Today you are thirty eight months old.

I have decided mothering you is a lot like driving a manual transmission. For the most part, I'm used to it and it's automatic. I shift, I drive, I pass you stuff, I shift, I change the music, I shift, etc. Not too hard, just have to pay attention. And, for the most part, we never hit traffic, so it's all pretty easy driving.

But if we do hit traffic? Put it in first, creep forward, pull it out, wait, put it in first, creep forward, pull it out, wait. And on and on. Driving a manual in stop and go traffic is the worst. At some point in traffic I always scream in my head, WHY CAN'T EVERYONE ELSE BE DRIVING A MANUAL.

Not, why don't we have an automatic. No. Because, just like with you, I wouldn't trade my manual for an automatic. I don't want a different daughter. But I do wish other drivers would understand how hard it is to maintain a low, slow speed in a manual. I do wish other mothers knew how hard it is to hold this all together.

All children have needs, yes, but yours are more. You need more energy from me and more attention and more patience and more help and more. And there are some days - those trafficky days - when I just don't have it in me to keep giving more. And that's when I wish I didn't feel so alone, like the only one driving manual.

Happy Thirty Eighth Monthday.