I've been spending a lot of time alone with Jackson lately, with Ayla at preschool and Elliot almost perpetually napping. He's quite an interesting character. Almost every interaction begins or ends with some sort of manly swordfight / light saber battle / crayon stand-off / being wrestled to the ground.
Jackson really turns up the antics at bedtime. He'll go straight to sleep for every other person on the planet, but I have to yell at him twenty times to stay in bed or lie with him until he's finished talking to himself, kicking or trying to continue the mischief of the day.
The other night, I was sitting quietly in Elliot's room, holding him until he fell asleep... and I was watching Jackson avoid bedtime by messing with the dog. I had attempted to put Jackson in my bed so that Ayla could get to sleep. Instead of sleeping, he unloaded almost every drawer in the room, dumped all of my books on the bed and drew all over himself with a marker. (HOW DID HE GET A MARKER???)
But the boy knew to stay in the room.
He didn't know I was watching, but he was engaging in a serious marker battle with our dog, Baxter. Jackson wouldn't step over the carpet line from our bedroom into the hallway... but he was waving that marker like he was defending the ends of the earth. He kept losing his balance as he tried to fight Baxter and would nervously step back into the bedroom. He would look around to see if he was going to get yelled at and then resume taunting the dog with his weapon of choice.
I couldn't be angry, but just marvel at how his personality is budding into a little man. I'm not rationalizing that a "little man" gets to be violent, but that by engaging in battle - that's the way he knows best how to interact with other people. He doesn't talk a lot, but it's a universal truth that almost anyone can have a light saber battle without conversation.
I was a little fly on the wall - seeing how he chooses to entertain himself: with a marker and a defenseless dog.