I love watching Bill Cosby’s “Kids say the darndest things”. Jackson might not say the darndest things, but he definitely “does” the darndest things. Those things lead you to wonder where on earth did he learn how to do that? My favorites are the ones that amuse Jackson the most giving him the contagious belly roll laugh. The newest of these magical darndest things I have no idea why or where he got it from. If Jackson finds a tissue (used or clean), drier sheet, or cloth of some sort he will lift my shirt to pretend wash my belly. Sometimes he scrubs it really hard and it leaves scratch marks. I try to get him to wash Sara’s belly and he will for a short period of time, but he is more interested in washing my belly. He has made it into his own little game and I am not sure where on earth he learned that.
The other day Jackson was over at his grandma SInky’s and grandfather Patrick’s. Jackson’s favorite game to play at their house is playing ball on the stairs. He loves to drop the ball between the wall and the banister so you can retrieve it and toss it back up to him. Recently grandma and grandpa had their basement refinished and Jackson loves to run around silly like in the big space. As we were watching him he was pushing his ball around while running he decided to roll over the top of it. He didn’t do a full summersault or anything, but his head kind of skid across the carpet a ways…about a foot. I thought he would stand up crying, hurt, or having carpet burn on his forehead, but he didn’t. He thought it was fun and laughed as he continued to do this new trick. We laughed along after we saw that he was OK.
Jackson is learning more signs thanks to his therapists and our hard work. He has these baby sign language flash cards that he absolutely loves (I love Amazon: Baby Flash Cards). The flash cards have a picture with the word on one side and the sign with the word on the other. They are very colorful and grab his attention. Besides dumping the cards out of the box or making it rain with the cards Jackson has 5 favorite cards: Duck, Bubbles, Bath, Dog, and Hat. He will dump the cards out and look through all the cards to find those particular cards. When he finds them he gets really excited. He can say or make sounds for some of the words like duck and bubbles (bubbas) or he will do the sign for the card. Sometimes he will do the sign and say the word at the same time. The sign for hat is like putting your hat on top of your head. Since I wear hats all the time this is the same sign they are using for him to say my name, Nana. We pronounce it like Nah-Nah not pronounced like the nickname for someone’s grandma. Lately I have noticed that he is also reading the words besides jut looking at the picture. The duck card was upside down and he pulled it from the deck saying duck. My kid can read! When I got home from work yesterday Jackson started feverishly doing the sign Nana. He was really excited to see me, although it took me a minute to realize that he was saying my name and not saying hat.
Besides his sign langue flash cards, he is using signs more often. He is also pairing signs together mostly with please, which is good because being polite is important. Last night he signed, “Cracker please”. It made me chuckle because one of our favorite comedians, Mike Birbiglia, who does a skit on Cracker/Cracka Please. Although Jackson means the food; Cheez-It’s to be exact. Sometimes I don’t know what sign he is trying which has to be super frustrating for him at times. I always feel bad and sometimes have to call Sara in to interpret. He was making this sign I wasn’t familiar with, eventually I figured out that he wanted to play with my cell phone. Seriously though, is there a baby class they take in the womb on how to use a cell phone? I saw this with my nephews when they were toddlers, hand them the phone and they are calling people, texting, taking photos, changing your ringtones, setting calendar appointments, downloading games, turning it into a ninja weapon…. It is truly amazing what toddlers can do on those cellular devices, mostly better than most adults.
When we got the Christmas tree out this year Jackson walked up to it and started helping separate the branches and he pointed to the lights. Well maybe he was just feeling the branches, but it looked like he was separating them to me. Pointing to lights might not be a big deal in most people’s minds, but for Jackson pointing was not an easy task to learn and at times he still struggles with pointing to things that he wants. I was very excited that he pointed to the lights. The tree skirt has bells on the end, he really enjoyed shaking them. I say he was practicing for his performance. We tried to put a few ornaments on the tree, got our fancy camera out to capture the moment, but Jackson enjoyed the noisy boxes in which the ornaments live in. With some hand over hand assistance we put two ornaments on the tree and found that they came off more quickly than they were put on. So we placed the two up high where he cannot reach and that is as far as we have gotten so far this year. We might try again when is not around and see if he notices, otherwise we will have a top half decorated tree this year, which I am totally fine with.
This post could go on about all the darndest things that Jackson does….I think I will make it a monthly special and document them as my son does the darndest things. I will end this post with the vamped up game of Peek-A-BOO! I don’t know if this is a Fragile X thing or not, but Jackson loves to be startled. He will close himself behind a door and open it expecting you to say Boo! He will push you behind something, run away, and come back expecting you to say jump out and say Boo! He absolutely loves it when you startle him to the point where he jumps or falls down, like Sara’s does when she sees a spider. He will even close himself up in a dark room and open the door waiting for you to jump out and get him. I have never in my life met a toddler who loves to be startled or scared, but Jackson will hysterically laugh while playing this game. I think he is receiving some sort of sensory input out it or he is becoming an adrenaline junkie.