How We’re Doing, Part One: Jack!


January 16, 2014 by Julia

It’s a new(ish) year, Fiona’s 6th birthday is coming up this weekend, and it seems like a good time to catch everyone up on how each family member is currently doing. Not in a boring, Christmas newsletter way (although for the record I always kinda liked those). I’m going to give you the cold, hard facts. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Youngest to oldest, in three parts! (My husband Dennis doesn’t get an entry because he’s an adult and that might be weird. I’ll include a few bits [with his permission] in my own update.) Here we go!



Age: 2 ½

Current Nicknames: Sweet pie, Jeeeaackers (another variant goes “Jackers, Crackers, Little Tiny Snackers” or something), Mister

Current Sleep Habits: Still in his crib (because he likes it, and it hasn’t yet occurred to him that he could climb out). Naps most afternoons for about 2 hours, sleeps through the night from 7:45 p.m. until 6:30-7:30 a.m. Will occasionally call out in the night for milk, a truck, or once, the iPad.

Favorite Foods: Pizza, Chips, Apples


Favorite TV Shows: Power Rangers, Ultimate Spiderman or train videos on Youtube

Favorite Movie: The Iron Giant

Birthday poster by Dennis

Birthday poster by Dennis

Favorite Activities: Running, shooting pretend lasers out of his hands at “bad guys,” cooking (real food ingredients are a bonus), pretend play directed by his big sister

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Jack is still an extroverted, happy kid. He makes us laugh all the time at things that are probably not appropriate behavior, but hey, you’re only two once, right?

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He does live up to the reputation of two-year-olds. His nature is somewhat go-with-the-flow, and he is quick to adjust to change, but if you do something that rubs him the wrong way at the wrong moment, he might explode into a tantrum for the ages. He gets to the point where he can’t control himself, and he can’t be reached, and this goes on for up to an hour. There have been tantrums at home where all we can do is wait it out and make sure he doesn’t hurt himself; if it happens in public our main objective is to get him home. They start with the smallest things: telling him he must change into clean clothes, telling him we have to walk in a different direction in a store. The good news is, these Code Red Tantrums only happen 1-3 times a month. We get a bunch of outbursts throughout the week, and lots of whining, and screaming, but those are TOTALLY do-able. No biggie.


Of course I look this hot at home while shrugging at my kids’ whining.


Jack is also WILD. Like: loud, messier than any human being has a right to be (he has some form of crud on his face 65% of the time, despite constant wiping), up on the dinner table before you realize it, running down the sidewalk, throwing stuff, climbing stuff, posing like a superhero, mixing up all his food into a gross goop WILD.

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He is exuberant, curious, and basically high on life. It’s endearing and fun, but obviously can be really hard at times. Any situation in which he might be expected to sit for longer than ten minutes is stressful.

The thing that tempers his wildness for me is his underlying sweetness. I don’t sense maliciousness underneath the crazy behavior. He is quick to say sorry if he accidentally hurts someone, and seems to have a good sense of empathy for his age. He easily forgives others, shares when asked nicely, and is very affectionate, handing out hugs to friends like candy.

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With one of his best friends, Shep

With one of his best friends, Shep

(Don’t get me wrong – he does have trouble sharing at times and will get into a screaming match with other toddlers over some desired object. But once the dust clears, he’s pretty quick to hand something over, and he’ll watch to see the other kid get happy. He likes to make others happy.)

We spend our days walking Fiona to and from the bus stop, going to free programs at the library or nature centers with friends, running errands, and playing with robots and cars. He still naps in the afternoons (fingers crossed) and I enjoy our lifestyle – the flexibility to go out or stay home as we please.

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His skin is still the softest I’ve ever felt, and I still have to kiss his cheek or forehead whenever it’s near – it’s like a reflex. He also still feels small enough to snuggle in my lap, but like Fiona, he is the tallest kid of his age group that I’ve ever seen. Sometimes he falls asleep in the car on our way home from a lunchtime outing, and I can barely carry his dead weight to the front door.


His talking is extremely cute. He can say “Fiona,” but has taken to calling her “Ona” for short, which has caught on with all of us. Sometimes when he has something important to say, he’ll gently pull my face close to his, looking into my eyes very seriously. His latest catchphrase is, “I have a good idea,” (or “Iha goodidea” in toddlerspeak) because he noticed that when Fiona says it, sometimes her wish comes true. He doesn’t really know what “idea” means yet, though, so this provides Fiona and I with lots of giggles while we try to ascertain what his good idea might be.


He’s not a great eater, and sometimes we have to wonder where all his energy comes from. He’s excited to potty train, but so far shows no physical readiness. At some point in the near future we’ll get more serious about it. He drew his first person the other day – a portrait of his friend. She looks a bit like a spider. His physical skills – running, jumping, climbing – are so good that I hardly ever worry about him falling down. Despite his wild energy, he has just enough caution and ability to stop on a dime when needed.



So that’s Jack. He is our imp, our clown, our cuddler, our joy and our crazy. He’s sweet and happy, except for when he’s not, and then he’s just insatiable and whiny. He’s our baby, and we adore him.

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5 thoughts on “How We’re Doing, Part One: Jack!

  1. Emily Sulzbach says:

    And he is in love with Mabel, the cutest baby ever!

  2. vjthurston says:

    You forget to mention my nickname for him–Jack-0-rama!

  3. he is so cute! I love that you’ll have these to look back on years from now and bring up all these great memories!

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