The last 4 nights, Ben has slept through the night. Let’s start there.
For the first month, he needed to be on top of Amy or me in the bed in order to fall asleep. If he caught us trying to escape he would rocket into a panic attack, and if we got out undetected, he still woke up 2 or three times a night and one of us would have to run get in the bed and calm him down and get him to sleep again. Then, two weeks ago we changed it up. I still read and snuggle with him for a bit, but then I get out of Ben’s bed and into Jonah’s (yet unoccupied) bed and stay there till he falls asleep. So far, so good. We can now begin to imagine a day when we can kiss both boys goodnight and leave the room without incident.
Also, Ben saw his first snow last week. A few inches of snow fell and stuck on Nashville, schools were closed for 2 days, and we hunkered down, built fires and took short excursions out into the powdery white stuff. Ben wanted to get down in the frozen creek with Livi and Jonah, but it’s pretty treacherous down there, and the temperature lingered between 10 and 15 degrees, so I never had to do much convincing to get him back inside. MAN that’s cold.
Sibling-hood fits Ben like a glove. He absolutely loves his brother and sister, and gets super excited when they play with him – usually some form of chase or peek-a-boo or tickle. If either Jonah or Livi gets upset about anything, Ben will find random toys around the house and bring them over in an attempt to console them. They are all quite capable of annoying one another, but it is far more common for them to enjoy each other. I should also add that, amazingly, Ben does not mess with Jonah’s Legos – even if they are all spread out in front of him. He has figured out that Jonah is quite protective about them and pretty much stays clear of them. Now, the light-up light saber, on the other hand… Jonah has pretty much ceded authority over the light saber to Ben. And Ben just walks slowly around the house with it pointing up and glowing blue, or red.
Whenever we are in town but don’t go to church, we do home church. It usually consists of some songs and prayers at the beginning and end, and a chapter from the Jesus Storybook Bible in the middle. Ben has done very well staying on the couch and hanging with Amy and the kids while I lead us through it (though last week Amy led the singing on her little parlor guitar). Ben’s current favorite song is “This is the Day That the Lord Has Made.” He sings it with his stilted 2 year old English, and it’s like he’s a walking devotional. I don’t care what is frustrating your day, if you heard this little guy spontaneously break out into “Dis iss sa day,” and “ah will rejos” It would lighten your burdens, if only for a moment.
And speaking of English, I couldn’t possibly recount all he has learned. He soaks up everything we say and repeats it like a parrot. Amy is great about getting him to learn a word instead of grunt or whine for something, and he learns the stuff as fast as we can teach it. Mama, Daddy, Livi, Jonah, doggy, car, all the parts of the face, blanket, star, giraffe, elephant, turtle, some more, please, thank you, eggs, apple, orange, banana, cookie, come, hat, snow, ice, water, milk, cup, diaper, wipes, socks, shoes, shirt, pants, sunglasses, jacket, and he has been connecting words for a couple of weeks, like… Ben’s neck, or Mama’s cup, or bye-bye eggs, when breakfast is over. That’s probably a tenth of what he says… but those are some prominent words that come to mind.
Just this evening, we were marveling at how much has happened over the last 6 weeks, and just like the older two, before long, we won’t remember what it was like without him.