Yesterday, Christmas Day, you were six months old. Sometime the day before, I rocked you in the recliner in your room while you were being unusually fussy. We had the lights down low, and you were cradled in the nook of my arm. You were overtired and restless, and were being soothed by the sound of my voice. So I told you, in a quiet almost-whisper, your birth
ordeal story. Well, not the whole thing, but the part relative to where I was six months ago. Laboring in the dark, rocking on the birthing ball with my hands and elbows on the hospital bed, squeezing your mother’s fingers so tight, after she’d warn me for the next contraction. We all know the end of the story, and by the time I got there, you were fast asleep.
This last month, you’ve gone from being a baby to being a BABY. You used to like to get fed laying sideways in our arms, gazing up at us. Now, you want to be facing out, legs akimbo, holding onto the bottle. Speaking of feeding, just this last week, you’re eating solid food regularly. You have a mid-morning snack, and you have dinner with us every night. We actually had to buy a high chair. Gasp. Apparently, we can’t feed you while sitting in the Bumbo on the dining room table forever.
So now you have your own high chair, courtesy of Craigslist and some very nice Mormons down the street. You like it well enough, but you look so small sitting there. You have yet to give rice cereal any attention, but you enjoy sweet potatoes and pears, so far. Your mother is also making you homemade sweet potatoes, and we can’t wait until the days when we can simply grind up our own dinner of chicken parm or pad thai in the food mill and give that to you. All in time, I suppose. Of course, this means this next week when you go back to school, we’ll have to send food, other than bottles, with you. This, my dear, makes you a BABY. Sitting there, with sweet potatoes smeared on your cheeks, nose, and hands, opening your mouth wide for each bite, and trying to grab the spoon from my hand when you’re done.
You also sit. A lot. You could be a professional sitter. You should charge a sitting fee. You love to sit. You have no inclination to ever roll over, because you’re too busy sitting, or trying to sit, or wishing you were sitting, or reminiscing about that one time when you were sitting. What you lack in rolling over, you make up for in being able to delicately pick out the toy of your choosing with your thumb and index finger, transfer it to your other hand, and then sit it gently back down on the floor.
You’re also a really good napper, and a professional overnight sleeper. Just last night, you went to bed at 8:30pm and woke up at 7:15am. You like to relax, too. We call it, well, “relaxin’.” As in, “What is she doing over there?” (pointing to you, laying on your back, gazing at your hands). “You know, relaxin’.” I have no idea what to say to my co-worker who assaults me in the hall asking how I get you to nap on the weekends, since saying, “Well, I lay her down in her crib, and she usually just falls asleep” seems like such a cruel answer to someone in a nap-panic.
This past month, you have a few new firsts, besides the solid foods. You flew on your first plane. (Your mother wrote about it – I was too traumatized.) You went to your first funeral. (You slept during most of it.) You saw your first snow. (You didn’t particularly care.) You met your cousins. (You liked them a lot.) You had your first stay away from home. (You didn’t like that one bit.)
You are still very super duper sensitive. You do NOT like it when people other than us (or, honestly, the two ladies at school) hold you. One friend of ours has a trick that sort of works: he holds you facing out, so you don’t know you’re being held by a stranger. I said, sort of works. It makes it so that we have to give out a disclaimer if people ask to hold you. Or snatch you without asking first. It’s awkward, kid. It’s even more awkward when the folks that want to hold you are relatives. Grandmas, Aunts, Uncles. People that should, by all means, be able to hold you. At least for a moment. But your high-pitched pig squeal (also new this month) and thick, dripping crocodile tears make it difficult.
Oh, and you also had your first Christmas. Much to your mother’s dismay, we gave you some toys. You enjoy your jumper, but your mother had to make you an two-inch-tall platform for you to stand on in order to enjoy it. You petite thing, you. Among all of the things that make noise and light up, your favorite part of it is a tiny picture of a green frog. Your other favorite toy is a bunch of stackable cups that were an impulse buy a few weeks ago. We enjoy them, too. Why us? Well… you’ll see:
Merry Christmas, RR.