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Per-son-al-i-ty!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wow.  We've been told that babies really turn a corner at 6 months of age.  They are beginning to sleep less, laugh for the first time and generally become aware of the world around them.  We certainly saw this shift when Bennett turned 6 months old.

But that was nothing compared this new corner!  About a week ago, Bennett turned 8 months old.  And about that time, he got his person-a-li-ty!  Just recently, we began noticing these new whine sounds come from Bennett...sounds we usually hear when he has been sitting too long or when he wants to reach something he can't get.   We also noticed that he is watching his surroundings more - aware of people and things moving about.  And, learning the hard way, we realized that one should never take his toy away, doing so will get you a horrified facial expression and a full out crying protest!

All of the sudden, we have begun to notice that Bennett has wants - and he is no longer happy to just sit back and let the rest of the world go by him.  He is becoming his own little person.

He is very aware of who mom and dad are.  Despite our greatest efforts to convince him that Nana and Papa are much more enjoyable than we are (for they bend the rules and buy gifts for no reason), Bennett insists on choosing mom or dad, whenever possible. 

Tonight, after the two of us went out for a short while alone (thanks to free babysitting by Nana and Papa), we returned to an audience of three: Nana, Papa and Bennett (Oliver had fallen asleep).  We said hello to the gang as we walked in the house and smiled at our happy 8 month old playing in the exersaucer that sits in the middle of Nana and Papa's living room.  Bennett began with glee to jump up and down, greeting us with big smile.

Anxious to get our hands on him, we walked through the living room, straight to another room to put our bags down, with every intention of returning immediately.  Within seconds, we watched Bennett's face change from extreme exhilaration to intense fear (concerned that we had failed to notice him enough to stop) to being nearly crushed at our disappearance.  It was hilarious!  Poor guy could hardly stand that Momma and Daddy were home and were potentially leaving again (if only to the next room, mind you).

Bennett sat contently on Brian's lap tonight.  Our nearly 18 pound infant isn't looking so "baby" anymore.  The transition is happening already.  For Oliver, it happened just before 12 months of age...the transition from infant to toddler.  And it is obvious that it's ever-so-slightly beginning with Bennett now.

It's a crazy thing to watch - a lump of lard becoming a real person.  But it's happening - like a caterpillar changing to a butterfly - before our eyes!

Mr. Personality has arrived on scene...ready or not!  And in these moments of realizing that Bennett's personality is beginning to bloom, we realize that all of the past 8 months melt away (the NICU, the surgeries, the diagnosis, the fears)...the memories all go away except for one realization that will never leave us: there was a time when this almost wasn't supposed to be.

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