Back in the NICU, my dream was to have a chance to “know Jack” and give the chance for the rest of the word to “know Jack” as well. Those of you that have followed this blog for more than four years probably have a pretty good glimpse into the world of Jack, and may even know quite a bit about him even if you have never met him.
One big part of getting to know someone is finding out what kinds of things that person likes and dislikes. I would venture to say that no two people are alike if you get down to everything that deserves a thumbs up or thumbs down – we will all differ on a few things. It’s what makes us unique. Those things make us memorable to each other. They define us more than we probably appreciate.
Our kids gradually show us a big part of who they are by what they crave, seek out, dream of, despise, fear, or avoid. As time goes on, they will unquestionably grow out of some of these things and develop more likes and dislikes.I wanted to try to summarize some of his most current joys and displeasures, just to give you a peek into our growing micro-preemie’s world. Although he does have favorites within favorites, these will be in no particular order. And they will only be favorite things, not favorite people, since Jack can’t say enough about all the fabulous supporters and friends.
Jack has not been a huge fan of stuffed animals and dolls. One big exception to that rule is a Super Grover doll he got from Nans back in Christmas 2011. Super Grover exclaims his super powers and willingness to use them whenever you press his belly. We developed a routine long ago that mostly involved flying Grover around and having him crash land directly on Jack as he makes sounds of flying in distress. This is one of the few things where Jack can go from a meltdown to elation when we whip out Super Grover. Failsafe.
Some of us have a sweet tooth while others have a knack for salt. Due to Jack’s oral aversion, his pureed diet trends toward the sweeter (but nutritious) side of the food pyramid that can be consumed without much chewing. Refusing to surrender to texture, we have required daily exercises to push Jack’s limits, much like an Olympic champion. Jack’s sport is eating Cheeto Puffs. They are salty, cheesy, textury, and airy. His routine with the Puffs is methodical. Upon receipt of the Cheeto, he sings its praises and, sometimes, lifts it into the air. He then takes a lick or two, followed by testing its durability with a muscly pinch of his fingers. Some either don’t past the initial taste or durability test, and they are promptly cast over his right shoulder and into the garbage bin that has been strategically placed there by mom or dad to avoid a Cheeto landmine in the kitchen. If they do pass the test, he will take a few licks and maybe, even a bite. He rarely swallows that bite, though.
SLEEPING UNTIL A REASONABLE HOUR
Jack used to sleep long and late. We liked those days and we didn’t know how good we had it. And then one day he decided to wake up at 5:00 in the morning. He liked it so much, he started to get up at that time almost like clockwork. There are always a few exceptions, but Jack loves to start his day early with a good jump on his bed, a little Elmo, and coming back into our bedroom to wake us up.