.
Last night you woke up and puked large un-chewed chunks of zucchini and little tiny seafood. It wasn’t fun for anyone. (Dragon didn’t wake up, so not bad for her.)
Two baths, three sheets, four pyjamas, and lots of sad looks later, you fell asleep.
You were so afraid of lying down that you insisted on sitting up in my lap. Every time you nodded off, you had this look of worry on your face.
At one point, close to 3:20, you settled into my arm, looked up at me, sighed deeply, and said, “Papa.” It was so soft and sad. You settled into sleep not long after and you insisted on being held while you slept.
A hard night and lots of worry, but you’re fine now and it’s hopefully not going to be a new trend.
I hate not being able to do anything to make it better, but hopefully holding you helped make you feel more comfortable falling asleep. You seem okay now and are happily playing.
Not looking forward to tonight. Hopefully you won’t associate puking with sleep. I also hope this isn’t a new habit.
You both know by now that I’m not a religious man, but I love Easter. Both for the imagery of spring and rebirth and because of the little traditions.
When I was young my mom, and often brother, would set up a hunt. I don’t remember it all, but there were riddles and maps. It was awesome. It was so much fun.
Yesterday was Easter and we had a simple hunt, a free-for-all type of hunt. It was fun. So much fun that Dragon asked me to do another. When I said I could hide the empty eggs, she was ready to do it right away. It was seriously adorable.
There’s a special sense of wonder and joy that I get watching you both being exited and happy. It makes everything slightly better.
As you get older I’m planning on making the hunts more elaborate. I have so many ideas.
You’ve now spent a year in quarantine (about 60% of your life). By the time you read this, we should have a better idea if we were overprotective or justifiably cautious.
We’re lucky in that mum’s job is extra slow since no one wants to travel in a pandemic (except politicians), so she can help your sister with homeschooling. I hope we don’t have to worry about your first year like this.
Today mum suggested that you pretend to bring the dollhouse people to their park. You looked at her confused and when she asked if you knew what the park was, you just shook your head.
It makes me sad that you didn’t get the chance to do the things your sister did. I makes me feel guilty that you’re not getting as much attention as we’d hoped.
In a perfect world, Dragon was supposed to be at school this year and you were going to get the majority of mum’s attention. It didn’t work that way and now mum spends most of the day in the basement for Dragon’s school and you spend the day with me. I deal with a lot of the house stuff, this blog (although mum is supplying her half of the content), coffee things, writing, oh, and my full time job. I’m lucky that I can work from home, but it means you spend a lot of time playing on your own or sitting in on work meetings.
I feel bad that we don’t have the energy and time to dedicate to you that we did your sister. I feel bad that you haven’t seen another kid in person since you were eight months old. I have no idea what this will do in the long term. I’m hoping that you’ll bounce back once everyone (including you) are vaccinated. (I’m hoping Dragon will be okay going into first grade full time. Maybe even the second semester of senior kindergarten.)
I’m sorry for the things you’ve missed, but I am not sorry that you haven’t contracted the virus or the side effects (even if they are rare) that come with it.
Life has been very different for you this year compared to before where you did 3 cons, a trip to Disney, and a lot of social activities. This coming year will probably be similar, but the year after holds hope for us.
To steal the 2020 word of the year, these are unprecedented times, and we’re all doing our best.
One of the good things that this year has brought is the extra time we’ve had together.