Monday, May 26, 2008


Jack has now been walking for about a month. His new ability to travel on two feet also seems to have brought about other changes in his development and personality. He talks a lot and he ads a new word or two to his vocabulary almost daily.

He prefers to eat with a spoon and fork and drinking from a regular cup.

He now loves the swing whereas before he was just luke-warm about swinging.

He is also showing a lot more affection .. giving us hugs and kisses and snuggling with his stuffed animal.

He likes driving the golf cart with grandpa. We recently visited arizona.

He also loves being naked in the warm sun but who doesn't like that?

The Sum of all Fears

Recently, I started attending a great parent-child class at my local community college. I bring Jack and we play with other kids his age in a room filled with toddler activities. Then we break up into two groups and parents from one group meet with a teacher who leads discussions on all kinds of subjects regarding raising a child. One recent topic was temperment. I learned that temperment is different from personality. You are born with your temperment and your personality arises from and is influenced by it. While reflecting, the only thing that is obvious to me at this point is that Jack is pretty mellow. He doesn't seem easily fazed. He likes to explore rather than play with toys (these are both reflections of the mellow temperment to me).

However, there is something about Jack that has mystified me and bridget. Jack is deathly afraid of all balls larger than a tennis ball (including a tennis ball). He becomes completely undone in their presence. We have been watching and reading some of Alfie Kohn's work (love it and highly recommend it). He talks about looking at the world from your child's perspective. Bridget mentioned she has tried to explore what could be so terrifying about a ball. Neither of us can figure it out.

"Nightmare on Jack's Street"

Monday, May 05, 2008

My talented friends

Many years ago, one of my very talented friends went to a top-tier law school then, in order to fulfill her ROTC commitment, she joined the army to be in the JAG corps. She met a guy there who was equally talented and ambitious and they got married. Then he joined the secret service. Our college group of friends all thought this was quite cool even if we would never take a bullet for the people he was trained to take bullets for.. A couple of us went to visit DC and we wanted a tour of the secret service building but for some reason that didn't work out, and we ended up with T-shirts. The shirts had the secret service logo and they were nice but not so flattering on me. A month of so ago, I wondered what I should do with the shirt because I didn't want to throw it out but I never wore it.

Then I remembered another talented friend of mine turns adult clothing into cute children's clothing. She agreed to turn my secret service tee into something for Jack. I have been having a more difficult time getting Jack to sit still for pictures so these are the best I have so far. You can see the logo on the second photo on his right arm.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

the jackie man walks

Jack is an active little guy -- he climbs, jumps, dances, and moves almost constantly. The one thing he hasn't been doing .. the big developmental milestone it seems everyone is obsessed with .. the one verb that has not followed the subject Jack is walk. No walking. Jack has not been into walking. Yes, at 17 months, he had only taken a few steps and he preferred to crawl. The rational side of me really didn't care. He seemed healthy to me. If I didn't know any other babies I wouldn't know he was behind. But I interact with other parents that I don't know frequently -- mainly on playgrounds or other kid-centered venues. The first question everyone asks me or any parent is 'how old is he?' I never thought much about this seemingly benign question until I started to feel like it was part of an assessment of my child. 'Oh, my sister's son didn't walk until 18 months' or some version of that was the response to my response to the age question. So the not very rational side of me started to get irritated, defensive, and not very rational.

I made peace with this as (coincidentally) Jack has started to show more interest and confidence in walking. I have to remind myself almost constantly that Jack will be who he is regardless of other people's (or my) expectations so it is a waste of time to worry if he is "normal" when he is always just going to be "Jack." I keep learning this lesson over and over again.. not sure when I will finally get it. Hopefully, soon. Imagine how popular I am on the playground when a nice mom asks me how old my son is and I respond 'Why?'

Not very.

Here is the banana doing his little baby strut...