Tuesday, February 19, 2008

a visit to the library

[posted by bkmarcus]
(photo by Miss Angel)


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Breakable World

[posted by Nat]
I don't know if this is a phase toddlers go through or if it is simply Benjamin, but he is obsessed with broken things. Of course, it might have to do with me telling him he has to be careful with this or that (or give this or that to me immediately) because he might break it—about ten times a day...

I've already written about "quelqu'un...bouteille...casser" (which he continues to tell us once-in-a-while (with a big grin), adding the word "parc" to the end sometimes). I don't remember if I've written about his father's carved wooden cane, which he broke a few months ago when he dropped it. He talked about it for days and it still comes up when he is in the library and sees it. In fact, the broken cane may be the source of his obsession since it might be the first time he became aware of things being breakable.

Must be scary for a kid to discover that things aren't always durable. Scary enough that a couple of nights ago he grabbed hold of me and said "Maman casser" like he wanted to break me. And then when I didn't break, he pulled at his hair and head and said "Benja casser"—which, of course, didn't work either. It's as if he's testing what he can and cannot break, what he can and cannot depend on. It's not the first time this has happened and I can't tell whether or not he is comforted by the idea that we aren't easy to break. He has toys that are very frustrating to him because he can't take them apart (and they aren't supposed to be taken apart) and he comes up to me and says "Casser maman," wanting me to break them open for him.

All this is a prelude to the broken bed story. About a month ago, at the very end of the bedtime ritual, I was unable to pull up the dropside of Benja's crib. I took him out and we went into the parental bedroom where we sat on the bed, lights low, while his papa took the dropside off to figure out what was wrong.

Benjamin was a bit confused about what was going on and so, after a little while had passed, I explained to him that his bed was broken and that his father was fixing it. I had in no way anticipated his reaction: he let out a horrible wail and his face contorted in...terror? sadness? desperation? and he started to cry. He rolled onto his stomach and slid himself off the bed and ran to his room to see what was going on.

I had no idea his bed was so important to him. But why wouldn't it be? He has spent nearly every night of his life in his crib. He sleeps well in it, so he must feel safe there. He has several beloved plushies that "live" in it too. And here was his mother telling him that his safe haven was broken.

Fortunately, his papa quickly put the bed back together again and Benjamin was able to curl up on his bears and sleep soundly through the night.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Benja 19mo

[posted by bkmarcus]

Benjamin at 19 months, looking out the front window
(just before a haircut)

Here's a picture of the doll he's hugging.

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