Our Ben is still bringing so much joy. Yesterday he turned 20 months and his spirit is just indescribable. I know I've said it before but the way he's changed our home is so beautiful and he has added so much that I didn't even know was missing. I was so scared when I was pregnant with him and that must've made God laugh a bit, with that all-knowing way of His of what was in store for us. I'm inclined to think that he is a gift just for our little family to really understand since I suspect to everyone else he just seems like a normal quirky one year old. But he has made our lives happier, more compassionate, more peaceful, and more loving. He genuinely makes me want to be a better person which sounds really dramatic but is completely true. There's just something about him. I was totally bracing myself as he entered the toddler stage (which is not where my motherhood and temperament are, ahem, naturally suited) but so far, even that's been pretty great. Brian and I are still in awe multiple times a day with just how amazing he is and his big brothers are all still pretty smitten, too. (WOW. That was a mom gush. But my blog so that's that.)
So, capturing some of Ben right now:
Good natured and happy nearly all the time. It's incredible. He has his moments, of course, but even those are so tame.
He loves to dance and definitely prefers faster music. We joked that because he came out feet first when he was born that he would be dancer and I think he's trying to live up to it. His signature latest move is tiptoeing in a circular walk-run with arms in either a slow flap or gospel praise position. It's the best. Whenever I put music on he gets visibly excited and waits to hear what it is and in between songs worries that it's over.
He's got the best side-eye and stink-eye without even knowing it. Any grievance (like a block that won't stack the way he wants, for example, or a piece of food that won't stay on the fork) or anything he doesn't understand, you get a look of disdain/confusion that is just hysterical.
He loves Maggie, our cat. He thinks she's hysterical and she tolerates/loves him back. He still gets a kick out of trying to pet her and she walks away (chase!) or tickles him with her fur.
He still almost always takes a great nap and *knock on wood* doesn't fight it at all. We go up after lunch, he nurses, I lay him down, and he goes to sleep. It's magical. And probably bound to change very very soon. I've been able to be pretty protective of his nap time (we have almost no where to go most days) and I think that's played a huge role in him being so consistent.
That said, most nights he usually still gets up once or twice, though the last few nights he'll sleep until I'm nearly ready to get up, nurse, then go back down for another hour or two. In some ways that's even better because I get up and have some time to wake up and have quiet.
His hair, you guys. It is out of control. I've tried to wet it and comb it down and it lasts for about 42 seconds. I buzzed it pretty short way back when he was maybe six or so months but now the clippers scare him to the point of terrified trembling and it's just not worth it. I won't do that to this sensitive little soul. We scissor cut it once which was nearly impossible. So this is how it is, permanent bed head.
His favorite book is still Little Blue Truck. He likes to "read" which, like the other kids at this age, consists of flipping pages and pointing at things rather than focused attention on the actual story inside. I absolutely love when the older boys read to him. I think he actually listens better when they do it than when I do.
Almost every picture I get of him now is blurry.
He doesn't eat a lot. I used to say that unless there was something wrong, most kids will let you know when they are hungry and not to worry about light eaters. But this boy makes me question that thought a bit. He's just so good natured and distractible that it's almost like he could forget to eat? He eats some, of course, but often barely a few bites. He'd rather watch everyone else. In order to encourage him, the "bounce it out" method began. We tell him we'll "bounce it out" once he puts a bite of food in his mouth and then he takes a bite and every single member of the family starts bouncing and dancing and chanting in their seats. It's ridiculous and he loves it.
He's still incredibly sensitive. From the very day he was born I noticed it. Loud sounds (even the phone ringing), bright lights, anyone who is hurt or crying...he notices it keenly and reacts. (It's nothing I'm worried about, fyi, just a really, really sensitive and intuitive kid, I think.) It's fascinating. If someone is hurt or if a tower is knocked down or something is broken, he is agitated until it's made right again. I can see already how beautiful his heart is.
He also loves to sweep and clean things. Totally vying for favorite child award, this one.
He wants everyone involved. If you point out his nose, he then has to have everyone in the room point out theirs as well. If just a couple people are dancing, then he wants the sitters to join in. If he kisses a crucifix, he then has to bring it to everyone in the room to kiss as well.
He's got this new face he makes when he's excited or sees something new of open mouth, raised eyebrow, happy shock and it is the funniest.
not quite it but getting there.
He's still a total homebody. He is silly and playful and talkative at home but anytime we go anywhere he still is bit wide-eyed and can take a good hour or two before warming up and acting like himself again.
By talkative, I mean he chatters and makes noise but he pretty much never says actual words (that are intelligible, at least). We can recognize a few when we ask him to copy us. This is pretty much how every one of our boys has been until around 2 or so. I still find it amazing how the little girls I know are overall so verbal at this age versus the boys...but the boys are much more physical and adept in that area.
He's so affectionate and will give great hugs and even just want to snuggle sometimes. To tell me he wants to nurse, he asks to be picked up and then just kinda tosses himself to the side and waits which for some reason I find adorable.
So that's our Ben right now. We kinda think he's pretty great.