As Ben is now almost 9 months old, the time seems right to reflect a little bit on the Morningstar boys as brothers. It's been an amazing having 2 boys and seeing them develop as brothers and friends (and occasionally punching bags).
Sam is becoming a great big brother, and I think that he is enjoying Ben more now that he is a bit more interactive. They have lots of games that they play, like when Ben "chases" Sam and Sam runs away and they both crack up laughing, or when Sam plays peek-a-boo with Ben by ducking out of sight and popping up, again with hilarious results for both of them. Sam also enjoys having Ben ride on his back, although that results in a backache for Mom and Dad from keeping Ben upright and not on the floor!
We have our fair share of jealousy and toy stealing on Sam's part, along with lots of Ben getting into whatever Sam's trying to do (9-month-olds don't put puzzles or Legos together very well). When Sam gets really frustrated, he just bops Ben on the head, which is pretty effective at getting Ben to stop doing whatever he's doing but tends to result in tears from Ben and a time out for Sam. On the bright side, Sam has gotten really good at apologizing when he hurts somebody. I don't know if there's actual remorse going on, but at least the right words are there.
Sam has also gotten pretty good at devising "clever" (for a toddler) ways to regain his only-child parental attention levels. For example, there's the ever-popular "Mommy, you put Ben in his crib now" (read: I'm tired of Ben for now, so put him away so that I can play with you uninterrupted). Or, if I respond to a play request, such as an invitation to play Legos, that I can't play right then, I get the following in Sam's sweetest voice: "But Mommy, you love to play Legos!" (read: How can you resist the lure of playing with the best toy ever with your favorite son?). I'm guessing that this is just the beginning of normal parental manipulation.
Now that Sam is 3, we're starting to really push potty training. He now sits on the toilet at least once a day (bribed by M&Ms), but having only one kid in diapers still seems like an incomprehensibly distant goal.. Oh well, I suppose that one day it will just click with Sam and he'll finally get the concept and desire and all we can do is keep trying until that day comes!
Last email's list of Sam's favorite sayings generated a lot of reader acclaim, so this week I'll let you know about Sam's musical repertoire. The current favorites are:
As for Ben, he's doing as well as ever. A few weeks ago, he started clapping and he's been saying "Mama/Mommy and Dada/Daddy" pretty regularly and definitely with intent. Current favorite toys are spoons and the dishwasher (he's started climbing into it). He's frighteningly fast at crawling and climbing stairs, and he started walking around the coffee table this weekend. He still only has one tooth and it seems to have stalled, so he basically just has a raised bump on his bottom gum with a little slit in it where the tooth may eventually show itself. What he lacks in dentistry, however, he has made up in hair - I think that I may have to trim his bangs soon! I guess it's only fair that Ben would have so much hair, since Sam was almost bald for his first two years or so. Our friends with girl babies are very jealous because Ben has enough hair to put into little pigtails or clip barrettes to, but don't worry, we're resisting the urge.
So, now you're all caught up on the Morningstar happenings. The weather's supposed to be gorgeous this week, so we'll be busy planting our seeds and getting the gardens ready for spring!
Steve, Jamie, Sam, and Ben
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