Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Jack Update

Well, I have literally 100 pictures to post of Jack from different activities and events we've done.  I'm so behind on blogging.  It's just somewhat time consuming and those two free hours I have between Jack's bedtime and my bedtime has been full of paying bills, doing things for my MOMS Club, and catching up on emails, etc.  But let's skip the pictures and just do a little update on my boy.

Let's start, of course, with the positives so I can brag a bit.  That picture of him above is him drawing the number 101 in chalk.  It's not bad, right?  He can really only do 1's and 0's legibly but that's pretty cool.  He still loves his numbers and counts at any chance he gets.  Up to 100, past 100.  In Spanish and in Italian.

He adores his books.  I can't even say he has a favorite one because he just loves them all.  My mom got him a science series on the planets, and Earth, and the sun, and solar system and he's really taken to them.  Some of his favorites (ie "One Little Blueberry") he has memorized and will read to me, word for word.  Other times I'll leave him alone for a second and come back and find him curled up on the couch with a book like "Sammy the Seal" or "Harry the Dirty Dog" and he'll be reading them silently to himself, turning the pages at an appropriate rate.  We will have our playgroup here and there will be 10 toddlers running around like crazy and making a mess and having fun and Jack will be in the middle of all the noise, sitting on his chair, reading a book.

Not pictured - 10 crazy toddlers and a lot of noise

He knows his alphabet backwards and forwards and I'm amazed at all the words he can read in his books.  I'll read aloud and stop and point to a word for him to finish the sentence and it's amazing.  I'd say he can read probably 50 words or so.  So clearly he loves his books more than his friends.  Oh well.  

He's still incredibly shy and reserved in big group settings.  Or even small group settings.  Pretty much anywhere outside our house or outside our family.  He will sit quietly in music class, and only on my lap.  No dancing or running around for this kid.  Quiet, determined drum playing in his mommy's lap.  But he is enjoying it in his own way so I can't complain.

I CAN complain about his recent behavior.  This I definitely don't have pictures of.  For the past two weeks or so, Jack has exhibited the worst signs of the "terrible twos" that I have ever seen.  At any minute, he can meltdown and throw the worst fit you've ever seen.  The triggers vary.  It could be me denying a fourth juice box.  It could be him wanting to hear a song that's only on daddy's computer and he's not home.  It could be nothing.  But watch out.  Because suddenly he's screaming and sobbing and writhing on the floor.  And nothing will pull him out of it.  He doesn't want to be touched but he doesn't want me to leave.  He doesn't want to play with my phone and he doesn't want his favorite food.  He doesn't want to be inside but he doesn't want to be outside.  It's just a nightmare.  And he throws things.  Anything and everything in his reach.  The other day he somehow got a hold of a glass and threw it at me.  Luckily it landed on the couch but still.  When he gets that way, it can last literally up to an hour.  

Now, I know this is part of being a 2 1/2 year old toddler.  And I know his friends are going through the same thing.  Sadly, I think Jack's tantrums tend to include more throwing and hitting (my shoulders are bruised) and physical manifestations and that's a bummer.  We are worried about taking a 5 1/2 hour plane ride this month because if he has one of them tantrums on the plane, that'll be it.  Game over.  The poor other passengers.  

I guess the most frustrating part is that there seems to be nothing I (or John) can do during these meltdowns to help him or stop it.  It just has to play out.  And that makes me never want to go outside to a public place.  Ever again.  So if you don't see me for a while, you'll know why! :)


  1. I hate the tantrum phase! I'm sure you've seen this, but it helped me ( I stopped trying to stop them after reading this until he got back to rational. My little guy loves books, but is totally social. He has yet to even pick up a pencil and is just showing an interest in letters.

  2. Counting to 100... in English. And Spanish. And Italian?!?! So cool, Jack! Multi-talented! I'm sure your mom and sister have already told you that Johnny is doing the same thing, but I'm going to say it again: Johnny is doing the same thing. He's currently having an epic meltdown because Hank is using the blue spoon and HE wants the blue spoon. Johnny's freak outs sound just like Jack's: lying on the floor, screaming like he's in pain, writhing on the floor. If I were a stranger, I'd probably think he had major stomach cramps. But really, he's freaking out because I got the cereal box out of the pantry and HE wanted to get it out of the pantry. But then it gets worse because I put it back in the WRONG PLACE. I feel ya, Lisa. I really do.

  3. c'mon with the picture of him reading in his little armchair amid the chaos! so cute. he has obviously figured out early that most books are better than most people. last night i was trying to drum up memories of violet's meltdowns (and what, if anything, i "did" at the time), and while i remember taking comfort in the above npr link, i don't really remember much else, which i think is good news, right? like all the other crappy phases, you're not really going to remember much about it in a few more months. :) i also remember trying those happiest toddler tactics of mirroring her frustration ("you're mad because xyz" stomp stomp madface) with pretty lackluster results. just keeping as vigilant as possible in telling her what's going to happen every hour, half hour, ten minutes, one minute before it happens was and is my dominant strategy. one more thing i remember is how surprised i was by how often "do you need a hug to calm down?" worked - not necessarily with tantrums but often in response to her being pissed that i wouldn't let her do something. i'm sure i'll think of more (likely not useful) thoughts later. :)