First off, I hate that I just referred to him as 28 months. I promise to never be that mother who tells you that her four year old is 53 months old. But for the sake of this post, writing ’28 months’ was a little bit easier than writing ‘2 and a quarter’. Anywho. Jackson is truly a different child than he was just a few short months ago. His little world has changed in so many ways, and he is blossoming into the sweetest, most fun little boy. He is silly, cuddly, loves to play games, read books, and run run run all day long. With infants, you really see big milestones every month or so, and therefore that is why I always find these monthly updates to be something I love to do and look back on. After hitting one year, I cut back, simply because drastic changes don’t take place regularly anymore. However, as I reflect back on the last 3-4 months, I have a hard time even wrapping my head around the changes in our sweet boy. He has grown so much, and we love him so fiercely that it sometimes hurts. He is the sweetest, happiest little soul, and I want to remember every possible detail of him at this precious age that I can.
Without a doubt, speech has been our biggest change in the last few months. Right after turning two, we had Jackson assessed for speech, as he was still saying less than ten words. He did indeed qualify, yet before we even began weekly sessions with the therapist, he started saying a lot of new words. In fact, the first time she came out to the house, the pathologist was pretty much floored by his progress! We are keeping up with the services as long as they will have us, because if anything we are viewing it as some extra learning and education, not only in the speech department, but in regards to sharing, understanding plurality and sentences, and using his words rather than emotions to convey his wants and needs. Truly though, he seems to have gone from the bottom 5th percentile in terms of his speech to what I would consider very, very average. He went from exploring new words singularly to stringing two word phrases together in a matter of weeks. He knows his colors well, and will identify all objects or items by color. Except for red! For whatever reason, he just cannot or will not say the word red. All other colors are fair game though. Orange ball, white snowman, black hat, yellow duck. In fact, very rarely does he refer to something without using an object identifier such as the color.
He also is communicating his wants and needs so much more! I cannot express how much it helps everyone for him to say ‘no dees (more please)’ when handing us his empty cup at the dinner table versus throwing a tantrum. He will go to the pantry and ask for specific items, like ‘kah-kurrs (crackers)’ or ‘cereal (which he says pretty darn clear!)’. Within the past 1-2 weeks, he has gained a clear understanding of the words yes and no. Believe it or not, our little toddler had never told us no up until a few weeks ago! While I cannot complain about not being told no, it was truly frustrating and limiting on knowing what he wanted. We can now ask him if he wants a snack, if he is ready to take a shower, or if he wants to watch a certain show. And speaking of shows, Wallykazam is his all time favorite, and every morning within minutes of waking he will bring me the ‘hote (remote)’ and ask ‘YALLY DEES (Wally please)’. It is so precious, however I am officially getting sick of dear Wally 😉
Perhaps the most exciting progress with his speech is that now he is progressing to 3, and I would guess soon 4 word sentences. He is saying things like ‘Daddy, Wally please!’, ‘Mama, cereal please’, and others like my personal favorite, ‘ni-night daddy snowman!’ We have two snowmen, the big one is ‘daddy snowman’ and the small one is ‘Jackson snowman’ 🙂 These likely seem simple to many, but when you heard almost no speech for two years, to see this progress in what seems to be overnight, we are so overjoyed. Every little thing he says is music to our ears, and we could listen to him talk all day.
A few of our favorite things he says (and some of which he has already corrected):
-BOOO-USH: how he first learned to say please, and which he still always ‘signs’ with while saying. So precious!
-hi-ya-see: pumpkin. I will never quite understand this one. But again, precious.
-DASSEL, OH AW-FUL!: Castle, oh beautiful! 🙂
-busss: he says bus very clear, but the ‘S’ is so pronounced and I love when he says it!
-Nia: grandma. I think this one just might stick around for the long haul. Jackson always asks to go to ‘Nia House’ and has thrown a couple of tantrums when his requests have been denied 😉
Since turning two, Jackson has had his world turned upside down a bit! We moved out of my in-laws and into our new house, which he seemed to adjust to pretty darn quickly. Much to our relief, he mastered our big staircase quickly as well, and goes up and down with ease all day long. He loves our house! And it is so wonderful to finally give him his own space to do things. He also started daycare. I certainly think this had some effect on his speech, and I do not take lightly the fact that I truly think the provider we found is a blessing from above. She is so kind, great with the kids, and easy to work with. She allows the speech pathologist to come to her house during daycare hours, meaning I do not have to take time off of work weekly to do so. She has Jackson eating new foods that he has refused to touch until recently. Even on his bad days, Jackson goes to Kristi in the mornings and is clearly so comfortable in her arms. She tells me exciting stories about his progress and gets emotional because she is so excited to see him thrive. She is just a gem, and I am so thankful for her and the fact that she made a transition everyone was nervous for so easy.
He is really growing into his role as a big brother more. While he has never been overly jealous of Lincoln, he has certainly been uninterested. He would go all day and rarely, if at all, even acknowledge the baby in the room. As Lincoln grows and becomes more interactive though, they are playing together more and more every day. Sharing is not a strong suit just yet, but I have seen him give some of his not so favorite toys to his baby brother. They like to smile and giggle at each other while riding in the back seat of the car. Jackson will often drop what he is doing, come over and say ‘HUG’ while wrapping his arms around Lincoln. I am enjoying watching their bond grow so much, and I just know in another few months they will be getting into all sorts of trouble together!
While most often sweet, the terrible twos are definitely upon us. He hates being forced to leave wherever we are, whether it be to go to daycare in the morning, to leave his grandparents house, it really does not matter. He just does not like to ‘go’. We have strapped him into the car on cold winter days with no jacket or shoes on, because it’s the only way we could do it. He likes to be defiant at the dinner table and always has to make a point when he does not want something by pushing it away. Heaven forbid he be forced to look at the food he is refusing 😉 There have been tantrums where he lays on the floor and screams incessantly for what appears to be no reason. He often looks at his grandma’s dog with an evil little smile before unleashing his abuse upon her. He is definitely pushing the limits on what he can and cannot do, and exploring his boundaries. Which is why we really do try to stick to our guns and dish out some tough love where it is necessary.
One of his new favorite things is taking showers! Which is just fine by us, because quite honestly no one in our house really likes bath time. It is just such a process! Our new shower in our master bathroom is pretty big, so we are able to put Jackson in there.,aim the shower head at the corner, and stand in there with him without needing to get wet ourselves. He is about the cutest little thing ever when he stands with his back to the water, he loves it! He scrubs his little body with the loofah, and has so much fun. And mom and dad love that we don’t have to crouch down on our hands and knees for baths 😉
We really have not started with potty training. I will say in part it is laziness on our end. While I know the end result will be easier, training is not a quick or easy task, and tackling it just has not been high on our agenda. We have dealt with Jackson sticking his little fingers into dirty diapers, which is just the worst and has resulted in an occasional need to wipe down the carpet or walls. ICK. In the past few weeks, though, his awareness has grown, and the minute after he goes (and quite often even when he has not gone) he will come up to us and announce ‘poop’! He often will even grab a diaper on his own, and go lay down on the floor ready to be changed. We have also noticed he will tell us ‘poop’ before actually going! So, we are definitely ready to start making an effort to sit him on the potty as much as possible, especially before putting on pajamas at night around the times he usually goes. We will see how it goes! I have no idea how or when he will officially be potty trained, but we are definitely entering the early stages I think.
Praise the Lord, do a happy dance, cry tears of joy, but this boy is finally sleeping well! We had about a month in the new house where bedtime was, once again, a nightmare. And then, Mike worked some sort of magic and finally got Jackson to stay in bed and fall asleep on his own. This did not happen easily, and there were certainly a lot of tears and some tough love involved. But finally, finally, it worked. We still lay with him for a few minutes, but once he is ready he will roll over to face the wall, and we are able to leave the room and know he will stay in there. No more getting up out of bed and turning the light on twenty different times. HALLELUJAH. We lay him down around 8pm, and what used to be at least an hour routine every night is down to 10-15 minutes. He sleeps through the night nearly every night, I would say once a week he still will have a night where we need to go settle him down or he tries to get into our bed around 3am, but those nights are becoming pretty rare. He did go through a terrible week after daylights savings time, where he was waking up at 4am every day. Fortunately that ended and he is back to waking up anywhere between 5:30-6:30am. Unfortunately these kids of ours just don’t like to sleep in.
It is so true when they say that the days are long but the years are short. Some days feel like a never ending uphill battle, and yet I look back on the past few months and cannot believe this is the same little boy. He has grown and changed so much, and is becoming such a little person. We cherish our new conversations with him, watching his excitement over learning new words, and his darling little quirks and habits that are so unique to him. Mom and Dad love you so much Jackson!