Ahhh, my sweet wonder boy, is six and a half! We began celebrating half birthdays last year as a way to help Jack with the transition of becoming a big brother (since Rigby's birthday and Jack's half birthday fall within 3 days of each other). Last year, we took Jack out for treats after picking him up from preschool for the first time with Rigby and I was feeling less than stellar that day. So, this year we are celebrating in a bigger way for his special half day. He requested a treat and a family movie night; I insisted on making them both a surprise (Ben and Jerry's ice cream cake and Harry and the Hendersons!).
Jack is a creative, loving child with a very large imagination. He has quite an extraordinary ability to make-believe, draw, tell stories, and reenact every single thing small detail of what he watches. He will pretend play all the time and our life can quickly feel like it is being directed scene after scene. Eventually there becomes a point each day when we grow tired of pretending and tell him that it's time for Jack to be Jack again. In the middle of his play, we will observe him walking all over the house (he is rarely still) and talking nonstop about whatever it is that is on his mind. He will talk whether someone is listening or not. Quiet time is not a thing in our house until after 8pm.
Aside from pretend play, Jack is an amazing artist and story teller. We have stapled reams of paper all over our house of books that he makes. His drawing ability is uncanny and I continue to be amazed at the detail and care he puts into his work. He takes great pride in art and even entered his first art show this year for the Bryant Elementary art night in which he submitted a Ninjago Lego drawing depicting directions on how to build the figure with the Lego pieces.
Jack loves to be read to. Currently some favorite chapter books that we read to him at night are the Hardy Boys (we are on book #3), Little House on the Prairie, and all of Roald Dahl's stories. He is becoming a good reader and he actually is more competent than he lets us know. He is always asking for help spelling words but when I tell him to sound it out first, he nearly always gets it right.
Some favorite toy interests of the moment are Ninjago, Mine Craft particularly the Creeper (although he has never played or read any books about this, I think some of his school friends share their knowledge), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ET (we watched the movie a few weeks ago), space themed play, and Star Wars. Speaking of movies, which remains Jack's most favorite thing, family movie night is getting so fun as we starting to watch movies from when we were growing up! After Harry and the Hendersons, for the next movie night we are going to watch Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
I have to admit that weekends have been hard for me. When we do not have structure or plans, Jack seems to get wonky and then it is a real challenge to reel him back in. I find the need to do a lot of deep breathing and pauses and remember that I shouldn't be so cross. And, I have noticed that even if he says he wants to stay at home, activities away from the house make both he and I feel better.
While we did our best to limit treats yet also try to prevent the allure of "forbidden fruit," Jack seems to be asking constantly for sweets. He asks almost every night after dinner, yet he is quite reasonable with the amount he feels is appropriate to request (3 Skittles, one chocolate. 1/2 a cookie).
He is very affectionate toward Rigby. He is eager to be the first one in Rigby's room in the morning or after naptime. He loves playing games with him and making him laugh. Lately, however, Jack has been heard scolding Rigby for "hurting" him which is a new thing.
Jack is a good friend and quite typical for his age, his friendships are fluid. It seems like he rotates between 4 boys and 1 girl as being his "best friend" of the day. I think he finds it easier to play one on one rather than in a big group, yet I have noticed that if he is able to dictate the type of pretend play happening, then he is happy playing with anyone who wants to play along. On the playground at school, as of late, they play Ninjago, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lego Star Wars (I am still confused about the need for distinction between Lego versus non-Lego characters when playing), and ET. We have lots of play dates in the afternoons and he likes having people come to our house as much as he enjoys going to theirs.
He still prefers playing and drawing to sports. We have agreed that he will try a new sport each year for several years until he has tried enough and is then able to tell us that he is not interested in playing. I don't mind him not being a sporty boy, but I am afraid that once he gets into the upper middle school years that he might regret not having learned a sport when he was younger. He agreed to try tennis in Atlanta and he continuously asks if he is old enough to play football (I am not sure when "old enough" will be to suit me). My goals for the summer are to fully teach him to ride his bike and to swim...patience is a virtue, they say.
He has a growing interest in bugs. Lately, he has been very interested in collecting and making homes for pill bugs (rolly pollys). He has such a sensitive heart that when one died in a jar on our deck last week, he wept. His interest of mosquitoes and cockroaches has been piqued lately due to our move to Atlanta. I am crossing my fingers that he doesn't try to make homes for any roaches!
We enjoy and love you so much, Jack Jack!