Friday, May 15, 2015

Benjamin: 5 years old

Big, serious eyes on that sweet little face
My little Boo Buddy (how much longer will he let me call him that?).  Right now, Benjamin is my easiest child.  He very infrequently makes trouble.  At many points, he was the trouble-maker- I remember him kicking all night long in his crib, he is always the first to drop a nap or cut back on sleep, and he had trouble with potty training and transitions.  Right now, Benjamin is easy going.  He often seems unfazed by things (maybe because he doesn't actually notice them?  He is often out to lunch!), and will take care of himself.  I know there were times where he was more temperamental, but I can't think of any recent incidents where he has acted out or been trouble for me.  He is showing such maturity for a little guy- he is good at negotiating and sharing and just seems content with the way things go.

He never makes a big deal or a scene (unlike his siblings).  One night we were out at dinner and the kids got a scoop of ice cream with their meal. Benjamin ordered Mint Oreo ice cream and Charlotte ordered strawberry. After Benjamin tasted Charlotte's strawberry ice cream, he started to cry. Not loudly, not saying a word, just tears running down his cheeks. It turned out he liked strawberry and not mint and had changed his mind.  Such sweetness- the waiter got him a scoop of strawberry right away.
Selfie by Benjamin
Benjamin loves to read to himself and to be read to. He will often bring a book and sit on my lap so that we read together. He easily plays with Legos or cars by himself.  Like his daddy, Benjamin is interested in video games and will play Minecraft or Angry Birds on the iPad if I let him. He's good company and will stay with me in the kitchen if I cook, and loves to go on walks and to the playground.  His favorite thing to ask is "Where does (insert item here) come from?  How is (insert item here) made?" Most of the time I don't actually know the answer, but I love his curiosity. He is also interested in which animal his meat came from, which gives me pangs of guilt when I tell him.

We both love all food, and Benjamin has a great appetite.  He asked for artichoke for dinner the other night!  He eats pretty much everything we feed him, and will almost always eat what he has asked for, and then some.  He is slow and methodical in his eating, but I get such a kick out of watching him work his way through a plate full of food.  Despite the fact that he eats more than twice what his brother and sister eat, he is fairly small and slight.  He told me yesterday that he is smaller than Asher because he doesn't nap, and that nap time helps Asher grow bigger.

Benjamin's brain always seems to be working, and he has a good memory.  He is still having trouble with his pronunciation- he usually leaves off the "s" at the beginning of a word if it is followed by a consonant, meaning "stop" becomes "top."  He also leaves out the "r" that follows a consonant, so "treat" becomes "teat" and "gray" becomes "gay."  Yes, Eric and I are completely immature and got hysterical when Benjamin came downstairs in gray sweatpants and a gray t-shirt and said, "My outfit is so gay!"  Eric and I try hard to correct him, and Benjamin has learned to talk around the words he mispronounces, or to use synonyms.  For example, when Benjamin called a tree a "tee," Eric tried to get him to say the r, by slowly saying "Tuh-ree, Benjamin.  Tuh-ree."  So Benjamin said, "bush!" Since I told Benjamin that his friends in kindergarten will have a hard time understanding him if he doesn't say his words correctly, I have noticed him making a more concerted effort to pronounce things more clearly.
Monkey on the monkey bars
I am assuming the boys will be separated when they get to kindergarten, which is hard on me.  I asked Benjamin if he wanted to be in the same class as Asher, or a different one, and he said, "Different!  Asher is so bossy!" but then quickly changed his mind.  I'm planning to do whatever the school recommends, and Benjamin will find a way to speak for himself, I am sure.  At home, Asher often bosses him around and tells him what to do.  Benjamin generally ignores him and keeps doing whatever he wants, but he will sometimes tell Asher to stop telling him what to do.

Since Benjamin is my least-demanding child, I worry I will lose him in the shuffle, so I try to make a point to seek him out and give him my attention.  We do get our one-on-one time while his siblings nap, and I do give him hugs and kisses as often as he'll let me.  I also compliment him on his exemplary behavior frequently.  Which has resulted in him looking for rewards and asking, "So what do I get for making good choices?"
Helping me bake while his siblings napped
I just re-read my post about Benjamin from when he turned 4, and so little has changed!  It is nice, in a way, to see that my children are developing consistent personalities.  Especially because I like their personalities so much!  Benjamin is a wonderful child.  He seems to care about his family and friends, and enjoys their company, but is also able to be by himself without anyone entertaining him.

Here are the things I love about Benjamin: the way he always tries to sit on my lap or Eric's lap when we eat even if he starts out in his own chair; his little lips when he eats and talks; his beautiful smile; his big, serious eyes; his quiet consistency; the way he always surprises me by knowing something I had no idea he knew anything about; his little hands and fingers and the way he is so steady and strong in using them; the fact that he still sings the 4 questions despite not singing a single one at seder.  I am so impressed with the boy he is becoming, and I am so lucky that my son is such a sweet, smart boy.

Here is what I said to Benjamin tonight: "How did you get so wonderful? You are such a wonderful, smart, kind, loving little boy. I love you so much, do you know that?" To which he wrapped his little spaghetti arms around my neck and gave me a big hug.

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