An update on Baby E is long overdue, don't you think?
I used to say that Baby E was my mellow child, but apparently he was just waiting until he could walk to express his true personality. While perhaps not as volatile as J, Baby E is certainly opinionated, even though at present he can only make himself understood using a series of babbling syllables and intricate facial expressions. Like J, Baby E is resisting speaking in words, though this time around it's not nearly as worrisome to me. Unlike J, Baby E is nonetheless extremely verbal, "talking" and singing in his babyese all the time, particularly when in his car seat. I'm convinced he understands 95% of what we tell him (though he chooses to listen to perhaps half of what we say), so his receptive language capabilities far outstretch his speaking abilities. He can follow multi-part instructions (if he's in the mood) and readily uses the two signs I have taught him, so he would probably say more if I could stomach listening to the inane baby signing time music again...but alas, I cannot.
Baby E is a dancing machine. He loves to bop his head side to side to music, any music at all, and his patented dance move of stomping his feet up and down makes him look like a baby boy version of Tina Turner. Baby E particularly loves to dance to incidental music, the kind on commercials or piped into stores, so he is often moving and shaking at seemingly random times, since he will invariably hear the music before anyone else with him does.
Baby E has a well honed and precise sense of humor: anything his older brother does is HILARIOUS and warrants outright laughter. The best his parents can get out of him is a husky "heh heh" when we do something particularly outrageous. He is extremely ticklish, especially on his tummy and his neck, though there are few places in which tickling won't elicit giggles.
Baby E probably thinks J is schizophrenic, since his older brother alternates rapidly between saying things like "Oh, Baby E, you are so cute! I love you! You love me!" and then, in the next instant, "Baby E, NOOOOOOO! Don't touch my (train, car, guinea pig, chair, food, dinosaur)! ARGHHHHHAAYYYYY! Mommy, he is getting my stuff!" Fortunately, Baby E can give as well as he gets, and he has mastered the art of grabbing and running away VERY quickly. Baby E has also become quite adept at taking back things that have been taken away from him and ostentatiously frowning his displeasure in J's direction. Indeed, Baby E's disgruntled, exaggerated pouty face is truly a sight to behold. If you want to experience it for yourself, just appear at our house any time between about 5pm and bedtime; he'll be sure to put on a show for you many times during his afternoon explosions.
Baby E continues to be very fond of most food, particularly anything sweet. He adores popsicles, mandarin oranges, yogurt (except blueberry), strawberries, watermelon, pineapple, pears, ketchup on anything, hot dogs, and macaroni and cheese. He is my adventurous eater, who will still try anything I give him and eat most of it. That said, we were happy to see that at his 15 month check-up, he had not gained any weight for the first time in his short life! Huzzah! He is still in the 95th percentile for height and weight, of course, but at least his walking and running is having some impact on his (still quite expansive) waistline! As it is, he wears 24 month and 2T clothes, even some 3T pajamas, so he is still my big little boy!
After a targeted push to get formerly book-averse Baby E to like reading, he now has a voracious appetite for (specific) books. He loves to read stories at bedtime and nap time and will often appear at other times during the day carrying one of his favorite books, looking for a lap to climb into. Because he has come relatively late to literacy, he has to be introduced to new books very slowly, preferring instead to read the same few books he finally accepted, but we're not complaining, since even this constitutes a huge step forward for him. This was the child who would NOT ever sit still for even one page of a picture book, let alone a whole story. The first day we made it all the way through The Very Hungry Caterpillar, I wanted to throw a party!
E is a physical boy. He doesn't know his own strength and has wounded all of us more than once with his demonstrations of "affection." He loves, LOVES to play outside, and our sweltering summer, when outdoor play can only really occur at a few specific times, angers him on a daily basis. Of course, when Baby E is outside, he is eitehr running into the street or picking unripe tomatoes, so we have to monitor him closely. Like J, Baby E turns bright red and sweaty after any time at all in the heat, so we are always pushing liquid on him. When he wants something, he's particularly excited by, like a popsicle for instance, he will stamp his feet up and down rapidly and hoot. Baby E's only spoken word is a sing song "uh huh," but he really doesn't need to talk much given his expressive antics. When Baby E doesn't want something, like another bite of dinner, he will turn his head as far away as possible and push the offending item away with his hand. When he wants a drink of water, he goes and finds the nearest empty cup and bring it to the nearest adult to fill. He's very pragmatic that way, actually, using props to communicate what his language skills cannot.
J and Baby E look nothing alike and their personalities are very different from one another, but they enjoy each other's company (most of the time) and are enjoyable to be around (most of the time)!