I told my mom today that "it's a good thing I had three years to fall in love with this boy, because..." You all can fill in the blanks there.
Jackson. My three-year-old pain-in-the-butt, it's-like-looking-in-a-mirror, how-the-hell-did-we-create-this-kid boy. This post is not all bad--don't worry, I'm not going there--just, exhausted.
Here are some Jacksonisms of late:
Reply to Mommy referring to the "mouses on his hands" when he was wearing two mouse puppets at the Library: "But we are not called 'mouses,' Mommy, we are called 'mice.'" (I know that! I was being silly. Leave it to my 3yo to point out my grammatical errors. Dan is loving this, as I always point out everyone else's.)
Reply to Mommy telling him what to do (again): "OOOOHHHH! THAT'S what you want me to do?"
Reply to Mommy asking if his diaper needed to be changed: "Only if you ask nicely, Mommy."
Response to Mommy asking for a bite of his waffle (that seemed to be a life-or-death drama that morning): pick up waffle, lick it, put it back down, all the while staring at Mom like you-know-what.
And there were so many more...I just can't remember them all right now (of course).
We butt heads every 5 minutes, it seems, but we always come back to laughing and cuddling and playing again. He's full-on in the testing my limits zone--no matter how often I thought we were here before, we were definitely not here before. I'm such a broken record, but I'll say it again, three is different.
Naps? Only in the car, thankyouverymuch.
Food? Cottage cheese, fruit ropes and Cheerios but still nothing else. ("Can I have more cottage cheese-y, please-y?")
Toilet learning? You already know the answer to that, given the "ask nicely" comment above.
Playing nicely with his sister? Yeah, sometimes. But sometimes not...
But then he goes and learns a bunch of stuff when we're not looking that stops us in our mad tracks. Like tonight when he told his Dad that his name is "C-K-S-O-N" and Dan was so surprised that he forgot about whatever he was telling Jackson not to do. (We've been working on the letters in his name lately, apparently, it's sinking in. A "J" is just an "upside down candy cane" in case you were wondering.)
Or he'll astound us with this memory that won't quit and a crazy ability to put it all together. Like "I need to borrow the kangaroo puppet AND 'Horton Hears a Who' from the Library today because there is a kangaroo in Horton's story." (We watched the movie once, months ago, and that's it. We don't talk about kangaroos. We have nothing against them, they're just not a topic we focus on around here, you know?)
Yesterday was particularly awful with the J-Man as he was in solitary confinement so often that we may as well have put a revolving door on his room. But then today, I got an extended (e-x-t-e-n-d-e-d) period of hug time with him while Amelia napped that was totally out of left field. It was one of those moments where I could just remember him as a baby, put my nose in his hair and sit. No squirming, no running away, not even sleeping, just being together. (I know he was only in it for the curiosity of listening to my heart, but I don't care...)
Then tonight, I went out for a long while doing errands as I often do in the evenings, usually returning after he's in bed. But I walked in the door just as he was going upstairs and he said "Are YOU going to take me upstairs, Mommy?" to which I replied "What do you think, Kid?" He gave me one of the good smiles then. Not the silly I-don't-want-my-picture-taken smiles (pictured below), but the I-actually-love-you smiles that are so fleeting (more like the photo in the sidebar that's almost a whole year old now).
Oh Jackson. I don't want to wish away this year with you, but man! you are a handful sometimes. Can you just let Amelia have the pop-up toy? Once? Can you just leave the cat alone for a few minutes? Can you please stop annoyingly bonking me with your head every chance you get?
Oh wait. There you go again. There you go being all cute and bright and funny. Damn. Just when I was all ready to be mad at you too.
I'm either doomed to be head-bonked for another year (more?) or doomed to be in love with this kid forever. Or both.
P.S. He wears a crown everywhere. Why? He's 3.
P.P.S. His socks are huge now. This blows me away more than you can imagine.