Thursday, April 10, 2008

More Mama Mama Mama

Ben's language skills are exploding. He's trying out at least two new words a day. Yesterday was "orange" and "girl." He's also startling babbling more. Rather than just going through the day with the occasional shout and holler, he's carrying on conversations with us in a nice, polite tone with sounds that aren't quite words for the most part, though we catch a "truck" and a "baby" and a "crash" every once in a while.

He absolutely NEEDS one-on-one time right now. I'm okay with that. I see the benefit. I've been spending more time in bed, and Anna is becoming more animated, so Ben needs to reassert his place in the family. So we're reading him more stories, coloring with him, playing with him in his choo-choo world.

But one thing that is totally grinding on my last nerve is how often is says, "Mama," to get my attention. When he's showing me something, he says Mama at least 20 times before he's done with the show-and-tell. Every time I look away, I hear "mama mama mama mama" to call me back to him.

Yes, this is normal and precious and charming. It's also repetitive and annoying. I'm trying to hide my frustration from him, and I usually respond with loving words like, "Yes, Ben darling? What would you like to show Mama now?" or "Yes, dear child of mine, that choo-choo went down the hill and crashed!"

One moment, he's startling us by saying his own name for the first time, something he's previously refused to attempt. When he did this, I squeezed him hard and laughed with delight until I cried. The next moment, I'm praying for some silence and some respite from the constant babbling. I think if I were able to get out of the house and go for a walk and get some fresh air, I would be more tolerant, but this cozy house of mine is starting to feel like a terrarium for exotically stitched-up mamas on display at the freakazoid zoo.

But really, there's nothing more precious than Ben at this age. Even I, the annoyed one, can see that. I'm going to blink for too long, and he'll be a glum and sullen teenager who won't say anything to me at all. So I'm forcing myself to stop and relax and enjoy him in all his glory.