Posts tagged ‘Growth’

December 22, 2011

A Little Justification Goes a Long Way

Good news, blogger friends: a) I remembered what I was going to write about yesterday, and b) The Biggest Loser is over until January, so you have at least two weeks until I rave about it again.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to the aquarium with my parents. Jacob had a wonderful time—there were four people to chase him/carry him around/feed him rolls, plus all kinds of fish and whatnot to look at. We went to celebrate my mom’s birthday, but Jacob probably thought it was his.


When it was time for the walrus feeding, the trainer went through a routine with the I-forget-how-many-hundreds-of-pounds beast to show off all she could do. The best part was when she explained that what the animal was doing weren’t tricks, per se but “behaviors,” skills she would have naturally used every day in the wild, but that she was doing on command while in captivity in order to keep her mentally and physically fit. “Behaviors, not tricks?” I thought to myself. “I can use this.”


So, friends, today I share some of Jacob’s recently developed “behaviors”—things he does naturally (in the wild?), but will do on command to his parents’ delight. I wish I could have captured some of this in video, but whenever I pick up the camera, all I get is a video of the little man whining to hold it himself. Maybe letting him play with it that day wasn’t such a good idea.

Jacob’s skills run the gamut these days. He’s a bit of a Renaissance man, tackling a little of everything. If we ask him where his ear is, he’ll point to it. If we ask him what a cow says, he’ll say, “Mmmmmmm.” And perhaps the most exciting trick, I mean, behavior, is that when we say “J-E-T-S!” he answers, “Jets! Jets! Jets!” For serious.

The performance isn’t always flawless. Honestly, if you ask him where any body part is, he’ll point to his ear (although he did make one valiant attempt at “belly button” yesterday). The other day, I asked him the two verbalizing questions too close together, so he ended up telling me that a cow says, “Jets! Jets! Jets!”

I’d like to meet that cow, for sure.


December 8, 2011

Dear Jacob XVI

Dear Jacob,


Little by little you are figuring out your world. Sometimes it gets you in trouble. Most of your tantrums are precipitated by your trying to do something I do and landing yourself in a situation in which it’s likely that a) you’ll get hurt or b) you’ll break something. In those times, I try to see that you are only trying to figure it all out. Sometimes you are simply testing your limits, but even that is a natural part of growing up. And you really are growing up.


I admit I slacked off a little bit on the discipline the past few weeks, because I was having trouble figuring out what was making you lose your mind, and eventually I just wanted to avoid the tantrums. But since I’ve put my sheriff’s badge back on, you’ve responded very well to the boundaries I’ve set, so I think I dodged that messing-the-child-up bullet, which is good for everyone.


Now I see that when you do have tantrums—unless you’re really tired—they are with good reason. For the most part, you seem like a person who is able to laugh at himself, and I think that is a very good thing. You are still a pretty easygoing little guy, and the other day your dad and I kept saying to each other, “He’s such a good boy. . . . He’s just such a good boy.”


If your exploration doesn’t get you into trouble, it gives often gives me a great laugh. The other day, I cut your toenails in the morning (which you didn’t like at all). That evening, when I was putting you in your jammies, you found the clipper on the changing table and started to put it on your toes, like I had done. I’m not sure why you wanted to repeat what seemed to be an incredibly traumatizing experience, but it was funny all the same.


That day, too, you took another step toward properly using a spoon. You were holding the spoon in the right orientation, so I put a piece of chicken on it. You smiled, moved the spoon to your mouth, and ate the chicken. I celebrated! You put a blueberry on the spoon. Good job, I thought! Then you proceeded to take the blueberry off the spoon with your fingers and eat it. You moved to the next one: put blueberry on spoon, take blueberry off spoon, eat it, put blueberry on spoon, take blueberry off spoon, and so on. Essentially you were bouncing the blueberries off the spoon on the way to your mouth, which again was silly, but I see where you’re going. Who decided what the “proper” use of a spoon was anyway?


You also know that socks go on feet (though you haven’t figured out your socks don’t fit on my feet), you’ve figured out how to imitate a lot of what I do in the kitchen with your play kitchen (though it still frightens me when you come at me for a hug with your dull play knife in hand), and of course, you know how to give hugs and kisses/head butts.


It is so much fun to watch you figure out this silly world in your silly way, little man. And even if you never use a spoon “properly” (though I hope you do), I will love you forever and ever.



P.S. Sorry no pictures, Uncle Michael. More tomorrow, I hope!

October 21, 2011

Lucky Thirteen

Today Jacob is thirteen months old. This last month has been incredibly eventful, mostly because he began walking for real. But somehow that triggered a bunch of other, smaller developments as well. Just enough for a celebratory blog post!

Thirteen Things Jacob Learned to Do This Month/Why I Love Being Jacob’s Mom:

  1. When I hold my finger out (like I’m waiting for a bird to perch on it), Jacob grabs hold and we walk around together, holding hands. Sometimes he sits down and starts to play but doesn’t let go, and just plays with one hand.
  2. He eats whole pears and apples by himself, down to the core. One day this week, he ate two pears and one apple. Aren’t I supposed to start making comments about how much he eats when he’s thirteen years, not thirteen months?
  3. He makes on “ooooh” sound, sometimes on command, and often ends it with an “ay” sound. Maybe he’s trying to say “boy” or “soy”? Either way, it’s adorable.
  4. He whistles. Seriously.
  5. He uses the sign for “all done” when he’s finished eating. Sometimes he keeps snacking when I start to clean up, which confuses me. Eventually he drops food on the ground and I know he’s done for real.
  6. When I ask him to go to the bathroom for this bath, he often walks there by himself. He’ll also take my hand to go to his room for a nap. And he’ll even go to the high chair at mealtime. I think he wants to climb in, but I don’t see that happening any time soon. Or ever!
  7. He’s less interested in outlets and some (but not all) of the other things that used to be trouble. I guess that means he used to get bored kind of easily. I also guess this isn’t something he’s learned, but it’s close enough.
  8. He’s started to put toys inside one another—like food in the shopping basket and a banana in a bowl.
  9. Sometimes he helps me clean up this way. Mommy score!
  10. Before we go out, he helps put his sweatshirt on.
  11. He played with a friend and not just next to a friend for the first time. The giggles were ridiculous.
  12. He still loves peek-a-boo. This isn’t new, but I’m amazed he’s still so excited by it. See #11.
  13. Walking means he can come over and hug me whenever he wants. Which is often. If there were any order to this list, this would be number one.

Happy thirteen-month birthday, Jacob!  Here’s to another month of development and discoveries.

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