Thursday, February 24, 2011


A little update on my little Nate:


Last weekend, he learned how to read.

Yup, learned how in a weekend. What happened, you ask? No idea. One day he balked at sounding out "bus" and the next day he read a whole book to Jack. A new book from the library, so I'm sure it wasn't memorized. He still hesitates sounding out new words* but he's definitely off and reading.

This is the first word he ever tried to sound and write out by himself (it's supposed to be "puzzle", but an A+ for effort):


*Why does he hesitate to sound out new words? Because my son, pride of our hearts, is a very prideful boy. He does not like to be wrong, at all, ever. He covers his butt every time it looks like he might possible be a little wrong about anything. "I really meant..." and "I didn't say that..." and "I'm still right because..." roll right off the tongue. It's funny, but mostly it worries me: if he doesn't try new things, if he doesn't risk failing, then life will be very stilted and boring. I want him to climb Everest. I want him to travel to a country without a guidebook. I want him to fall and pick himself up again, and so far he's absolutely not that boy.

I choose to believe that this is a stage, that this part of his personality isn't set in stone. We'll keep encouraging him, not demanding, but pushing him to take chances and try new things. Hopefully over time it pays off for him.

In Aruba, I offered to take him parasailing but he dug his heels in. We watched some videos of other kids doing it and he wavered, but in the end stood firm in his refusal. So Debs and I offered to take him jet-skiing, and after some hesitation he climbed right on and had a great time. And on our snorkel / boat ride, he put on all the snorkel gear and actually climbed down the ladder out into the ocean with me. I was shocked. He went back and forth between me and the ladder several times, and when I thought he had truly given up I swam away from the boat a bit and all of a sudden he was right beside me, pretty far from the boat. He never put his face down into the water to see the fish, but I think he did a truly brave thing, swiming away from that boat into the very cold, wavey water. All hope is not lost.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Jackity Jack


Little changes in Jack:

He tells stories with his toys now, narrating what's happening. Usually what's happening is that someone is FIGHTING someone else, but they do it very earnestly and sincerely so it's charming instead of violent.

While the three boys were at the beach this past weekend, I picked up a small toy for each in the dollar bin at Target. Jack got a pack of stretchy bugs, right up his alley. He knelt on the floor in front of the brown couch, and laid out each bug and gave it a name ("this is a HORN bug"). While I was laying on the floor doing a puzzle with Nate, Jack picked up all of the bugs, clutched them to his chest, came over to me, and said "can you play with the bugs for a second?" He loves "for a second."

Yes, I could play with the bugs for a second. He now knows the word "beetle."

More soon.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Jack doesn't nap every day anymore, but today he was exhausted at school (and I got to enjoy all 3 hours of his whinging and clinging since it was my duty day today) and I knew he needed a nap.

About twenty minutes after I put him down, he called out to me. This is usually the sign that he's not napping that day, so I called back to him: "It's night-night time, Jack." He started crying right away, very unusual, so I started up to him saying "What's wrong?!" He called back: "I'm CRYING!" and went back to sobbing.

When I got in there, he told me he wanted me to sing him a song (the song is only allowed to be Sunshine), so I tucked him back into the crib and sang to him.

He's doing two fantastic things in the crib that I want to remember. The first is that when he's really tired, and I'm stroking his face, he will take my hand with his and rub my hand all over his forehead and nuzzle it with his nose.

He's also managed to take away my last-chance-desperate-measures act of rocking him while he's lying down. I figured out when he was little that if I could get his head rocking around he would fall asleep. So every now and then when he's exhausted but not asleep, I'll put my hand on his back (while he's lying on his side) and jiggle him so that his head rocks. He's out in minutes.

But when I tried it recently, he tried to help me by jiggling his own head around and we just coudln't find a rhythm. I ended up laughing, and so did he, at his earnest little head jiggling all around in different directions. He just did it again today, adding in trying to jiggle his own legs while he's doing his head. I think jiggling days are over.

He's still such a baby, but not for long.