A Letter to My Son Regarding Mother's Day

We're going to brunch and we're gonna have a good time, and you're going to lay off the screaming and the tantrums and the defiance and everything else for the day.
05/12/2013 01:45 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Dear Detective Munch,

It's time to start pulling your weight.

Don't worry; I'm not going to make you get a job. You're only 2-and-a-half! The whole talking thing is still new to you (though you have screaming down pat, unfortunately), never mind following orders. Besides, there are laws that prevent it. But, at 2 years old, there are some things you can -- nay, must -- do, and celebrating Mother's Day is one of them.

I've been flying solo on this thing for three years now (you're damn right we celebrated when Mommy was still pregnant!) and since you are the reason this holiday has been added to the calendar -- yet another one celebrating Mom and Buried! -- it's high time you got involved. It will be years before you're an equal partner, but at the very least, you can ease a little of my pressure. It's called teamwork.

To be completely honest, for the first few years, all you really need to do is show up; I'll still do the heavy lifting. But here's the tricky part. "Current You" can't show up. Current You is smack in the middle of the terrible twos and Current You is not an enjoyable brunch companion. Mother's Day is no time for the terrible twos. No day is a good time for the terrible twos, obviously, but you're still a work in progress, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that this is just a phase. But not on Sunday. On Sunday, you shall have no quarter.

We're going to brunch and we're gonna have a good time, and you're going to lay off the screaming and the tantrums and the defiance and everything else for the day. You know damn well we're gonna let you watch "Super Why" at the table, so there is simply no reason to act out. This is always true, but it's especially so on Mother's Day.

I'm gonna be blunt here, because I know you can take it: Without Mommy, there'd be no you. BAM! I know, right? This is intense. Sure, sure; without me there's no you either but this is not the time to bring that up (*high-five*). Mother's Day is about -- who do you think it's about? No, we can't watch "George" right now. No, you can't have a gummy snack. Stop it. I said stop it. DO YOU WANT TO GO TO TIMEOUT? Then sit still for five minutes! -- it's about Mommy.

Mother's Day is when we let Mommy know how much we appreciate everything she does for us. And that means we have to be extra nice to her, and tell her we love her and give her hugs and kisses and even some presents too. Relax; I'll handle the presents. You just go ahead and give her that mess you scribbled at preschool and she'll go nuts for it; it'll be on the fridge in no time. I'm the one facing expectations. You don't even have to color within the lines; meanwhile I'm over here getting quiet disappointment and drunken tears because I forgot she actually hates daisies. Sigh.

Never mind; that's an MP, not a YP. YP is staying calm and being happy and mumbling your mushmouth version of "I love you, Mommy" every couple of hours. Because she deserves it. I don't have time to rattle off everything she does for you -- for us -- but you lived inside her like Luke in a tauntaun except you're the one that smells and you camped out in there for nine months. Frankly, it's a bit absurd, and it should be more than enough reason to let her have a mimosa or three without you throwing your matchbox cars onto the floor just because we can't play with our bubbles at the restaurant.

Just to make sure you get the point, here are some more reasons we both owe your mom a relaxing, enjoyable day:

She dresses you (and me); feeds you (and me); provides for you (and me); tolerates you (and me) when you're being unbearable; cuts your hair; reads you bedtime stories; removes your crust; makes you cookies; dances with you on the rug; takes you to the playground; kisses your boo-boos; loves you more than she loves anyone else on earth (including me, but it's OK, I'm good with it); sings to you; misses you every minute of every day she's at work; and will somehow, some way, make sure this day, her Mother's Day, is still more about you than it is about her.

Because that's what good mommies do, and she's the best mommy, and she's your mommy. Which is really all that matters.

It's time to start giving back. So be ready.

Sh*t gets real on Sunday.



P.S. It doesn't stop here either. For the rest of your life, making your mom happy -- or, at the very least, not making her unhappy -- will be one of your top three priorities. Get used to it.

P.P.S. All of the above also goes for Father's Day (just replace "mimosas" with "six-packs").


This post originally appeared on Dad and Buried.