Friday, October 13, 2006

19 months

Dear Ben,

I swear this stage of your development (18-19 months) was made purely for my enjoyment.

Except the waking up at 5 am thing. You can cut that out right now.

You mimic everything we say and do. If I’m sitting with my chin in my hand, you come up with your hands tucked into your neck, which of course makes me grab you and kiss you. You repeat everything we say, and since you hear A. asking “Why?” every time I answer “no” to something, you’ve started saying “why?” when I say no to you, too. The funny thing is that I find myself answering you before I remember you don’t know what “why” means. Sometimes I’ll say “no,” and you’ll say “Whybecause. Whybecause.” You must think it’s a “thank you….you’re welcome” kind of thing, because I can’t imagine you really care about “why.”

You are a gifted mimic. You repeat sounds that you hear and it’s amazing how close you often are. You can mimic the sound of our next-door neighbor’s bicycle bell so well that sometimes we can’t tell the difference. You mimic animal sounds pretty well, too. You don’t get that each animal has a different sound, though. So right now, everything says “Cock-a-doodle-doo.” For a while, everything said, “Aaarrrgh.” I’d ask you what a chicken or a cowboy says, just to hear you answer, “Aaaargh.” I enjoyed it when the frogs and Noah on his ark said “Aaaargh,” too. Now they say, like everything else, “cock-a-doodle-doo.”

You’re very friendly. You’ll stand in front of strangers minding their own business and grin at them until they grin back. You’ll flirt with anyone and everyone at the grocery store, even the clerks who look like they’ve had hard lives. I think you’re hoping one of them will give you a balloon or a free piece of turkey. It’s as if you believe everyone is friendly and in general, people have indeed been quite friendly to you. I think that’s a pretty good way to operate, but I’m afraid for the first time you find that people can be mean. Oh wait, never mind. You have an older brother. Already taken care of.

You’re my little lover boy. You yell, “Big hugs!” and tackle me. Over and over. Your latest trick, though, is to hand me something and then throw yourself into my arms so we can both hug the thing between us. It’s very sweet and cuddly with stuffed animals, and a little uncomfortable when you do it with boxes, toy trucks or golf balls. But you’re an equal opportunity lover and toy trucks deserve affection, too.

You adore music and can’t get enough of it. “Moosic! Moosic!” you’ll demand, pointing to the CD player. You get upset with the pauses between songs, too, yelling, “Moosic!” whenever a song finishes. Maybe someday you’ll be a DJ so you can run all the songs together and eliminate all pause-induced panic. I promise we’ll do some baby-and-me music classes soon.

One of my favorite things about you, though, is your enthusiasm. If you see something that looks kind of neat, like a water fountain, you get so excited it looks like you’re either going to blow up or lift off right up into the sky. You hold your arms out straight, get all tense, squeeze your hands tight and yell, “WOW!” If we’re in public, everyone around us laughs. It’s good to be excited. I’m glad there are so many awesome things in your world. You’ve got two dimples and we see them all the time.

You’re just so goddamn cute. It’s fun to take you out places (most of the time) because you and your red-headed brother get a lot of attention. You guys always make people smile, and that makes me feel good about people, so you’ve been an antidote to the stupid and/or horrible stuff people are doing to each other out there in the world. Thanks for lightening my life.

Except the 5 am wake-up thing – really, that’s gotta go.


Sarah said...

Again, you've driven me to sentimental tears. Your boys are so adorable and you're such a caring, sensitive mom.


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