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Two Years of The Joy Machine

Jackson McLane - 2 Years Old Today
JT in his favorite spot doing his favorite thing, eating!

Jackson Turns Two Today

Here’s 10 things about our toddler that I wish I could bottle up and save forever.

  1. Jackson is always happy. We don’t call him the Joy Machine for nothing. Even when he’s upset a smile or giggle is nearby. Sometimes just when you pick him up he giggles. 
  2. We love his language. Jackson wasn’t in a hurry to start talking. As the third child, he didn’t really need to as everywhere he turns there are people waiting on his every desire. Words like “dinosaur” and “car” are his favorites right now. And we giggle endlessly at his words like “sit” and “truck” which sound like cuss words. And him running around the house making a kissing noise and calling for Lovely, “Cat. Cat. Cat” is almost as awesome as him calling “Stoney” then petting him or checking on his water bowl.
  3. He loves to cuddle. Between 5:30 – 6:00 every day you’ll start to hear his calls from the crib. He goes through a cycle, “Mama. Mama. Mama. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Paul. Paul. Paul.” He’ll repeat that until someone picks him up. When you do he turns and says, “blankies.” Then he comes to bed with us and plays between mom and dad for a bit, sometimes falling back to sleep, but usually just cuddling and talking.
  4. He is persistent. Since Kristen and I work from home these days, there’s times where he demands our attention. Right now he loves to bring me things… like lining up his favorite trucks on my desk. When he has everything he needs he grabs my leg, pulling it until my chair swings around, makes me stop working, and start playing with him. He doesn’t care what I’m up to or who I’m talking to or anything… it’s just daddy’s time to play with him and that’s that. Love it.
  5. The Glue. Jackson loves Megan and Paul. They are his heroes, his playmates, his best friends, and his protectors. While the older kids are sometimes lost in their rivalry with one another they always, always, always rally around Jackson. I love that he brings everyone together.
  6. His favorite people. A toddler’s world is very small. There are a few special people whom completely light up his day. He gets so excited to see them! Besides mom, dad, Megan, and Paul… Jackson’s favorite people right now are…. Paulina who has watched him since he was a baby, the nursery workers at church whom we call “the grandmas,” and his playmates Easton & Lucy.
  7. His chair. We have an old, rickety chair we keep in the kitchen. I think it came from the dumpster at a Christian school we [were forced to] worked at in Oroville. Jackson pushes that chair all over the kitchen so that he can be a part of what’s going on. He hasn’t sat in a high chair in months, instead eats standing up so he can be at eye level with the big people. He probably spends 2 hours a day standing on that chair or pushing it around.
  8. Cars, trucks, and balls. Paul was always kind of into what his big sister Megan was into. Sure, he liked boy things but he was never really exclusively boy like Jackson. (Except for wrestling and anything physical, both boys are equal in that.) Jackson loves basketballs, footballs, and soccer balls. He is great at throwing balls… like wow, great aim and a strong arm. In the past few weeks he’s gotten addicted to the movie, Cars. He watches it at least twice daily. The rest of the house has it memorized. This car fascination continues to toys as he’s almost always carrying around a Matchbox car. And when we drive around he’s pointing out all of the trucks. (Convenient since there’s a large housing complex going in a few blocks away.)
  9. He loves the park. It’s hard to remember the allure of the park as a kid. I can remember spending hours and hours playing with friends at the park growing up. At JT’s age this is supervised fun, he loves the slides and swings and climbing up the big structures. Of course, this is unbelievably fun when Megan and Paul are there doting over his every step.
  10. He’s done with baby stuff. The other night Kristen said she saw him throw his leg over the side of his crib. (Gulp) And it’s been a few months since he was happy about being in the stroller, maybe 6 months since he was last in his high chair. Mom and dad are struggling with that… our last baby being done being a baby. That’s a tough pill to swallow. 

Happy Birthday sweet, Jackson!

For his birthday we’re going to have a small cake tonight before church. Then on Sunday we’re headed to San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park for some roar.

By Adam McLane

Adam McLane is a partner at The Youth Cartel, co-author of A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media, blogger of 10+ years, and a fan of all things San Diego State University Aztecs.

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