And then there were three

Dear Littlest Prince,

I believe you may be a surprise, certainly not to yourself – that will come later – but to some of my readers, to some of even the most faithful of the kingdomites. We didn’t plan on keeping you a secret and we didn’t mean for it to come to this, where you are here and there are still several people near and dear to us that likely didn’t even know you were coming, and yet here you are, here we all are. This year has been a strange one. Your arrival is most definitely one of the bright spots.

Your brothers, the Little Prince and the Littler Prince, already adore you and, of course, already want to know when you will be able to play. They stayed up late to see you, to say hello to you, literal seconds after you were born. The Little Prince helped cut the umbilical cord. They both made toys for you, each hoping you might grab on to the one they made first. They have helped pick out some of the outfits for your first days. They have watched and asked questions and been present in those days. Yes, they already adore you.

Oh, the magical years you have ahead of you. Three brothers, with worlds to conquer for and against each other. Three brothers with mischief to make and wrongs to right. Three brothers in a family that embraces adventure.

The Queen and I, the humble Jester, promised adventure in our vows to each other, and we have promised it to each of our sons in turn. The adventures won’t always be fun. The adventures won’t always be the ones you want to have. That isn’t the point. That isn’t what the promise is about.

You will see amazing things. You will travel. You will discover. You will learn and love and lose and live. Music will be a part of it. The mountains will be a part of it. The ocean will be a part of it. And you will help us find new paths to walk. We will walk them together, the five of us. For no matter what the adventures bring, we will see them through as a family. That is part of the promise as well.

So, my dear Littlest Prince, welcome to the family. You are loved more than this writer could attempt to capture with mere words. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings, and the day after that, and the day after that…


Daddy – Matticus – The Jester

On being seven

Dear Little Prince,

What a ride?  What a journey?  What an adventure?

Yes, yes, they aren’t always good adventures… that’s not the point and I think you are now aware enough and old enough to begin to understand that.  We adventure in this kingdom.  Sometimes those adventures are fun.  Sometimes those adventures are work.  Always, always, we do it together and see our way through.  That’s at the core of being part of this family.

First grade and a pandemic.  A growing little brother that adores you and tortures you in equal measure.  Star Wars, Harry Potter (again), bike rides, hikes, math worksheets, and the never ending stream of questions.  They whys, the whats the hows, the whens.  Never ending.  Your curiosity is as fierce as it has ever been, as fierce as your confidence and stubbornness.  It is these qualities that will have you rise up to rule the world one day.  I joke but I’m serious at the same time.

You’re still a weed, getting taller and faster and stronger and learning all the time, sponging in the obscure facts from the history of the world audiobooks you listen to on repeat.  You still struggle with some lessons and most of those are the ones we all struggle with: patience, impulse control, patience, empathy and patience.  Don’t worry overly much about that, though.  In time, you’ll learn these lessons as well as any of the rest of us have.

I know I’m too hard on you sometimes and I hope you can forgive me.  I see this greatness in you and I want to get every bit of it to come out and shine.  So about that patience?  Yes, I know, it is one of my faults as well.  As I said, we all struggle with it at times.  You’ll get there.  I know you will.

You’ll get there flying on your bike and running up those trails.  You’ll get there with your lego learned engineering and artistic skills that already outstrip my own.  You’ll get there with your passion and confidence.  And then you will shine, shine, shine till I go blind from the burning brilliance and my refusal to look away, out of pride and love and my own stubbornness.

You keep being you.  Trust in that.  You’ll see.  You will move mountains, as they say.

Love you kiddo,



The Jester

On being three

I’m a little behind on these posts. Life in the kingdom, as everywhere, has been strange of late and the change to my routines in that strangeness took away my normal wiring time. Plus I forgot.  It happens, you know. Then I was reminded and here we are.


Dear Littler Prince,

So this is three?  Wild and amazing and cranky and empathetic and constantly surprising.  The current state of affairs has certainly thrown what little routine you’d grown used to out the window and you just shrugged your shoulders and carried on.  Part of that is having your brother around, of course, but most of that is just who you are.  You take things in stride, come what may.  That doesn’t factor in when you are tired or hungry.  Then the raging tantrums shake the walls and rattle the windows.  That’s all part of it.  Normal.  Expected.  And perfectly fine.

Your laugh, wild like your hair and your exuberance, is perfectly fine as well.  It also shakes the walls and rattles the windows and reverberates with a joy that is nothing short of infectious.  It fills this house and bursts free at the seams.  I hope you laugh that way forever.  I hope your world continues to be so full of things to laugh at.

You took to your scooter the way your older brother took to his bike.  You zoom and swerve and fall and pick yourself back up and zoom off again.  Faster and more fearless with each passing day.  It too is a joy to behold.

Then the tantrums come and you curl your fists up and your eyes well with tears and you scream and scream and scream.  Those will pass, of course.  They always do.  In the moment and in general.  Though, perhaps I’ll miss the times when the solution to those is a hug and a cuddle, or a silly face made in passing, or any of the other little things that can often cheer you up that you will one day outgrow.  The transition will be slow but it has already begun.

I will miss those days more than you… and this isn’t about me, so I’ll move along.

What this all comes down to is you are learning (exponentially), you are growing (like a weed), you are silly (perhaps like a certain Jester), you are crazy (like all of us here) and, to overuse the word, a joy.  It’s as simple as that.

And long may that continue.

Love you kiddo,



The Jester

Jesterly Challenge Month – November 20th

We have another very special request today, from the Little Prince’s Gramma, who wanted to know what the Little Prince would write about his Momma, Daddy, and his day-to-day life in the kingdom.  Give it a read and let me know how I did in the comments.


I asked the Little Prince some questions so we could get his unbiased and unfiltered words to describe his life (wholly untrue, I’m making this up as I go), and here is the transcript of that conversation:

Matticus (M): Hey, Buddy, how are you today?

Little Prince (LP): Good.

M: Should we just jump right in to the hard questions?

LP: Sure.

M: Okay, how would you describe your life?

LP: So.  So.  So.  So.  So, listen.  It’s like.  So.  So.

M: I’m sorry, you seem to be having a hard time coming up with the right words; let me try something different.  What is your favorite part of the day?

LP: Nokies!

M: Nokies?

LP: Nokies!!

M: Okay, what else do you like about your typical day?

LP: So.  So.  So.  So, listen.  Story time.  Book time.  Reading time.

M: Are those all the same thing?

LP: No!

M: Really?

LP: No!

M: Can you say anything other than “no?”

LP: Yes!

M: You seem rather excited.  What’s with all the yelling?

LP: I’m not yelling!!

M: Okay, moving on, what do you have to say about Momma?
LP: Nokies!

M: Anything else?

LP: Yes, she’s the best.  I love Momma.

M: Can you elaborate on that?  Why do you love Momma?

LP: …

M: Do you not understand the question?

LP: No.  Yes.  No.  So.  So.  So, listen.  Momma, momma, momma, mommommom, momma!

M: You are rather fond of her.  Would you consider yourself attached?

LP: Where is Momma?

M: Downstairs working on a project.

LP: Let’s go find her.

M: Can we finish this interview first?

LP: Momma?!  Where are you?  Momma!!!

M: It’s okay, kiddo, she’s downstairs.  We’ll go find her in a minu

LP: Momma!!!

M: Kiddo.  Just one more question.  Can you answer one more question?

LP: …

M: What do you have to say about Daddy?

LP: Momma?

M: No, Daddy?

LP: (lip quivering)  … Mom…Ma?

M: Kiddo, she’s downstairs.  We’ll go find her in a moment.  Can you answer my question?

LP: So.  So.  So.  So,  listen.  Momma?

M: …

LP: Daddy?

M: Yes?

LP: Can we go find Momma?

M: Okay, kiddo.  Let’s go.

LP: Nokies!!!

Jesterly Challenge Month – November 19th

Today’s challenge came in via the book of faces from the one and only Heidi VelvetShock, aka The Purple Lady, aka my Auntie DeNyse.  She wanted me to opine on the Only Child Syndrome.  I did some research and have written the following essay based on her request.  Let me know how you think I did in the comments.


Stereotypes are an interesting phenomenon.  Once they are established they are nearly impossible to get away from, and while they can be created very quickly, those that can eventually be overturned, take years to undo.

In the case of children without siblings, a single study (not well constructed or analyzed) led G. Stanley Hall, a renowned child expert in the late 19th century, to proclaim it a disease: Only Child Syndrome.  These children are often labelled as selfish, are perceived to have difficulty making friends, and are deemed much more difficult to raise.

This is an interesting outcome of the study, considering its only true conclusion was that teachers were more likely to label these kids as “peculiar” and “exceptional,” and more often than not these kids performed very well academically and would do everything they could to please their parents.  Yet, the negative connotations of the stereotype persisted.

In a historical context, families with only one child are extremely rare.  Average family sizes have been shrinking recently (though, there is some debate on whether it can be counted as a trend or just a temporary statistical anomaly), and more research has concluded that the “spoiled brat” stereotype for only children is a fallacy.  Despite the increased prevalence of only children in our societies and the scientific studies that have concluded there is “no evidence of any greater prevalence of maladjustment,” the stereotypes persist.

Interestingly enough, in the cases where the stereotypes hold true, it is likely a result of misinformation and societal pressure.  If a child is told he is spoiled over and over again, they are likely to begin to believe that.  Or, if parents are told that they are spoiling their child, they are likely to change their behavior to ensure they aren’t.  These are not new problems.  These are issues that only children and their parents are fully aware of do their best to combat.  But, they can’t do it alone.  A quick search on the internet or perusal of library shelves shows the prominence of the discussion around this topic.  However, the stereotypes persist.

So, how we do fight these unfair stereotypes?

It starts with those of us on the periphery.  We have to stop ourselves from spreading rumors, conjecture, and untruths.  We have to help unravel these stereotypes so, over time, they will be forgotten in future generations.

It would also be wise to question all stereotypes your encounter in your daily lives.  When were they started?  Why?  How?  Is there any truth to them?  Strip away all your preconceived notions and view the world with open eyes.