Benjamin is turning 10 months one day shy of Christmas. And because so much has changed in the last few months, I decided to start a new series – totally stolen from Amber btw! – where I share how Benjamin is in each month. Only I will try to squeeze the last nine months into this post.
9 MONTHS OF BENJAMIN
The first two months Benjamin pretty much slept all day (and night) long. When he wasn’t sleeping, Benjamin spent the first few weeks looking around as if asking himself where the heck he was. We have some very cute pictures of those looks, which I totally intend on using to bribe him in his teenage years. He hated tummy time and pretty much ignored everyone around him unless he was hungry and wanted to be fed.
One thing a lot of people told me from the beginning was that he looked much older and to be honest, I didn’t quite understand what they meant by it. His doctor saw him at three weeks and she asked us multiple times how old he was. Then she explained she would have said he was a few weeks older based on how he moved and looked. On our last appointment, my midwife told me Benjamin was ahead of what is supposedly considered the norm and I would probably get a lot of comparisons and/or hate from people. He was 8 weeks by then and I didn’t give it much thought. However, when I look back and hear what other mothers say, I understand what she meant.
Even in the maternity ward, Benjamin was already very expressive. While he did still look like he didn’t know yet he was born, you could see he knew he wasn’t in the same place where he spent the previous months anymore. He wasn’t all that happy or excited about it either, except for when he had milk – then he would get into a “milk-come” and smile like someone in love. And it only got more intense as time passed: he would show us he wasn’t very keen on being bathed or getting his diaper changed. He has a pretty distinctive “offended” face that Markus and I find hilarious. His eyebrows have their own life and will show if he doesn’t like something (or someone). While it can be very funny, it is also pretty embarrassing when we’re out and someone he doesn’t like goes up to him!
I am not really someone who obsesses about when he “should” start doing things, but it is something I get asked a lot, so here it goes: Benjamin has been able to hold his head since he was born. When he was first put on my chest, after I woke up from surgery, he actually “looked up” at me – probably thinking to himself why someone woke him up and who the heck I was. Everyone kept saying how he was able to hold his head and I was like “so what?”. Then at four weeks, he would turn on to his side. Willingly. On purpose. Multiple times. By the time he was three months old, he was able to go from back to tummy and tummy to back and constantly wanted to be standing up. He started rolling around the living room at four months old.
At his five months check-up his doctor said he wasn’t sitting yet out of laziness, because he clearly could already do it. It may have been because Markus and I teased him about it, but less than two weeks later he was sitting, crawling and pulling himself up. I will always suspect he was trying to prove a point.
At nine months he can crawl at the speed of light, but only if he’s chasing something interesting (like Daisy) and never when I tell him to stop going somewhere (like Daisy’s food bowl). He pulls himself up and walks everywhere if he can hold himself onto something. He knows who we are and that Daisy belongs to the family and it’s funny to pull her tail. (disclaimer for Greenpeace: no, we don’t let him to that)
From the very beginning, Benjamin has made it very clear when he likes something or not. He likes doing things on his own, while still having the security of having us with him in the room. He loves everything that makes sound and loves music! It’s pretty cute seeing how he actually sings to the tunes whenever he forgets he’s not alone. He is a very smiley baby, loves to smile and he’s the biggest flirt. No woman is safe on the streets, he will immediately flirt with them and wave – especially old women.
Benjamin is also a very inpatient little baby. He gets extremely frustrated whenever he can’t do something – when he couldn’t roll over or when he couldn’t sit up as quickly as he wanted and now when he is unable to stand or walk without holding on to something. Some days the frustration is bigger than others and he will cry and be fussy when he is unable to do what he wants.
While other babies need or want their parents to pick them back up if they fall, Benjamin is very independent and doesn’t want our help. He will literally swat our hands away and get back up on his own again. But he will also show if he wants to be picked up or be on our laps, so I think it’s really a part of his personality. He’s also very funny and sometimes “tricks” me into thinking he did something he shouldn’t – like when he pretended to put something into his mouth and then started laughing when I asked what that was. Or when I told him to stop licking the TV and he rolled his eyes and proceeded to say “bla bla bla” (in what seemed to be a very mocking tone).
We are raising him with two spoken languages: English and German. Sometimes I try to speak Portuguese with him, but honestly English just comes more naturally. I also use sign language with him. Not the baby sign language, the regular ASL, because I learned it from a deaf friend in high-school (and honestly the words I use are pretty much the same as baby SL). I was pretty much expecting Benjamin to take longer to start talking. However, he also decided to show us we know nothing about anything!
At first, I thought he was only babbling but soon noticed him saying the same “words” in some situations. The first word he said was “dada”, which he uses for Daddy and Daisy, using different tones for both of them. He also uses the same tone for Daisy and other animals he sees, which is very cute. He knows how to say “mama”, but usually only says it whenever he’s sleepy or wants cuddles.
Benjamin is changing every day that passes and I love seeing him turn into his own person! This was a (very long) resume of the last nine months. At the beginning of every month, I will share his developments. How are your little ones doing at 9 months old?