Monday, February 7, 2011

Your Lonely Girl

It happened again.  Another letter from one of my children.  Emma, age 8.  Type-written.

WARNING:  Do Not Open!  TOP SECRET! for Jeff and Susie

dear mom and dad,

can I please have a hamster?  I don't think the owners [meaning of our house, since we're renting] would mind.  i always have to play with boys, and Kirsten is never around.  I would clean it's cage, and clean it's poop.  Plus, we haven't had a pet in a long time.  I 100% want a hamster.

your lonely girl, Emma

First off, am I that mom I never wanted to be - the one who doesn't listen to her kids, so they feel they have to resort to written communication in order to be heard?

Secondly, the Zhu Zhu pets (complete with track) that Emma got for Christmas last year were supposed to completely wipe out any desire in her to own a real-life stinky hamster.  I want my money back.

Third,  Emma pulled out all the stops and used the word "lonely."

What's a mom to do?  Cry a little - even while recognizing that the word "lonely" could have been used purely as an emotional manipulation technique - then go to work to fix it.  I'm still figuring out how. I even know that fixing it perfectly is beyond my capabilities.  But by golly I'll try.  Because that's my job as a mom.  Plus my name was on the letter.


  1. What a great love of writing they are learning from you. What intelligent children you have that know how to get all of their points in without having to hear your side. And what a difficult decision you have to make. I think of the line from Charlie the LDS movie, I have been wasted on my own petard. Can't wait to hear the results of both letters. I always love to read your writing. :-)

  2. Smart kids- using word manipulation :) I can tell you what happened to our hamsters as kids - it will make you not want to have one :)

  3. This letter writing is hilarious! Can't wait to hear the outcome.

  4. So your kids have learned that words are powerful....hmmm, I wonder where that idea might have come from? :)
    As a mom who NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE THIS DOG OR THIS HAMSTER, (Sorry about the caps, but I want to make sure you are getting the full effect here) I will tell you that the chances are good that you will have a love/hate relationship with any pet you decide to get. You will hate that it smells, takes up your time, makes noises all night and makes your child seem lazy since they haven't cleaned the cage and/or poop in the yard in a month in spite of their lofty promises. However, you will probably love that it makes your Emma happy. She will giggle when it runs up her arm and it will melt your heart. It's a bit of a sucker punch, actually. Mike keeps asking if the trial period for the dog is over yet. (we've had him for 18 months!)
    I love your kids- they are smart, funny and articulate- much like their mom! Can't wait to hear what you decide!