Approximately eight zillion times a day, I tell Jack, "Use your words, buddy." This is so that he will communicate with us in ways other than caveman like grunts and the occasional whining. It seems to be working, because Jack is talking really well. And let me tell you, that comes in handy.
On Sunday, Jack repeatedly told Steve, "Ear hurts. Ear boo boo." The poor little man had a lot of ear infections when he was littler. This winter hasn't been nearly as bad, but it was especially hard when he couldn't communicate with us. All he could do was cry, leaving us to wonder if he was crying because he was sick or for some other mysterious reason. But this time, we knew what was up because Jack told us. We also knew he was in a lot of pain because even my offer of ice cream (Ben and Jerry's, no less) did not stop him from crying.
Even better, we can really see how he's understanding things. Steve made an appointment to take Jack to urgent care on Sunday night. I told Jack we were going to the doctor. Jack nodded and said, "Open mouth, say ahh. Get Elmo sticker." Wow, yeah. That is pretty much what was going to go down. It amazes me that he knew that, because it's not like a trip to the doctor is a regular event.
Jack continued to communicate well at the doctor's office, telling her "Ear hurts" and pointing to his right ear. Sure enough, that ear was infected. We scored some antibiotics, and she recommended Motrin, rather than Tylenol, for the pain. She didn't have any stickers, but luckily Jack has a smart mommy who brought an entire sheet of Elmo stickers for him. Jack didn't want any stickers for himself ("no sticker on jammies,") but Roary requested an Elmo sticker and "Elmo goldfish" on his paw.
Jack and Steve stayed home yesterday, and the little man is feeling much better. Last night, he and I were hanging out coloring, and Jack started sorting through his crayons, counting them as he went. "He's counting to ten," Steve said. "That's really advanced for his age." Of course, my boy is a genius... but even more of a genius than his daddy thought. Because the little man went on counting right past ten. He counted to 11.
"This one goes to eleven."