Monday, February 22, 2010

Lessons From Ben

Ahhh, my sweet baby Ben. Already I feel as though he is somewhat left out of our public celebrations of achievement. But that's not to say that in the privacy of our own home we don't marvel over his milestones, because we absolutely do. All of the little things that Ben does that Joey did so late, or not at all, are all cause for a "Honey, come quick! Look at what Ben is doing!" in our household. With Joey we shelved the baby books at around 4 months, since it was pretty clear by then that he was not going to follow the standards set by typically-developing children. With Ben it was a pleasure to pull them off the shelf and exciting to follow along as he does his thing. So far he has done what he's supposed to when he's supposed to, which is such a relief.

Baby Ben is now referred to as "Big Ben"...he weighed in at 5 months last Wednesday at 18.5 lbs! To put that in perspective Joey was 17 lbs on his first birthday. Ben falls in the 75th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for height and head circumference. He's a big baby! I know you're not supposed to compare kids but I think it's only natural to compare your experiences, and I think it's harmless enough as long as you're not expecting one kid to "measure up" to another. Despite having 2 boys we're not able to re-use a lot of Joey's clothing. Joey needs all of his waistbands taken in while Ben needs them taken out! From a very young age, maybe 6 months, I was shopping for tight-waisted clothing for Joey and already I am looking for loose-waisted clothing for Ben. I recently had to put a pair of size 6-12 month pants in the donation bag because they were just too tight on Ben, it looked like I had put a rubber band around his waist!

Here's a couple of pictures from Valentines Day...Joey in 2007 and Ben in 2010,both wearing the same outfit. Joey was 10.5 months old and Ben 4.5 months old, but fitting into the same outfit!

And some bathtime photos which really show off that adorable baby chunk:

So enough about his size...Ben has also proven to be the sweetest, most even-tempered and agreeable baby. He picked up on the rhythm of our household and just followed along all on his own, he has a nice long nap in the afternoon just like his big brother and most recently has slept through from 8:30pm to 7am on most nights. When he is awake he is just so happy and content, he is at that magical age when just looking at him and smiling can cause an outburst of laughter. He finds Joey particularly amusing, and Joey is just so gentle with him...most of the time. The very few times that Joey has been less than gentle was not on purpose, he just doesn't understand that he can't climb on Ben like he climbs on everyone else. I am often asked how Joey is adjusting to having Ben around...for the first month I think his nose was a bit out of joint, and he expressed his displeasure by crying at bedtime every.single.night for 4 weeks straight. That quickly ended and now it seems they love having each other around. When I pick Joey up from preschool and put him in his car seat it is a struggle to get him buckled up because he is lunging over at Ben trying to make him laugh.

Here is a little video I call the Joey and Ben Show. Joey is a bit of a scene-stealer, but Jason and I laugh our heads off every time we watch it:

Some random photos, just because:

I love seeing Joey through Ben's eyes. Ben only sees his older brother, he doesn't see any limitations or disabilities, he doesn't know that Joey *should* be talking, or *should* be walking. He sees a sweet, gentle and happy little boy who provides endless hours of entertainment. Ben contentedly sits in his car seat while we work with Joey on his physiotherapy at preschool, just watching quietly, almost as though he doesn't want to interrupt this very important work. In return Joey sees a little baby who doesn't threaten him, or bully him, or expect anything of him except smiles and laughter. Such an amazing start to what I hope is a close friendship between brothers.

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