I can’t believe we’re only a month from one and a half years! Didn’t he just turn 1? Actually, wasn’t he just born?!
Ben is fun and frustrating all at once. He is a great mix of baby snuggles and toddler independence and tantrums. He loves to “play” video games with B (he gets his own controller to carry around), snuggle and read books, play with his talking cars and trucks, put things inside other things, explore the house, help vacuum and sweep, and give kisses to the kitties (yuck). He wants things immediately when he asks for them, wants whatever you’re eating, to never have a diaper change, to go outside the house, to play with the breakable floor lamp, to pester daddy in his office, and to please hold the tv remote and our phones.
The snow, freezing temperatures, and my constant morning sickness have taken their toll on our boy. He loves to run errands but mama hasn’t felt up to it lately. He’s started bringing us his coat or boots as if to tell us that he is ready to go whenever we can pull ourselves together. He thinks shoes and snow boots are for wearing all the time so he usually requests to put them on over his footy pjs. He figured out how to climb so our ottoman is his stage. It’s just low enough for him to climb up and high enough for him to feel like a giant when he stands up like a daredevil. It’s a soft, padded ottoman over very soft carpet so we let him climb and fall occasionally so he understands what can happen if he is not careful. He usually is very cautious about staying away from the edge and sliding off on his tummy instead of walking off into thin air.
His vocabulary had exploded in the last month. He mimics everything we say, all the words and animal names in his Baby Einstein videos, and the words we read in his books. He makes sound effects for cars, poking our noses, air planes, and many other things. We haven’t taught him too many new signs because he is much more likely to use the word than the sign at this point. We don’t always understand him and this is frustrating to both him and us when he’s most desperate for that certain thing he can’t reach, his milk cup during lunch, more food on his tray, or a million other things he considers the most important thing ever.
Ben eats and eats and eats! He is almost always hungry! Almost every day he surprises me with how much of a variety of food he is willing to try. In the last few weeks alone, he has eaten pizza, chicken of all sorts, beans of all sorts, fresh fruit, dried fruit, bread or toast, scrambled eggs with cheese, quesadillas, goldfish crackers, tomato soup, broccoli cheese soup, Alfredo pasta skillet, fancy cheese (dubliner) that B refuses to try, sloppy joes and many more things. Feeding a toddler is loads of fun at this point because there is little he won’t eat.
The only thing he is no longer eating is breast milk. I promised myself that if my ultrasound appointment went well last week that I would wean him. Nursing has been more a part of my bedtime routine than his since the fall because he only nursed after he was asleep. It was a bittersweet moment for me. He isn’t my little baby anymore and is more than capable at eating nutritious food on his own and Baby 3 needs the nutrients from me more than Ben does. I miss the cuddles though. Sometimes, if I’m not too sick or tired when I go to bed, B will bring Ben into our bed for some family snuggle time just like before.
We’re encouraging gentle play with his baby doll so he has an idea of how we will treat baby brother or sister when he/she arrives in the fall. He doesn’t understand why mommy is sick and we won’t tell him more about it until this summer when there is a lot more physical evidence of a baby living in mommy’s tummy and when we can take out newborn clothes and gear for him to see. He isn’t always gentle and tends to drag baby around by its feet but hopefully will learn through our example that babies should be snuggled and kissed nicely. This afternoon we spent almost half an hour wrapping baby in a blanket and sharing toys. Every part of me (except the sick part), was smiling.
He is in all 18 month clothes except for his jeans and a few t-shirts at this point. It’s difficult to build a little boy’s wardrobe without an excess of cartoon characters, trucks, or sports references, even at this young age. I’m always on the look out for shirts that are clever (like the amazing alphabet graphic tee from the consignment store) or classic (button downs, polo shirts, khakis, and jeans).
Ben is a great play buddy and brings us loads of joy!