Now that he's nearing this ripe old age, new aspects of his personality are beginning to show. As I said in our second podcast, it's a little difficult to pin down temperament traits on the very little ones, since there's so much changing going on and it's often quite difficult to tell if something that happens is the result of a temperamental tendency, or a developmental phase, or the phase of the moon.
What we've known about Sean from his earliest days still holds true: he's got a sunny disposition; when he loses his temper it happens in a BIG way and then blows over quickly; and he's on the sensitive side. As a newborn and well beyond, he was the jumpiest thing ever, the slightest touch would make him jerk in surprise. Having had two others to compare him to, his jumpiness/sensitivity to touch was definitely more extreme than the others. If he'd been the first, I'd probably have chalked it up to "newborns jerk around a lot" because of their neurons or whatnot needing to settle down after being born.
Now that he's older, this sensitivity is definitely more noticeable, and is beginning to manifest itself in other ways. Like his brother before him, Sean cannot abide sticky hands or sticky feet. It's not that he won't get dirty, he just hates the feeling of stickiness. As long as the dirt isn't sticky, he's just fine with dirt.
He also seems morally opposed to naked feet or legs, meaning that if shoes and pants are not always just so, he'll ah, make his preferences known to me with insistence and vigor! The first time I put shorts on him this spring, Sean cried and tried to pull them down to cover his legs. Very Ryan-esque. Seriously, Flashback City. We kept trying with shorts and now he seems to have accepted them without stressing about his little wee nakedy knees (which are dimply and adorable) being exposed to the cruel elements. He also refuses to wear the new sandals I just got him because his little toes peep out. He kept screaming "No! Toes! TOES!!!!!" and pointing at his toes and has refused any and all attempts to get those cute little sandals back on his feet. Damn.
Speaking of shoes, nothing better be stuck to the bottom of his shoe. I'm just sayin'. A bit of play foam (a play-dough like substance that has become the bane of my existence) stuck to a shoe might as well be the end of the world.
Spills--another page right out of Mr. Ryan's toddlerhood. Spills are DEVASTATING by definition. Little bit of yogurt on the floor = wailing and crying and screaming "Wipe! Wipe! 'Pill! Oh no! Wipe! 'Pill!" and sometimes folding into a little ball right on the floor. Oh, the humanity. Also, gentle correction, such as reminding him in just the nicest voice possible to remain close when out for a walk, results in this (from a walk the other day with Brendan):
He is too young for any major tantrums just yet (my assessment is based on when the older two got started with their REAL tantrums, closer to three years of age), but the flashes we've seen indicate that he's going to be intense. Maybe the most intense of all three kids. He doesn't generally seem to be as intense as the other two when things are going well (Ryan is Mr. Intense no matter what, Morgan is Intense in her powers of concentration). He's all fine, laid-back, happy, and then BAM! Seanie 'splodes all over the room. It's still new enough and blows over quickly enough that I find his fits kind of amusing. :) Hey, I might as well enjoy it while I can!
His imagination has kicked into full gear and has been playing imaginary games for months now. He loves to be a dog or a cat with his sister (and can imitate animal sounds really well, very authentically!) and lately I've noticed that he plays really elaborate, deliberate games with his little cars or animals--lining them up just so and making noises or adding dialogue to the game. I really ought to video that because it's very cute.
I think I spy the beginnings of another costume-y kid, too. Must be genetic. He likes to pick out his clothes and pointed at a shirt the other day with a strong, loud "Peopleguy!" And then he found Brendan's hat (which is none to large on his spherical noggin), and wore it for a while, proclaiming his peopleguy status.
Talking. I thought he'd be the Strong, Silent type, especially since he has two very talkative older siblings and he's a boy (who tend to take a little longer on average to get up to speed talking-wise). Alas, it was not to be. (Again, must be genetic.) He talks just as much as everyone else did at the same age, although he's the least clear in his enunciation, I think. We understand most of what he says (context helps, too), but I don't think most visitors really have a clue what he's saying. That's okay, one day I will understand him, and sometimes I'll probably wish I hadn't understood.
Our Happy Guy has the makings of a good sense of humor, and can already make his own jokes, and enjoys laughing at the funny things he does, or his siblings do, or, of course, Tom & Jerry.
Developmentally, and perhaps partly temperamentally, Sean wants to be doing Big Kid things (unless he's snuggled up with me nursing). He drinks out of open-topped cups--we've been done with sippy cups for months now (hooray!) and he uses utensils and we stopped using his high chair last Halloween. He eschews restaurant high chairs these days, to my chagrin. I'd been counting on another 6 months or so. But he's much more well-behaved when he sits in a regular chair or with us in a booth--he's not so busy trying to figure out how to escape the high chair or trying to flip himself backwards off of the thing.
It's definitely an adventure, and I can't wait to see how more of his personality unfolds in the coming months. I think he'll be more persistent than Ryan, more like Morgan in that respect, and while he shares many Ryan traits, I'm hopeful his tendency to be less intense (as long as things go his way!) and more happy-go-lucky will balance out some of the, ah, downsides. :)
And that's your Seanie Update!