Sage: 5 months

Well, Sage, it’s past midnight, so technically it’s the 25th. I would have gotten to this sooner, but this week you have not had good sleep habits.

Part of that is the unfamiliar environment. You’re in upstate New York right now, visiting relatives — most of whom had never seen you before. Your Grandpa Ray and Grandma Max came to Indiana to see you, and so did your Uncle Matt and Aunt Lisa, but nobody else had been able to visit yet. So we brought you to them. You’ve met a bunch of them so far, and there are still more to meet before we head back home on Saturday. There are even more that won’t get the chance to meet you this time around.

You’ve continued to laugh, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. You giggle, but the deep belly laughs don’t come every day. We still can’t figure out exactly what makes you laugh, so we can’t get you going. I’m really impatient for that phase to kick in — where we know how to trigger that laughter.

You’re also getting ridiculously strong. You’re able to stand for remarkably long periods of time, although your balance is such that you have to be hanging on to something, or have our hands around your torso simply to stabilize you. We think that’s also contributing to your lack of sleep this week; last night all I had to do was to give you your pacifier and give a careful massage to your legs for you to conk back out. And we’re glad you’re conking back out, because the past few nights have involved hours of trying to comfort you and hoping we can stop you from screaming at the top of your incredibly powerful lungs.

You like reading time, although I often feel guilty that I’m not reading to you nearly as much as I had intended to. Part of the reason for that is that we’re very busy — we’re preparing to move houses soon, to a bigger place with a better commute for me so that I can spend more time home with you. Part of the reason is that your attention span for books is still kind of limited.

You like the TV; when it’s on, you want to see the pictures. We discovered today that you also like live performances — we took you to your cousin Lucy’s first dance recital. (She was really good for a five-year-old.) You were absolutely entranced, despite the fact that we were really far back in the auditorium. You even seemed like you were trying to sing along to the music after a few numbers. You did fall sound asleep during the final number (“Flashdance”), your head nodding so far forward onto your chest that it looked like you were curled up in a ball.

The toughest part of this month, for me, has been that you’ve become totally and hopelessly devoted to Mommy… which would be fine, except that it’s at the expense of Daddy time (and Mommy sleep). When you want to be comforted, you want Mommy, NOT DADDY. We’ve told you that it’s kind of unfair to both of us, because Mommy needs sleep too, and Daddy needs to feel like you still need him.

We know that we can’t take it personally — you’re five months old, for Pete’s sake — but it’s still emotionally a little rough. I know that if you’re like most girls, somewhere down the line you’ll want Daddy, NOT MOMMY. I’m going to try really hard to not act smug about that when it happens.

You’ve tried rice cereal twice. The first time, Daddy had to hold your hands while Mommy spooned it in; the second time, Daddy was at work and Mommy said you spent the whole time excitedly grabbing at the spoon with your hands and then stuffing your hands in your mouth. Maybe five percent of the rice cereal made it to your mouth that way. You’re not the tidiest eater.

And your hands have to be in everything. You want to grab everything and pull it to your mouth, and you have sharp nails and an amazing grip. Daddy’s already lost a fair amount of arm hair. Mommy, fortunately, has not lost her earrings or necklace.

We’re probably a little biased, but you seem astonishingly smart to us for your age. You’ve figured out how to trigger sound from a couple different toys, and we think you may have already started using a little “baby sign language” — the sign for eat.

It’s so hard to believe that in just one month, you’ll be half a year old. Time is flying by.

My advice for this month: have patience. Patience is one of the hardest things to develop, because you want itright now. As a five-month-old baby, you obviously have no patience yet (at all). Don’t live life that way. If you haven’t done so yet, learn patience. You will never, ever regret having it.

Mommy and Daddy love you so much, Sage. It’s not possible to tell you the extent of our love for you. I can’t wait to see what you’re like a month from now… even though I don’t want you to grow up too fast.

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