Ben turned the big 2 1/2 yesterday without much ado. It’s amazing how fast he is changing. I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel now. Sure, he is still stubborn, destructive, and well, to steal a phrase from a dear friend, a wild donkey, but he is slowly learning to control himself. Slowly.
Being in this house has helped. We have been able to babyproof it more easily than the apartment, and being able to go in the backyard, cul-de-sac, or down the street to the neighborhood park is wonderful. Of course, I haven’t been able to take him outside. But I will be soon.
I have been thinking long and hard about preschool in September for him, and I think I’m going to wait a year. There’s a two day a week program at a nearby church, but Ben is still having separation anxiety. And he knows it. When he gets home from church I ask him, “How was nursery?” and the story goes like this. “It was fun. I cried. Daddy had to go to Daddy’s class, and I cried, and he came.” Sometimes they go get Daddy, and sometime Ben calms down enough to stay in nursery. But he always cries.
Ben has also become especially attached to his pacifier and blankie. They used to be nonchalantly left in the crib in the morning and after naps, but now they carried everywhere. If they are left in the crib, he will climb in, retrieve them, and climb back out, proudly announcing “I got my paci and blankie” upon his return. Once I stashed them on a high shelf in his closet and with a bathroom stool and a few Rubbermaid bins of clothes he climbed up and got them. I decided with me being down, and the baby almost here, it’s not worth fighting over. In a few months we will revisit the issue. One thing we made sure of was buying the baby his own pacifiers and blankets. The blankets are not cheap (aden + anais, my favorite), and Ben has four (monkey blankie, giraffe blankie, etc.) When I asked Christopher, “Do you think we can just use some of Ben’s blankies for the baby?” Christopher, my sweet frugal husband, said, “No way! Buy the baby his own, and get a different pattern.” The baby gets stars and circles, and Ben will tell you, “The baby gets his own pacis and blankies.”
Ben, I believe, is ready for potty training. But I’m not. I’m afraid if we miss this window, it will be another year and I will regret it, but if we train him now, it will be mostly on Allison. Plus, we are bringing home a brand new baby in a week or two, and I don’t know what kind of wrench it would throw into progress we could make in the meantime. But the kid can pull his pants down and do his business without too much trouble. He seems to have plenty of control, and the verbal skills to communicate his needs. With a big bottle of juice and a giant box of Tic-Tacs, I think he wouldn’t be too much trouble to potty train. For now.
Ben has been sleeping a lot better, still in his crib with the crib tent. Often, he screams when you plop him in his crib, but usually for about 30 seconds, and not more than a minute or two. Sometimes I’ll stand and the door and listen to the screaming stop and his sigh of acceptance as he settles in for his nap. He still takes a solid 3-hour or so nap, which is much needed after a morning of chasing him around, followed by an afternoon. Again, Allison duty lately. When Ben wakes up in the morning, usually around 7 or 7:30, he calls Megan or Gavin to get him out. Eventually, they groggily get out of bed and take him downstairs and turn on the TV. This has been a sweet arrangement. Sometimes Megan even straps him in his booster seat and gives him a cereal bar and a sippy cup of milk.
Ben is loud, fun, and we are enjoying him more and more every day.
(the only way to get him to sit still for a picture, below)