Feb 12 2015
People, including, ahem, family keep asking me “is Jack turning 2 or 3?” I entirely understand why it’s confusing. That today is your 2nd birthday is perplexing. You’ve been here for years. Was there a life before Jack? Who could remember!
You arrived on the scene with a seemingly fully-formed personality. And that personality is…headstrong. You are super stubborn (“where does he get it?” your aba asks looking at me with a look that says he knows where you get it). The general thinking on children is if they want something that you don’t want to give them (a cookie, a toy in a store, fire) that a parent should distract the child with something else. There is no distracting you. When you focus on something it is with all of your being. You know what you want, you know what you don’t want and there is no in-between (thankfully you don’t want fire). It’s like that for clothes, it’s like that for food. Parenting lore says that you must continue to offer foods, even if the kid won’t eat them, because eventually they will. You won’t. You don’t even allow those foods on your plate. You won’t eat for days until you get your favorites (hummus, pickles, hot dogs, pizza and only sometimes pasta). You hate jeans, fleece, polyester, socks, hats and reserve your hottest hate for overalls. Sweatpants and a cotton t-shirt is the standard Jack uniform.
All of this is, of course, sometimes frustrating. But I think of you as this little force of nature, sure of your likes and dislikes, propelling through life confident in who you are. It’s kind of impressive.
I’ve covered your boyness before, you sleep with footballs, you enjoy dismantling things, people gasp (seriously!) when they see your impressive throwing skills at the park. It’s getting more pronounced all the time. Vrooooooom is your favorite sound. It’s all cars, trucks, trains, planes for you. But you have this great, mellow, affectionate side. Your favorite show right now is Daniel Tiger, a calm, sweet show. You watch it snuggled up to me on the couch. You recently saw me holding a friend’s baby. Instantly on guard, you rubbed your head against me like a purring cat. You’ll share your mama but only with your big sister and even then you enjoy disconnecting my hand from hers and taking it yourself.
Oh but your sister and you. You’re crazy about each other. I went into a store with her recently while your aba waited with a napping you in the car. When you woke up, he took you inside. You saw each other and ran into each other’s arms as if you hadn’t just been together in the car a half hour before. People in the story stopped to awww. You call her Buggy (pronounced “Bahgggggggy”) because we called her Sadiebug, then Bug, then Buggy and you took to it. You run around the house calling for her. You play together, you knock down towers she builds and she only says “Awwww, Jack!!!!!!” instead of beating you about the head like I would have done to my brother (sorry, Uncle Ronnie).
You got into nursery school (hurrah!). I’ve been here before and I know where this is going. First you’ll go for 2 half-days, then 5, then full-time, then you’ll be calling me weekly from college out of obligation. Sadie half-waved goodbye at me and never looked back. Maybe you will too. But I can’t help but hope you’ll be a little sadder to leave me than she was. She’s the first-born, the trailblazer, mature before her time. You’re my baby, my little boy, the one with the gooftastic smile (below), the one who still puts his head on my shoulder whenever he’s sad and runs toward me to kiss boo-boos when he falls (often). Recently, in one of those fast conversations that parents with limited amounts of time have, I said “ok, so now about Jack…” “Yes, Jack, I say keep him,” your aba said. Ok, let’s.
Happy birthday Jacky!
Some pictures of you:
Disney, Disney and more Disney (you really loved it and while it wasn’t the first choice trip of your aba and me, seeing you guys so happy made it almost, sort of, nearly worth it):
The long way home: