Motherhood

My Kids’ Hilariously Passive Aggressive Notes

My Kids' Hilariously Passive Aggressive Notes

Five-year-old Anton and nine-year-old Toby mostly get along well, and watching their friendship develop is one of my life’s great joys. HOWEVER. Things don’t always go smoothly, and the notes they write — often in the heat of the moment — always make me laugh. Here are four…

My Kids' Hilariously Passive Aggressive Notes

In which Toby was the only one who cleaned. #bigbrotherlife

My Kids' Hilariously Passive Aggressive Notes

My Kids' Hilariously Passive Aggressive Notes

Toby and Anton got in a door-slamming argument at bedtime, and I stayed in my room, as an experiment at letting them work it out (and also because exhaustion). Everything was quiet for a while. When I finally came out, I saw these notes for Toby, written by Anton, left in the hallway. They included a collection of treasures (including gems!), as an apology gift. “I feel bad of last night!!!” — Be still my heart.

My Kids' Hilariously Passive Aggressive Notes

Toby got in the tiniest bit of trouble for teasing Anton, but in true dramatic fashion, wrote this adorable apology screed, including “to be continued” and “your beloved son Tobias.”

My Kids' Hilariously Passive Aggressive Notes

“Please can I have the phone? Make me happy.” — Anton

What funny things are the kids in your life doing or saying these days? I’d love to hear.

P.S. Toby and Anton in conversation, and kids asking deep questions.

  1. Jill says...

    My 3-year-old daughter got me this morning! I woke her up with a “good morning! You told me you would be a good girl today, and we are running late!” She responded with, “No, Mom! I told you I would be a good girl TOMORROW.”

  2. Alexis says...

    He’s not a great writer/reader yet but here are some doozies:

    Noticing a label/sticker on the train:
    Him: What does that say?
    Me: Gucci.
    Him: Oh. Super Mario’s brother?

    When we encounter a creature or animal that makes us cringe: “Do we need them?” (as in, do we need them as part of the food chain?)

    We watch The Flash on Netflix together and in a recent episode, Barry and Iris finally shared their feelings. It was a very tender moment but the world was falling apart around them.
    “Do they got time for this?? NO! Go save the world, Barry!”
    (aka me in the morning)

    On deciding what to have for dinner on a night dad is working.
    Me: What should we do for dinner?
    Him: Do you want to go somewhere?
    Me: Where should we go?
    Him: Somewhere with wine?

  3. Katie says...

    These are great! I love kid’s notes, it gives you an unexpected window into their psyche.

    Last Sunday we were headed home from having brunch at a neighborhood bar, and my five-year-old daughter said she wanted a paper bracelet like the one I was wearing around my wrist. I told her, “You have to be 21 to get one,” and she responded, “Well why did they give you one?! You’re 34!”

  4. Mary says...

    These are gold! Last week I was calling downstairs for my five year old and he didn’t respond. A few minutes later he ran upstairs and handed me a note that read, “NOT NOW MOM” and hurried back down to his Legos.

  5. Holly says...

    Our cousin’s children came to visit, after a day of eating every sugar filled food in sight…. they wanted more!!!!

    I told the eldest to go ask mummy before having more sugary food…she said no….I said no….a note swiftly appeared

    ‘Holly will not let me and jack eat lollies’

    Simple…. yet so full of rage

  6. CeCe says...

    When my siblings and I bickered with each other, my mom would ask us to say three nice things about each other. My mom always had the best intentions but when you’re a kid and currently annoyed at your sibling, you don’t think to share really nice things. We’d take the opportunity to say things like,

    “I love how much you annoy me.”
    “I like your teeth.”
    “I like how you pinch really hard.”

    Hilariously we didn’t get in trouble for saying these rude things because they were imbedded in a “compliment!” I remember feeling so satisfied as a kid but can imagine the frustration as a mom.

  7. Lana says...

    Reading these made my day — so funny and sweet!

  8. Taylor says...

    Last night I asked my 5 yr old to pick out her books before bed. She was looking at Ada Twist, Scientist and said “I just have to look at the last page because it makes my heart spring with joy!”

    And my husband and I have been together since college (with a couple breakups early on), and she said the other day, “I hear you and Daddy were torn up sometimes.”

  9. Nina says...

    Anton’s note to Toby is exactly how I used to (try and) settle fights with my older sister growing up, i.e. giving her some of my little possessions as gifts !
    This got me wondering if this might be a Cancerian thing.. so I looked it up and it seems that Anton and I are born just a few days apart (well and many moons!!) !

  10. STOP IT. These are so funny and cute <3

  11. Bridget says...

    The note about cleaning the house is 100% me and my roommate and this reminds me children can be adults and adults can be children.

    I am don’t *click* with kiddos but yours make me smile so big from far away. I am so glad you share these things!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      <3 <3 <3

  12. Erin says...

    When my son was two, he looked up at me one evening at bedtime and said, “Mommy, the moon and the stars are the pillows of the night.” My heart is still melted from that one!

  13. Lily says...

    “Please can I have the phone. Make me happy” is DEFINITELY something I have said to my boyfriend on more than one occasion after I have left my phone across the room and don’t want to get out of bed to go pick it up.

  14. Lmfao kids are amazing! Their innocence and kindness 😂

  15. Yesterday we got the dreaded “incident report” from preschool for my 3.5-year-old: she’d bitten a friend. The report from the teacher said: “When I asked her why she bit, she said, ‘My mommy says I’m a shark.'”

    She’s not even 4 and already blaming me…time to put another quarter in the Therapy Jar! ;)

    • Roblynmh says...

      LOL, that is amazing… My daughter did something similar went to the school nurse with a stomachache, and proceeded to tell the nurse it was because her Mom made her eat to much pumpkin pie! 😂❤️

  16. Geneva says...

    I just love your boys! Thanks for sharing these sweet days with us.

  17. Jules says...

    My son five-year-old asked me if I was alive “..back when the grass turned green.” It took a bit of investigating but eventually he explained that he thought that black and white movies and TV shows where made, “…back before there was color…”
    Precious!

    • Summer says...

      I could not love this more! How funny!

      I remember knowing that (the original) Lassie was filmed in black and white and understanding that June Lockhart’s dresses were probably fabulous colors…..but it never occurred to me that Lassie herself was not gray and white. I was SO UPSET when brown and white Lassie appeared.

  18. Allison says...

    My 3yr old is fascinated by “ding bells” – I let him push it at home and it is funny to see him push the button and run into the house to hear it. I never realized how many businesses have them! He spots the intercoms and buzzers everywhere and always asks to “push the ding bell…just one time?”

  19. Janet says...

    I don’t have kids, but I’m close with my friend’s amazing almost-4-year-old daughter, Margaret. They came over on Friday evening, along with a few other friends, and the adults were enjoying some rosé on my front porch. Cue Margaret: “I have to say something… I love you guys. We should all drink and eat but first we need to dance.”

    We proceeded to hold hands in a circle and have a dance party on the sidewalk to the West Side Story soundtrack (her favorite). She’s just the greatest. Proud to be part of her village!

    • shawn says...

      i don’t like most children but that margaret sounds like a winner.

    • Elisabeth says...

      Remembering her wise words for my next adult dinner party: “I love you guys! We should all drink and eat but first we need to dance.” I think they’ll be into it.

    • Janet says...

      She sure is! <3 And she would be thrilled to know her wise words have made their way to other gatherings!

  20. janine says...

    Ha! I only have one child, but Toby’s note reminded me of the way my son will ‘self-punish’ when he thinks he’s done something wrong. Usually I have to tell him not to be so hard on himself rather than punishing him.

  21. Sarah says...

    My 8-year-old is currently obsessed with ancient cultures (she recently spent a few weeks learning about the ancient Romans at school, which just set her off).
    Yesterday she came tearing out of the school and says:
    “Guess what?! We’re learning about the Aztecs now! History is like being transported to ANOTHER WORLD!”

  22. Taysha Riggs says...

    My 3.5 year old is as adorable as he is stubborn. He currently like to promise me alot of stuff but doesn’t know that there should be an action after. If he isn’t allowed to do something I get “Please Momma I promise, I promise,” followed by a big hug.

  23. My mom still has a note framed from my five year old self saying, ‘Mother, I have run away. I guess you don’t want me anymore. Your Oldest.’

    Just to clarify, running away meant going under the desk in the garage.

    • Jessica says...

      Hahaha I love this so much

    • Sara says...

      Haha, my brother and I used to “run away” with equally dramatic notes. We’d go sit in the car, which probably lasted all of 10-15 minutes before we got bored and came home.

  24. Sue Harris says...

    When my daughter was in preschool, we enrolled her in a gymnastics class. She loved most of the class, but for some reason really didn’t like somersaults. She made a sign for the kitchen door saying “No rolls!” with a drawing of kids lining up to do “rolls” and a big red “X” crossing it out.

  25. Kerry says...

    I once knew a little girl what at age 3 or 4 said this to her mum in a room full of people:
    Mum: did you eat all your roll?
    Girl: no, I’m saving it for when I grow up.

    The room was speechless!

  26. Savannah says...

    I am so relieved to see a pile of papers on the corner of the counter- I know you are all real people but you seem so kind and wise that sometimes I think you might not be quite human! And a pile of papers is the most real life thing ever.

  27. Cassandra says...

    My mother brought up the other day that she always thought I would end up in sales- due to my pushy notes I left for the tooth fairy as a child. After learning about some of my friends higher earnings from the tooth fairy I began writing notes under my pillow to ask and bargain for a higher “wage”. Arguments included “this one hurt way more than the last” prompting a multi month negotiation! I feel for my poor mother having to keep a straight face (and also getting up in the middle of the night to write back).

  28. Alison says...

    Oh my, these are amazing – and as a teacher both their lettering is so good! My mom had very few rules for my sister and I growing up, except to get along with each other. Once after we argued, she made us write apology letters to each other. I felt so guilty and wrote a long heartfelt apology to my little sister. She made a card that said “I’m sorry you’re my sister” with a picture of birds pecking my eyes out. It’s one of our favorite things now.

    • Jane says...

      This is hilarious! Thanks for sharing, made my day

    • Kate says...

      Hahahaha – I’m cracking up. This is hilarious!!

    • Laura says...

      This made me laugh so much my 3 year old came over to look!

    • Elaine says...

      Hahahahaha cracking up at 6.30am whilst my 3.5 year old quizzes me about just why I’m laughing so much

  29. PJ says...

    Note from my then-7-year-old daughter.
    “You wish I would go to sleep.
    I wish you were nice” [picture of a heart]

  30. Cassandra says...

    My mother brought up the other day that she always thought I would end up in sales- due to my pushy notes I left for the tooth fairy as a child. After learning about some of my friends higher earnings from the tooth fairy I began writing notes under my pillow to ask and bargain for a higher “wage”. Arguments included “this one hurt way more than the last” prompting a multi month negotiation! I feel for my poor mother having to keep a straight face (and also getting up in the middle of the night to write back).

  31. valentina says...

    “that’s just my big nipple” has me laughing so hard I’m crying, omg

  32. Evan says...

    I saved all these notes and included them in the scrapbooks I made as high school graduation gifts for our 4 now-adult children. (#superexhaustednotsupermom) My two favorites were “Dear Toth (sic) Fairy I lost my lost toth. Please leve me mone anyway.” And “I have run away. You can find me at Graf’s.” Find a plastic storage bin and save these; you won’t regret it!

  33. Nicole says...

    When my 10 year old daughter has something she wants to tell me, but isn’t quite ready to say it aloud, she writes me a letter on her favorite stationery. It’s such a privilege to be trusted with all of her secrets!

    And then my 3 year old is not so delicate. At Target the other day, he wanted a Kinder Egg at the checkout line, but knew I would say no. I glanced over at him amidst scanning, and he had a big lump in his shirt.
    3 year old: What?? I don’t have nuffing. That’s just my big nipple.

    • Maeve says...

      hilarious!

    • Cait says...

      Laughing so hard because I can imagine my three year old saying something equally ridiculous 😂

  34. Nicole Parker says...

    My 5 year old son regarding his 9 month old sister:

    “I don’t trust that baby.”

    LOL!

    • Valeria says...

      I’m laughing!

  35. Andrea Manz says...

    I’m a speech-language therapist at an elementary school. One of my kindergarten students was out for a couple days (which I knew was because his grandpa had died). When he returned I said “Welcome back, we missed you!” He looked at me very solemnly and explained his absence with “Yeah…someone passed out.”

    Kids are the best.

  36. Jenn S. says...

    My mom was having one of those no good, very bad days and to give my dad a heads up when he came home from work, my little brother taped a sign to the garage door that said, “MOM IS MAD”. She and my dad had a good laugh about it and she keeps that note on the fridge to this day!

  37. This is so precious, my heart hurts !!!!!!!!!!

  38. Elli says...

    I work night shifts and so my husband is often the one who does mornings with the kids. I came back after one of those shifts and got in bed, totally exhausted. When I woke up, I found a note under my pillow from my 8 year old daughter which said “Dear Mum, thanks for all of your love and care. I’m moving to the garden. Love, Shira”. She’d gotten into an argument with her dad that morning and this was her goodbye note to me… It was the funniest way to wake up…

  39. A says...

    My mum kept a series of scratchy drawings by my sister and me, aged about 6 and 4, entitled ‘Rude parts of a woman’s body’. Subheadings were mostly self-explanatory (boobs, bum, ‘bits’) but also included were ‘belly button’ and most bewilderingly of all, ‘nostrils’? (Perhaps because it’s part of the body you’re not supposed to touch?) My sister did most of the drawing but I remember the experience well – especially the shared glee of doing something so deliberately illicit and naughty.

  40. Anna says...

    To add – Anton’s drawings of sad faces need their own Instagram page. Amazing.

  41. Anna says...

    These are beyond wonderful.

  42. Meg says...

    One morning I opened the fridge to a sticky note on some cottage cheese.
    In child scrawled letters it read… “Rotin!” Scooping up cottage cheese, when you are expecting vanilla yogurt, certainly would be jarring experience. What a thoughtful warning indeed haha.

    • We used to reuse old opaque cream cheese containers to store food in. I would shake them to find the one with actual cream cheese in it. Imagine my surprise the day I shook one (no movement, must be cream cheese) and opened it to find refried beans.

  43. Bethany says...

    Toby’s neat handwriting descending into large, desperate strokes is everything. There is nothing like being a child with a sweeping, maddening guilt and all you want is for it TO GO AWAY BUT YOU DON’T KNOW HOW.

  44. Margaret Sanford says...

    my 4 year old son recently started pooping on the toilet, it took some coercing (massive understatement). Fast forward a few weeks, today was the first day that he showed some hesitation again, worriedly telling me that “sometimes it hurts” – so sad! Later on, when he decided to go I waited in the other room and a few minutes later an excited voice shouted down the hallway: “it’s working!!!”

    when it comes to my boys, it’s like my heart is just constantly in that that achy, love-swollen place.

  45. Julie says...

    My mom and 7 year-old nephew Ethan were sitting together and somehow the topic of him getting married one day came up. My mom said “I can’t wait to see who you’ll marry!” and Ethan gave her a sympathetic pat on the hand and said “Oh Mom Mom, you’ll be dead by then!” We were howling on the phone.

  46. Ana says...

    Anton’s cartoon “Make me hape” is deeply and broadly funny. It’s epic.

  47. Freya says...

    Ha! This is so timely. Two notes from my 6yr old daughter, about her little brother, hand-delivered while I was ‘trying’ to take a nap yesterday…
    ‘Remy has been very eretateing and very hard to handel when I want to play my myself’
    quickly followed up by:
    ‘Remy can be very anoying so give him five chanses to behave and then let your hart take over. Sighnd by Anouk’

  48. Lisa says...

    The best note I ever received (from a child who did not want to go to bed) said “Dear Mommy, I hate you and I hope you eat a cactus. Love, Celeste”

    • Sara says...

      I am DYING!

    • Jules says...

      .silent laughing…the…tears! 🤣

  49. Sarah says...

    My two year old got me pretty good this week:

    Me: Try some asparagus! It’s fun, it’s like eating grass!
    Her: It’s like grass?
    Me: yeah!
    Her: I don’t like grass.

    Touché.

  50. Kayla says...

    I am a 4th grade teacher, finishing out the school year!! I got an email from a student today asking me to help her with something, and then she finished it off with some thoughts on the school year, including how much she loved it and wants to remember it. I was thinking wow, this is SO sweet. But the kicker was when she wrapped up by letting me know I was her SECOND favorite teacher behind her third grade teacher, but then said “that’s a really good place to be!” Hahahhahah I cracked up, but it IS a good place to be lol, 10 year olds will always keep you humble. And, it really was so sweet.

  51. AMK says...

    Awww my heart!!!! Soo precious and innocent 💕💕💕

  52. Robin says...

    Wow! My oldest is just a little younger than Anton (end of July) and he is not writing that well much less reading yet! He can read his name and write with help but anton’s way ahead of him. Nice work Anton keeping up with big brother Toby!

  53. Sarah says...

    Ahhh! Also, when mine was 2 or 3, I said to her, “You’re going to need to have a more patience.” To which she yelled, “I AM NOT A DOCTOR.”

  54. Laura Doherty says...

    i was recently cleaning out a drawer in my childhood room and came across a christmas list i wrote as a kid that my parents saved. it features a scrawled drawing of santa that i did and in big letters i wrote ‘yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!’

    i’m sure my dad would have preferred a bottle of rum to the milk we left out!

  55. sarah says...

    So many funnies!
    My daughter when she was 4/5 holding my face saying, ” Whoooo’s a good mommy? You are! Yeesss you are! Gooood mommy!!” In the exact same lilting of the voice that people use when saying, “Whooo’s a good doggie?” to their dog.

    • Michelle says...

      That is very, very cute.

  56. Lauren says...

    One night, before a mommy and daddy date, I put on red lipstick…somthing I don’t always wear. I came out of our room dressed up while our 4 boys were eating dinner at the table. Whit, 3 years old, asked “mommy, what’s on your mouf?” “I said it’s lipstick, baby,” and kissed the back of his hand to which he replied, “Ohhhh. Issa stamp.” And showed his other three brothers proudly. Lol! (They all needed stamps after that) Then got on the floor and knocked on my wedges and asked, “Dis wood?” Lol!
    Now whenever I wear lipstick, they need a stamp on their hand from kisses.

    • Sydni says...

      Just have to say I am married to a Whit! (Short for Whitney)… happy to hear of another male Whit :)

  57. Denise says...

    My 6 year old grandson had to write an instructional book for a writing project for the last week of kindergarten this year.
    We were looking through his folder and I found the masterpiece entitled “How To Backseat Drive In Mim’s Car“.
    I am Mim…and I may be a bit barn blind but it was quite detailed and well illustrated!

    • That’s precious!

  58. Kumi says...

    When we visited my younger child’s kindergarten class around Thanksgiving they had posters for each child of things that they were thankful for, my daughter wrote:

    “I am thankful for my brother who does everything fun with me. I am thankful for my dad for walking my dog.”

    When I read it, at first I was stunned, and then I laughed out loud, as “her mother,” I didn’t even make the list. My daughter is fifteen now and it’s become an inside family joke- still cracks us all up.

    • Meredith Kremer says...

      at that age i was thankful for unicorns. still a joke in my fam

    • Sarah says...

      We did this in Kindergarten with a painting of our family before some school auction or open house thing. Though I managed to get the hair patches on my bald-in-real-life dad, I made my mom bald, and she worked at the school! Needless to say, there’s an accompanying photo of five-year-old me, replete in painting smock, standing in front of a bulletin board in the carpeted school hallway, painting hair onto my family portrait :)

  59. Kay says...

    This post reminded me of the time when I was a teenager and found one of the exercise books I used to write stories in when I was 6. All in my best handwriting… until I got a few pages further on and saw I’d written – in my favourite yellow felt tip pen, scrawled really hard onto the page because I was clearly so cross – ‘Daddy is stinky and horrid.’ Harsh words!

    • jo says...

      love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. Maggie says...

    These are amazing. I’m the oldest, and when my little sister had a friend over, I would sit outside wherever they were playing (nicely, quietly), and write down everything she said. It would drive her INSANE. It was such a petty game haha.

  61. Gen says...

    Potty training my three-year old son went well, except his refusal to go number two on the big toilet. My favorite conversation from that time:

    Me: You know, buddy, three-year-olds poop on the potty.
    Him, completely straight faced: Some do. Some don’t.
    Me: *speechless*

    I literally couldn’t think of a single intelligent response. This clever little guy has had me laughing ever since! His notes and drawings are hilarious and amazing. My current favorite is when he tries to graffiti his sister’s name on something and blame her for it, but he repeatedly spells it incorrectly and can’t figure out how we know it was him. Kids are the best :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      he sounds so wise! :)

    • Erin says...

      On the subject of kids’ notes and potty training: a friend of mine invented a “potty fairy” who brought candy to reward her younger daughter for “production in the proper location.” Her older daughter decided to help with the effort, and wrote a note to the little sister that said “Dear Lucia, We got to stop pooping in our pants, Lucia. Love, The Potty Fairy.” :)

    • Michelle says...

      “Some do, some don’t.” Can’t argue with that–I love it!

      When my son was 3, his response to a reprimand was just, “I do what I do.”

    • Lauren M says...

      omg your little sage is adorable <3 That is too much!

    • Cymbidy says...

      This is really funny! Sometimes the literal readings just kind of leave you without anything to say.

      It reminds me of my own potty-training story: When my son, S, was three he still wasn’t pooping in the potty. We were outside one day when his aunt said to him: “There’s a dog going poop on the grass! Where do you go poop, S?” My son responded (totally straight-faced): “Out a hole in the back of my bum.” He wasn’t wrong!

  62. Jessica says...

    My favorite note I have received so far from my 4-year old daughter says, “DARN MAMA I LOVE YOU SO SO SO SO MUCH LOVE WAVY” – I read it out loud and told her how much I loved it, and she informed me it said “DEAR” not “DARN.” I made no further comment on her spelling/writing because it is so stinking cute how it is vs what she believes it is.

  63. Rachel says...

    “I feel bad of last night.” My seven year old still uses “of” that way sometimes, and I don’t correct her because it’s so cute!

  64. Katy says...

    Haha – these made my day. My little one is not yet two – so writing is a way off, but I recorded the following for his baby book the other day.

    Mom gets hit by book as it is flung from bookshelf.

    Mom: Ow that hurt!
    Dad: “what do you say to mommy?”
    Little one thinks for a second… “happy mother’s day!” With a gleeful expression showing that he really thinks he nailed it.

    (It was about 2 weeks after mother’s day – we practiced the phrase for FaceTime with grandma)

    Hubby and I laughed too hard to get a sorry out of him.

  65. agnes says...

    Joanna, you have a good writer and a good illustrator at home! I love the last drawing!

  66. Sara says...

    My 7 year old son and I both hate mayonnaise. Once when he was upset with me he wrote, “Mama extra extra mayonnaise.” I added that note to his baby book haha

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahahaha that is perfect! love it. #sickburn

    • Jules says...

      I’m going to sign my emails to my siblings this way when I’m cross with them. Ha! (We all loathe mayonnaise, too!)

  67. Cara says...

    These are so cute. One of my favorites – when I was running late for an appointment and had my little girl in tow, she said “we can always ballet park.”

    • LOL! This took me a second….

  68. Jess says...

    I’m the oldest of 4, so have always had a bossy streak :/ I’m so glad my mom saved some of my notes, they crack me up every time! Off the top of my head, at 6 yrs old: “mom, next time I watch muster Rogers I want to bee ALONE”

  69. michelle says...

    Toby’s “your beloved son” and Anton’s “mak me hape” made my day! So, so sweet. Thanks for sharing. : )

  70. cg says...

    It wasn’t a note, per se, but most definitely a three year old’s way of giving us the (tiny chubby) finger: When my daughter was around three, if she was mad at us, she would go to her room, close the door, and pull her socks off and shove them into the hall through the bottom crack of the door, knowing we were standing in front of her door.

    • Kelsey says...

      This is so sweet and hilarious, I’m dying. Thank you for lifting my spirit with this image!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha KIDS!

  71. Claire says...

    I’m run an elementary school reading program and have banned the phrase “I don’t know” from my classroom. I want to encourage students to make educated guesses, go back to the text for clues, and overall establish grit and perseverance.

    One of my students, a 2nd grader, has had a particularly rough go at it this year. She used to get frustrated when she didn’t know how to decode a word or lost her place in the text. She get short-tempered and occasionally say hurtful things to her tutors and/or me. Throughout the year, we’ve discussed having patience and kindness towards ourselves, giving our best effort, and asking for breaks if we feel frustration looming.

    She’s made beautiful progress and I’m immensely proud of her, both as a reader and as a young women learning to navigate the world. A month ago, she got frustrated at herself like she did at the start of the year. I didn’t say anything to her and her tutor walked her back to class. An hour after her tutoring session ended, she came back to my classroom and delivered a carefully written note:

    “Dear Ms. Claire,
    I know I get upset a little bit but I try to work as hard as I can. Some books stress me out! I will keep trying my best thank you for helping me with my books! Sincerely, *name*”

    Of all the student notes and artwork I’ve received, this one was the most meaningful. :)

    • another Claire says...

      I love this story. what wonderful work you do!

  72. Sarah says...

    Cleaning out my room at my parents’ house when they were about to renovate, I came across a note on the back of an envelope that must have been from when I was 6 or 7, and my sister 4 or 5. It was a “contract” I wrote up and made her sign, promising to never go into my room again without my “permishun”. LOL that was not enforceable…

  73. Katie says...

    My daughter is almost 2 and when she hits her head on something we always say “Oh no! Did you bonk your head?” So now that she understands the power of parent kisses to heal, when she hits her head (or elbow, or knee) she comes running to us saying “Mama, kiss my bonk!” Be still my heart.

  74. Jess says...

    We have some doozies from when my brother and I were little. I think my favorite is his drawing of a house entitled, “House for Sale. Sister Included.”

    • Amy says...

      Ha ha!

  75. Anne says...

    My son asked me if Iron Man irons all the clothes. I wish! That’s the kind of hero we all need.

    • agnes says...

      Love it! ah ah!

  76. Alexa Raab says...

    My son asked me the other day, “Mom, why do you think you are so aggressive in the morning? You’re not like that when we get home from school.” Me: “You’re right. Usually, in the morning, we have to be somewhere by a specific time.” Him: “I think you should try to change your attitude and be less aggressive.”

    • Kerry says...

      Oh my that’s hilarious! I could probably be described in the same way some mornings…

  77. Johanna says...

    The last one is my favorite!

  78. GJ says...

    Nonchalant convo with my daughter while driving down the freeway:

    5 year old: “Mama, God can fix really big problems right?”

    Me: “Yes, that’s true.”

    5yo: “Oh. Maybe he can fix our curtains then.”

    She is savage.

  79. talia says...

    “mommy, is it waffle season yet?” – 4 year old, conscious of eating seasonally :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awwww hahaha

  80. Stephanie L says...

    This last weekend my 6 year old taped a “no parets aloud!!!” sign on his bedroom door when he was mad at me 😂

  81. Ceridwen says...

    I love this so much! My kids write lots of notes too and my six year old has written some songs that are TOP SECRET! Recently she has been writing down orders for what she wants in her lunch box. She too is very passive aggressive in these notes. I love her use of brackets. My favourite one reads- Cheese and vegemite sandwich (use the bread dad bort) carrot baby whole (not cut in circles like you did last time!!) corn chips (nothing extra!! No bother looking!!)
    She uses sparkle gel pens so I love the contrast with the sparkles and being highly assertive and serious. Sums her up! Ha!

    • Sarah says...

      My daughter once left a note at an upscale burger joint on a heart shaped post-it that said:
      ‘The meat is burnt. Please try better’.

      It’s like a slap with a velvet glove ;)

  82. Alexandra says...

    These are amazing! Thanks for sharing. And not to label anyone, but I am so impressed by Anton’s notes!! I’m not around 5 year olds too much, but I can’t believe he can express himself in writing in that way!? Is this common or is he just exceptional ?? Either way, thanks for sharing.

    • Rachel says...

      Exceptional!

    • Carol F. says...

      Not common at all! Amazing training, amazing kids.

    • Lauren M says...

      I meeeean, I get people want to commend Joanna’s parenting skills, she’s obviously an exceptional, wonderful parent! I enjoy reading what she has to say about it even though I’m not one myself :) What stands out to me most is how she’s such a soothing mom… she clearly makes those boys feel safe, loved, and confident. It’s an admirable feat she’s accomplishing, especially since she works full-time.

      So that said, this can be common! My mother is a retired teacher with a master’s in early childhood education, and we’ve talked a lot about children and her career over the years. 5-year-olds can learn to write in sentences with the help of a patient coach! It’s crazy to see how quickly they pick up typing these days, too. Their language comprehension skills are spiking. And of course even if they don’t learn until later, that’s ok too. Like someone commented above, re: her son’s observation about getting potty trained by age 3, haha — Some do. Some don’t. :)

    • Laura says...

      Second the “this can be common” comment! I used to teach kindergarten, and five year olds are definitely capable of this level of written communication, with exposure and guidance.

  83. Zulema says...

    So adorable 💖😢💜

  84. Leigh says...

    So hilarious! I hope you keep some of these to show them when they’re older. My mom did that for us, and there is nothing funnier to us now. I remember one specifically where my older sister wrote a letter to my mom complaining that I smelled bad and needed a bath! 😂

  85. Megan Powell says...

    These are amazing! I used to write similar notes to my parents and sisters. I have a small collection of them hidden away now, they make me laugh every time I pull them out!

    • Silver says...

      ha – my dad actually kept a collection of mine, he likes to bring them out every now and then and pass them around/read out the highlights. Funny thing was a particularly embarrassing set he misplaced when they moved – he is so gutted and I am sooooo relived (I have a kid now – I couldn’t have those letters getting into the wrong hands). NB I did not hide his collection.

  86. Jaclyn says...

    My daughter can’t write yet – but is saying some very funny things! They other night she asked to watch a TV show. I said “Sure, you wanna watch the mommy dance show?”(and proceeded to dance in a silly way in front of the TV). She said “hmmmm I don’t think we have that show. How about bubble guppies?!” Ha

    also brought be a strawberry the other day “Mommy look its a big strawberry. Big like you!” thanks, kid.

  87. Alex says...

    My three year old has begun stalling tactics at bedtime. The other night she called me 2 minutes after she went to bed because she was scared. I asked her what she was scared of and she said “my laundry basket is PRETEND moving.” The next night her bookshelf was pretend talking. Then her window was pretend opening and her nightlight was pretend flying around the room. How funny that she admits it’s all pretend play, but still thinks she’s being clever enough to trick me into snuggling her for longer.
    Her teacher at nursery school also told me that the other day my daughter yelled “JESUS CHRIST!” and when the teacher asked her if she knew what that meant, she said “it’s what daddy says when he’s driving and another car stops in front of us.” I died.

  88. Heather D says...

    I overheard my four year old talking to his genitalia when going to the potty:
    “Why you got so much pee in you, weenie?? I BUSY!”

    • sara says...

      hahahahahahaha!

    • Nicole says...

      Oh my gosh! Hahahaha

    • Audrey says...

      Hilarious! Potty breaks are such a bummer when you’re in the middle of something important.

    • swoo says...

      oh, too funny!!!

  89. bridget says...

    this wasn’t a note but a conversation my 5yo and i had recently:
    e: “mom, I don’t want to eat that dinner!”
    me: “buddy, you need to eat lots of food and healthy protein so you can grow big and strong!”

    several minutes later after that exchange had long been forgotten:

    e in his sweetest little boy voice: “mommy, do you want me to grow up?”
    me, looking at him with sappy, time-is-going-too-fast, puppy dog eyes: “no, baby, I want to keep you little forever.”
    e: “THEN STOP TRYING TO MAKE ME EAT MY MEALS IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO GROW.”

    touché.. totally have our work cut out for us with this kid..!

    • Carol F. says...

      LOL

  90. Laura says...

    The other day my kids were filmed for a video for the new Mo Willems book (!). They got a small check and I asked them what they planned to spend their share on. While my oldest said (predictably) “Pokemon cards,” my five year old surprised me with “Quiche, of course!” Also during filming he came out with this gem about why writing is hard: “Because you might think a words starts with a letter, but really, it starts with TWO letters.” I can’t keep up with the hilarious things my kids say.

  91. Colleen says...

    We hired a cleaning lady to help out while we have our house listed. Two weeks ago she came in, and my two-year old son looked at me and said “Mommy and Daddy can’t do this?”

  92. Jeannie says...

    “Hold on, I just need to get my crown” – Clara, age 3, as we were heading out the door for a walk around the neighborhood.

  93. Sargjo says...

    From my daughter age 4 when I said we weren’t having s’mores for dinner-three frown faces in circles getting progressively more frowny

    From my son age 4, another pictograph of pain in which I remarked “Ok I see the sad tear and the sad boy but what’s with this crosses-out spider?” His answer “THAT’S your FACE” cue dramatic exit and door slamming. I can’t even remember what he was mad about but I’ll never forget my crossed-out spider face.

  94. Kiely says...

    These are too good- reminds me that kids feel things so strongly, no matter what it is.
    My parents kept a note I wrote when I was around six and angry about something- “You know you aren’t relly the best mom”
    My mom says she’ll still take it out from time to time and laugh about it.

  95. Belén says...

    Love this post! I’m a teacher and I have in my room one of the drawings that a dear student made me two years ago to illustrate in what a sour mood he was that day in class. It’s something like him with thunder in his eyes and hair standing up and says “i’m on a very bad mood today” i thought it was soo funny and super cute cause he behaved well that day but had to express his inside feelings.

  96. Jenn says...

    Our kids are cut from the same cloth! My 8 year-old is king of the note—the apology note, the angry missive, the pleading love letter. As a writer married to an English teacher, I take a lot of joy in his ability (and inclination!) to express himself through the written word. I keep some of them. Future wedding toast material.

  97. Kate says...

    Adorable! I love it when kids add words that make them sound more, I don’t know, royal. Like “beloved,” and what my daughter often adds into her notes: “truly.” When do they hear those sorts of words to know that they mean business?

    Also, the best part of this post may have been the messy stack of papers on the kitchen counter. Now that’s #reallife if I’ve ever seen it! Thank you!

  98. Emily says...

    In the winter of 2015 Boston was under one of the most brutal stretches of snow we’ve ever seen. Our family had basically been housebound for a week and we were being pounded with blizzard after blizzard. We were all growing weary of one another and running out of things to do. My son was 7 at the time and I think we had said no TV after a certain point or no movies or something, I can’t remember. We were all stir crazy and I was still trying to limit media. He went into his room and a few minutes later a note was slid under his door to the hallway that read:

    I hate you Mommy. Daddy Your a JERK.

    About two minutes later I heard another note slide through. This one read,

    I do really love you, Mommy.
    PS: Don’t tell this to Daddy.

    I know I should have been a bit stern but honestly, we were all feeling this way about one another and the notes in the sweet little boy writing with just the few perfectly placed errors made me laugh a lot and still do.

    • Lauren P. says...

      I lived through that brutal winter as well (and promptly moved to the west coast a few months later!), and honestly I don’t hold anyone in Boston’s bad behavior during that time against them haha

  99. Jenny T. says...

    A few recent favorites from my 3 year old:

    Mom, who married you?
    Daddy did.
    Why?
    I guess he likes me.
    More than a hammer?

    Do worms think they’re awesome?

    After reading a book about Frida Kahlo: I wish I had connected eyebrows.

    Feeding a friend’s chickens: Bock it up, chickens!

    • Lily says...

      “Bock it up, chickens!” Totally going to say this to my family tonight when I serve them dinner.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      more than a hammer???? hahaha so cute.

    • Poppy says...

      stealing bock it up chickens!!!

  100. Emm says...

    We recently unpacked some of my old toys for my daughter and came across two identical notes my brother had written on the back of two (very important to me) envelopes: “Go away.”

  101. Annie says...

    When I was 8 my best friend and I had a crush on the same boy. I wrote a note from him to me asking me to run away with him so we could get married. I intended to show it to her to make her jealous. Satisfied with my efforts, I went outside to play, but like a fool, left the note on the coffee table and my dad found it. We went to church with the boy’s family so my dad called his dad to make sure we weren’t actually going to run away (??? As if, dad! Come on!) I was SO mortified and the boy literally ran away from me every time I saw him for at least the next year. 🤦🏻‍♀️ It still makes me cringe thinking about it 20 years later! Haha

  102. Favi says...

    Hi! I have a question for Joanna, is there a reason you don’t capitalize proper nouns or first letters when starting a sentence when replying to comments? Just curious.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh haha! i just write back casually like i do with emails and texts — i truly consider us all friends! :)

    • Poppy says...

      @joanna same! i thought that i had picked this up with the advent of email/text but recently i looked at my HS yearbook (’85!) and apparently i have been e. e. cummings for over thirty years!

  103. Kim says...

    These notes are so cute and hilarious (really hilarious!) but also deeply profound. I am an attorney, which means I manage disputes for a living. So often the complaining person will say to me, “I just want him/her to acknowledge what he/she did and apologize.” More than money or other relief, they want their injury to be acknowledged. The fact that Toby and Anton can sense when they have maybe hurt someone and make an act of contrition is a real emotional intelligence.

    • Heather says...

      I so agree with you. I took a class on negotiation in grad school where the professor said that in many cases that go to court, what people really want is an apology. It’s amazing how much time and money people could save by simply offering a heartfelt apology. (On the other hand, I realize that it’s not so “simple” to acknowledge and apologize for a hurt that you’ve caused, especially if you feel your actions were justified.)

      In light of a podcast episode I recently heard about toxic masculinity, I was also struck by Anton’s ability to openly say, “I feel bad about last night.” As the parent of a young boy, I wonder how I can preserve/foster his ability to be open about his feelings as he grows and faces pressure to suppress his emotions.

  104. Colleen says...

    dying laughing. Thanks for sharing!

  105. Es says...

    Such adorable notes!
    My one year old baby is merely starting to talk, so no notes from him so far.
    Actually, I thought he wasn’t even able to talk yet, as every time I tell him to say hello to his little friends at the playground, he just looks at them and smiles shily. Cue last night when, unaware of my presence, he craweled to the mirror, lovingly caressed his reflection and whispered sweetly, “Allô!”

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh! that is so so so cute. :)

    • Faith says...

      So sweet! My toddler always poses in front of the mirror and grins at himself (in the nude, before bathtime) and it always makes me laugh! I hope he never loses that self-confidence.

  106. Tammy says...

    We got a long note delivered by our 7-year-old daughter about how we were being bad parents. (She couldn’t sleep and was mad that we wanted her to stay in her room.) My husband said to her, “I’m glad that, even though you’re mad at us, you still signed the note ‘Love, Violet.'” She looked him straight in the eye, completely deadpan, and said “I don’t know how to spell sincerely.”

    • Sasha says...

      wow, laughing out loud!

    • Emily says...

      that’s amazing!

    • Amelia says...

      Me too! Laughing so much. Ahahahahahaha.

    • Sarah says...

      I am crying laughing!!!

    • Silvina says...

      hahahaha! <3

    • Karen Canas says...

      HAHA!!! THIS MADE MY DAY!!!

    • Roxana says...

      Oh my goodness. This is AWESOME. LOL!

    • Lily says...

      Haha! What brutal honesty.

    • KL says...

      I just LOL’d so hard hahaha

    • emily says...

      amazing!

    • Eliza says...

      I just snort laughed.

    • Amy says...

      This is brilliant!! Hahaha

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahah BOOM!

    • Malliling says...

      ON.THE.FLOOR Bless you and your daughter. Made my day!!

    • Ali says...

      Read this to my 7 year old who said ‘makes sense, she didn’t know how to spell it’.

    • Erin says...

      Was he able to keep a straight face? :)

    • cindy says...

      i just spit my coffee out at this one. LOLOLOLOLOLOL

    • Sarah says...

      BURN!

  107. Mac says...

    😂😂❤️❤️ the best!
    One I found taped to my bedroom door recently:

    “Lucy has been very nahtee. Georgie has been kind of nahtee.”

    Left anonymously, but my sources tell me it was…Georgie

  108. Jessica says...

    Oh my gosh. Hysterical.

  109. Allyson says...

    I really really enjoy these updates on Toby and Anton. Reminds me of a Word doc my stepmom kept of my little brother’s gems. They called watermelon “lalalamelon” and motorcycles “gogocycles.” There’s tons more. I need to start one for my toddler : ) Her first “love you” was said to a 3 foot tall plastic Snowman I got for free at an estate sale.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that is so so so cute. and lol @ the beloved snowman.

      toby used to call the color orange “win-inge” — it was so so sweet.

    • patricia blaettler says...

      My son used to call Abraham Lincoln “Ham Linkington”.
      And my daughter used to go to “Atlantica” with us. (Atlanta)

  110. Lynn McKoy says...

    My three year old said, “Mommy, take me to the Lord”… my 8 year old interjected, “She means church Mommy, she wants to go to church.”

    • Ana says...

      I love it. Your 8 year old sounds so exasperated in my head.

    • Lynn McKoy says...

      You’re spot on… exasperated indeed. :)

  111. JO says...

    These are adorable! I love the “clean house” note from Toby, haha.
    The other night, I was cuddling with my two year old and said, “Can you believe you used to be in my belly?!” He responded, “Yah, when I was a baby. It was too hot in there. I came out so I could be comfy.”
    :)

  112. Kath says...

    i think i’m gonna bookmark this for when i need a pick-me-up. :)))

    • Lauryn says...

      SAME! I have been irritated this whole Monday and this post TOTALLY turned my mood around! Thank you for that, Joanna! This makes me want one of my own and excited for that one day!

  113. That last note (with that big frowny face!!!) is EXTREMELY me whenever I’m trying to unplug

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha same!

    • Alice says...

      I LOVE that last picture. Plain, simple, perfectly captured :(

  114. Stephanie says...

    Oh my gosh these made me laugh! Also, is it weird that Anton’s drawing in the first pic looks like something I would actually frame and hang on my wall?! That kid has talent!

  115. My two year old is obsessed with Peppa Pig these days, and it’s adorable! Although the other day she saw an episode (or, Peppa-sode, as we call them in our house) where Granny and Grandpa Pig find themselves in a big pile of dirt with flies all over it, and for some reason it distressed her. For the last few nights during our before-bed cuddles she’s been out of nowhere musing, “I don’t want Granny Pig to get in the dirt!” in a sad voice. I tell her that she doesn’t need to worry about Granny Pig, and that she’ll be ok in the dirt, and she sighs and says, “I know…” I’m not sure where her concern for Granny Pig is coming from, but it is so sweet and dear! My little empath… :)

  116. Anna says...

    Well – consider *my* heart melted! And I don’t even have kids…

  117. Paige says...

    These are so precious. I love that they’ve even thought to write their feelings out on paper!

  118. Hilary says...

    Oh I just love these. They make me laugh/cry so hard. I have a 2 year old, so we’re a few years from hysterical written communication, but I CAN’T WAIT.

  119. Gemma says...

    When Errol was five, and upset with me for not letting him watch Paw Patrol or something, he drew a large heart with my name in it and then RIPPED IT UP in front of me and shouted “That’s what you did TO MY HEART!”

    • Jo says...

      That is SO hilarious and dramatic, love it! I don’t know if I would manage to not laugh though..

    • emily says...

      Ha! Kids are so brutal.

    • jane says...

      Learning what you love and how to honor that is such a formative thing that every adult I know has struggled with that it makes me wonder, speculatively, if this is not a legitimate complaint? I don’t have children (but did babysit quite a lot and love children), btw. But how do you know when to set healthy boundaries? If we ‘shred’, lol, the experiences they go this far out of their way to express how much they love, will they grow up as fulfilled?

      Just thinking out loud here really because I know this type of thing is a case by case situation but I’ve been thinking a lot about formative experiences that nurture the ability to know what you love and how to honor that. Anyhoo . . .

    • jane says...

      PS please excuse the rather serious nature of my comment – I love Gemma’s story and all of these are so so great – thanks!

    • Christy says...

      I just cackled out loud. So sweet and sad but also hilarious 😂

    • Oh my gosh my five year-old did that too! He was mad at me so he cut a heart out of paper, CUT IT IN HALF, and handed it to me explaining that I had LITERALLY BROKEN HIS HEART.

      Literally.

      I mean, what 5 year-old talks like that?

      The next day I found the two halves of the heart taped together and stuck to the fridge with a magnet. I guess that was his way of saying sorry.

  120. Jenny says...

    Just a thought; aren’t these notes (especially the third) deeply personal? Is Toby aware that you share these notes online? What may have seemed like the ‘tiniest of trouble’ to you, appears to have been very serious and emotional for your son.

    It would be interesting to see a post on sharing your kids’ lives online, and what your considerations are when you share personal events, or use your children in sponsored post. Just in general, I believe sharing your children’s lives online is something many parents think about, it would be nice to read your thoughts!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hi jenny, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. i hear what you’re saying for sure about personal moments and choosing if/when to keep things online or off. it’s something i also think so much about, everyday, in big and small ways.

      for these, toby actually wasn’t being serious in his note — he gave it to us laughing and wasn’t upset during the situation at all. i know him so well and see him so deeply and know this to be true. he likes to be dramatic and fancy and over the top — it’s a big part of his personality. of course, many things do trouble him, and he can have lots of serious moments, but this wasn’t one of those in real life at all.

      when it comes to their lives, i share bits and pieces that i think are true of childhood, and true for most kids out there (vacation snapshots, funny quips, the outfits they choose for school, etc.) but not more serious or private or personal things like hopes and fears, quiet conversations, etc — and i’ve been naturally pulling back on talking about them as much over the past few years (as they grow from babies/toddlers to older kids), and have actually hired more writers and contributors in large part for that specific reason.

      i hope this helps! that’s how i approach it, but i know all parents are different. thank you so much for asking.
      joannaxo

    • Christy says...

      I feel so much fondness and goodwill toward Toby and Anton, and on this blog I’ve never felt I was intruding into anything too personal or intimate. It’s good to have a community of people who love and admire and want to protect your children. That’s what this space is: a community! I’d be sad and disappointed if Joanna or any of my friends on social media stopped sharing their love of their kids with me, because it really helps me feel connected.

  121. ximena says...

    these are the most adorable notes ever <3

  122. Makes me look forward to the day my kids can write.

  123. Roxana says...

    Oh my goodness. These notes are so precious. Keep them forever!

    Your little wordsmiths. They come by it honestly, huh? :)

    That cleaning note (“let there be no confusion as to who did what!”), and Anton’s “make me hape.” LOL!

    Also, Toby has phenomenal handwriting! Or should I say “Tobias Paul Goddard Williams,” lest you confuse him with another Toby ;). That, or the formality of his full name adds gravity to the thoughts he’s expressing, right? He REALLY means it. SO CUTE.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      definitely because it adds gravity! he LOVES drama! :)

  124. Maria says...

    When I was seven years old, I got mad with my cousin, and I made her a note which said “FOOL!”, and an ugly face illustrating it.
    For the next two years, every time she knew we would see each other, she put the note in her pocket and show me the note – and I, of course, had to apologize. :)

    • Elaine says...

      This has taken me RIGHT back to the feelings of relationships at this age – crying!! 😂

  125. rose says...

    Lol. I don’t have kids myself (yet?). But I do remember one passive aggressive note I once wrote as a kid. My older sister and mom were having some girl time and shoo-ed me and my little sister out of the room. In my rage I convinced my little sister to climb out the window (much more dramatic than just walking out the door) and left a note in the tent my parents had set up in the front yard for us to play with. In the note I wrote we were running off. After half an hour of ‘running away’ (read, wandering around the neighbourhood, with my little sister asking a million questions and being her silly little self or so I though at the time) I’d had enough but upon returning found that they hadn’t even missed us nor found the note. The disappointment was real.

  126. Katherine says...

    Oh gosh, these are so precious and heartfelt. As soon as I saw the title of this post I immediately thought of my dad, who, while we were at elementary school, would play Tetris on our Gameboy and get a new high score, and would leave a Post-It on the screen that said “Beat that!” Talk about passive aggressive, and WAY TO TO DAD, you beat a 7 and 9 year old. Hahaha.

  127. HA! My forever mood is the first note by Toby, replacing Anton’s name with my husband’s.

    • Rae says...

      LOL!

  128. Sara says...

    My favorite note ever from my daughter, written when her brother had gotten in trouble, is on a scrap of paper with Snoopy on the bottom. It says:
    Dear Mom,
    I love you so so much. I’m sorry about Gus.
    XOXOXOXO

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that is so cute.

  129. Meg says...

    “Here tak it” Heart. Melt. These are so beyond adorable. I have two boys, too. But they’re babies. So excited for the adventures to come. Thanks for sharing. xo

  130. janee says...

    “Can I please have the phone? Make me happy.” l. o. l.
    SO smart and funny! To be conscious of his own emotional state at such a young age is amazing. Well-raised boys.

  131. So is this healthy exchange of feelings via written word a class you’d like to give moms like me lol???

    Both of your boys seem to have a sincere conscience, which is so sweet. Excellent parenting, Joanna!

  132. Aleksandra says...

    <3

  133. R says...

    MAK ME HAPE! (Me, to my therapist… :)

    • Micah Lambert says...

      Hahahaha same

    • Lauryn says...

      hahahaha yes! same here too

  134. Not exactly PASSIVE aggressive, but the girl I babysit recently wrote me a note that said, “I don’t want a nose ring like you when I grow up.”
    You do you.

    • I’m dying 😂

    • KC says...

      LOLOL the poor thing had to get if off her chest. i get it, girl. and i second Micah’s “you do you”

  135. Maggie says...

    A note I’ve immortalized on my Instagram:
    Me: Is your waffle tasty?
    6yo son: Yes
    Me: Can I have a bite?
    Son: No.
    Me: Then you can’t have my salad.
    Son: I don’t care.
    Me: Damn, that’s harsh.
    Son circles “damn”: Don’t say that, then I will say it.

    My pottymouth/pottypen did not deserve that waffle. 😂

  136. Marie says...

    These just made my day, thank you for sharing!

  137. celeste says...

    Oh my the full name, as if you didn’t know who he was. Excellent! You can tell their parents are both writers.
    We’re taking our son and daughter on a plane to California this week and I hope that Disney makes them smile.

  138. Jessica says...

    If that’s passive aggressive, then my 3 yo is already at Jewish Grandmother levels in the passive aggressive olympics.
    Every night dad reads the last book, shuts off the light, and I go up to sing a song. And EVERY NIGHT, as soon as I get near his room, he hides under the covers and says “Poor me. I have no one to snuggle with. I’m all aloooooone.”
    Seriously.
    And this is not an isolated passive aggressive incident! He has two stuffed animals – “Mommy” and “baby” Ikea kittens. He’ll throw “mommy” away and then hold the “baby” up to me and say, “Mom, can you help? Baby kitten is soooo SAD!”
    Me: “Why is baby kitty sad?”
    My kid: “Mommy kitty left to go to yoga. Baby kitten is all alone!”

    It’s called self care, kid!

    • Anne says...

      Omg hahahahaha. Grandmother level indeed!

  139. Laura C. says...

    “who did not help” –> that made me laugh a lot, I almost can hear Toby’s disappointing voice 😆

  140. We’ve had some doozies lately! These are from my 5-year-old:

    “Oh Mommy? Is there something wrong with your thinking brain?”

    (telling her younger sister to climb on a precariously balanced object) “It’s okay Mimi, it’s good engineering.”

    “Mommy sure has a lot of makeups to keep her pretty.”

    (angry at me about something) “I’m having my own bad thoughts about you.”

    “I love mangoes all the way up to the solar system.”

    “That’s just the way God made me: to not like tomato soup.”

    “Shouldn’t someone be parenting the sandbox?”

    • Justine says...

      These made me laugh out loud at work – especially “I’m having my own bad thoughts about you”, which is what I think frequently at people while I’m at work, lol.

  141. ale norris says...

    this is just TOO MUCH! i legitimately lol’d at ‘and eficially finished’…i’m sure you’ve touched on this before, but i have kiddos with a 4yr age difference, too, and am curious when they started to get really close?! my youngest is only 6mos old, so my 4yr old son sort of treated her like an inanimate object (like i was just carrying a purse, or an umbrella instead of his sister) up until these past few weeks. now he’s finally enjoying making her giggle and trying to hold her wiggly hand.

    • Alice says...

      I would also love to hear about this! I’m pregnant with my first but at a weird time in my career. We would probably like to have a second, but it’s probably not practical for another 4-5 years, and I’m hoping that is still a close enough age difference that as they get older they can be close. I suppose once they’re adults the age difference won’t matter much, but I’d love them to have a “sibling experience” that I (and my husband) never had.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes! such a good question! for my kids, they’re three years apart, and they got close when they were 1 and 4 (laughing together, having fun, saying sweet things to each other) — but didn’t start playing together until they were a little older. for the first year, toby would have pretty happily sent anton back to the hospital. i’m curious about others! :)

    • Kumi says...

      I think it depends on the personality and temperament of the kids, I have two kids, and there are 8 years between them; but, they are extremely close. My son would hold my daughter’s hand when they would cross the street until my daughter was 8 or 9. My son is 23 now and my daughter is 15, when he came home from college they would canoe and hike, and she leans her head against him when they watch movies together. My daughter often skypes with my son when she is doing her homework. My son brought his sister first to meet his girlfriend. I found the difference in age doesn’t matter, as the bond can still be very tight.

    • Michelle says...

      My boys are the same ages as Toby and Anton so these posts are really fun to read. Mine have always been close but my sense is that past behaviour is not really predictive when it comes to sibling relationships; they will unfold on their own.

      We hope our boys will be lifelong friends but can’t make that happen; all we can do is foster the important life skills one learns through having a sibling: sharing, negotiating, and respecting differences. Reading the book “Siblings Without Rivalry” was really enlightening in learning to resist the urge to referee minor disputes (the authors would heartily approve of Joanna’s “close the door and ignore” tactic!). Usually my kids find some sort of silly, creative resolution to their dispute that a parent would never think of; one minute they’re at each others’ throats and the next they are madly giggling conspirators.

      Joanna, it would be great to see a post on how Toby and Anton resolve their differences!

    • ale norris says...

      kumi – how sweet! I love this, and hope to be able to foster a similar relationship with my kiddos.

    • mikki says...

      My first daughter is 4 years old and her baby sister is a month old. I don’t have too much experience just yet but big sister loves her new baby and is still proudly telling everyone she has a baby. She’s quite understanding of baby’s needs and is very helpful when she wants to be. Sometimes she’s a little frustrated and will wake baby up almost on purpose with noise but I think the frustration is normal. Waiting until she was older to have another baby was definitely the right choice for us. My husband has a 4 year gap with his brother and thinks it is perfect. I have two years gap with my brother and while I think its lovely, I didn’t want to have a baby when I had a two year old! Hope that helps somewhat. I feel like if things continue how they are now, my girls will be great friends.