We love you kids. Really. Most of the time you're absolutely adorable. That little thing you do when you wrap both your arms around our necks, kiss us on the cheek, and say, "I love you, daddy"? Kills us every time. We can't get enough of that!
We also love that you're speaking coherently now. Life is so much easier now that you can verbalize the fact that wearing green socks makes you go completely insane. Sorry about that. Really, we had no idea. Our bad.
Seeing your imaginations at work these days has been a blast. It's unbelievably cute watching you use the remote control as a telephone. We wish you'd stop hiding it though. Putting it in the refrigerator was a good idea. We never would have looked there.
And who knew you toddlers were so damn funny? We LOVE that "everything is a hat" routine that you do. When you wrapped daddy's jeans around your head, you looked like the cutest little suicide bomber this side of Tehran! And that comedy bit about pretending to eat the dog food is the funniest thing since Eddie Murphy's "Raw." Really, almost everything you do these days totally cracks us up.
But, listen up, my little 3-foot friends.
You're not going to be toddlers forever. Pretty soon, that "being cute" thing is going to start wearing a little thin. You're going to need to back it up with some serious substance. After all, the world is filled with formerly cute kids who couldn't quite cut it at the next level. If you want all this continued love and affection, you're going to need to raise your game.
Here's some advice.
1. Enough with the whining. Nobody likes a whiner. Trust us on this one (if you don't believe us, ask Michael Moore!) Seriously, you've really got to cut that out. It's driving us fucking nuts. Every time you whine (especially in public,) you make us want to leave you on the side of the road. Besides, if you lazy toddlers ever took the time to run a cost/benefit analysis, you'd notice that the whining thing almost never pays off. Service with a smile always works better. Remember that, kiddos.
2. Make a decision and run with it. This waffling has got to stop. You toddlers change your minds faster than Rudy Guiliani changes his politics. Do you want the freaking apple or don't you? Do you want to go in the stroller or not? Do you like looking at the pigeons or do they scare the crap out of you? You're starting to remind us of that schizo ex-girlfriend from college. Never a good sign.
3. Knock off the diva routine. You toddlers have a bit of prima donna in you, n'est-ce pas? I know you're part of the "ME Generation" but many of you behave like some spoiled actor who starts actually believing all the crap his publicists are telling him! So knock off the Sean Preston Federline act, kiddos. We're not rock stars. We're just regular, working parents. No breakfast at noon. No ice cream for lunch. And no 24-hour room service. Ok?
4. It's NOT yours. You seem to have adopted a mantra of "If I can see it, it's mine. If you have it, it's mine. If I think about it, it's mine." Let me tell you something, kiddos. You know when all of us leave in the morning, only to return home 8 hours later? We're at work earning a living. And while we're firm believers in the "mi casa es su casa" philosophy and don't really mind sharing our things with you, you need to ease up a little, ok? That Blackberry? Mine. Those car keys? Mine. The cell phone, the sunglasses, the ipod? Mine, mine, mine. Please keep your peanut-butter-and-jelly fingers off them.
5. Show some gratitude. There is no clean underwear fairy. There is no magic pop tart machine. And vomit doesn't just clean itself up. We have no problem doing all these things for you. Just don't take them for granted. After we've spent the past 4 hours blowing bubbles, drawing Elmo, pushing you on the swing, and wiping the dog poop off your shoes, sometimes we just need to hear a little "thank you" from you so that we don't feel like indentured servants.
Thanks, toddlers. Feel free to take all of this advice with a grain of salt. We really do have your best interests at heart. Besides, in 15 years, you're going to be begging us to buy you a car and you'll totally be sucking up to us.
Our advice? Start now!
P.S. Where the heck did you put my Blackberry?