Stay-at-Home Panda

Stay-at-Home Panda

An adventure of triumphs and troubles as a mother, wife, and woman

18 Things I Love About You at Five

The other day Daddy came home with a Cadbury bar. You said in a sing-song voice, “Mommmmmy! There’s chocolate! Your favorite!” He gave you a square and let you know it was the last one. You took it, split it, and handed a piece to me. Daddy asked if you didn’t want it, and you replied, “I do. I just want Mommy to have some, too.” In that moment I considered that maybe you love me as much as I love you. Sharing the last bite of anything delicious is substantial evidence of this. But I also think it’s impossible. In celebration of your 5th birthday on the 18th, here are 18 things I love about you:

  1. You love writing, especially lists of what you want. You’re currently asking me how to spell “prayer beads” and “Snuggie Tails” because you apparently want these things for your birthday. Aside from wish lists, love letters are your specialty. You even manage to write those on your own.
  2. You tell stories, and although they used to be long, drawn out recounts of Paw Patrol episodes, or lessons on how to stab someone with a knight sword, you are becoming more concise. This morning you woke up and said, “Do you want to hear my dream? Okay, so, there was a tiger and it cost money to take him home so I just pet him and he really liked it.”
  3. You sing the intro song to PJ Mask with impressive intensity and precision. I’m always happy when you choose to watch it so I can witness your performance.
  4. When you want my attention or want me to do something faster you say, “Skeee -yeeee-eeee” kind of like your father used to do with his friends when he had a couple drinks in him.
  5. You love to create. You’re an artist and a scientist, even in the kitchen. You bake, and one time you even made a cake all by yourself. You especially like when sprinkles are involved.        
  6. You are very complimentary to other people, and tell even strangers the most genuine words. The other day we met a new neighbor while we were out walking. As I was chatting, Asher pooped in her driveway. No, not into a diaper, or contained in his pants. There was dookie straight up on the pavement. She was cool and got us wipes, and a change of clothes, and even disposed of his mess for us. You looked at her and said on your own accord, “You are one of the nicest people I ever met.” Making people feel good comes very naturally to you. 
  7. You stick up for your brother. When some older dude kept calling him “Trasher”, you corrected him relentlessly saying, “No. His name is Asher.” 
  8. When I told you carrots give you eagle eyes, you ate a whole bag in a day. 
  9. You’re encouraging. Recently I said I wasn’t good at wrapping presents, and you said, “No. Don’t ever say that about yourself. You’re the best present-wrapper ever.” Sometimes when we arrive at our destination you say, “You did it. We’re here. Good job, Mama.” 
  10. You have the best ideas. Last night you said, “Let’s eat ice cream in my tree house by the moon light.” We did, and it was awesome. 
  11. You give me the same lessons I give you. For example, one day you needed a solution to a problem, and I told you to get quiet and listen within. Later that day I had a problem myself. I was frustrated and huffing and puffing in the car and you said, “Mommy, mommy, stop. Just take a deep breath, get quiet, and listen to what’s inside for what to do. Hear your angels.” My God, it worked. Thank you. 
  12. You can’t resist hugs from your brother, even if they come when you’re on the potty. Tonight Ash and I stood at the door while you pooped, and Ash literally hung off my shorts while we kept you company. When he fell backwards and hit his head on the ground he came to you for a kiss on his boo-boo. He then got in your face and said “dee-dee” (thank you) and you exclaimed, “No one has ever said ‘thank you’ to me while I pooped before!” Pride was spread all over your face.
  13. You’re funny in so many ways, like when you introduce your little brother as your granddaughter, and when you roll out of bed and say to me with a funny little smile, “Good morning Aunt Susan.” (Who the heck is Aunt Susan?) 
  14. You’re caring. When you asked the post master for a sticker the other day you added, “Can I have an extra for my baby brother?” You never forget about him, but it’s not just him, you’re kind and considerate to everyone which is why I never have to worry about you on the playground. You’re the one asking, “Hey, want to be my friend?” 
  15. You’re capable of being really helpful. When I rallied you to help me clean out the fridge, you actually did a better job than I would have. Sure, you used a shit ton of resources, but you’re a type-A perfectionist, and when it comes to cleaning fridges, I like it.
  16. You’re really good at using curse words in context, and I somewhat enjoy your ability to do so. The other day we went to Chipotle for dinner and as you housed a quesadilla I asked if you were hungry. You replied, “So damn hungry.”
  17. You have the best kissing lips, and when Daddy asks you where you got them from you say, “Mommy, because hers are soft like mine.” I don’t know what I like more, your kissing lips or that you give me the credit for them.
  18. You like to dress nicely. I throw sweatpants your way and you say, “No! I want to look handsome.” You wouldn’t be caught anywhere but a bed in anything pajama-like, and I’m still trying to figure that one out.

I was just on the phone with Grammy, and Daddy was trying to get me off so he could ask for my help in finding things. When I asked him why he rushed me, he said jokingly, “Because you’ll be cray and I need to keep you in check.” You, my sweet Javin came over to me and said, “You’re not cray Mommy, you’re great.” You’re great too, my love. Greater than great.

There’s something just so special about you, and I’m honored to be your mom.


About Amanda Elder

Amanda has a background in education, but now spends most of her time snuggling her kids, wiping their butts, and doing house chores in her underwear.

1 Comment

  • MaeMae says:

    O.K., exactly why I cried when I just wanted to tell him how much his card meant to me, and we both cried, but joy and love cry so I know now. So in love with my Family. U ALL make me wish I could make everyone so proud of me. . xoxo

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