I missed writing Ben’s 13 month update but at the time I was thinking that I could slow down his posts to give Baby 2 his/her time to shine but that isn’t an issue anymore. B and I are so thankful for Ben and how incredible he is. Without him, this miscarriage would have been a whole lot harder.
The biggest change since his birthday was that he learned to walk! He had been cruising around the furniture for a few months already and starting to let go to take one tentative step before falling down. One day, as I was putting things away on our tv stand, a little boy wrapped his arms around my legs. I was startled because I didn’t notice him pulling himself up by holding on to my pants. I turned him around and was surprised to see him walk 3 feet back to the ottoman. He was so proud of himself! In only 3 weeks since he learned to walk, he had become much more steady on his feet and walks (or runs) almost everywhere now. If he starts getting frustrated or antsy, B will take Ben’s tiny hand and go for walks around the house. While I was gone for a bridal shower on Saturday, B figured out some solutions to our baby-proofing problems, namely the cats’ food and access to the basement for their litter box. Now, Ben can free-range roam the house to his heart’s content. It oddly makes it easier to cook and clean too since he can come find me if he feels he needs to keep me in sight.
Both of us have noticed that Ben’s comprehension level for spoken words and instructions has vastly improved over the last months. We can tell him to find something, go somewhere, or ask him what he is eating and he can respond correctly. He doesn’t always listen, like when we tell him to go to his high chair and he runs into the bathroom, but that’s more of a toddler getting into things he shouldn’t than not listening. Along with being able to understand us much better, he has come a long way with signing. He can sign more, please, water, milk, cheese, eat, and hot. He can use these signs without us prompting (except please because that’s the newest one) and even in more than one use case. For example, he’ll sign for more food at lunch and sign for more books when we read before nap time. I’m hoping to work on “thank you” next. It would be great for him to figure that out before Christmas. Help and read/book are on my list too.
Ben has also started to mimic words and has learned some animal noises. He knows cow (mmmm), sheep (baa), pig (gunk gunk), chicken (indescribable throat noise), and puppy (arf arf). He knows there is a small stuffed sheep on the shelf above his changing table to every time we put him on it for a diaper change, he asks, “Baa?” If we give him the sheep, diaper changes are much less like shoving a boa constrictor into a grocery bag. Ben can say “hi hi,” goldfish (shhhh), cereal (sssss), and talks about “da DEE” constantly, especially if he knows we’re going home from running errands and B is working at home. He doesn’t say Mama very often and if he does, it’s because we’re making him do something he doesn’t want to to, like get ready for bed, and he would like to be rescued.
He’s wearing all 12 month clothes and is starting to look more and more like a little boy every day instead of our baby. His hair is getting really long but I’m still dragging my feet about getting it cut. He is still our baby and can look like it for a while longer. It doesn’t bother him at all so I’m not feeling pressured to do it yet. Our favorite shoes are his Robeez because the soft soles make it easier for him to walk without slipping. I love them almost enough to pay full price but not quite. I have had a good amount of success finding them at our local kids consignment store.