At 20 months, Ben:
- loves this ABC video from Sesame Street and can sometimes be heard in his crib chattering "A-B-C-D...woo!" Between that and the Leapfrog fridge letter toy, he is fascinated with letters and tries to point them out when we're wearing shirts with words or reading the newspaper. He's rarely accurate at this point, but does occasionally get an A or M right.
- frequently points out cars, trucks, airplanes, and birds, whether or not they're actually there. When I get him up in the mornings, he almost always points to the window & tells me there's an airplane out there. We are amazed at the times when he actually hears or sees an airplane before either of us have noticed it.
- is still head-over-heels for "Gee-da" (Food Network host Giada DeLaurentiis) and sometimes cries when we cut him off (although he does that with other videos too). He also has seen a few episodes with her toddler daughter Jade (slightly more age-appropriate crush!) and yesterday asked for "more Jade?" when I pointed her out in the credits.
Generally, though, he will pay attention to something on the TV for a minute or two, then go back to playing with his toys. Dave found out last week, though, that even if Ben is not looking at the screen, he'll still notice and object if you change the channel from Giada!
- loves his daycare teachers and talks about them a lot. He told me "Apool [April] read book" the other day. We are so lucky to have a great daycare where even the administrative staff knows him.
- generally fusses less when he goes to bed, but sometimes stays awake chattering to himself for 30+ minutes.
- has been using his toy phones a lot to talk to Grandma, Opa, Grammie, Papa, and Tony. Of course, if we have a webchat with anyone, he clams up half the time...
- has several favorite songs he requests and sometimes dances to them. Here he is dancing to "The System is Down" from homestarrunner.com.
- also likes playing instruments, of which we have plenty! He found a recorder and a flutophone (pretty much the same thing, just cheaper and slightly easier to play) in my work bag the other day and tried to play them. On the second day he actually got sounds out of them after I demonstrated. After a few minutes, he got bored and ransacked my bag again and found a woodblock, which he proceeded to tap using the flutophone. I figured that the small stick that actually goes with it would be in more danger of being used as a chew toy, so I helped with using the flutophone!
- can identify stars, ovals, crosses and hearts. We're still not entirely sure how he picked up on stars; ovals he learned from his shape sorter, hearts from his play dough cookie cutters, and crosses from the cross on his wall. Stars are his favorite, though, and he gets really excited if he sees one. He played a little bit at the mall playground yesterday and was thrilled to point out the stars on the carpet & star-shaped lights. I painted some wooden stars to match the hanging ribbon on his art gallery hangers and he says good night to them now.
- has discovered a love of cooked or roasted bell peppers and onions. Still not a fan of the raw ones, but would probably scarf up 1/2 a pepper if we let him! He also enjoyed the Venezuelan food he tried at El Porton Cafe and had fun playing peek-a-boo with a very sweet waiter. His Opa, who grew up in Caracas, was excited to introduce Ben to arepas, plantains, and flan.
- continues to love reading books and will plop in our laps and demand we read a book over and over again!
We are looking forward to a visit next week from my friend Neilam and his girlfriend Jen, and my parents 2 weeks after that. We hope to take them to the Great Midwest Balloon Fest, which benefits the non-profit I work for, among other charities. We went to a hot air balloon festival in Michigan several times when I was growing up and it was always fun. We think Ben will really like it!