to my poor dear child

Dearest Son-Who-Doesn't-Want-To-Grow-Up,

I have done you a great disservice. I should never have let you get away with this for so long.

It has been quite a few months that you have diligently been saying the fated words. In reference to your ability to "pants-down, pee, pants-up" you had, what was in your mind, the perfect solution. "When I'm four."

And I succumbed to your cute, albeit immature {and now we know -- bad-habit-forming} solution and faithfully pulled your pants down, helped you pee, and pulled your pants back up. For too many months.

Every few weeks I would ask -- "when will you be ready to pee by yourself?", and you would give the same response. "When I'm FOUR."

Well, that day came all too soon. And you, my dear boy, didn't want to have your birthday.

How sad is that?

You didn't want to blow out any candles. When family called to wish you Happy Birthday on Friday, you denied that it was your birthday. When it was your turn to count the pennies in Sabbath School you hid in my chest. When we brought out your "cake" of many chocolate-covered frozen bananas, you cried and clung to daddy.

On Friday, you said you would pee sans mom on Sunday -- "when we celebrate my birthday", you said.

On Sunday, you didn't know what to say. But it was obvious you weren't eager to do it yourself.

No dice today either. It's no fun having a power struggle over pee.

I am so sorry. Maybe if you weren't my firstborn, I would have known better. Had prior experience with things like this. I wouldn't have babied you.

Now we have to form a team. A brave team. A brave mommy who won't indulge you, enable you. A brave son who will continue to feel loved even if mommy pushes you outside your comfort zone. Can you be brave? Can you help mommy be brave?

Cause I love you so much baby. And I'm so sorry you didn't want to turn four because of all this. Forgive me?