Happy Birthday, Jack! (A little belated, as his birthday was November 2.) Jack is FOUR now, can you believe it? They say it goes so quickly, and in some ways they’re absolutely right.
If you know Jack personally, you know he has only the best intentions. He wants to please everyone around him and his biggest concern is having fun! He is loving and kind and obedient. He always tries to make life happy for all of us, and always has the biggest smile on his face. His laughter is something that if you’ve heard it before, you can hear it in your head when you see a picture of him.
Oh Jack, how I love you so.
His speech is coming along really great! He was recently evaluated by his speech teacher to speak (legible to everyone else) 5-6 word sentences! This is HUGE for us — just a year ago we were still trying to get him to say words like “ball” and “car”. He said basic sentences (the same rehearsed ones) like “I yuh you, Mom.” and “I see Anson baby! Baby happy!” And today, a year later, he’s able to say funny things like, “There was a dinosaur in my room. The shadow right there is a dinosaur! Do you see the little dots on the wall? That’s a happy dinosaur. We need to pray to make the dinosaurs go away.” We’re still working on past-tense and present-tense (he tends to say things like “I did play on the slide at preschool today!” and “I did color with Miss Connie.”) but that will come in due time. Right now it’s just really exciting to have a buddy to talk to all day!
He loves to eat, just like any other boy (or kid?). His favorite food is eggs, and it’s an especially good day for him when I dye the eggs green with pureed spinach. ;) (His favorite color is green. Some kids have a favorite character, but we’re not into characters at our house. Instead, everything has to be green.) He also loves greek yogurt, and would eat a peanut butter & honey sandwich (with the “green” bread – Milton’s organic seeded bread comes in a green package) every single day for lunch if I let him. And usually I do. ;) He also really loves to juice lately! He always asks for more carrots and more kale. LOVE my little veggie-eater. He loves broccoli, edamame (he’s been known to eat almost half a package before we cut him off!), carrots, hummus, cantaloupe, pineapple, (sometimes) strawberries, and beans. Oatmeal is a favorite, but admittedly it makes his tummy hurt sometimes (I suspect a mild allergy to it for he and I). And just like any normal kid, he loves ice cream and brownies and all kinds of sweets. Except packaged ones – I think because I’ve never bought them, he never developed a taste for them? He hates gummy candy, fruit snacks, and fruit leather. He could eat bunny crackers all day long — they’re his special treat when Owen has an especially long doctor’s appointment or we go to Sea World. And like most kids, some meals we really have to encourage him to eat, but “take five big bites and then you can be done!” usually works. :)
He, just like most boys, loves cars and trains and airplanes. If it has an engine and wheels, he loves it. Lately he’s been REALLY imaginative, which is funny because for the first 3.5 years of his life he wasn’t at all. I was wondering if he was ever going to play pretend! He builds with his legos every day, and has quite the collection. (Forever grateful to Tyler’s old boss who gifted us their legos when their son outgrew them! They’re the favorite toy at our house and will be for many, many years to come.) He’s always building airplane-tractors and trailers and firetrucks. Lately he’s been walking around with his arms spread out and saying, “I’m an airplane! See my lights, Mommy? See the lights on my hands?”
We don’t watch much TV, but his favorite shows/movies are Chuggington and Planes: Fire & Rescue. He is also really into Little Einsteins but we don’t get that channel anymore so Mommy cut him off from watching the same 6 episodes on repeat. ;) It’s funny because most kids totally zone out in front of the TV, but Jack actually learns so much from what he watches! It’s really helped his vocabulary and has expanded his view of the world around him.
I feel like we’re in the golden stage right now where Owen isn’t mobile yet, and Jack goes to preschool twice a week, can go to the bathroom completely on his own, can take a shower/bath (almost) completely on his own, can (almost) fully get dressed by himself, and can help out around the house with chores and cooking. He can even fill up his own water cup at the fridge now. What does he need a mom for again? :)
I feel like all parents say this about their kids (and they should!) but Jack is seriously such a joy to be around. The phrase I’d characterize him with this past year is, “Oh! I have an idea!” (and spoiler alert: the idea usually involves a rope, haha!) He’s a little ball of sunshine, and now that I’ve learned what “type” he is, I find there are less tantrums and less frustration from both of us when I remember and cater to what he needs. (The book The Child Whisperer really helped me — before Jack learned how to talk, he was a type 2 sensitive child, but once he started talking he blossomed as a type 1 fun-loving child. I was so confused and didn’t know what happened to my quiet little boy! He’s still a mix of both, but is dominant type 1, which means I’ve learned that in order to get things accomplished — like picking up toys or getting dressed after bath — I need to make it fun for him. Life changer.)
What a blessing it has been to have you as the oldest child in our family, Jack. You’ve been through a lot, and still have a lot left to go through. Your siblings have needed and still need so much love and support from you, and you are more than willing to give. I love that you don’t have a mean bone in your body. You want the best for everyone — recognize what a beautiful gift that is. Love you, honeyman.