On growing up

Picture 3This is Jack. He’s 3. He doesn’t really nap in the afternoon anymore, but last Friday he crawled into my lap and fell fast asleep. He was hot and sweaty, Grace got upset, and I knew the timing would affect Jack’s bedtime, but I also couldn’t remember the last time I’d held him sleeping and I just couldn’t move him. And I took this photo because I’m not sure if it will be the last time.

I don’t remember our final breastfeeding session, or his last night sleeping in a crib, and I sure didn’t store away the memory of Jack’s last poopy diaper. I am totally enjoying this new stage of sleeping through the night and being potty trained. But I needed to capture this sweet moment.

This morning, Jack carried a toy out to the van but when he climbed in, he handed it to Grace and said, “I brought it just for you!” Sharing favorite toys does not come easily for Jack, and I was moved by this show of generosity. Then, right after arriving at childcare, I realized I left Grace’s water bottle on the kitchen table. Jack’s first response: “It’s okay, Mom, she can share mine!” I was proud of him.

The phrase, “No, I can do it myself” is becoming more common around here—as is “Try it yourself first.” He can manage the bathroom decently well (when wearing elastic-waisted pants!) and enjoys choosing his own clothes in the morning. His problem-solving skills are improving and he’s earned the nickname Mr. Negotiator because of his ability to counter with valid options other than what have been presented to him! His curiosity is growing, too, and he loves to ask about words and letters. He amazes us with the words he knows and can use properly (this week: reflection).

He loves to talk about the new baby. He asks to watch birth videos and we talk about how the baby will be born. He regularly sings “I can’t wait to meet the baby” (from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) and volunteers to feed and hold the baby. I know the baby’s birth will bring a host of changes for him, but I can’t wait to see Jack as a big brother, again.

I do love to be needed by my kids but watching them blossom into independence is so much more rewarding. He’s such an imaginative little helper who cares deeply for his sister. I’m just so proud of my little boy.

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