Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baby Ben Update

Life has been way too crazy to find time for blogging... and also too crazy to keep up with the baby book I had so diligently been filling out every month for Ben. But I have a few spare minutes (not really, but...), so I thought I'd jot down what Baby Ben has been up to the last few days.

He continues, of course, to be a total joy! Pretty much the happiest, smiley-est little guy you ever did see.

He had been working so much on various physical developments (crawling, standing, cruising...) that he hadn't said any new words in quite a while. But now he's on a verbal learning streak again. New additions to his vocabulary include uh-oh, which sounds more like "uh-uh", uttered whenever something falls or gets knocked over (usually by him, and usually on purpose); all gone, which sounds more like "ah-guh!"; all done, which, you guessed it, sounds like "ah-duh"; up, pronounced very clearly and decipherably; and arms up, which sounds like "ah-up" or "ah-uh", and is always accompanied by his putting his arms up in the air. While all of these utterances are completely adorable and sweet, "up" has to be my favorite. He finds occasion to say it all the time. For example, he'll sit up in bed right when he first wakes up, with his eyes still half-closed, he'll bust out a definitive, authoritative "up!" Or if we're up in the man cave, he'll proudly proclaim "up" when he sees Bob coming up the stairs. Or when he's in one of his exersaucers or a high chair and wants to get out. Or when he sees someone stand up. Or when he pulls himself up. What a great early word! So multi-purpose, and so positive....

On the flip side, he has figured out what "no" is and when you say it to him he'll give you the most serious little look, almost a stern look, and start shaking his head. This is when he's doing something he really wants to keep doing and you're telling him not to. If he doesn't mind being told no or if he hears us saying no to each other or if we read it in a book, he gets the most adorable little smile on his face and then shakes his head. If you ask him a question, any question, he'll usually smile and shake his head.

Actually, that's not quite true. If you ask him, when he's on the bed, if he wants to go up to the man cave, he'll smile and clap. If you ask him if he wants some num-nums he'll perk right up and start looking around for where you're hiding the goods. And if you ask him if he wants to go somewhere with you and he does, he'll book right on over to you as fast as he can and put his arms up, waiting for you to pick him up. He's definitely a baby on the go, and would rather not be left behind!

More physical feats of late... in addition to the head-shaking and the clapping, and the crawling, standing, and cruising, he's become quite the acrobat. The other day he did a full flip off the side of the bed, fortunately landing in the laundry basket. With a pillow on top of himself (he was trying to climb over the pillow, which was on the side of the bed, and which flipped right along with him). He has also figured out the best way to get down off of something (couch, chair, bed) is to dive, head first. He does it slowly, and puts his arms out, but he does often land on his head. He's such a tough little guy, though. He very rarely cries.

Laurie, one of his godmothers, noticed what a little tough guy he is the other day when he closed his baby laptop right on his thumb. She said he pulled the thumb out, looked at it for a second, then sort of brushed it off on his leg and continued playing.

I was similarly impressed when he fell off the bed the other day (not his careful sliding that he does on purpose) and landed on his head, with a thud, on the wood floor. (Where was his mother?! I was sitting right next to him but had taken my eye off of him for a second. It does not take long for a baby to fall off the side of a bed!). Anyway, he didn't so much as whimper. He said something sort of like "eh!" and then got up into a crawling position, and crawled right out the bedroom door, obviously quite pleased with himself for breaking out of the prison of the bed, and eager to explore. He headed out into the hallway (with mom tailing him very, very closely) and paused as if trying to decide which way to go. He opted for the route up to the man cave, crawling quite quickly across the floor and over to the stairs. Previously, he had only ever mounted one or two of them, but I guess he was feeling emboldened by his new-found freedom, and he climbed up every last stair until he got up to Dada at the top.

Speaking of Dada, though he remains utterly attached to Bob, he still doesn't really say Dada so much! It's gotten to be almost a running joke now and in fact we sometimes wonder if Ben is holding out on purpose because he thinks it's funny or something. Until recently, if you'd say "Dada" to Ben, he'd look at you like he was thinking about it and then he'd reply "MA-MA". But now he has a new response: "Bah-Bob!" It sort of sounds like a cross between "Bob" and the word for daddy in Italian ("Babbo"), both of which he's heard Bob called, but honestly, we all call Bob "Dada" wayyyy more than we call him anything else, so it's kind of funny that for whatever reason Ben's just not saying it. The funny thing about it is both how dada is supposed to be one of the easiest words to say, and also how attached he is to his dada. I mean, he was saying mama by about 3 months, and Lindsey and George soon thereafter, and he even said Linda (quite discernibly) when we went to visit my family in CA and he took a strong, instant liking to his Aunt Linda.

He also remains very attached to his big sissy. The other night when it was time for Lindsey to go to bed, and Ben saw that she was leaving the room, he protested so insistently and loudly that we just had to let her stay up an extra hour to hang out with him! He'll be very happy this summer when she's back with us every day.

He continues to love music, and fortunately he has expanded his tastes from $&!#-kickin' country to various other genres. The other day I had Mardi Gras music on Music Choice on the TV. He cruised across the front of the TV stand until he got to the volume button on the sound system. He cranked it all the way to "max volume" (which really is quite loud!), looked back at me, and then proceeded to start dancing!

I have so much more to say, but I'll wrap this up with one of the sweetest things he does, and that is giving out kisses. He doesn't really do the kissing motion with his lips--he just sort of opens his mouth and puts it on your cheek, and then pulls his face back a little and gives you the most adorable little smile, like he knows he's done something sweet. He's done this on occasion for quite some time (mostly to Bob at first), but now he's really doing it often. And he's started dispensing these to the cats, when he can catch them--somewhat to their dismay!

Somehow I'm managing to enjoy all of this quite fully, despite being stressed out/overwhelmed by work much of the time. I'm definitely counting the weeks to the end of the semester....

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