Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Who?

Animal impersonations to add to the list:
Owl
Santa

Tiny Hellos

Jackson has learned his first joke.
It began on the way to the airport to pick up Sylvie.
In the dark, from the back seat I hear:
"mama?" so quietly....
Then...
"Mama?"
"Ma-Ma!"
"MAMA!"
I turn around in my seat...
"Yes, Jack?"
"hi." he grins back, so very pleased with himself.
Of course, we also find this very funny and laugh as his tiny hellos are just adorable and so cheeky.
He repeats the joke with Eric as well.
He repeats it all the way to the airport and on the way back.
He repeats it on the two hour drive to Fort Smith.
And even now, every morning before school....
"Ma-Ma?"
"MAMA!"
"Yes, Jack?"
"hi," he says turning his head to the side. So tiny and soft and just out of the side of his smile.
Like a child's first well-worn knock-knock joke, he has practiced it, tested it, perfected it, and he thinks it is funny every time.
Even after hours, no, days of repetition he still finds the humor in it.
And of course, so do we.

Yes, Mam

I think in almost every family the first grandchild dictates the Official Naming of the Grandparents. On Jackson's paternal side the naming was dictated by now 4-year-old Davis - and thus Nonnie and Papaw were born.
On my side, Jackson is still working on it.
My mother considered Gram for her name and my father requested Granddaddy.
You can put in a request, but sometimes the DJ just doesn't want to play your song.
Upon each visit with my parents, we faithfully use the labels Gram and Granddaddy. I am also loyal to their requests when reviewing photos with Jackson.
"That's you and Gram," I say.
"There's your Granddaddy," I point out.
During our most recent trip - for Christmas - the Official Naming of the Grandparents' opening ceremonies began.
Like any child, Jackson has his verbal moments where he suddenly has agreed to do all his tricks and perform for the crowd.
(Fortunately, these moments are bountiful with our little lion.)
While the window is open, I prod for more words.
"Can you say Gram?" I request.
"Mam," he says. Clear as the cuckoo clock he has fallen in love with.
"Who is that?" I ask, pointing to Gram.
"Mam," he says, very sure of himself.
And thus the birth of Mam. And peace reigned throughout the land.
This is a good name for his maternal grandmother. It is fitting, a bit southern, sweet, and I can see how his developing mind created the loving name.
When asked to knight his maternal grandfather, things went a bit differently.
"Where's Granddaddy?" I ask and he points to my father.
"Can you say Granddaddy?"
Much thinking.
"Can you say Granddaddy? ... Say Granddaddy."
Mouth breathing.
Staring.
"BA-BOO!" he shouts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bonk

This morning before school Jackson and I read a very detailed animal book from Aunty Debry. It has tiny flaps that he very much enjoys pulling back to discover various creatures. He can now tell you what a squirrel says as well as an armadillo.
Let's just say the squirrel is rather cute....the armadillo...not so much.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Roll Call

Every day, multiple times a day Jackson takes roll.
His attendance list mostly consists of Mama and Dada.
Sometimes he includes himself. But it is most important to check in on the key players and their current locales. He does this when we are playing, snuggling, bathing, talking on the phone, etc.
Our conversations typically run like this:
Dada?
He's at work.
Mama?
I'm right here with you.
Dada?
He's still at work.
Mama?
She's with Jackson.
Dada?
He's at work. He'll be right back.
Mama?
She's right here.
Dawg!

Parent-Speak

Actual sentences Eric and I now say to each other on a regular basis:

What did you do with the bwvah-bwvah?

How many poops today?

Did you A&D his face?

Daddy, we need some M-I-L-K.

(Insert eithor of our names here)! Help! I need help! There's poop! he's touching the poop!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Always and Nevers

Yesterday, when I arrived at Jackson's school for his first parent-teacher conference, I was early and Jackson spotted me in the hallway. Well, once you've been spotted there's no going back so I joined him on the floor while I waited for the apt.
As the new grown-up in the room, I was smothered with babies. Jackson sat in my lap and all the children rushed forward with comments, gestures, smiles, toys and silliness. Sweet Bella, Jackson's almost twin, came forward to sit on Jackson's lap (while he was sitting in mine). Blond-haired Dane brought a toy truck that did entertaining things. Tiny Sawyer brought us a Sesame Street piano that no longer worked. But that didn't matter as all the children pressed the various keys and knobs and levers while I held it out.
What surprised me the most, was my ability to understand them. Jackson has schooled me in toddler speak, so when each little face would grunt out a syllable I knew exactly what they were trying to communicate. Sure, the majority of it consisted of "Melmo," but still it was nice to be able to talk and play with all of the children.
I think Jackson enjoyed getting to sit in his mama's lap and watch his friends circle around him. I remember loving it when one of my parents showed up at school. It always made me feel so special, and what kid doesn't like the extra attention?
Sadly, when it was time to leave, Jackson was not happy. But we had timed it just right. It was nap time, and as he trotted off to get some rest I joined his teacher.
She told me, and I am quoting, that Jackson "is the smartest kid I have seen since I have been doing this."
She told me he is very friendly, curious and that the teachers "are his best friends." She said she speaks to him like he is older because "I know he understands." She said he loves when they bring out the puppets, could dance to music all day, his vocabulary was incredible and the fact that he can do all of his animal sounds was amazing. (He really is like a walking zoo.)
She also said the only thing he does a bit too much of is eating.
My boy does love his food.
Just like his mama ... and several other of his relatives. His love of cookies? he can't help it.
He was born with cookie-fever. We all were.
He always wants more. We keep an eye on it so he doesn't get too full and they watch at school as well. With some food you have to dole out the portions or else it will all go into the mouth at once. But this is something his teacher feels is age appropriate.
Jackson and his classmates are about to transition into the next class. He is currently a duck and will be a monkey the week of Dec. 29. His teacher feels he will adjust well, and I agree. But just to ease my mind I asked for a meeting with his new teacher and to observe the new class for a bit so I can get an idea of what he will be doing.
I was most pleased to discover that his new teacher will actually be a teacher he had when he was 8 mos. Her name is Pam and he remembers her. I really like her and her grandson is in the program as well. His next room is like a classroom with several learning centers and big windows letting in tons of light. The best part is even if the weather is bad and they can't go outside they can go to the gym down the hall. He will love it. The part he will not love is that this class slowly tries to break a child from his pacifier. This is, however, the part the mama loves. I was actually there when I saw one of the teachers trying to break a child of his pacifier just before nap time and I was relieved to see how gently and soothingly it was done. And that it worked as the child drifted off sans pacifier.
I also received Jackson's assessment sheet which states several kinds of behavior and then identifies if your child does them "Always, Sometimes or Never."
For example:
Can do his animal sounds: Always.
Listens to music: Always.
Uses a utensil: Sometimes
He only received two Nevers and one was "Catches the ball: Never."
Unfortunately, Jackson appears to have a lot of my genes - in which case that task may always be marked: Never.
Eats his cookies, however? Always.

Double the Words

While they are not quite ready for dissecting, they are definitely declarative statements.
Jackson has begun to string his words together. The latest to be knitted are "nack na-na" and "mama night-night."
Both involve a lot of directional finger pointing, a facial expression that seems to say "are you people getting this?" and are equally adorable.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cute Things #332 and #217

#332: After a long day of school and playing with mom and dad, Jackson will take his bath, get in his pjs and ask for the large cushion on the big red chair. He will point to it and say "night-night." So I will put it down on the floor for him and he will put his head on the pillow and take a little rest. Sometimes he will put his whole little self on it to rest. Sometimes I will rest my head on it too and he'll put his face next to mine to quietly rest and cuddle. It's probably one of my most favorite things to do. I hope to cuddle him extensivley until he squirms away from me and into teenageness. It's so much harder to keep boys cuddly. I feel like I'm investing in his cuddle-future.
#217: When there is something very dangerous for Jackson not to touch, we will point to it and say "no-no." For example, we point to the Christmas tree, say how pretty it is and fragile and that the lights are so colorful but also "HOT!" So every now and then Jackson will walk up to it, spread out his hands like he is warming them at the fire and say: "HOT! HOT!" And sometimes he will look up at it and say "no-no." But last night for the first time, while playing a silly game with his pacifier, I took the pacifier out of his mouth. He waved his index finger at me and politely said: "no." So I said, "ok." and gave it back.
It may have been our first argument.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

60

My father turns 60 this week.
A milestone.
He decided to spend it with us in Tulsa. He and mom drove into town for the weekend and we celebrated with struedel, singing, candles that wouldn't blow out and an ORU/ULAR basketball game.
It was also that perfect beginning-of-the-holidays time when down come the boxes of Christmas decorations and out come the twinkling lights and oh...here come the hideous yard decorations across the street.
But this year....
...we have a tiny little man in the house that looooves all hideous holiday deocrations.
We took Jax across the street to see the giant snowman, huge snowglobe and Snoopy in a bi-plane. Also included in the hodge-podge display was a spiral Christmas tree and two moving, white, lit reindeer - to which Jackson "moo-ed" at this morning on the way to school.
I guess one might confuse them with cows.
We also did some Christmas shopping and our kitchen turned into a cookie-making factory with mom sprinkling, filling and baking all things cookie. Jackson was a big help what with the taking of tupperware in and out as well as trying to fit himself into the tiny cupboard to the right of the sink that holds the cookie sheets and cooling racks.
Cans of Pam were sprayed out.
Sprinkles were pinched.
Dough was eaten.
Timers were singing.
All in all it was a perfect weekend.
One that, at its close makes me lonesome to be closer to family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Man of More Words

Adding to the list:
Turkey
The Girls
Snack (only he says it: nack)
Lilly
Coat
Moon
Vac (for vacuum)
room-room (broom)
Can you tell he has a thing for cleaning?


Wild Thing

Last week, when picking up Jackson from school his teacher asked me if he had a book with animals. I wanted to laugh outloud.
Are you kidding? He brings me one of his many animal books to read on a regular basis.
We've got wild animals, barnyard animals, flamingos, frogs - he loves them all.
She seemed relieved to know he was adequately supplied with pages of animals.
"He loves animals," she said. "He does the sounds for animals all the time."
That's my boy.
You need a cow sound? done.
A monkey? taken care of.
A fish? did it last week.
A lizard? he's on it.
An elephant? he's got it wrapped up.
Horse? Sheep? Lion? Snake? Bunny? no need to go to the zoo. You can hear it all in Jackson's room.

Stirred Up

Jackson has always been a fan of food. Almost all food. In fact, the only thing he didn't eat was baby-food-peas.
So it goes hand-in-hand that he also loves to cook.
Who would think that stirring could move someone so much?
I was cooking a stew and while the vegetables and broth were heating up, I let him hold the large spon and stir the pot. He was so thrilled he paused to look at me with such astonishment mid-stir. After a good stir or two, he was ready to taste and let mama taste, too.
Next, we moved on to making a dip. I have a tiny blender and once everything was set up (during which Jackson was intently observing) I let him press the button to make it work. He was ecstatic.
He also relished every minute of putting chopped beets and potatoes into the pot.
He is a very good helper and during the prep work he asissted with getting out pots and pans and cookie sheets.
The best part was when he paused to turn his head toward me with a big smile as if to say, "Are you seeing this? This cooking stuff is outrageous!"
He also loves to get "involved" with his food. The other day I got a text message from his teacher with a picture of Jackson stripped to the diaper and covered in cool whip. He was ahving the time of his life.
Over this past weekend, he once again enjoyed beng a sous chef. He helped mom make cookie dough and was very interested in making pancakes on our last morning there.
She asked him to sit on the counter (with assistance, of course) and explained that he could watch but not to touch anything. He folded his tiny hands together and stuck to the rules.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Birthday Wishes

A few weeks ago we headed home to my parents to celebrate my birthday. To top it all off my best friend flew in and was able to spend time with us, Jackson, the girls (who JAckson now officially calls "The Grrls" and new baby Ian.
Jackson fell in love with the dog bed, blowing bubbles in water glasses and playing with Debbie. All while taking sterioids for a slight wheeze and drops for an ear infection. He is a trooper.
My mother made the most incredible meal ever. With butternut squash, asparagus, and an incredible salad with homemade dressing. Debbie and I got a bit competitive over the squash. But we're still friends.
It was so nice to have everyone around and for Debbie to see Jack now that he is becoming more of himself.
She hadn't seen him since he was 8 weeks old.
I hope someday we can all live close by for Sunday dinners.