Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Conversation With Ben

3 nights ago, I had what I would call my first conversation with Ben. He's been spare with his words. Don't take that to mean that he's been quiet by any means. But he'll use a word for a while, then store it away as if he's done with it. Some words he's continued to use (Dada, Mama, Bath, Milk, Cracker, etc.), and others he used for a time and then is apparently done with them for now (Banana, More).

I suspect that he's both shy and stubborn. His shyness keeps him from trying words until he builds up a little confidence that he can get it right within a few tries. His stubbornness means he would rather screech or just keep saying "Milk! Milk!" when he wants something and doesn't know its name, or doesn't want to try saying it. But he loves imitating sounds he hears and sometimes surprises us, like when James answered "I don't know" and Ben repeated "I dohn-know." That's a phrase that he's actually been using semi-regularly, and often when it fits as an answer for a question we've asked him. So I have no doubt that he's capable of being more verbal and that we'll be seeing much more of that soon.

But I digress - 3 nights ago, I went in to check on him at about 10:00. I peeked in the door and didn't see or hear anything, so I figured he was asleep. But no - "Doo doo doo," he said, standing up and reaching for me. I picked him up.

Ben: Milk?
Me: No, I don't think you need milk. You need to go back to sleep, baby.
Ben: Cracker?
Me: No, you don't need crackers, silly. You need sleep.
Ben: Crunchies?
Me: No, no crunchies. You need to go back to bed, and Mama needs to take a shower.
Ben: Bath?

I loved how he kept coming up with different angles, not getting upset when I was saying no. And I figured he must actually be hungry if he was that persistent, so he did get to sit in his highchair and have some milk and something to eat before going back to bed.

He was up late the next night, too, asking for milk. I think he must be having a growth spurt. He also seems to be teething, since he's drooling like a champ and has been a little fussy at times, picking at some of his meals.

And he is apparently experiencing separation anxiety. He's quite unhappy most of the time when being put to bed either for a nap or at night, getting really upset and crying and reaching for me. It didn't used to be such a big deal. He'd fuss a little, but not sound like he felt he was being abandoned as he does now. And leaving him in the nursery at church brings much screeching, too, although it dies down pretty quickly once we're gone.

Rachel went through separation anxiety a few times, but it was always over in about a week. I think Ben's been going through it for a few weeks but am not sure when it started. I'm hopeful he'll work through it quickly, though.

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