Mother’s Day Gifts from My Toddler

A hand-picked flower, crushed and sweaty.

A deeply insulting drawing of me that I can never throw away.

A tender little kiss, directly on my eyeball, at 5:30 A.M.

Two dark bags under my eyes that she poked while saying, “Boo-boo.”

A crack in my phone screen.

A crack in my iPad screen.

A crack in my coffee table.

A cracker in my pillowcase.


A now-rancid splash of milk somehow distributed evenly inside all of the seat-belt-buckle crevices in my car.

My keys, dunked in the toilet.

The credit card that I’d already cancelled because I’d thought I lost it, but really it was just in a toy frying pan under a plastic slice of pie.

The complete contents of my bedside table scattered across the living room, bathroom, and kitchen.

The “CoComelon” dad’s scary eyes and teeth in all my nightmares.

A stick, four old cigarette butts, two bottle caps, a dog-poop bag (empty), an open bottle of bubbles (full), some other kid’s “Paw Patrol” scooter, and a rusty nail, all gifted unwillingly at the playground.

Incalculable, all-consuming, primordial love.

A partially chewed bite of a seven-dollar muffin, sneezed directly into my mouth.

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