My Little Dandelions – Jackie’s Update
They’re growing like weeds…except Fin of course, who weighed 20.7lbs at her pediatrician appointment last week! Shane, as expected, was a string bean. All 3 kids are doing great right now.
I’m going to do a separate update for each kid since it’s been awhile and this one is for Jack, who will turn 4 in just 2 months. Side note: the hairdo is not our doing. Jack does NOT want his hair cut, and it feels like we’d be violating him if we held him down to trim or shave it! So, he’s rockin’ the mullet. What can I do? A small slice of self-expression never scarred anyone for life, right (unless it was a permanent tattoo or something…don’t do it Jena! ;).
If you remember awhile back I mentioned Jack was going through a little funk; he seemed to withdraw a little after all the Match Day excitement. We never really explained anything about Match to the kids; it didn’t cross my mind that they’d understand anything we could tell them. I just sensed was from all the stress and chaos, but then, about 2 weeks after Match, he was watching a PBS show. There was an ad on tv for a live Disney show of some sort. Towards the end of the ad, the voice listed the cities the show would be coming to, and amongst them was Milwaukee. Jack immediately looked to me and yelled “hey mom, that’s where you’re moving!” Everything suddenly clicked and my heart completely sank. I said “Jack, you are moving there WITH me. We’re all moving there, as a family. I’d never move someplace without you, Shane, Fin, and daddy.” His face lit up when I told him that, and he said “I’m coming too?!!” He jumped up and down, and I squeezed him so tight. All that time, my poor little guy thought all that excitement was over me planning to move away from my babies. I have felt so awful about that.
Lately, Jack has been doing really well. We’ve been spending some good time together, snuggling, cooking, writing stories, making pictures to go with our stories, watching movies together with popcorn at night…phew. He let me hold him like a baby and sing lullabies to him in his bed last night. It was adorable, and it made me SO happy.
Jack continues to amaze us on a daily basis. The kid is SO smart, and the aspect of his intelligence that is the most stunning is that it is SO different from any form I’ve ever met before. His mind is so abstract and creative, yet he can also think in very concrete terms. He’ll learn something in one context and instantly begin trying to apply it to others. As an example, I was telling him something as I put him to bed last night. He had an alternative explanation, and he’d recently heard the word “hypothesis,” I think it was on Sid the Science Kid or something. PERFECT application, he said “no, wait mom, I have a hypothesis,” and then he went on to share it. If he hears something ONCE, he’s got it. It might be days before he pulls it out again, but when he does, it’ll be at exactly the right moment. He still talks like Dora, as people have told me, with his cute little pauses between words, a result of completely deliberate speech, but his vocabulary is incredible.
Jack is obsessed with post-it notes, and he’s constantly asking “hey mom, how do you spell computer/phone/chair/etc” so he can write the word on the post-it and label the object. He writes all his letters entirely himself now, and they are actually very legible with the occasional backwards j or a thrown in for cute measure. His other obsession is recycling. We recycle, but I wouldn’t say being green is something Travis and I are die-hard about. It’s not that we don’t think we should be, it’s just that sometimes when you’re overwhelmed with life as it is, you need to pick your battles. But Jack is CONSTANTLY reminding us not to waste water, or picking up trash at the park. My knee-jerk reaction is always the same: “eww, Jack NO! Don’t touch that; it’s garbage.” He’ll then say “yes, it’s garbage and we must to throw it away / recycle it.” [Note: that’s verbatum. Jack frequently uses the word “must,” and speaks in a strangely formal way. Don’t know where he gets that since it’s not how Travis or I talk, but it’s adorable.] I largely credit Wall-E for his environmental consciousness. Does anyone else have kids who love that movie despite the fact that there is virtually NO speech and it’s slow as heck? It doesn’t even hold my attention, but it’s 1 of my kids’ favorite movies.
Another recent interest of Jack’s is rock’n’roll. He requests it every time we get in the car. Specifically, he asks for “Poy-el Jam,” as he pronounces his favorite band’s name. It’s hilarious.
Jack has also really taken to Henny. He’ll come down from nap, walk straight to Henny, tell him “I missed you so much Hen,” and he’ll give him a little flat handed pat pat on the head. Watching Jack pet a dog is one of the most awkward interactions in the world. And if Henny reacts and licks him, or approaches him, or tries to get closer, Jack flips and starts yelling “Henny NO!” It’s hysterical. He really does love Henny, but he has this weird thing where he just does not want to really touch or be touched by a dog. Speaking of Hen, this is how he likes to sleep sometimes…like the dead:
I’m just so glad Jack is in a great place right now. He talks about starting school all the time, which won’t happen until the fall. We’re starting him in a 3yo program so he’ll be among the oldest in his class, which is what we want for him. He’s a fantastic big brother to Shane and Fin, and he’s really interested in being a “helper” to us too. I know we all think our kids are gifted in some way or another, and every kid truly is gifted at something, but I just can’t say enough how amazing a gift this boy is to our family. He’s so unique in such an awesome way.