Shhhhhhh

Dear Future Stella,
Recently Current Stella has found her voice. This is typically something most parents say around 4-5 months when their baby discovers that sound happens when they push air through their lips in various ways. To say this about a child who is rapidly approaching their 5th birthday is shocking and a bit like getting lice for the first time when you are 25. 

Current Stella. Does. Not. Stop. Talking. Ever. It’s a monologue of sentences that start, stop, restart and sometimes, if we have the stamina, ocassionally complete a thought. She is constantly offering commentary that is obvious. “Mom, you just poured yourself coffee. I can tell that you did because I saw you put the coffee in your cup and now you are drinking it so I know that you poured yourself coffee.” Break. “You pour yourself coffee every morning. You do that right away and then you drink it. When you are done you sometimes leave your cup on the table and sometimes you bring it around the house with you.” Slight break. “Daddy drinks coffee too. Coffee is for grown ups, right?” No pause to answer. “My teachers drink coffee. Coffee is hot. Daddy takes his coffee with him and you drink your coffee at home.” By now im contemplating the idea of a dog shock collar. Could this work for children? Is that weird? Do they sell one on Amazon Prime? Current Stella interrupts this solution by continuing on, “I just drink water. Some kids like juice and milk. Grown ups like coffee and wine…” And some moms like shots of tequila in their coffee and  I now see why…..”When I’m a grown up I will drink coffee and I’m going to have twin girls and I’m going to be an artist.” I show slight enthusiasm to what appears to be a segue into a new topic. “I bet I will drink my coffee while I do my art.” Insert imoji of a gun, followed by the emoji of a coffee cup. 

This scenario is repeated all day long. Earlier today your Dad actually counted the seconds between Current Stella’s words to see how long of a break she took. Once she started talking again he would stop counting. I believe the highest he counted to was 6. Just 6 seconds of silence was the biggest break we got. 

Anyone who knows me will say that I like to talk. It’s true, I have a lot to say and I rarely think before I speak. I also talk really fast. I also mumble towards the end of sentences. I am known to say offensive things unexpectedly. Based on this, I can see how one would think this is the pot calling the kettle black. Not only do I not know what that means (except that it’s clearly racist) I also whole heartedly disagree. I might talk nonstop just like Current Stella but the types of things I chose to rant on about are usually interesting or thought provoking or at the very least, uncomfortably funny. Not current Stella. She’s either telling us real time stats or re-educating us on facts that are already taking up prime real estate in our memory- like every name of every princess. Oh really, the mermaid’s name is Ariel? No shit you dumbass, I saw that movie when it was first released and I memorized every song when I was a child so please don’t condescendingly tell me the name of the one with red hair. I choose to call her Sea Slut, it’s called a nickname. And by the way, Ursela is a damn genius for deciding to take her voice away. 

“Mommy, what day is my sleepover?” It’s not this Saturday but the one after that. “Ok, so first it will be Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday, then Saturday, but not the sleepover Saturday, then Sunday, then Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday, then Thursday, then Friday, and then, Mommy, guess what day it will be??” The day I voluntarily get my ear drums removed? “No, it’s my sleepover!!!!!!! Remember Mommy, you said it wasn’t this Saturday, or the next day which is Sund-”  Shhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! I am fully aware of how a calendar works and the concept of time. 

The crazy thing is that Current Stella is still relatively quiet and shy in any atmosphere that’s not exclusively made up of her Mom and Dad so it’s like we are taking crazy pills. Nobody else sees, or technically hears, this nonsense im telling you about. She’s so sweet and gentle and calm and whispers and looks away when people address her. I can’t prove it, but I swear she gives me this devil look that says, “oh you just wait Mom, later, you are going to hear the answer to every question they are asking me right now. I can’t wait to tell you my name, how old I am, and what school I go to because it appears you might be on the verge of forgetting….”  

Future Stella, do you still talk nonstop about a bunch of shit that nobody cares about? I really hope not. In fact, I hope this is like when you were 5 months old and slobbering on everything with no self-awareness and I had a moment of severe anxiety when picturing your first date. Then, what felt like 3 seconds, but was actually the better part of a year went by, and I realized you no longer had saliva pouring out of your mouth in a steady stream.  Maybe this is a natural transformation of sorts that nobody ever told me about? Perhaps it goes from saliva, to words, to nonstop-run-on-incredibly-boring-sentences-that-border-on-paragraph-long-diatribes, to, I don’t know, pleasant normal conversation that makes sense and doesn’t totally suck the life out of you? Is that possible you think? I hope so. 
Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, shhhhhhhhhhhh. 
Love,
Mom

Stella’s First Sleepover = FML

Dear Future Stella,

Current Stella had her first sleepover this past weekend. Her bestie, Tyler, spent the night at our house. They are only 4 years old so I was more than nervous to do this, mostly because most Moms scare the shit out of you when sharing their experiences with sleepovers. These same moms will totally encourage having multiple kids back to back. They will enthusiastically support sleeping with your kids. They smile and say “this too shall pass” when the topic of teething comes up. They think overseas flights with triplets that just learned to walk is totally doable with the right activities. But don’t you dare ever fucking allow sleepovers before age 10. The kids will burn down your house and never be the same again. They will try and escape through a window and make-out with the neighbor kids. They will try and murder you in your sleep. They will stay up longer than a group of people on cocaine. Maybe they will do cocaine. They will walk through your house and just knock shit off the walls. They will definitely try and flush your puppy down the toilet. Just don’t do it. I have heard some terrible things when it comes to sleepovers so naturally I was scared to death.

Tyler arrived at around 5:30pm and her parents came inside to have a drink and visit with us for a bit. I would like to think they wanted to hang out with us but they were probably just checking out the safety of the environment they were about to leave their child in overnight. I dug out the outlet covers from storage and plugged them in to all visible outlets. I stocked the fridge with organic food. I know how to play this game. I made Gin and Tonics with fresh grapefruit and a rosemary garnish. I made the necessary  comment about how I could only have 1 drink so the parents would know that there would be a sober adult in the house (obviously, I had like 8 more once they left. Kidding. Sort of. More on that later).

Current Stella had a whole itinerary of things to do with Tyler. Tyler only eats pizza pockets (most likely banned by the time you read this) and chocolate chip pancakes. Best. Diet. Ever. Current Stella had the idea to make cheese pizzas. Both girls loved doing this but I got sidetracked building this golf activity that I over-cooked the pizza and ultimately ended up needing to microwave pizza pockets. Tyler was stoked. Current Stella didn’t eat dinner(strangely enough she doesn’t like pizza pockets), neither did I actually, which is a key part of the story that you will need to retain for later use.

  
I spent, I don’t know, 1/3 of an hour constructing this golf game that the girls played with for less than 3 minutes- standard and totally worth it. Next, Current Stella wanted to make cookies. This just means she wants to eat cookie dough and then leave me to make the cookies and then she will want one of the cooked ones as well. I am not a baker. I love to cook but building a dough of any kind is torture and waaaay too easy to mess up. I am a huge fan of paying out the ass for an item/service that I could technically do myself but have zero desire to do. In this case I paid 20 bucks for the dough for 12 cookies that I just had to plop on a cookie sheet and then take out of the oven after 12 minutes. The only thing I could do to mess this up was to not turn my oven to the right temp or get sidetracked and leave them in too long. Considering I just sabotaged the pizza, I was extra vigilant to not make that mistake with the cookies. We decided to make 6 cookies. That way we each got 1 and then there would be 2 leftover to give to Tyler’s sisters in the morning. Shockingly, I didn’t fuck this up and the cookies were delicious. 

  
 After that, Current Stella wanted to put her pajamas on, make popcorn, and watch a movie. Your Dad and I loved this plan because it meant we could just do what we normally do, which is hang out while she deals with herself. They both changed into their pajamas, Current Stella cooked the popcorn and they climbed into our bed to watch Frozen (so basic) . Around 9pm we came in and informed the well-behaved, mellow girls that it was bed time. They were fine with it and once they brushed their teeth and went potty they climbed the stairs into the loft bed. Right about now is when I began to think all those other Moms are insane. This was easier than liking a picture on Instagram. What’s the big deal?

  
Now is a good time to mention that my friend Kelly was having her birthday party that night. It was at this place called the Starlight Room which is this iconic San Francisco Dance Club at the top of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. It sounded like a lot of fun and I adore Kelly and really wanted to celebrate her birthday. The girls seemed totally chill, your dad was completely fine with me going so I decided to leave the sleepover and attend the festivities while the girls peacefully slept. I told myself I would just have a couple drinks, dance for a minute, and head home in time to enthusiastically participate in chocolate chip pancake making in the morning. Instead, I was drinking vodka sodas like they were water, aggressively dancing on the dance floor and stumbled home in the wee hours of the morning.

  
I came bounding inside our apartment like someone had just spun me around 20 times and then instructed me to enter through the door like I was an elephant wearing tap shoes. Once I established where the walls were versus the door openings, I noticed two perfect looking cookies just sitting there, waiting to be eaten. The severity of my starvation hit me so hard that I had no choice but to inhale both cookies and find my way to my bed like a pin ball scoring a record breaking number of points.

I could not have been sleeping long when I heard the giggles of little girls creeping into our bedroom. This cannot be happening. I’m exhausted. I’m still drunk. I’m starving. 

On a typical Sunday morning, Stella wakes up and pours herself Cheerios. She completely deals with herself. Sometimes she comes into our room to snuggle; if she does, I can usually get her to take the dogs out in the backyard. It’s absolutely glorious. Not this Sunday. 

There are two, extra loud and vibrating mini ladies migrating around my bedroom. How long have they been there? Why does my mouth taste like a rancid bucket of vomit? Where are my clothes? What time is it? Am I having a nightmare? They were hungry the voices were saying, and bored. I start whipping your dad with my hand on his bare chest, my intentions being to motivate him to make the voices stop. My head was pounding. I was the kind of tired that makes your eyelids feel like they have been superglued shut. I couldn’t open them even if I wanted to. 

Your dad began to understand the severity of the situation and reluntantly got out of bed to make the girls their pancakes. 

This is when the guilt started creeping in and I knew I needed to get out of bed to at least attempt to enjoy the remaining hours of this sleepover. 

I remember making it out to the living room. I must have dozed off into a deep sleep on the couch. I have snapshot memories of the girls coming into the room at various points but I just kept on sleeping. 

The sound of the doorbell finally woke me from a deep sleep and I was dying to know what sort of brunch situation your dad had ordered. I peek through the door and realize it is Tyler’s mom, completely  showered and looking normal, ready to pick her up. 

Cool, so I’m wearing last night’s makeup, creepy pjs, and I have not brushed my teeth yet. 

I let her and Tyler’s little sister into my home and we begin to exchange pleasantries. I can barely comprehend and my responses are socially awkward, at best. We make the long walk back to Current Stella’s room and I begin to panic because it has been hours since I have been back there. They could be running a meth lab/brothel for all I know. I open the door and even worse than I could even imagine, every single toy is piled on the ground. It looks ridiculous.

I manage to gather Tyler’s things into her bag and get Stella to say goodbye to her friend. Just when I can visualize myself back in bed, Stella gets excited and tells Tyler’s sister that we made her cookies to take home.

Awesome. Those cookies are long gone and don’t exist. Tyler’s sister is excited about her cookies. There are no cookies. 

I just need them to leave my house so I can vomit and return to bed so I open our fridge, pull out the unused cookie dough and offer it to them as a parting gift. I explain that they are only good right after they are cooked so wanted them to have the full experience. 

They fell for it, said thank you, and left. 

I was hung over for the rest of the day. 

Good times. 

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, your dad and I had the best date night ever tonight. I cannot wait to give you the deets.
Love,

Mom

The Moment I Realized Your Dad Will Never Pull a Bruce Jenner

Dear Future Stella,

The title probably sounds confusing because Bruce Jenner most likely doesn’t mean to you what he means to me. Just google it (or however people get instant information in 2025) because I don’t have the time, nor the facts to fully catch you up to speed but basically a few nights ago he told the world, via Diane Sawyer on 20/20, that he was transitioning from male to female. He always had feelings that his soul was of a woman’s even though he was born in a man’s body. A very strong, muscular man looking body. He was married 3 times and had 6 biological kids and 4 step kids. He finally had the courage to make the transition at 65. 

Your dad has a very strong, muscular body as well. Your dad is also pretty fem. He does laundry, he cooks, he decorates, he likes to go shopping, and he enjoys it a little too much when you pretend to curl his hair and put makeup on him. He bakes the best cookies. He can tell if I’m wearing a new shirt. He has several pink articles of clothing. I realize that I’m being very sexist and I understand that men and can like girl things and vise versa without their being any question about a persons gender or sexual identity. I get that. I’m just merely pointing out that IF your dad did come forward and say he wants to be a woman I can’t exactly say this would blindside me. That is until a few nights ago when Current Stella and your dad had the following interaction. I’m in the other room doing my makeup.

Current Stella-

Daddy, can you fix my Barbie? Her arm came off again.

Daddy-

Sure, Sweetie.

*he takes the Barbie and begins to operate on the arm. Very delicately he snaps the arm back into the joint and then says,

This isn’t the first time this Barbie has had an arm come off when you were changing her clothes. I think this one should just stay in one outfit and not switch it so the arm stays in place.

 

Several moments pass while myself and Current Stella weigh the insanity of the proposal your dad just made. Um? Never change her outfit? Like, ever again? Just keep her in the same tired faux leather dress forever? What if she is going to the beach? Just keep her in that skank dress? Ok, that makes no sense. Literally the only point of Barbies is so that you can change their clothes and make them have sex all over the dream house with multiple partners on multiple surfaces in multiple outfits. That’s it. Every single real girl knows this. At least every soul of every girl knows this. I was overwhelmed with injustice for Current Stella in conjunction with relief for myself that I can now guarantee that your Dad will never sit down and tell us he is going to transition into a woman. 

Current Stella-

but no, Daddy.

*almost in tears (rightfully so),

I have to change her outfit all the time. It’s ok if she only has one arm.

 

I couldn’t have said it better myself. If I had to chose between one outfit or one arm for the rest of my life I would pick the amputee situation with an overflowing closet. That Barbie deserves this same basic right. 

Here are some photos of you playing with Barbies

   
          
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Here is your dad doing chick stuff
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Cooking
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Decorating
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Picking fruit wearing a pink shirt
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Drinking champagne wearing a pink shirt
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Being obsessed with Disney princesses

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you had your very first sleepover this weekend. Im going to tell you more about that in my next post.

Love,

Mom

Spring Break Day 1

Dear Future Stella,


Do you have any memories of your Spring Break in 2015 when you were 4? I bet you do! I will provide a recap right now to hopefully ignite your memory.

First, I want to tell you about the funny conversation Current Stella had with your dad on the car ride to the train station.

Current Stella- I’m bored

Dad- I’m Casey nice to meet you (he actually turned around while driving and extended his hand to you)

Current Stella- No, IM bored

Dad- IM Casey

Current Stella- No. No. I’m not saying that you are bored- I’m saying that I’m bored

Dad- I know and I’m telling you that I’m Casey, that’s Phyllis, this is Shelby, and the dog on your lap is Gail.

Current Stella- Daddy. No. I’m bored. Stop telling me your name

Dad- Ok well stop telling me your name is bored. We named you Stella and we like that name better.

Current Stella- Daddy I’m not saying that my name is bored. Bored means that you don’t have anything to do. I’m trying to say that I don’t have anything to do. 

A few minutes later your dad announced that he smelled food. I agreed but thought that it smelled like dog food more specifically. He told me that was impossible because all the dog food was in our trunk. We moved on to singing along to the music and mutually day dreaming about how fantastic this trip was going to be. A good 15 minutes later I turned around in the car and saw this.

  

Cool Bitch, thanks for puking all over the car. I wonder which dog is the culprit? We didn’t even hear anything and apparently Current Stella didn’t see anything despite her sitting right next to it. It was obviously Phyllis- just the look she is giving me is a dead give away. Plus, Gail is too perfect to behave that way. 


We pulled over and I made your dad clean it up while I checked out what’s new in the snack world inside the gas station store. I hope jalapeño and cheese filled pretzels still exist for you as well as butterscotch krumpets that say “fresh baked” on the plastic sealed wrapper but that have a shelf life of at least 10 years. 

 We eventually made it to the train station with at least 3 minutes to spare and we boarded the train along with both sets of your grandparents. 6 adults to 1 child is the only acceptable ratio when traveling. This number ensures that I can peacefully drink my wine while 5 other people take turns retrieving all the things that you will inevitably drop throughout the duration of the 2 hour train ride. Little kids are built like slip-n-slides, every single crayon and raisin shoots down their limbs and on to the ground. Whoever invented children should have made their bodies out of velcro or possibly a magnetic surface of some sort. That would have been genius.


Here we all are on the train

   

     

Notice you butchered the only photo we let you be in. Thanks a lot. That was going to be our Christmas card.

  

Future Stella, you are so damn lucky that both sides of your family get along so well that they travel together. Your grandparents are delightful people who obsess over you in a way I find disturbing. I hope you have appreciated this over the years. Call them right now and express this to them if you have not already. I’m serious- do it right now young lady or I will march over to your house (you better not still be living with me) and I will embarass you infront of your roommates (you better not be living with a partner). 


Our hotel that we are staying at is pretty awesome and modern (by 2015 standards so don’t laugh)

   

     

The lobby has these really big versions of children’s games that you have been playing with your dad. If you still play connect 4 with him the journey began right here at this hotel.

 



Today my sister  arrives with her 2 kids (your cousins) and this is going to significantly affect the proper adult to child ratio so I’m a little nervous. I might actually have to start dealing with you :)


Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you are sleeping directly above your dad and me on this trip. I hope you are a heavy sleeper otherwise the memories you might have of this vacation will be a little haunting.


Love,


Mom

Current Stella Talks About The Future

Dear Future Stella,

I asked Current Stella to tell me about her life in 20 years. Figuring she would have no concept of time, I assumed she was going to tell me things that could easily happen tomorrow.

Instead, Current Stella told me she was going to be married and she was going to have twins (both girls). 

I asked her if she was going to have a job. She said yes. She said her main job was going to be being a mommy but she would go to my salon so she could work next to me every day. 

I asked her to tell me about her husband. She said he was going to be nice and silly and really helpful. She said he was going to be really silly to the twins but also really helpful when she needed anything. (I can’t imagine where she got this image from?….) She told me I was going to be her kid’s G-Ma (which is what she calls my mom). 

I asked her where she was going to live. She said Mexico. I asked her what she thought her husband would do for work. She said he was going to be a wrestler. I couldn’t help but picture a Nacho Libre situation. 

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, kid- you don’t want to live in Mexico with twin girls and your wrestler husband while you are working away at a hair salon. This has tragic written all over it. Aim higher….

Love,

Mom

How Babies Are Made

Dear Future Stella,

I am sure you know how babies are made by now and I really hope I had nothing to do with you figuring that out- that is what school and friends are for. However, tonight the topic came up with Current Stella and I thought you would find it funny. 

We went out to dinner at the Indian place by my work (Current Stella loves it). She basically ate 3 whole orders of naan. I teased her and told her that she looked pregnant. She laughed and said her tummy was just full of naan and that it wasn’t a baby. I asked her if she knew how a woman gets pregnant. She said yes and went on to describe how when a mommy is 15 or 12 years old she goes to the doctor and then the beautiful  baby comes out. I said, “right, but how does the baby get in the tummy?” Current Stella was appalled by my ignorance and said that the mommy finds one on the street and eats it. Then the baby grows in the stomach and then the doctor takes it out.  Duh. 

I clearly told her that she was totally right. She then asked if I was still 15 years old and I said yes. She seemed satisfied with these answers.

Later, we saw a baby in a stroller on the street and I asked Current Stella if I should eat it so she could have a sibling. She said, “No! That’s someone else’s baby! You need to find one that is this big,” (and then shows me with her fingers a size that is roughly 3 inches). She went on to say that this 3 inch baby can’t already have a mom. I have to find it by itself lying on the street. So fucked up, Current Stella. I have to find a 12 week old fetus just chilling on the sidewalk? Then eat it? No wonder you don’t have a sibling! 

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you have absolutely no idea how babies are made BUT your coat game has been so strong lately! Here are a couple of pictures of you wearing the most adorable jackets known to man! 

   

 

Love,

Mom 

Lets Talk About Arms and Tater Tots

Dear Future Stella,

Today while laying on the couch with Current Stella she told me that she loves my arms so so much. She told me they are always so warm. I said thank you, and that I liked her arms too. This prompted Current Stella to tell me that she loves me so so so so much and that she will never love another person’s arms more than mine. I told her that I love her arms more than she loves my arms. We argued for a bit over who loved the other person’s arms more.

Barf. I mean it makes me so nauseous to be so mushy-gushy-lovey-dovey. This is an example of a conversation that is so out of character for me, and with anyone else would feel so creepy. I am not a verbally affectionate person and I have never expressed love for anyone’s arms, ever.

Right now Current Stella’s arms are still soft and squishy. Her little hands have marker all over them, as they often do these days, evidence of her obsession with coloring. Her fingernails have chipped blue polish on them. She has a healing scrape from an accident at school and, I believe, 3 freckles- but who’s counting? I don’t know when they will form into bony arms, or arms with muscle tone, or arms with hair. Maybe one day they will have tattoos on them, although I hope not. More than tattoos, I hope they never show signs of self hatred, abuse, or drug use. If her arms end up strong like her dad’s, I hope they never hurt anyone. If they are weak like mine, I hope they still accomplish great things.

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I have never thought so much about anyone’s arms and, in a way, its easier to think of each part of Current Stella individually, because when I think about the love I feel for the whole package its truly overwhelming.

So, Future Stella, lets talk about your arms. Do you have any scars? I have 3. One is from a tater tot. I dropped it on my arm when it was fresh out of the oven and it actually left a scar. Im not going to lie, I super love having a permanent mark on my body that was caused by a tater tot. I love tater tots. I also have a scar from when I backed into a hot curling iron in beauty school. That one gets really dark when I get tan. My favorite scar is from a pencil that I accidentally stabbed myself with in 3rd grade. It looks like a tiny blue dot. I love telling people that its a tattoo of the earth from really far away. Your Dad, as Im sure you are aware, has a giant scar on his arm from a motorcycle accident. He also has a ton of freckles on his arms, which I think is adorable. His arms are also freakishly muscular, and his hands look just like his Dads. Weird, I guess I have obsessed over someone else’s arms!

I hope you have some really good scar stories for me. Scars are really good conversation starters so here is some dating advice. On a first date, scan his/her arms for scars and ask about how they got them. Even better, offer to guess how they got the scars. If you are witty and quick like me, this will either score major points or end things pretty quickly. Just grab their arm, examine the scar, maybe even run your finger over it and say something like, “You were 7. You found one of your mom’s tampons and you were playing around with it. Thinking the string was a wick of sorts, you lit it with matches you stole from your dad. You were waving it around and pretending it was a Dynamite stick when your little sister walked in and scared the shit out of you.” This should make them laugh, or create awkward silence. Either way, the real story about how the scar happened will never be as good. Fact. The man of my dreams would laugh, make an equally funny guess about one of my scars (which I would trump be saying its actually from a tater tot). Then we would spend the rest of the night talking about tampons and tater tots and we would live happily ever after.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I love your arms and every square inch of your tiny lady body except for the part of your brain that creates tantrums and meltdowns. Unless that part of the brain also is in charge of making your profess your endless love for my warm arms. I don’t really know how the brain works exactly so I might have to get back to you on that. Current Stella, I love your arms the most, but only because Gail The Puppy technically has paws, so I believe its a separate category.

Love,

Mom

Bus Conversations With Current Stella

Dear Future Stella,

Current Stella is very chatty on the bus. She usually takes this public opportunity to ask me embarrassing questions, or displays behavior that “I swear she has never done before..” However, some bus rides are filled with delicious moments that I want to relive over and over. Today was that kind of moment.

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Today’s conversation went like this:

Current Stella- How do you get home from work?
Me- Sometimes I walk, sometimes I take the bus, sometimes Daddy picks me up, sometimes I take a cab or an Uber.
Current Stella- Why don’t you run?
(Laughter from surrounding bus patrons)
Me- I am usually wearing high heels and I can’t run with my purse
Current Stella- Well, here’s the thing (she actually used those words), you could bring running shoes and use a backpack instead of a purse. I think you should run home.
Me- I could, but I stand all day on my feet and so the thought of running home doesn’t really sound that appealing. Why don’t YOU run home from school?
Current Stella- because Dad is always there to pick me up
Me- I could tell him not to come
Current Stella- What if I have to cross a street? I can’t cross a street by myself
Me- You could ask a stranger to help you cross
Long pause
Current Stella- What if a stranger never comes?
Me- Don’t worry, someone will eventually come. This is San Francisco.

That shockingly ended the conversation. She spent the rest of the ride to school in silence.

When I was dropping her off I told her that her dad would pick her up.
Current Stella, in a voice that showed she was dead serious asked, “So, I don’t have to run home?”

I mean, melt my heart, and freeze it into heart shaped ice cubes. It really doesn’t get any sweeter than Current Stella.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, you told me today that you loved me more than all the dogs in every city in the whole world. I don’t think you realize how many stray dogs are just roaming around Mexico…..

THE BEST FIGHT WE HAVE EVER HAD

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Dear Future Stella,

Oh man, when you were 4 you had the most epic meltdown of all time. Ok, so today wasn’t the most epic- you have definitely flipped bigger lids, but it was,by far, the funniest. 

Today is Tuesday, which means Current Stella gets to bring a lunch to school and she stays longer. This glorious day, for both of us, is called Lunch Bunch. This morning while packing her lunch I decided to opt out of using her usual choices of lunch boxes (Minnie Mouse or Frozen) and for no particular reason, I went with a Cal Poly Wrestling lunch bag that belongs to your Dad. For a brief second I considered the possibility that she wouldn’t be thrilled by this, but I was beginning to resent the sheer number of Cal Poly Wresting lunch bags that we have accumulated over the years and I wanted to start putting them to good use. Every year we get a new one at an annual alumni event that your Grandma and Papa host. I almost have enough to hand out as favors at Current Stella’s next birthday party so my only hesitation in sending it to school with her is that she might lose it, delaying the party favor idea significantly. I dismissed this possibility though because she has never lost a lunch box and I’m a big believer in track record. I packed her lunch (leftover pot roast, carrots with kale, a Babybel cheese, mixed berries and some animal crackers) and stuck it in the fridge before she even woke up.

Fast forward to the moment the lunch box is revealed, roughly 30 seconds before we HAD to leave in order to catch the next bus. 

Immediate shit storm. Current Stella is screaming and smashing the lunch box against our wall. She says, and I quote, “I am NOT bringing that lunch box to school. I want my Minnie one. I don’t want the lunch box with the cow on it. I DONT. LIKE. COWS. I want my Minnie one.” Now, it’s important to note two very significant things, Future Stella. One, the Cal Poly mascot is a mustang, not a cow. Two, Current Stella sleeps with a cow, appropriately named Cow Cow, every night and begs to carry the dreadful thing around with her everywhere she goes. So you can imagine my excitement at this arguement. I have a clear victory and there is nothing I like more than proving someone wrong and driving my point home. 

Here’s the bag 



I open my mouth to begin my condescending speech about how it’s a horse, not a cow, and that she IS, in fact, going to be eating her lunch from it. I couldn’t wait to point out that if she hates cows so much maybe we should find a new home for Cow Cow. Before I could begin my eloquent speech, I looked closely at the obvious horse on the bag and I was dumbfounded that anyone, much less a child who is supposedly ready for Kindergarten, could mistake it as a cow. I decide to hold off on the Grand Slam of arguement victories to give her the benefit of the doubt. I calmly ask Current Stella to look at the bag one more time and confirm what animal she sees. 

This enrages her. “I am not going to look at the bag. I don’t like the bag and I want the cow off the bag and I want Minnie to be on it.” She is now squeezing her eyes closed in a defiant move to ensure that no looking at the bag will be happening. 

I gave her a shot at redemption but now I must go in for the victory. I tell her, matter of factly, that its a horse on the bag and not a cow. I tell her it’s like a My Little Pony. Boy, was that the wrong thing to say to Pyscho Current Stella. 

She takes a deep breath and on the release she shouts, “That is NOT a My Little Pony. It’s a cow and I do not like lunch boxes with cows on them.” 

Right then would have been an excellent time to storm back to her room, grab her Cow Cow and duct tape it around the lunch bag in the same way one would tape a victim to a chair. I would bring the bag over to her and say, “Do you like this lunch bag? It has a cow on it.” That would have been amazing and the victory would certainly have been mine but we were late and we had to go. 

I started to walk out the door, lunch bag in hand. I knew she would follow me because even in her most irrational moments, she tends to do the right thing. She is trailing behind me, still crying and cow hating. 

I remind her of the no crying on the bus rule and she slowly calmed down. I take this time to tell her about the bag and how it’s the school that daddy went to and how her Papa also went there and he even worked there for many years. This peeked her interest a little and she asked if she had a lunch bag with the name of her school on it. I told her that she didn’t. She then said she could like it if it was a baby horse. I lied and said it was a baby horse. She asked, “Mommy, what is a baby horse called?” I hate questions like this. I knew how to spell it- foal, but I didn’t know how to say it. Fowl or full? This tricks me every time so to avoid saying it wrong I lied and said baby horses are called ponies. 

Once on the bus Current Stella was happily holding the lunch box. I pressed my luck and asked her if I could take a picture. She started to get worked up again, but remembering the no crying rule, she said I could- but not of her face.





Future Stella, I love you. Current Stella, I can’t wait for your birthday party this year. I think it will be cow themed and this bag will be the perfect party favor.

Love,

Mom

Future Stewwa, I Wuv You

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This morning on the bus you asked me why your name doesn’t have a W in it because it sounds like it should. You can’t say your L’s so you pronounce your name “Stewwa.” I laughed a little bit because sometimes you are just so dang cute. I did my best to explain that your name is pronounced Stella and that it just doesn’t sound like that when you say it because L’s are tricky for you to say.

5 minutes pass.

You ask, “Mommy, why didn’t you just name me Stewwa so I could say my own name?”
Me- Speechless, because honestly what do you say to that? Well played Stella, well played. Here’s what I was thinking though:

Honestly, Stella, I named you Stella because I was unaware of the fact that you were going to have a speech impediment. I guess I had high hopes for you and I’m a little annoyed that such a basic thing seems so difficult for you. Calm down. I wasn’t thinking that at all. I actually was thinking that I hope you never learn how to say your L’s and I want you to always say Stewwa because I can’t stand the idea of you getting bigger and learning the complete English language. I’m just not ready. Here are a few more ridiculously adorable things you say:

Breakfast- breastis
Flash light- light flash
Accessories- sessories
I love it when you ask if you can load down a new app on my phone.

Future Stella, I love you. Current Stewwa, I Wuv You.

Mom