So here is a little about Benjamin and Asher at 3.5:
Benjamin reminds me of myself a little- he hates change, and is having a hard time adjusting to our new living situation. He is a terrible sleeper, like me. He's been having trouble sleeping though the night here, and keeps appearing in our bedroom in the middle of the night. Tonight when I put him down, he told me "I not know how to sleep!" I know that feeling.
He is independent and often happy to do something on his own. Right now, he is always looking for an iPad or phone to watch TV, so we have to be a little more vigilant about how much time he spends with an electronic.
Benjamin adores Papa Nick. This afternoon he spent about an hour down there playing Angry Birds, and I didn't hear a peep.
|Benjamin reading the map while everyone else rode a pony|
At times he will choose not to join in- since being at my parents' house, there is always an activity to do with Papa Nick- and later regret his decision. Trash Train will come and go and then he wants to join in, or Asher will help Papa Nick make his mocha and once it's made, Benjamin will want to help. I can see my dad making efforts to include him, to ask him multiple times, but he'll often say no. This is a challenge for me, to make sure I seek him out for attention and time and snuggles, because Asher is so eager to engage and quick to give affection.
I tell Benjamin I love him, and he always has a funny response. He'll say, "I love you when I wake up in the morning." Or, when I say I love him a lot, he will say, "and I love you a little bit."
He speaks in a kind of sing-song voice, which makes it hard to understand him sometimes. He persists in mispronouncing words- he skips any "s" before a consonant, and now doesn't say the consonant before an "l". So playground is more like "clayground" and flip-flop is "clip-clop." When we try to correct him, he just talks around the word we are trying to correct. I get the feeling we're going to be going for speech therapy in about 6 months.
I worry that this sounds too negative, when he is a sweet and wonderful boy. He loves Charlotte, and will always give her hugs and kisses, and make her laugh. He is funny, and silly, and easy to be with. He hates too much attention- he told us no getting excited when he does something we like, no clapping, and he once said he thought my mom and I were laughing at him when we were laughing about something else altogether. Also- He is fully potty-trained now, and even stays dry overnight! (Although we still put him in a pull-up just in case.)
His favorite TV show... varies. He will watch almost anything, unfortunately. He was even watching "My Little Pony" for a little- yuck! He is becoming a pickier eater, although he does love almost all fruit, and often asks for fruit as a snack. He likes turkey-cheese sandwiches for lunch, and will eat pasta for any meal. He loves his blankie (said "lankie") and needs it to sleep. Benjamin loves vehicles, and will always pick up a toy car or truck to play with. He has told me he wants to be a garbage man when he grows up, I think mainly so that he can ride around on a huge, yellow truck everyday. Living with my parents, who get a newspaper everyday, he always picks up the auto sale section to look at pictures of cars.
Asher continues to be a social, talkative little guy. He is effusive in his affection, and very attached. He has started to get upset if we do things without him- last week, Benjamin and I went to the grocery store while Asher napped, and Asher made me promise to take him all by himself another day.
Asher is very happy at school, and really likes his teachers. This year, he is able to accurately tell me what he did at school during the day, even if I don't always believe him. On Wednesday he told me that he ate pancakes with chocolate syrup at school. I thought, that's nuts! But it was true- they made crepes and ate them with chocolate syrup on top. He knows his friends' names and asks about them.
Asher still takes a nap in the afternoon, with very rare exceptions. I'm not sure if it is his thumb-sucking or just that he's a good sleeper, but he pretty much never has trouble going to sleep if given the opportunity.
|pony ride at the zoo|
Asher's an interesting mix of sweet, sensitive, and helpful with devious and trouble-making. If Asher is left alone in a room, he will make all kinds of trouble. One day he went up to his room here, which was my room from 1997 on, and "tried to make a sand castle." This involved finding a very old bottle of lube in the nightstand and pouring it on the floor and piling little pebbles on top. Later he tried to make a sand castle again, this time using Cetaphil cream. He is pretty good at making trouble, so he will slip away for just enough time to make a mess, but not long enough for me to notice something is amiss (I admit, with 3 children, I am not good at keeping track of where everyone is at all times). Often he will come and get me after he's done something he knows he shouldn't and tell me that he made a mess or "did something." I am not great at punishing these behaviors, because they are not entirely unlike things I did as a child. And it's not entirely his fault that he gets into things- he is left unsupervised in a home that is not even remotely childproof.
At other times, he is enormously helpful. He loves to help me bake, or help Papa Nick with jobs around the house, or make sure that Charlotte has everything she needs at bath or bed time. He can be so polite, saying "thank you" and "you're welcome." He's shy around people, and will speak quietly or hide behind me rather than ask for what he wants.
He is still not even close to being potty-trained, and we seem to have given up all hope of it happening. We're not even trying. Every time we try to get him to even SIT on the toilet he goes ballistic, so we don't talk about it. He is one of maybe 2 children in his class at school still in diapers. The school director assured me that eventually he will be potty trained, but it is hard to see that happening. I really don't have it in me, with everything else going on, to force potty training. We are just trying to enjoy our lives as much as we can, and right now that doesn't include weekends at home for potty training boot camp, or all-out fights over putting his tush on a toilet.
Asher's favorite foods are peanut butter & jelly, any kind of pasta, baby carrots, string cheese, crackers, and anything sweet. He likes, and will try, almost every vegetable we give him, but seems to dislike almost every fruit, other than grapes, watermelon, and oranges (or dried fruits, which he will eat to excess if given the opportunity). He has a HUGE sweet tooth and loves dessert.
His favorite TV show is probably Agent Oso, but he will often watch whatever Benjamin puts on. He likes to read books, too. His comfort object is his "Tushie Bear," which is a Pooh bear he stole from my in-laws' house- so named because I have a bear named Tush who I sleep with at night. He loves hugs, snuggles, and kisses, and sucking his thumb.
|Half a cake for a half birthday|