Dear Sixteen Months,

Hi! How are you? What? No! I come in peace! Please. Stop. The. Screaming. I’m not going to hurt you! Come back! I’d like to make a deal! I just want my little boy back. You know the one? He lived here just a few weeks ago? Do you remember him? Yes?! You do!? Great!

Well I’d like him back. Can we trade? I’ll throw in yogurt and your sister’s microphone.

I liked the little garbage disposal that smiled at everything and listened without a fuss when I said no. The one that didn’t scream a scream to wake the dead every time I walked out of the room or took my phone from or put in the car or took out of the car or looked at funny. The one that wasn’t quite so adept at things like climbing onto chairs, and then tables, and then throwing himself off.

I’m not ready for you, Mr. Sixteen months. You think your big stuff, but you have no words only screaming frustration when I can’t accurately ascertain the inner workings of your toddler mind. You climb, you scream, you defy me. What? He was my little angel, he did no wrong. Who are you!?

Just to get things straight, I love you too. I’m just anxious to get away from you at times these days, did I mention the screaming? I think I may have.

I’m ready to negotiate a release of your captive. Call me. You know on that iPhone of mine you so love to, uh, rearrange for me.

Slightly stressed and ready to make a deal,