I’ve been talking about all the changes in the Bug. How he’s more talkative, more interactive, more happy, and how our lives are all so much more enjoyable because of it.
I’ve also been trying to figure out just what is so different and why it’s helped so much.
So far my best guess is this: he’s learned how to enjoy things.
Maybe that sounds crazy to you. All kids enjoy things, right? Babies enjoy things. But I don’t know that Graham ever did in the way most of us do. He would be entranced by things. He would laugh (by screaming) sometimes. But he didn’t seem to take pleasure or joy in things.
Now, he does. Or at least, he’s figured out how to express it.
There is so much more “Yes” in our house. Along with a lot of “Yay!” complete with hand-clapping. Lately he’s also thrown in a regular “Oh, yeah!” Not sure where that came from, but it’s funny.
There’s still plenty of “No” but it’s rarely accompanied by immediate anger or frustration. He doesn’t seem to get so bogged down by it anymore, whether he’s telling us “No” or we’re telling him.
He doesn’t just like to have all his stuffed animals around, now he likes to give them kisses and have them play with his toys. He often asks to bring an animal instead of a truck with him when we go in the car.
We had a bit of a bumpy ride with bedtime last month. He would go up just fine but would climb out of bed immediately. Since then I sit with him for a few minutes after we turn out the lights and turn on his white noise. I ask him if he wants me to sit and he says, “Yeah.” Then I ask him if he wants me to rub his back and he says, “Yeah.”
This kid doesn’t say “Yeah” if he doesn’t mean it. And it makes me so happy knowing that he wants me to sit there with him, that he’d like me to stay and he’s sad when I finally get up and leave.
That never happened before. Graham was often ambivalent about me being present or absent for the most part. Except to drag me here and drag me there. I knew he wanted to show me things, but he wouldn’t care about my responses.
This morning while we waited for the sitter, I agreed to let Graham watch a show. He chose, to my surprise, Ponyo. (He’s still mostly asking for trains and trucks, but yesterday he asked for Blue’s Clues by name. Whaddya know?) I asked if he wanted to sit with me on the couch, and he did. I held him in my lap and we cuddled for a good 10 minutes or so.
In still adorable but not quite as mushy Bug developments, he’s also much faster at picking up words. His current favorite, and ours, are animal sounds. I captured a decent, though not stellar performance recently. Our favorites are the elephant and the lion. Obviously.