When I first started this blog I wanted to keep track of Jackson’s favorite things throughout his life and in 2011 I wrote a post about them: There are a few of his favorite things…
It has almost been 3 years since that post and looking back at the list not too much has changed, the list has grown, but he is still loves a lot of the things that are on this list. Jackson will be 5 very soon so here is an updated list of favorite things in no particular order:
Catch on the stairs is still fun game, but we also like driving motorized trucks on the stairs. While driving trucks we like to repeat the flowing phrase: “Fall… Hurt… Boo-boo… Sad”. Eventually the truck will either become a flying object or will tumble down the stairs. It is wonder that these little motorized vehicles still function. Jackson also likes shooting hoops and hitting the ball. I think I have a future Olympian in the making.
Mickey Mouse Club House is still a staple, but mostly if Pete has a role in the episode. While watching TV we have to have an object of relation in hand, for example: Jackson likes to watch Cars 2 while we drive his remote control Tow-Mater car around and while watching country music videos or the CMA’s we play guitar and/or the tambourine. Jackson has also graduated to watching YouTube videos in which Jackson has a favorites list. It’s cute when he brings you his iPod and says, “Favorites”. A small list of his favorite videos are: Trash Trucks, people mowing their grass, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, .Fun, escalators, Miss Shy reading Pete the Cat books, and awhile back Missy Franklin’s viral “Call Me Maybe” parody.
Music is something that everyone in house loves, however country music was never something Sara or myself were into. So naturally Jackson loves country music and we all exist in Jackson’s world so we listen too. We really thought he was going towards pop music because of his love for .Fun “We are Young” and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call me maybe”. He really loves Phillip Phillips’ “Home”, which I believe started his love for acoustic music. I guess if I had to put my finger on the love for country it is the influence of grandma Sinky and her love for Zac Brown Band. That is how it all started. Grandpa Pat has an acoustic guitar that he started to play for Jackson along with the music videos on the TV. So if you come over to our house and our little man grabs you buy the hand and tells you “Atar on the FreeV, tune..tune, Hat-Hat” that means you must put Country Deep on the TV, pick up the guitar, tune the guitar, and then strum along. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to play guitar, he doesn’t care as long as you play along. Hat-Hat is group Walker McGuire…it took us weeks to figure that one out. Poppy bought Jackson a snare drum this past Christmas; Jackson is pretty good at banging on that. The tambourine is also an important instrument that Jackson plays, it is so freaking adorable when he uses his butt. Aren’t grandparents wonderful?!?
Jackson also loves to FaceTime his family on the phone and request that you play guitar and sing. If you have a missed call from Sara or me, we found him with our phone trying to FaceTime or call ya. We are working with Jackson on appropriate phone conversations besides persistently asking for guitar. He has a hard time containing his excitement, but he is getting better.
Jackson likes all things that are loud and electronic; he will perseverate on these items frequently throughout the week. The vacuum is still a huge favorite and it was discovered by him that if you crumble up chips or cheez-its on the floor, ma-ma or na-na has to get the vacuum out. Awesomely smart that one… The lawn mower is requested frequently, even during the winter months. Jackson will watch people in the neighborhood mow their lawns. Sometimes this causes Jackson to have major hyperarousal and we see fight-or-flight responses from him. When the neighbor finishes mowing, he will bang his head, gag himself, or throw himself on the ground. We are learning a lot about the effects of hyperarousal in Fragile X syndrome at various workshops which I will elaborate in a different post. Trash trucks are another big hit in our house, although the hyperarousal cause different response when he hears them roaring through the streets. Jackson freezes and in a high pitched voice repeats, “Na-na… Trash Truck… na-na, ooohhh”. He wants to see the truck so bad, but he can’t move without your help.
Jackson loves the swing, rocking chair, jumping on a trampoline, riding along in his radio flyer, and driving his motorize tractor outside. He also loves going for walks. Vestibular motion is important in Jackson’s routine. Jackson loves riding the escalator, or watching others ride the escalator. This makes it difficult when an escalator is present, because that is all he wants to do. No mall shopping for you!
Jackson also likes to have books read to him, watch out for “Pete the Cat” books though…he goes berserk over them. These Pete books are a huge hyperarousal activity that we are working on better outcomes for him. Luckily his nighttime books do not cause the same reaction.
“Frieeeenddddssssss!!” Jackson loves to watch the neighbors play catch in the cul-de-sac and play basketball. The neighbors, Charlie and Mallory are the siblings who play outside with their dad, are outside almost every day and anytime the garage door is open he is looking for them. Jackson will do a roll call on repeat, “Chachi, Malmory, shoot the ball, hoops, Chachi…”. Lately he started going to the windows and singing "Friieeennddsss....Chachi.....", hopefully I can catch video of this because it is so cute. Jackson also does roll call of his school friends and teachers, “Miles…poop, Henry…poop, Ally…poop, Tate (Miss Kate)…poop, Lindsey…poop”. Yeah buddy, everybody poops.
Jackson loves when people visit our house and leave. Sometimes Jackson is so excited to see visitors that he might swat or pull hair, that hyperarousal can really overcome him. If you are frequent visitor you have learned to adapt in Jackson’s world, something we can’t thank you enough for. “Owen, buddy, Jackson REALLY loves you and thank you for being so understanding even though you get swatted the most when you come visit.” When visitors leave our house take note: you must, “Honk, honk” before driving off. Jackson is very polite and will bring you your coat and purse, he will even dig your keys out, but you must leave right then and there. Jackson will let you know the routine as he is pushing you out the door.
Jackson’s list of favorites are very similar to most children his age and we are working with him every day to overcome his struggles when hyperarousal overtakes him.