How can it be that my little baby boy is about to turn one next week?
I’ve been so excited for this upcoming birthday and have even scoffed at the moms who get all emotional about their babies turning one. Come on, it’s exciting!
But ok, there it is, right there. It’s hitting me. My heart hurts just a little bit.
It hurts over how quickly time passes, how my little boy changes before my very eyes every single day. I adore watching him grow while at the same time I feel slightly panicky at the fact that there never seems to be quite enough time to simply enjoy who he is at this very moment. Whoosh – time keeps passing and he’s changed again. It’s crazy.
But it’s amazing and I don’t have words to describe the joy that this child has brought to my life. Bring on the cliches, but truly – a year ago, I could not have imagined loving anyone as I loved Henry. Henry was my universe. But now Ben is a part of that universe, and my whole universe, again. I marvel at the person he is, how different he is from his brother, yet how similar. How this is my child, a son, who is separate from Henry, a whole other person who will offer the world his own unique talents and quirks.
He fits in so well with our family, making us laugh and just delighting us on a daily basis. I never knew a happier baby than Ben. And after the anti-snuggler that was Henry as a baby, it is extra sweet to have Ben here, a guy who absolutely loves to snuggle. He loves to be held and he presses his face into ours as we hold him, and his soft skin and baby smell are intoxicating to me. If we’re sitting or lying near him as he plays, he’ll randomly crawl over, big smile on his face, and just lay his head against us or bury his head in our lap. I could die.
As happy as he is, he’s a little spitfire, too. He wastes no time in letting us know when he’s not happy with something – usually us putting him down when he wants to be held, or his brother taking something away from him, or someone eating something in front of him and not sharing. He seems to revel in being told no, moving faster and smiling a devilish smile when we call out his name when he’s about to do something naughty. He fights me like a wild beast when I change his diaper in the morning or try to get his pajamas on his at night. That boy is strong! And when it’s time to sleep and he thinks he’d rather stay up in play? Yeesh, you’ve never heard such a scream.
But aside from that, he’s a content, chilled out little man. Plays by himself, will eat by himself while we’re still preparing dinner, doesn’t demand attention the way another member of our family tends to do. He just takes such obvious joy in the world around him and I hope it will always be that way!
More to come in my one-year letter to my sweet boy, but for now, I wanted to capture the details of his life at this moment in time.
Favorite things: Eating, dancing (that’s new), looking out his bedroom window (also new), his big brother (always), nursing (more than ever!), walking along the walls (going to take off any day!), pointing (obsessed with his pointer finger), putting objects into containers (smart little man), holding, playing with and goobing up my iPhone, snuggling, burying his face into soft blankets and pillows, pressing the button on the cable box multiple times per day, looking at books, hearing mommy read “On the Night You Were Born”, bath time
Least favorite things: Sleeping (for too long anyway), getting his diaper changed, getting dressed, taking a bottle (over it)
Size: Not sure how much he weighs, but he sure looks big. Wearing 18-month clothes, most of which are hand-me-downs from his bro, with ease. Size four diapers, which has been the case for months and months, I guess.
Tricks: (my favorite part of this stage right now!) Doing “So big!” when we ask how big he is, putting up one finger when we ask “are you going to be one?”, clapping, pointing, waving “nigh nigh” to objects in his room as soon as I say “time to say nigh-nigh”
Mobility: Crawling everywhere, doing it normally half the time and half the time with that left leg up, making him look like a little monster moving across the floor; will now stand instead of sit when we try to put him down, and walks along the walls to get from room to room; crawls up stairs and is super cautious about trying to crawl back down them or when trying to get off the bed – instead of dive-bombing head-first like Henry always did, he’ll position himself backwards and lead with one leg; standing on his own for quite a few seconds at a time, mostly when holding toys with two hands and forgetting that he’s not holding onto anything; loves to do the downward dog position on the carpet or the bed and look at us through his legs
Teeth: Still has six teeth, four on top and two on the bottom – hasn’t gotten a new tooth in months and months!
Eating: He’s still an amazing little eater. Will eat most anything we give him and almost always eats way more than his brother at any given meal. Is drinking whole milk or water in a sippy with his meals. His favorite foods are anything starchy – bread, bagels, french toast sticks, crackers. Was temporarily obsessed with those little pouches of fruits and veggies, which are so darn convenient for us, but he seems to have chilled out on them a bit, at least for now.
Nursing: We’re officially going to make it to a year with actual nursing and probably go beyond that. He’s always been a decent nurser but has gotten SUPER into it this past month or so. It’s adorable, really and I’m enjoying it while I can. I don’t really have much milk left in there for him since I weaned myself off the pump, but apparently it’s enough since he refuses the bottle at home now (though he’ll still drink a bottle for Lori) and will nurse for like 20 minutes at a time sometimes.
“Talking:” It’s funny how downright not-advanced (aka probably normal) Benny is in this area, after we had a super star in Henry who was saying “cracker” just after his first birthday, and definitely calling us ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ around now, too. Ben won’t repeat things usually, and instead will give us a totally random sound instead. “Ben, say bottle.” “Da!” “Ben, say cracker.” “Ba-ba!” “Ben, say mama.” grunt. yell. giggle. Ha. His babbling and yelling and crazy noise-making is pretty much nonstop and such a joy to hear. He’s hilarious and so animated and I’m so excited for when he does start to actually talk! That’s probably still a ways away, though.
Sleeping: Goes to bed sometime between 7:30 and 8:15 p.m. each night. He was on a really great streak of sleeping all night for awhile there, after some we finally did some training, but the month of January with all the sickness messed everything up. I started nursing him in the night again as a comfort, and his cold was waking him up multiple times a night. Now he’s better and I’m not nursing in the night again, but he still usually wakes up once a night. Once in awhile he’ll sleep all night, but we need to get back to him sleeping all night every night! Though if his brother is any indication, even if he does start doing that again, it doesn’t mean it’ll last! But we’ve been letting him fuss here and there and he can usually put himself back to sleep. Other times, though, he’ll just wail and wail. Ah, babies. So silly to fight the glorious gift that is sleep.
Naps: Still takes two each day, better at daycare than at home, though his afternoon nap at home is usually pretty good, like two hours or so.
Mornings: It pains me to realize that he is following in his brother’s early-rising footsteps. Five a.m. nearly every day – earlier on a bad day, later on a good day. I nurse him and pray he’ll fall back to sleep and I can put him back down, but that only happens about 10% of the time.
Daycare: He’s doing well at Lori’s, playing with his little friends, and I love that she’s taught him some of those tricks I mentioned above. He’s started whining just a bit when I hand him over in the morning, which I feared would start happening, but he’s fine before I even walk out the door. And I’m so glad he has his little brother there to keep him company, too.
His birthday is Tuesday (Feb. 12) and he’ll go to Lori’s and we’ll probably get pizza for dinner when we get home, and get him some special dessert. Then Saturday (the 16th) is his big party! Still have some major planning and crafting to do between now and then, but I think it’ll be a great party! Can’t wait to celebrate my little man.
Ben is 6 days shy of his first birthday