Let me tell you a little about Benefactor, for memory's sake. It's always hard for me to think, when a new baby is just around the corner, that the littlest one in the house is about to look like a giant. Because as soon as I have this new tiny little guy in my arm, Benefactor will all of a sudden look all grown up.
Benefactor is the first awake in our house. Always. I hear his little footsteps running to my bedside. He says "Good morning, mom!" and "Get up, mom!" and "No feeping, mom!" and pulls my blanket off of me. Sometimes this lasts awhile. Then he finally says, "I EAT, mom! Took an EGG, mom!" and after a few rounds of that, I oblige him. (I'm not a morning person and he is.)
Then he eats his breakfast. Then the rest of the family wakes up one by one. And he eats breakfast with each one of them, too. I think this is something that's genetic, because I'm told I used to to the same thing as a toddler.
When he's done, he gets down from his seat at the table and asks for a banana. Sometimes I let him have one.
He spends most of his time trying to keep up with "the guys", which is what he lovingly calls his older siblings. If he gets bored or left out or tired, he brings me a book or two. He's always loved reading. And if I'm too busy (for shame) to read to him, he's happy to find a spot on his own and read to himself for quite some time.
When he's tired, he loves the cuddles. And I can always tell if he's nap-tired by asking him if he wants his fishy blanket. Tyler made it for him, and he doesn't like to sleep without it. So I ask him if he wants his fishy blanket, or sometimes I ask if he's ready to sleep, and he says, "Yesss!" so happily. Then we cuddle, and often we read, and then he naps. But, if I ask him if he wants a nap, he says, "Yesss!" and then takes of his clothes and runs to the bathtub and will not be contented with anything other than a bath.
When he wakes up from naps he makes sure he says "Hi!" or "Dood morning!" and waves to every single one of us before he runs off after Mademoiselle and S.A.M. again
He wants to know everyones' name. We see someone at church. "Der name, mom?" Someone stops by. "Der name, mom?" He wakes us up in the morning. "Your name, mom?"
He loves to scare us. He growls and roars and shows us his claws and fangs and laughs hysterically when we scream. If we do it back, he gets really scared. He always jumps, even if he sees it coming. If daddy is doing the scaring, he smiles and laughs, kind of nervously. If S.A.M. is doing the scaring, he cries and runs to me and needs a kiss, and sometimes a hug.
He always wants to go somewhere. Anywhere. Every day when Tyler leaves he cries and says he wants to "do home, too, mom!" and when I tell him he is home he looks at me like he's sorry I'm so confused.
He loves lions and horses and puppies and horses and "tows" and horses and fish and horses and elephants. He loves the bugs that his brother and sister catch, but he's not quick to touch them, too. Every once in awhile he gets up the nerve, but then he pulls back his hand quickly and rubs it clean on his shirt. Every day he wants to go fishing, and when we go fishing he has his own little pole with a bobber on the line that he slaps and slaps on the water and scares the fish away.
He likes to wear another t-shirt tucked in the back of his t-shirt like a cape. He calls this "petepuh", who we figured out is some silly mixture of Peter Pan and Spiderman. His sweet aunt saw this and made him a quick cape out of left over material, but Benefactor wouldn't have any of it.
He has a few shirts with his very favorite animals on them, and he won't wear them. Everyday he wants his "rainbow" that has colored stripes on it, his "B" that has an appliqued letter B on it (from aunt Martie 2 years ago) or his "chuch" shirts, which are any button up shirts that he might wear to church.
He's the first to remember prayers or blessings if the rest of us forget, and he's the first to cut them short with a loud "Amen" if any of us ramble a bit. He's quick to smile, quick to laugh, quick to forgive, quick to learn, and quick to apologize.
When he goes to bed at night, or when he wakes up in the night, he says "Ephadent. Pwhhhhhh. Ephadent. Pwhhhhhh." over and over to get me to sing "One Elephant Went Out to Play". And then he turns over and goes to sleep.