When Joseph was a baby, I simply couldn’t get over his sweet, sweet nature. Yes, babies are sweet, of course, but there was something about him that was so incredibly touching and tender–and it’s been amazing to watch his sweetness develop as he grows older. He is so compassionate towards his brother. While he often bestows very passionate kisses and hugs on his little newborn brother, lately, when Noah lets loose with one of his rare cries, Joseph has been saying, “sorry brother,” with a tone infused with “been there, know how you feel.”
At church, there are about 25 kids in the nursery at any given time, and the caregivers there always rave about what a great sharer he is, and how he plays so well and is such a sweet guy (like I didn’t know!). I love when when I catch him showing love and empathy in his little way; last weekend, we (the cousins, aunts and uncles) all gathered at Jumpin ‘n Jammin’. When we were rounding up all the kids to go home, they sat in a row to get their shoes on. Uncle Sean was a few kids down from Joseph, but for a moment the two caught eye contact. J looked at him ever so tenderly, and put his hand on Sean’s arm and stroked it. Sean looked over at me with his heart full, and I have to admit, mine was too. My little guy is so full of love!
And, so crazy about Dora the Explorer–on a totally different topic! Our neighbor who is just a few months younger is absolutely wild about Dora, so when Pampers offered a free DVD with (multiple) purchase, I went for it. But, when it comes to the consequences of opening boxes, Dora has replaced Pandora, I can tell you that. Joseph has had Dora (who he simply calls “Backpack”) on the brain (and on our TV) ever since. Her wailing, whiny voice is enough to torture even the most patient parent, but our son can’t seem to get enough. Even “Twain” (his beloved Thomas the Train movie) has taken a backseat to Backpack. His father and I have been trying to decipher the sublimal code that grips a child in Dora’s clutches. Is it that she maintains eye contact at all times (camera hog!)? Is it that she addresses the viewer with engaging questions? Is it the lure of a pretty girl speaking a foreign language occasionally enough to keep it mysterious yet still be entirely accessible? It can’t all boil down to her talking backpack. Maybe it’s the final song of the show, “We Did It!” that J loves to sing along to? (Mind you, in his version, the song is “I Did It!”) Perhaps we’ll never know.
Noah is doing great. He is a sweetpea, too. We are regularly greeted with big toothless grins, although his overall disposition seems to be rather sunny. At church yesterday, he was positioned in his stroller at the end of the aisle where parishioners needed to pass to find a seat. He sat there doing his vigorous little leg-kick and arm-wave baby-moves, and as each person passed and made eye contact, he rewarded every last one with a big smile and dancing eyes. He was breakin’ hearts all over the place, especially (and who would have guessed?) the grandfathers! I had so many older gentlemen stop and coo over him. One even told me that Noah is “even better looking than his mother!” (Okaaaaay, um, thanks?)
Noah is also breaking new ground at night. He is sleeping in longer and longer periods. We’ve been keeping him in his crib, and he doesn’t seem to even have an opinion about it. He just goes to sleep, then wakes when he’s hungry or has kicked the covers off. I need to get one of those sleeping bag thingies for him. I also need to be a lighter sleeper. Poor thing, he has to chuffle and chirp for a while before I’m roused, and even when I do wake, I’m so exhausted that I never quite know exactly where I am or who is making the baby noises–my newborn or my toddler, who regresses to babyhood each and every night. (I swear, I won’t make the same bedtime mistakes I made the first time! I can see now, two years later, the error of my ways, and boy are we paying for it.)
Noah is also quite the little talker. He can imitate many sounds, and spends a lot of time shaping his mouth and thinking in advance about what sound he’d like to have come out. I’ve had him, on several occasion, making a combination of two sounds, to form the word, “hello.” It sounds very similar to those cats who say hello on YouTube, but hey, he’s only 11 weeks old!