dear nixon: volume 12

The other day, I legitimately Googled “do I have mono or am I just really tired.”

(1) as if Google knows
(2) why am I Googling when I clearly should be asleep

There’s an obvious solution here, and it rhymes with OH MY GOD JUST BE SLEEPING.

Right, yeah.

Except then I lose those precious end-of-the-night hours to do insanely beautiful things like read books;
commune with my inner 70-year-old and water the flowers in my pajamas;
get lost with daddy in the black hole of my phone that is looking at/watching old pictures and videos of you;
valiantly attempt to finish–after like almost-two years of trying–Parenthood on Netflix, plus catch an episode of Girlboss here and there, and make a halfhearted attempt at the (reasonably sucky) new season of Orange is the New Black;
and, you know, just life.

Exhaustion, like so many parts of mamahood, is one of those things where you can totally manage it juuuust fine, everything’s cool, until one day you’re legitimately ready for bed at 3 p.m. and realize Shit Has Gotten Real.

This a confusing revelation for me, because I’m actually fully convinced that, 99.1% of the time, I GOT THIS IT’S OKAY DON’T WORRY–
the .9% is reserved strictly for times of intense peril, like if something is on fire.

It’s all trades, babycakes.

Saving the majority of my life-ing for the quiet hours after you’ve gone to bed is the trade for making the most of your awakes.

It means that I was there to watch you announce “wheeee!” as you investigated which of your toys could & could not travel successfully down the slide of your Little People airport;
that daddy & I got to enjoy plastic pots full of monster truck soup you joyously “GUCK!“-ed for us in your tiny kitchen;
that I was the lap you backed into with a book and happily snuggled down in;
that we got to “WASH! WASH!” dishes together, side by side, with you gleefully wielding the handled scrubby thing as a volatile weapon of cleanliness & me immediately regretting my choices to fill the sink so full of water.

& if it means that I’m dragging ass because, after all that, I stayed up until the ungodly hour of 11 p.m. to seize that unique glory of getting caught up in a really good book?

Fair trade.

I’m in.


You are fast.

Consequently, this means that I am fast, everywhere, all the time, because your favorite activities usually revolve around steep sets of stairs, perilous situations where you may or may not fall off a concrete stoop and impale yourself on something, a desire to be “out! OUT!” at all times, and various investigations into the current location of the street.

It’s fun and exhausting and beautiful, because for as much as people wax on about kids teaching you to slow down & notice things, you’re the exact opposite;
you are SO FREAKING EXCITED that things exist that you must see them all, right now, all at the same time.

I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOU GOT THAT FROM.

You actually get so worried daddy and I might miss something that, if you happen to notice us lagging behind, you’ll patiently turn back & “call” us by clicking your tongue and tapping the side of your thigh.

You know, the same way we call the dog.
It’s a thing.

It’s kind of my favorite because of how deliberate and chill you are about it;
it’s not hurried so much as it’s you being like, guys, I know you’re not as fast as me, and that’s okay, but also, you need to be here 10 seconds ago.

Other hilariously awesome things you do:

  • Have your own names for all your favorite books, including “bee-cees,” “owl,” “BUN!” “roof” and “cow” (which, randomly, is for “Where the Wild Things Are“; I guess because of the weirdo bull-looking thing?)
  • Randomly repeat phrases and words we had no idea you knew until right that second; see “cereal”, “right there,” and, the latest, announcing, “me too!” after I’d agreed with daddy using the same phrase
  • Take immense pride in picking up your pretend phone and finding out that it’s you on the other end (”Heh-yo? ME!”)
  • Insist on eating only with adult-sized silverware, an event that transpired immediately after we’d bought enough Nixon-sized cutlery to last you more than a couple of meals. You get so pissed off if we dare give you a kid-sized spoon, ever, and you’ll politely point out “‘POON!” (everything is a ‘poon, by the way, including forks) until we acquiesce and save you from having to eat with small cutlery like a savage
  • Believe that you can drink from an open cup. You’re far more interested in trying to watch the liquid come out than you are in actually consuming it, so “drinks” basically amount to you dumping something all over yourself
  • Refer to sprinklers or anything spraying water as “WASH! WASH!
  • Eat.

It’s your very first summer with skinned knees;
asphalt-kissed little roadmaps on each of your (blessedly) still-squishy legs, telling stories of the times you daredevil-drove the trike at baby work and wiped out on the concrete path, or somehow managed to run against the grain of gravity.

For the record, love, I don’t plan to worry about skinned knees, scraped elbows, or scars with good stories, and I hope you don’t, either.

It’s this weird badge of honor, sending you out into the world and having you come back dirt-covered and dinged up; it means you’re out there, exploring life, then coming home to swirl your bathwater into a watercolor of all the adventures you’ve had that day.


This right here, buddy? This sums it all up:

I’ve never been more exhausted, any happier, or having more fun than I am right now, right in the midst of this busy, brilliantly sweet season of being your mama.


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About ashley!

in love, obnoxiously happy, and up to a lot of awesome.
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