Frank the Tank.

Dear Son #3,

On January 9, 2023 at 10:38 am, I hovered over the “submit” button, took a deep breath, closed my eyes and hit it. You were officially registered to go to school in September. I breathed out slowly and looked over at you, creating a large family of venomous snakes out of Play Doh, you were blissfully unaware that come September our lives were about to change.

This is it.

This is my last baby going to school.

My Frankie is going to JK.


While I’m not sure whether to jump for joy or sob into the booger-smeared couch cushions every time I think about it; I have come to realize that there is going to be both joy and grief in this transition.

Joy in that from 9-4 each day, I can actually get work done without being interrupted or told that you can do it better; I can sit and eat my lunch still hot without having to answer another question; I can listen to music, podcasts or just relish in the silence; and I don’t have to have in-depth arguments about why you can’t live off of Baby Bels, peanut butter toast and Kraft Dinner for the rest of your days.

Grief that I won’t have my little “helper” around to make my chores and work that much more challenging and that much less efficient; that I’ll be only making lunch for myself not fighting with you to maybe try a piece of apple; that I won’t have the familiar tune of Paw Patrol, Gabby’s Dollhouse or Chico Bon Bon playing on repeat in the background; or that my arguments with you will just be that less frequent. I will grieve these things as well as all of the other shenanigans we would get up to between the hours of 9am and 4pm. As you know, there are too many to list.

You are the one boy that I have spent the most time with on a one-to-one basis. Pieter got robbed from that when William came, and then William got robbed when Covid (AKA virtual learning) came. So you and I have come to develop a good routine, a [reasonably] good understanding of one another, and generally a good laugh during our days together. So while I will be joyful in having some time to discover myself again, I will also be grieving. Guaranteed.

It is a well-known fact that the babies of the family definitely get away with murder and so much more. You are no exception, and while I try my upmost to discipline you in the same way as your brothers before you, it’s literally impossible. Of all the boys you are by far the craziest and yet have the amazing talent of reading the situation and responding appropriately. I can usually look past the cute smile and batting eyelashes at this point but it’s when you throw down a Famous-Alexander-One-Liner-While-Shaking-Your-Butt-With-A-Hug-Finish when you get me each and every time.

Right from the start you were known as Baby A, after all, Alexander is a bit of a mouthful for both children and adults alike. Last summer it was time for a new nickname because you really weren’t a baby anymore and would proclaim this loudly to anyone who called you one. Nothing seemed to roll off the tongue really until one weekend at the trailer happened. That was the weekend we finally secured a new nickname.

It was the long weekend in July and you were down by the dock with Daddy on the boat. Out of nowhere a hoard of wasps that had a nest hidden somewhere attacked you, stinging you both in the arm and you twice by the eye. After rushing to discover that I, in fact, did not have children’s Benadryl in my extensive first aid cupboard, I gave you a portion of an adult’s one and prayed your head wouldn’t swell up like a giant melon. ***Picturing something from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory here*** After about 2 mins of crying and a short nap on my shoulder, you were raring to go again. Unlike Daddy whose arm looked like The Hulk’s minus the green. The next day we decided to go on a kayak ride and your brothers wanted to go explore “Pirate Island”, a small inlet in the lake. You, not wanting to be outdone by your brothers by any stretch, were game on. While they both kayaked back to the trailer to get some crocs on their feet, you scoffed at them and went ahead bare foot. I’ll never know how many sharp stones you stepped on, how many twigs got stuck between your toes, or if you stepped in any animal poop. All I know is when you emerged the other side belting your distinct warrior cry.

Frank the Tank was born.

From there you really fell into the role of your new nickname. Not that you had any trouble finding your voice before, but if at all possible you REALLY found it. You also became very inquisitive, curious, argumentative, and demanding. All very admirable traits when you’re the king of a country or supreme chancellor of the universe, sometimes slightly exhausting when you’re a three-year-old. Your zest for life, willingness to try anything and everything (except fruit and vegetables) and surprising assertiveness makes for the most entertaining of exchanges and adventures. You are not afraid to tell people how you feel, crack at a joke at both appropriate and inappropriate times, or throw one of your brothers under the bus for something you did. All in all, we think you’re pretty amazing. And I think you know that too.

Today you are four and I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. One minute you’re a wee newborn being poked in the face by two older brothers and the next you’re in between them in the backseat poking them. I hope you know how loved you are Frank the Tank, and while I know I will be doing a weird combination of sobbing and celebrating the day you climb on that school bus, you’re going to do so great at school. With you there, I know I will no longer have to worry about Pieter or William getting any trouble and I will also be able to deepen my relationship with the principal through more phone calls and in-person meetings. I know you won’t disapoint.

Happy 4th Birthday Frankie, we love you so much!

Love Mommy,


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