Something clicked in the boys' brains tonight. They realized that they like each other. It isn't that they hated each other before; they simply didn't acknowledge each other's existence. Ben would play with his letters and Elliott would spin in his Exersaucer. Ben would play with his letters and Elliott would eat Cheerios in his high chair. Ben would play with his letters and Elliott would practice getting up on his hands and knees. Let me just take a moment to say that if you haven't caught on, Ben loves playing with letters. He spells his name, the whole thing, forwards and backwards. He also spells about six-seven other words and is constantly asking me how to spell more. If we are on a drive, the entire twenty minutes might be spent spelling out the colors, for example. I am proud of Benjamin's love of letters, but it is to the extent that it is slowly, very gradually, driving me insane. I do not understand how he never becomes bored with it. It is so...boring. Speaking of that, we went to the dentist today and when Ben was finished, he was offered a prize from the "treasure chest" (a.k.a. box in the corner). There were bouncy balls and helicopters and cars and...fun things. He chose an unsharpened pencil. This kid really knows how to party.
Anyway, now that Elliott is crawling all over the house, Ben has learned to accept the fact that he might have to interact with this other person whom he calls "baby." I decided to try and give them a bath together tonight, their first bath together, and I discussed this with Ben, and, to my surprise, he was more than cool with it. He was excited about it. "Bath with baby?" he confirmed. "Yes, you want to take a bath with Elliott?" I asked, uncertain. "Yes!" he exclaimed. Most of the time, Ben does not want to stop playing with letters to take a bath, but this time, he was excited about it. While I got the boys' pajamas together, I let them play in Elliott's room. Elliott pulled himself up to a stand, and Benjamin said, "You did it, baby." Then he got up in the baby's face and said "Hi, baby" over and over again, and if it was me, it would get on my nerves because Ben clearly has no sense of personal space, but Elliott was totally digging it and smiling into Ben's face. When Elliott got down and crawled into the hallway, Ben followed him. "Come here, baby," he called. What the hell? Where did this sudden concern come from? I have no idea.
When I plopped the two into the bath together, they sat facing one another, splashing and trading toys. They smiled into each other's faces. It was the first time I've really seen them interact as brothers, completely unforced, and it was really beautiful. But then Elliott started trying to stand in the bath tub and it was like wrestling a slippery bear getting him out and into his pajamas. He quickly crawled away from me as I tried to get Ben out of the tub. Once they were both contained and dressed, they went into Ben's room and Elliott proceeded to crawl in circles crying while Ben followed him saying, "Baby? Baby? Baby? Baby?" It was time to put Elliott to bed. I was sweating and a headache had spread slowly across the back of my skull getting these two ready for bed, but I am so happy they are starting to really love each other.