Sunday, May 4, 2014

Benjamin: 4 Years Old

I know I did a post a few months back all about my no-nap buddy, but here is an update.

He's talking a lot, and has a lot to say.  He's still a little hard to understand, but his speech evaluation said he doesn't require intervention (this is the 3rd time we've had him evaluated for that outcome, if I ever say I'm going to do it again, please stop me).  He often just pops out with things like, "I love you so much!" which I never tire of hearing.

He is consistent and fairly predictable in his likes and attachments.  Every night he sleeps with his snuggle blanket, his panda, and his fire dog.  Since falling in love with these things, he has not relinquished them, and there are no substitutes.
One cool dude eating ice cream
Benjamin is fairly adventurous when it comes to food, and if he shows any hesitation about trying something, we just dip it in mustard.  He LOVES mustard, and his new lunch food is grilled cheese and mustard sandwich.  I can even send it in his lunch to his kosher school, and the teacher will heat it up in the microwave for him.  He has tried, and enjoyed, artichoke, spicy foods, and ethnic foods of all kinds.  He adores fruit- right now we eat a lot of watermelon, but he also likes pear, pineapple, banana, apple, berries of all kinds, cantaloupe... I guess everything!  Recently he's had a big appetite, and it is amazing how someone can eat so much and still be so tiny.  He likes hot dogs, dipped in mustard of course, and eats them for breakfast sometimes.  While hot dogs for breakfast aren't my speed, it reminds me of when my sister was little and had a hot-dog-for-breakfast phase.

Benjamin is independent, and has a great ability to play by himself or entertain himself for long periods of time.  In general, he's a good listener, and doesn't make too many "bad choices," which is code for "doing things you know you absolutely shouldn't do, but do anyway because mommy and daddy aren't looking."

We've had some regressions with potty training occasionally (only #2), but he is mostly doing a great job of using the potty.  He never asks for treats anymore; he seems to understand that using the toilet is just something you do when you get older.  He wears underwear at night and is dry every night (except once, which I mention only to be completely truthful).

He's also very solicitous of his little sister.  Asher will get impatient and push her away, but Benjamin takes care of her and keeps an eye out.  He's also a great companion- when he no-naps we run errands or get things done, and he is usually cheerful.  Last week we went and delivered food for the food pantry, and he was in and out of the car several times, wandering around unfamiliar apartment buildings, and didn't have one word of complaint.  He is far less aggressive than Asher- I think he is fairly non-confrontational, and backs off quickly when Asher turns things into a competition.

Helping Papa Nick make his mocha
Benjamin is taking gymnastics once a week at the JCC.  I usually take Charlotte out in the jog stroller while he is in there so I haven't seen him in action, but he really enjoys it, and I love that he has an activity that is all his.

I can't put into words the joy I have at watching his personality develop, and the person he is becoming.  He is patient, he is kind-hearted, he is independent, and he is clever.  He's not ostentatious, loud, or braggy about his accomplishments.  I hope he knows how proud I am of him.  I adore him.  Although I wish he would nap more frequently, he is an easy child.  Many of the small things that seemed to set him off before no longer phase him, and that makes everyone happier.  I look forward to seeing his sweet face each morning, kissing him goodnight at bedtime, and all our adventures in between.

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