Fantastical Four!

Jack is…I don’t know how to explain it.  He is like JACK.  Or *****JACK*****!!  He is more Jack than I thought Jack could be.  One moment he is melting me by saying something amazingly adorable like “I certainly am feeling better” while tilting his head to the side; the next he is full out bawling because I told him he couldn’t climb on me like a mountain.  “Mom, it hurts my feelings when you’re mad at me!”  He is Jack*10, an emotional whirlwind of a kid turning 4 years old in four days.  He radiates.

His memory is astounding.  Last night David was recounting a conversation the two had in the car on the way home and Jack corrected him, “I didn’t say dinosaur, I said dragon!”  Prior to going to Texas with his dad, I told him we would go see Toy Story 3 when he got back.  Over a week later, I showed up at his dad’s and the first thing he asked was, “Are we going to see Toy Story?!?!?!”  (Gone are the days where I can promise him anything and be lucky enough that he forgets about it completely…)  He talks about his Aunt Holly and cousin Sabrina all the time and he hasn’t even seen them in 6 months!

I don’t know how this kid has the energy he does.  He didn’t fall asleep until after 11pm last night and was bright and bouncy this morning.  David insisted that he stay in bed when he awoke at 5:45am; thank goodness he fell back to sleep for a bit and bought us a few more Z’s.  Still, the adults are dragging and Jack was racing me to the car on the way to daycare.

Jack wants to know everything.  He is in the WHY stage.  He doesn’t ask the same why question over and over, thankfully.  I think we must be pretty good at flooding him with information in answer to his questions.  I’ve had a difficult time explaining how the days of the week work, though.  He thinks every day that the sun comes up is Sunday.  😛  I’ve attempted to explain that today is Friday because it comes after Thursday and that there is an order to the days in a week but…”NO mom, it’s SUNDAY! See the sun?!”  Erm, okay.  I think it’s time to put a calendar up in his room.

Until recently, Jack refused to sing or dance (and he threw a fit if I tried!).  These days he is humming to himself constantly, telling himself stories while sitting on the potty, and asking to listen to Lady Gaga (yeah…I don’t know – he is also convinced that Rihanna is pretty and dances well even though he has only heard her on the radio.  He is a big fan.).  We dance around the house together without a care in the world.  He is constantly acting out “movies” that are basically him acting like a Transformer or Buzz Lightyear.  “Hey, mom, wanna watch THIS movie about gigantic aliens?? *pew* *pew* *pew*”  This picture was taken in daycare where he staged a dinosaur attack:

It always astonishes me to see how much love surrounds Jack (even the people who don’t like kids love him!).  He is a favorite everywhere he goes – to the point where I wonder if some people only acquaint themselves with me because of him (I’m serious – he has more adults coming to his birthday party than kids).  He is the leader at daycare and all the other kids want what Jack has (even if it’s just a knit hat that he calls a Viking helmet).  They will even try whatever veggie Jack devours – from bell pepper to asparagus.  (He is convinced that these foods will help him fly, by the way.)

I can’t help but think back to when he was a baby.  There were certainly elements of his personality there from the beginning but never could I have imagined that he would grow into the child he is now.  I’m astounded by this kid and totally blessed to have him as my son.  I adore him and my life is so much richer and more meaningful with him in it.

Tuesday is Happy Birth Day to us both.

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Gourmet Hot Cocoa Lotus Leaf Madcap Cafe 7-1-0...
Image by stevendepolo via Flickr

Every Sunday morning this winter, I drove down to South San Francisco.  I knocked on Joe’s door and waited to hear the high-pitched squeal of excitement from Jack.  Sometimes he threw himself at me when the door opened and sometimes he stood at the top of the stairs and announced something like, “OF COURSE it’s my mom!”  He would then spend 10 minutes or so showing off his most recent toy or Lego creation before shoving me out the door while declaring, “It’s time to go now!”

After pick-up, we drove down to Peet’s where Jack ordered “kid coffee” (aka hot cocoa) and I get the real stuff.  This has become our Sunday ritual and Jack totally knows the drill now.  He gets up on his tip toes to peer over the counter and orders for himself, “I want kid coffee please!  And pumpkin bread!”  The cashier gets clarification from me on what kid coffee means after chuckling.  Then Jack leads me to a table where he stuffs over-sized bites of pumpkin bread in his mouth while I sip my mocha.

Joe’s work schedule changes again this week, so there will be no more Sunday pick-ups.  Instead Jack and I will spend every weekend together until September.  We’ll come up with a new ritual, like homemade hot cocoa and waffles or a walk to the donut shop on Saturday mornings.  Who knows.

I enjoyed similar rituals with my mom growing up and it’s one of only a few things about my childhood that I am choosing to recreate for Jack.  Before becoming a parent, I dreamed of sitting down with my child, focusing on his company, hearing about his latest adventures, and reconnecting with him.  These are the moments when time stands still and I completely revel in being a mom.

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The bad purple woman

Jack is on the mend and no longer contagious!  We trekked out to the east bay last night (braving the insane traffic that blocked westbound 80 for HOURS due to an overturned big rig) and attended the Disney Princess Classics show at Oracle Arena.  Jack was super excited, especially once he saw that my friend Christina’s little girl Alex was there.  When he saw her, he sounded like a shy, twitterpated boy: “Oh!  I didn’t know you would be here…”  What a crack up.

The noise was a little much for him sometimes but overall the night was a success.  After the fifth or so time of him asking me who some character was, it occurred to me that Jack has never actually watched any of the princess movies.  I struggled to remember some of the details but for the most part I could sing “A Whole New World” or “Under the Sea” from heart (thanks to my sister’s childhood obsession with Ariel, I used to be able to recite the entire movie) and knew most of the character’s names.  I am still not sure what to call the dancers in the Aladdin set…harem girls came to mind but I am not sure about that one.  😛

One of the funniest things about last night was when every kid in the auditorium screamed “NO!” over and over at Snow White when she was wondering aloud if she should take the apple from the old hag.  The second was Jack’s description of Ursula the ugly octopus witch from The Little Mermaid as “the bad purple woman.”  He can’t tell you which princess was which but he clearly remembers the bad purple woman!

We left halfway through the show (at intermission) because Jack started to sag and laid his head on my shoulder (and there is only so much of ice skating princesses I can take…).  I’m so glad I took Jack, though!  What an awesome memory for both of us!

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