Monday, March 11, 2013

Year Two

Any post that requires this much thought is bound to be late and overdue so I apologize. 

My friend once told me (pre-Jack) that it took over a year for her to feel normal again after having a child.  I scoffed at her and thought about what a lunatic she must be and just forgot about it.  But now, on the other side, I think I have to agree with her.  And it’s not normal in the physical sense, but mentally and emotionally.  I remember the first year (mainly the first 6 months) was so emotional and so dramatic with so many ups and downs.  Year two?  Somewhat even keel.  Sappy tv shows no longer send me off the deep end and the thought of taking Jack to a restaurant doesn’t send me into panic mode.  (Second half of year two on that one though…)  I feel somewhat capable and confident with just me and Jack hitting the town.  Whether it’s trips to Target or an outing to a museum or a playdate at the park…I can rest assured that we will both make it out alive with no major meltdowns.  That confidence surely only arrived with year two. 

I truly can’t imagine a better age than 1 to 2.  Adorable, cute, learning new things...but not talking back yet and very little tantrums.  It’s almost impossible to sum up everything because they change so much from 1 to 2.  Jack's mobility allowed me to put away the Baby Bjorn and go to for a walk while holding his little hand.  His communication (even pre-verbal) allowed him to tell me when he wanted a banana or squeezie or milk or juice or outside or inside.  I can’t tell you how much happier that made me AND Jack. 

But what really made this year just, spectacular, is all the learning he did.  It’s truly a miracle to watch a little brain soak up every single thing he sees.  As I’ve said before, Jack really is amazing when it comes to nerdy school skills.  So to watch him go from counting to three to counting to 120 and then counting down in reverse to zero is awesome.  Listening to him pick up the Italian numbers in about an hour from his Zia Julie was astounding.  Hearing him practice his Spanish in his crib by himself at night just makes me smile.  Somehow after thousands of readings of books over that first 18 months, he somehow not only memorized them, but started to learn how to read many of the simple words.  With a little encouragement, he easily could read 30 more words.  He is so excited to read the stop signs we see or the “no parking” signs.  The “open” signs on the stores are also fun.  But counting is his true love.  Man oh man, this kid will and does count everything.  Trashcans at the park, aisles in the grocery store, blocks in his tower, or houses on the street.  He is so proud that he knows our address (and Grandma’s address).  And I am proud of him.


But I can’t let this post be all ridiculous praise about his skills.  In an effort to temper that, I’ll talk about my little Jack’s personality.  He is the happiest little kid at home.  He loves our house and plays independently so well.  He knows and loves all of his grandparents and aunts and uncles.  He will giggle and laugh and bounce all around the house.  It’s his larger social skills that could use some work.  Like his mother, he is pretty shy and introverted.  Won’t sing in class even though I know he knows the words to the songs.  Won’t speak up in story time when the teacher asks what animal says “moo”.  That’s normal though.  But like his father, he would MUCH rather play by himself and wants the rest of the kids to get the heck off the playground.  (I say like his father because John claims he’s like this.  Truthfully I think my husband is a pretty social, affable guy.)  Jack does okay with the small group of friends in his playgroup that he’s known for over a year.  But get him in a big crowd with everyone climbing all over the park play equipment and he throws a tantrum and runs to mommy and doesn’t want to play.  Just too many kids in his space.   Right now at 2 and 2.5, it seems like some of his friends are finally starting to “play with each other”.  Before they were playing along side each other but now the kids are starting to pair off and really enjoy playing with each other.  Not Jack though.  This of course leads his mom to a typical freak out about how he will be friend-less in high school and not be invited to any parties, etc.  Typical ridiculous, irrational stuff I know.  But, truthfully, I don’t care if he gets all A’s in school if he doesn’t have any friends.  And, while I type all this, I know he will have friends.  It just will be a little harder for him than for his extroverted outgoing playmates.  And “harder” sucks.  “Harder” is what you want to shield your kid from. 

John is the one who always calms me down when I have crazy worries or tough days as a stay at home mom.  He is always there to remind me that Jack is an amazing, special, angel of a boy.  I know he's had a hard time working 7 days a week for the past 5 months or so, but Jack still knows him really well and misses him when he goes to work.  They've worked out an adorable morning goodbye routine which includes a high five, fist pump and "i love you".  So cute.

I have loved Year Two.  I've loved our playgroup and Jack's little group of friends and my accompanying new mom friends.  I've loved hearing him copy what I say and then slowly forming his own thoughts and sentences.  I've loved our trips to San Diego, Pennsylvania, and New York, and the parks and the kid museum and even the store where he points out the carrots, apples, and broccoli.  

So happy birthday to our lil' Jack Nunzio.  He is a devilishly handsome little sandy-haired kid.  He loves playing outside and running free.  He's shy in big groups but loves hanging out with his mommy and daddy.  My favorite sound is his laughing and giggling and my favorite part of our day is after his bath when he wraps his arms around my neck for one last hug before bedtime.  I can't wait for Year Three.  (But please stay just as sweet!)


  1. Great Uncle BobbyMarch 11, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    Wow, what an beautiful tribute to a very special little boy. Jack is one lucky kid - he has an amazing mother and a fantastic father. Can't wait to see him again. Love to all.

  2. This is amazing, Lisa. I love the way that you write with love and adoration for the boy that has changed your life. Jack is a very lucky boy and he has wonderful parents. Congrats on year 2!

  3. Hi Lisa!! I loved this post, it will be so sweet for you to read back over this in years to come. You are right, these years are the best, toddlers intrigue me with their curiosity for the world around them and their ability to learn so much and so quickly!!
    Jack sounds like a very smart little boy, a sure sign that he will continue to have a love of learning as he grows up and always make you proud of his success. He will have friends, it is absolutely normal for this age to not play in pairs, they have too much exploring to do to be held back by another two year old!! But I do understand your concern, it is easier for me to say things as a mother of three.
    It is obvious you are the best mummy to Jack, his gorgeous smile is a true reflection of your parenting!! Happy 2nd Birthday Jack, I have loved watching you grow these past two years xo

  4. P.S. That last picture of the two of you is beautiful!!

  5. it's the quality of the friends that matters, and given that he is so much like his parents, he will obviously have awesome friends! if i do say so myself. :)

    beautiful post. i'm so happy to have jack in my life. thanks, lis.

  6. You...and little Jack...amaze me =). I'm making an effort to be inspired and not discouraged (ha!) by your mom mastery! You rock!

  7. Stacey stole my reply...

    Happy 2nd birthday to an amazing kid. Beautiful post!