Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Ben - 1.5 years

Dear Benjamin,

You are a few days past your 18-month mark. Our sweet wee little babe is now a bouncing, babbling, whirlwind of a toddler.

Ben, you are a joyful soul. You love an audience and are constantly 'telling' us all about your activities and discoveries. You've started handing out slobbery kisses to your Papa and you delight in raising up your hands for 'high fives'. Each hand slap is accompanied by wide smiles and joyful hoots. You like talking on the telephone and spent last week carrying around a dummy phone in your pocket, which you would periodically pull out and bellow “hi” into. The imaginary person on the other end got quite an earful.

You are one energetic little person. The other day I met some other mama/kiddo duos at a wading pool in the park. The other toddlers climbed into the water and splashed around contentedly. You? No way. You waded through the pool, zipped across the soccer field, and were in the middle of the skate park before I caught up with you. I’m contemplating the purchase of a baby leash for you, darling. You simply run us into the ground.

Bailey is your best friend. You use him as a couch, a step ladder, and a trampoline. The old arthritic mutt has been hiding out in the backyard to escape your energetic affections.

You continue to be a light eater, preferring milk, cheerios, and fruit. You always do seem to be dying of starvation when the ice cream container makes an appearance, however. You are also loathe to give up breastfeeding. After you get into your pajamas, you climb up into our big chair, and frantically flash your nursing sign. I haven’t the heart to turn you down, despite my quiet wish that you’d grow tired of this phase. We’ll keep it up for another few months and then try to ease away from nursing. Your mama is ready to be done.

You continue to make strides in the language department although you still cling desperately to your old standby: ‘Hot'. Clearly, your first word remains your very favorite. ‘Water',  ‘hat',  ‘cat', or  '[ba]nana’ make occasional appearances. ‘Ouch' and ‘oh uh’ are also pretty high up there on the Favorites List. We keep waiting for ’NO!’ to make its grand entrance but so far you rely on a high pitched squeal of protest when forced to do something against your will. Or you simply resort to wiggling away. Your changing pad has been on the ground (rather than perched on the dresser) for months due to your wily escape tactics. We should start calling you Houdini.

Ben, we feel so lucky to be your parents. Of course there are days that stretch our patience to the limit but generally you are in possession of a joyful exuberance that is simply infectious. The other day I came around the corner and you and your dad were wildly dancing around the living room. It was a sight I will never forget.

Having you as our babe reminds me to slow down and appreciate these early days, to be grateful for our family, and perhaps, most importantly, let loose and do some crazy dancing ‘round the living room with you jumping joyfully in accompaniment.