So here I am, sitting down for my first break of the day at 8 PM! I do feel for you mamas whose hubbies work late -- that must be SO hard!
If it's okay, I thought I'd try to put down my thoughts about my ds, and then I'll reply to the many interesting points you've all raised.
First of all, here's what's wonderful about him (lest anyone doubt that I am head over heels in love with him!):
He is a gentle, kind, and compassionate little soul. When a child takes a toy from him, he's more concered about the other child being upset about having to give it back than he is about his own loss.
He is thoughtful, insightful, and just so interesting to talk with! I remember at 20 mos him being in the back seat and telling me as drove along all the things he could see that use electricity and all the things that don't. (How he knew that trees and people don't was a mystery to me -- we had never discussed it.)
He is playful, funny, cute, cute, cute, and incredibly silly. He loves to make other people laugh and is easily amused himself.
He is musical, mathematical, verbal, creative, AND athletic -- and seems advanced in all these areas.
He is incredibly social and adores his little friends. He just loves being around people. Any age!
And he is a world-class snuggler. He inherited his daddy's affectionate nature and he could just cuddle all day.
SO . . . you wise mamas are no doubt seeing already how many of the wonderful things above can also be quite challenging. So here's my "why I feel he is hi-needs" list:
He is still nursing. 3 X a day, no exceptions.
He has 3 lovey objects: his fingers, which he sucks ("babies who are BF on demand don't become thumbsuskers!" BITE ME, Dr. Sears!); my arm, which he must have access to at all times for stroking (I wear short sleeves every day of the year, even in dead winter); and my "milk pocket" (sticks his hand down the front of my shirt, inside my bra all day long).
He has NO INTEREST in toys. Unless I am playing with them. He much prefers musical instruments (which he cannot yet play, so someone else needs to) and puppets (which someone else must make come to life) and turning everyday objects into imaginative play (which requires assistance to make the fantasy come to life). I am a former pre-K and K teacher, so we have a houseFULL of dev. app. toys. He plays with none of them.
He can read about 10 words and ADORES books, but I can count on one hand the number of times he has sat and looked at a book by himself. Not even in the car. He'd rather be told stories.
He does not know how to put himself to sleep. Never did. He is bounced in the sling every day for nap time, and takes at least 45 min of back-rubbing and singing at bedtime (which is a HUGE improvement). He doesn't even fall asleep in the car on 5-hr car trips that began at dinner time. I am not kidding.
When I talk on the phone during the day, he sits on my lap. The WHOLE time. Doesn't get bored, doesn't venture away. Just strokes the milk pocket and listens to the conversation. (and of course asks all about it later)
By 9 a.m. every morning, he is ready for his first "HOOOOOOOOOLD me, Mommy!" session. I cannot even get the breakfast dishes cleaned up before he needs snuggling.
When we are busy, he is JUST delightful. When he has other children to play with, he is easy as pie. (altho still checks in for frequent snuggles) When he has a new toy, he'll play with it for about 5 min, and that seems like HEAVEN. But when we have no play date on a given day, or his toys haven't been rotated in 2 days, he is ALL OVER ME and desperate for entertainment.
Plus the food allergies . . . not his fault, but they are so extensive, I can't leave the house without tons of food I know he can eat, so that adds to the complications of getting anywhere. (He's allergic to wheat, dairy, corn, all nuts, mustard, bananas, and strawberries.) Not to mention that if we weren't hemmorhaging money to Whole Foods each month for his specialty foods, I could probably hire some help!
I just wrote a frickin' novel. And it's probably totally boring to most of you. I do apologize. I guess I just needed my own little pity party.
I'll post now and see how many of you I can reply to before The Apprentice comes on . . . disgusting, I know, esp for a family who doesn't even have cable! I am a weak, weak woman!