Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You are my sunshine

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

This was how I was serenaded by my little boy while he stood in his room wearing a ridiculous hat and strumming his guitar.

My heart almost burst.

I realized that my last two posts were really pretty depressing.  Not just a little bit, but completely grim.  But to be honest, life isn't really like that at ALL.  In fact, our days are regularly brightened by the remarkable little boy in our home.  So this post is all about B and what a wonderful spectacular kid he is.  Note I have not said "baby" because it is pretty clear that he is no longer a baby.  As we approach his 2nd birthday (how the time has flown!), I thought that it might be good to just put some of the wonderful things he does down on paper.

He's fully into toddlerdom now.  Everything is "Ben's turn" or "wanna do it" (we still aren't 100% on the pronouns here.)  While it makes for some annoyingly long processes (putting on pants, pouring milk, scrubbing in the bath), it is remarkable to watch him assert his separate-ness and independence.  He's also increasingly bossy.  "Mommy sit in the chair" "Mommy sit in THAT chair" "Mommy pick me up" "Mommy jump."  The other day, instead of being greeted with a hello or a good morning, I was greeted by "Mommy turn off the humidifier. Sit in chair. Want to sit on lap wearing bib and drink milk."  So yeah, bossy.  But at least the kid knows what he wants. For at least a second or two.

He's also started crying more. When we say no. When we take away an inappropriate object (no it is NOT ok to put a ziploc freezer bag over your head, thankyouverymuch). When we stop doing something he wants to keep doing.  But mercifully, he is easily distracted and we can usually stop the tears in a minute or two. The other day he had the closest thing I've seen to a true meltdown tantrum, and after some hugging and being diverted by a book he was ok.  But I fear for whats coming -- I can see them getting worse.  He already has figured out that by pinning his elbows to his body he can prevent being picked up easily, which, with enormo-baby, makes for some interesting ways of holding him.  Sunday since he refused to hold my hand, I had to scoop him up and carry him like a wiggly, howling football across the street. The nice thing is that it's NYC and no one pays much attention to strangers.

Other things?  He is really starting to do imaginative play all by himself.  He takes his toys and makes little voices and talks to them.  Animals go for walks in the stroller, get put to sleep with a pillow, get woken up, walk, play the piano -- all to his low-level narration of what's happening.  He also does some funny voices for the animals, which is just a riot.  He has some foam bath toys and last night the gorilla was walked down the edge of the tub and was put to sleep.  All in a funny voice.  Which made me bite my tongue laughing.

He loves loves loves music.  We presently have an entire band in his room -- recorder, small piano, banjo, various shakers and bells -- and he will play them and sing songs.  He has a repertoire of about 10-20 songs at this point, which is pretty amazing, and if you are humming one he will recognize it and start singing. We just recently started allowing him to use the iPad (he had the flu and we were going stir crazy and broke down) and he loves the Magic Piano app (as do I!) and has learned nearly all of the instruments in the orchestra from another app that I love (Meet the Orchestra).  I love that he loves music, so we are trying to keep more non-kids music on in the house so that he can hear the instruments and just get accustomed to rhythm, etc.

I think the most amazing thing to see is his language development.  He's always been a pretty good talker, but now he actually speaks.  In sentences that make sense. He can tell me what he did during the day, and I get it. And he can tell me what he wants, and I can help him.  Or he can ask me questions, and I can explain things.  This last bit both blows me away and cracks me up.  "Shall we put on our coat?" "Shall we read a story?" Not quite sure why he speaks like the Queen of England, but I'm not complaining.  Earlier this week he asked "Why is the wipes on the floor over here?" to me when I had put an empty tissue box on the floor to take to the recycling.  It was a good question -- it didn't belong on the floor -- but I was not prepared to have to explain what I was doing.  At least not yet.  I see a lot more "Why..." questions in my near future, and it's pretty amazing.

Along with his speaking, he's started recognizing letters.  He can pretty reliably recognize about 5-7 capital letters ("That's a C over there"  "That's TWO C's!")  So going outside is now a letter finding extravaganza and can make a bus or subway ride, which is already the best. thing. ever. even more entertaining.  He is trying SO hard to find the letters, that he's getting new ones every week.

He is snuggly and wants all bumps and bruises kissed by Mommy's magical kisses, and loves to give hugs and snuggle into my lap while we read stories.  And when I come home after work he runs to me and says "Mommy!" and I scoop him up with kisses and it is the best moment of my day.

Since I've gone on at quite some length about the wonders of B (yeah, biased), I'll leave you with a photo.  He could not be a better, more awesome kid.  (And yes, my husband does wear a coat that color. All I can say is, if there's an avalanche in NYC, he'll be found first.)


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  2. Ben is just adorable, and he is at such a magical age. Thank you for sharing! :-)

  3. I can't get over his language skills! And singing! I have been blown away by M's "happee berday to oo", but the entire "you are my sunshine"???!!! And strumming a guitar at the same time???!!! Me thinks you have a bit of a little genius on your hands.

    It is so good to hear all these happy wonderful stories.

  4. Ben is adorable beyond words. My heart totally swooned with all these delightful bits of toddlerhood. He is sunshine perfection.

  5. I am so friggin impressed by your kids mad verbal skills! Wow! My son who turns 2 next month "talks" but no lengthy sentences (at least none that I can understand). Oh and the tantrums--- wow they can be fierce! Thanks for sharing, he is quite a cutie!

  6. Oh, cutie!!! I'm very happy to read this. I really liked not-quite-two as an age for LG...

  7. Every time I see a picture of him, I think how absolutely gorgeous he is. Seriously, you have a handsome kid there!

  8. Oh, what an extraordinary kid you have. Like, as much as I am in love with my own toddler, I can tell that yours is really special. Snuggly! Verbal! Musical! Amazing.