Monday, November 30, 2009

Mr. No Returns

Six months ago I wrote a post about how Jonah had begun to say "No" to every question I asked him. I don't remember how long that phase lasted, but I don't think it was very long before he was generally answering in the affirmative again. Well, the negative responses have returned full force. Now it's not just the matter-of-fact "no" he used to say without much feeling. Now it's the adamant opposition to everything. He opposes everything I suggest, even if it's one of his favorite things. He opposes things I haven't even mentioned, just on the chance that I might be thinking about it.

Here's a typical morning interchange for us: I hear Jonah in his crib calling, "Mommy! Can I get out?" I go into his room and he's ready with a list of things he doesn't want to do. "I don't want to get out. I'm not going to take off my sack. I didn't have sweet dreams. I don't need a new diaper. I don't have tinkles. I don't want to go downstairs, I'm just gonna stay in my room. I'm not gonna have breakfast, I'll just have lunchie." Then we finally make it downstairs and he proceeds to say no to everything I offer him, even though I know he really does want it. He even extends his opposing attitude to Benjamin and lets me know everything his brother doesn't want to do, too. "Baby Benjamin doesn't want a new diaper. Baby Benjamin's not gonna go in his bouncy." Today he even said, "Baby Benjamin's saying no to you, Mommy."

I realize that this is a perfectly normal stage for a 2-year-old, but I've started to really crack down on what I'll allow him to say. I even gave him a little lesson on what it means to argue and how he's not allowed to argue with Mommy. Still, the consistency of his total opposition is almost humorous. Today we tried to go somewhere in the car but the battery was dead so I decided we would walk to the library instead. When I told Jonah that the car was broken and we were going to walk he started shaking his head and repeating as if he was arguing, "We're not going to go in the car. We're not. We're not gonna go." It's also gotten a little embarrassing, too. If anyone happens to ask him if he liked something he'll always say no.

While the "no-ness" of being two is a trying stage, there are also a lot of wonderful aspects of this stage of development. He's very affectionate and still loves to give me hugs and kisses. He even tells me I'm pretty and smart! His attention span is a lot longer now and he has no problem playing by himself in his room or in his highchair while I feed Benjamin. He loves to play pretend and we spend a lot of time as firefighters or ambulance drivers. He likes to be a helper whenever possible so I'm always trying to think of ways for him to do little tasks for me. Putting things in the garbage is one of his favorites.

Here they are playing trains with some boxes from Costco.

He has gotten really into Christmas and likes to listen to Christmas music, read Christmas books, and talk about baby Jesus being born... and about Santa. We don't make a big deal of Santa, but it's really hard to avoid. I just try to put the focus on Jesus more than Santa. I know he's paying attention because he always asks what the Christmas songs are about. I told him that "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" was about the angels telling the shepherds that Jesus had been born and he said, "Not even a bed for baby Jesus." It so incredible to be teaching the Christmas story to him for the very first time. It's 100% fresh and new to him and that helps make it feel fresh to me, too. I'm paying a lot more attention to the words in Christmas carols, too, because I know there will be a quiz at the end! "What's that Christmas song is about, Mommy?"

Monday, November 9, 2009

If you read this blog you may have noticed that I've taken a sort of blogging hiatus - particularly since Benjamin was born. If you are my friend on Facebook you know that I have been putting up plenty of pictures and updates on that site. So, it's not that I've dropped off the face of the Earth (or really off the face of the internet) it's just that Facebook is so much faster and easier than blogging. Uploading pictures and video to FB is waaaay faster (ahem Blogger, maybe you could make some improvements in that area) and writing quick one-sentance updates is obviously faster than writing a blog post. But, lately I have been considering returning to blogging as my main mode of internet communication. I really enjoy reading the blogs of my friends and getting the whole story of what's going on with them, rather than just little blurbs. Plus, I'm realizing that the blog is a much better way to keep a record of the "baby book"-type things that I often write about like milestones and funny things Jonah says. Up to this point the blog has basically been my baby book for Jonah and it probably will be for Benjamin too.

So, for those of you that don't know or can't make sense of all the Facebook blurbs, I'll try to give you a brief overview of the months since Benjamin was born. A week and a half after Benjamin was born we moved to a new house in a new town about 40 minutes south of where we had previously been living. Four days after the move Jon left on a trip for work for two and a half weeks. He came home for about 10 days and then left again for four weeks. So, Jon only saw the baby for two weeks of his first two months of life. To say it was crazy and difficult is an understatement. I flew to Chicago by myself with the boys to attend my dad's wedding while Jon was gone. It was wonderful when we could all be together again and really work on getting settled into our new place and into a new routine with a baby.
So now we're basically settled in. We're going to a new church and we really like it. I still get to see my old friends some, which is great, but the distance makes it a little difficult. Making new friends in our new town has been slower than I had hoped, but I'm still working at it. It seems like there are a lot more working moms around here so I don't see as many moms when I'm out and about. Getting out is of course a little trickier these days, although I really do make a point to get out almost every morning. It helps my sanity to get out and it really helps Jonah's mood - he does not do well staying in the house all day.
Here's my sweet smiler at three months. So far he seems pretty similar to Jonah. I think he might be a little smilier and a little wigglier, but it's hard to tell. He loves attention and does NOT like to be left alone for more than a few minutes. Even if we're all hanging out in the kitchen together he really wants you to look at him and talk to him.

Here's Ben enjoying Jonah's jumperoo. We didn't get this until Jonah was about a month older so it's hard to compare, but he seems to really like it.

This is certainly not the best picture of the three cousins, but it was the best I could get on the morning we were leaving my brother's.

It's very easy to make Benjamin smile and laugh. I was shaking my head to get him to laugh so I ended up shaking the camera too. It's a little wobbly, but too cute not to share!