When Jackson turned a year, people kept saying, "If you thought the first year went fast, just wait - the second year goes even quicker." I figured it was just something people say, one of those comments people feel obligated to make, like asking if someone feels older on their birthday. I've always thought it was the most ridiculous question. Of course you don't feel older.
We just celebrated Jackson's first birthday. Then we blinked. Now he's 13 months old. On Jackson's first birthday, he could stand alone. He had taken exactly 0 steps on his own. Then, overnight, he started taking steps. He'd take a few steps a few times a day. Then, he'd take no steps the next day. After about two weeks of this, he just walked clear across the house. I figured he'd walk/crawl for a while. Nope. Not Jackson. Once he figured it out, he was a walker. He's finished with crawling. Of course, in the occasional DIRTY public place he decides he wants to crawl. But, usually he's always walking. Actually it's more of a walk/run. Once he figures out running, we're really in trouble. He has also mastered picking stuff up off the ground while standing.
Although walking is the major milestone every parent seems to wait for, Jackson has had some other milestones that we consider important and adorable as well.
Jackson has a much longer attention span. Previously, he wouldn't sit still for more than about 30 seconds while we tried to read him a book. Now, he'll sit still for over 30 minutes if we have his favorite book. We'll read it. He'll babble, point to pictures. He can correctly identify "ball" and "dog;" sometimes he can also identify "mommy" and "baby". When we finish reading it, he wants us to read it again, and again, and again. Currently his favorite books are the Busy Bugz pop-up books (which he is a little rough with and now reside atop high shelves) and the Smoky Mountain Wee Ones. Of course, he loves any book that has animals in it.
If we ask him if he would like to read a book, he will bring one to us. He will also sometimes try to read to himself. It's adorable. He sits alone, flips through the books, and "reads" out loud.
If it's a book with different surfaces to touch, he'll touch them, stroke them, and sometimes try to eat them. Recently, he was reading a book from Grandma Stockman about animals. It was a touch and feel book. He got very obsessed with the dog page. Like we mentioned earlier, Jackson was touching it, stroking it, pulling it, and licking it. It was cute, minus two things. 1. Later that night we found a white hair in his diaper. Not sure if it was from the aforementioned hair licking or what. 2. He decided to name the dog. It was cute because he hasn't really "named" things before. What did he decide to name it, you ask? "Mama." Rather than taking it as my son thinks I look like a dog, I will take it as a compliment because the boy loves dogs.
Jackson is pretty good at waving bye-bye to people. Sometimes he'll also say "bye-bye" and sometimes he won't. Recently he has also added waving hello to people. But, only sometimes. He's really getting better at blowing kisses now. A couple of weeks ago he started doing only the first half. He'd put his hand to his mouth and that's it. He'd just sit with his hand over his mouth for a while. About a week ago, he started doing the second part where he also moves his hand away. This morning, he blew me kisses with both hands!
He can also point to his teeth, brush his teeth a little bit, put some puzzle pieces in their right place, drink with a straw, feed himself with a spoon for about five or six seconds, stack six blocks on top of each other, work light switches for about five or six minutes (at least), and pick up thrown magnet toys when forced to do so.
His personality comes out more and more every day. He is silly and loves to make us laugh. When Rob jokingly lifted Noelle's leg in the air and dropped it, he immediately tried to copy that for a good five minutes. He is OCD about the pantry door - he pushes it closed whenever he sees it open - and his good habit of picking up small things around the house has become a compulsion while outside - a bad habit.
There are a few things Jackson loves above all others. He loves his puppies so much. They know to stay away from him as his method of petting is not at all gentle. He says, "bubbie!" and walk/runs over to them, and they scatter pretty quickly. If they are outside, he bangs on the window for them. If they are anywhere within sight while he is eating, he will try and drop food for them. This is a bad habit. Below is a video of Jackson delighting in his dogs and being rejected by them. Then he takes his rejection out on the world.
Another thing Jackson loves is his keyboard. He's progressed beyond hitting random buttons to choosing certain keys that make his favorite sounds. Sometimes he sings along. Sometimes he uses the microphone as a hammer. I like to think he's experimenting with sounds, not breaking the microphone and keyboard at the same time.
He also loves the music played by his Leap Frog Magnet toys. He loves to dance and sometimes sing to their incessantly playing melodies. There's a video of this on another post for you to enjoy. Sometimes, he gets his Leap Frog Magnet toys next to his keyboard and gets all three playing music. When one stops, he presses the button to keep it going. He is a music artist. Sometimes in the very early morning.
Jackson also loves to play with his drum set. He shakes the maracas and tambourine, he smacks the drums with his hands, and the drum sticks were so popular that they now reside with the Busy Bugz books on the high shelves.
Jackson also loves the dogs' kennel. This cage sits in our kitchen just hoping to injure our son again. Right now he's sporting a nice cut from falling into its embrace. He loves to open the kennel for the puppies. He loves to move the kennel across the floor. He loves to catch his fingers in between the kennel and the door. He loves to scream out when we pull him away from it. We're ready for this trend to disappear, but it's the closest thing we have to a jungle gym here. Also, he loves to leave his toys inside the kennel for the dogs. This varies from socks to stuffed animals to his Leap Frog magnet farm.
Jackson also loves his bean bag chair. We bought the bean bag chair to assist Noelle with photo shoots, but it has quickly become everyone's favorite piece of furniture in the house (besides the insanely comfortable chair in Jackson's room). Jackson will flop down on this randomly, and if you pry him away from the cage, his screams will stop as soon as he gets lowered down into the bean bag. He sometimes puts it on his back and crawls with it on top of him.
Jackson still loves water. Whether it's in a bath tub, a splash pad, a pool, or a sippy cup, he wants to play with it for hours. It's nice to know 2/3 of our planet makes him so happy.
He still loves socks. He now lays them on his foot to show us where they go.
Jackson still loves to say "uh oh" all the time. Sometimes he says it to warn us he is about to drop something, sometimes he says it to let us know something somewhere is on the ground, and sometimes he says it to pass the time, apparently. It's still cute, but Rob is trying to switch it out with "Annyong" to make for a catchphrase that will never get old.
Jackson loves remote controls and gadgets. If you get a strange phone call from us that sounds like someone is scooting the phone across a carpet and giggling, that would mean he got one of our phones. The Universal Remote has been damaged to the point of having short term memory loss, so Rob has now memorized the code to make the TV work. It's 1042. Thanks, Jackson.
Most of all, we get the feeling that Jackson loves us. He smiles for us, laughs for us, naps for us, and gives us random hugs. He also loves his grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. When we mentioned something came from Grandma the other day, he went to the front door to wait for Grandma. Very sweet. When Rob watches Jackson while Noelle is working, Jackson will always wind up at the bedroom door, banging on it in the hopes Mommy will arise like she does early in the morning. We love our little monkey/goober so much, and we're so happy that we get to watch the next month of his life so closely thanks to it being summer.