If we could address a toddler in the most official and serious of ways. (This was an idea that popped as a result of my constant struggles and semi-unsuccessful attempts (how’s that?) at dressing – not Addressing – my toddlers).
[SENDER’S NAME]: your mother
[SENDER’S ADDRESS]: at home, (mainly) in the kitchen
(optional[SENDER’S PHONE]: you don’t need to reach me by phone. Don’t touch the phone. The phone is already oily enough from your little fingers.
(optional[SENDER’S E-MAIL]: email@example.com
[DATE]: lost track
[RECIPIENT W/O PREFIX]:
[RECIPIENT’S COMPANY]: I MESS ltd.
[RECIPIENT’S ADDRESS]: All-over-the-place Square, Department of “Toddlers Rule – rage against the organised mothers”
Dear [RECIPIENT W/ PREFIX]: daughter/son
[First Salutation then Subject in Business letters]
How hard is it for you to sit still while I’m dressing you up?
It’s a constant struggle.
My struggles can only measure to an acrobat walking a tight rope between two skyscrapers in Hong Kong with no safety net underneath.
Or at least the amount of sweat is the same.
I can only compare my desperate attempts at dressing you up with a prisoner trying to escape Alcatraz.
Trying to distract the enemy
Bribing, of course
and – in an act of desperation – threatening.
Trying to dress you up is like trying to break my own hand.
It’ll probably be easier if I broke my arm than if I had to dress you up everyday.
Fighting you to put every single item on you – from the socks, to the pampers, to the romper, to the shoes – is the hardest job and the most unrewarding and unrecognised one I’ve ever encountered.
Not only that, it’s also the most repetitive job on this planet!
I don’t know how they do it on other planets.
Maybe they just walk all naked and green.
The worst thing is that there is no special training or qualifications I can sign up for to become better at dressing up a toddler. It’s you who’s awfully good at undressing every item the second I’ve managed to put it on, and of twisting with a superman power (can that come from a silly banana porridge???) that I cannot overcome.
And that, in combination with your beaming face and giggle, which can only be translated as a conniving Al Capone-style ‘I tricked you but you can’t catch me’ look, tops the charts of toughest jobs after the one of cleaning royal assholes (check the list of strangest jobs in history).
I have come to the conclusion that, unless I use other means of resolving this issue – like tying you up or, perhaps, letting you fidget with an expensive gadget like my cell phone every time I am dressing you up – I’ll just be left with no other choice but to leave you run around butt naked.
[VALEDICTION (Sincerely, Respectfully, Regards, etc.)], your mother
Enclosures ([NUMBER OF ENCLOSURES]) for older toddlers, enclosures could be all sorts of threats – from light sentence punishments such as “you’re not going to the park until I dress you up”, to harsher ones such as, “I’ll give all your toys away to the neighbour’s dog” and variations.
cc: [CC RECIPIENT], [CC RECIPIENT TITLE]
[CC RECIPIENT], [CC RECIPIENT TITLE]
This template can also serve parents when addressing their teenagers, not only their toddlers.
The dressing up issue seems to persist throughout life stages with severe deterioration in taste as well as effort around our kids’ turbulent teen years (why ‘turbulent’ when some teens are really boring???).
The enclosures should be much more severe and involve mainly media use limitations and sanctions, or the ultimate – cash fines and cash deprivation!
This is all bollocks.
Toddlers can’t read
Teens won’t read.
So, you’d think you may as well give up.
Keep your letters and hand them to your first-time parent daughter or son.
And have a good laugh when they’re fighting their one-year-old on the changing table while the pooh is flying all over their faces.