Half a year. It’s cliche to say, but it truly doesn’t seem possible.
You’re still pretty small for your age; the doctor at your six-month visit said you were near the first percentile for length and fifth for weight. Or the reverse of that; for some reason, I can’t keep it straight. Either way, you’re small. I see other babies who aren’t much older than you, and they look like giants. I like you little.
And yet you’re still so much bigger than you used to be. I look at a picture of you, at three weeks old, resting on my forearm. You’re now about seven inches longer than that, and about eight pounds heavier. Astonishing!
I wish I could have kept better track of the “firsts” you had this past month, but things got very hectic when we moved houses — which is the reason your letter is late. It was due on 6/24, and it’s already 7/10. Sorry about that!
One new “first” is that you’re consistently grabbing your feet, and often trying to eat your toes. Although I have been assured that almost all babies do this, I have to assume some of this behavior comes from your mother frequently alerting you when you were first born that “Mommy’s favorite snack is baby toes!” You just want to be like her. I’m sure that’s it.
You’re also rolling over from back to front. You’ve gone from front to back a few times, but right now when you get on your tummy you get upset that you can’t crawl, and you seem to forget that you’re able to flip back over. You scoot around a fair amount, but it’s mostly you spinning in circles. You’re so keen on rolling over that it’s starting to become difficult on occasion to change your diaper.
You’ve started solid food! So far, all of your food (with the exception of a few tiny dabs of Cool Whip I saw your Great Aunt Janet stick in your mouth last week) has been processed by Mommy. In fact, the squash that was the first solid food you had was grown in Poppa’s garden. (Poppa is what we assume you will call Mommy’s dad; it’s what your cousins Maggie and Mollie call him.) After the squash, you had bananas; then carrots; then pears; and the most recent new addition is sweet potatoes. Most of this food has had a little bit of spice in it; we’ve read that it’s supposed to help you grow up to be a non-picky eater. The pears, for example, have a tiny bit of cinnamon and vanilla. The carrots have curry powder (I forget which one, specifically). You love all of it, and you’re eating more and more.
You’ve also started to be fascinated by the dog, Chelle. Chelle is almost exactly your size, but she’s 11 years old. She has guarded you since we brought you home; if you started crying and we didn’t get to you fast enough Chelle would come running to us in order to lead us to you. She looked at others suspiciously when they’d move toward you. She slept by your bassinette a fair number of times. Now, she wants you to pet her. You’re able to, with a little bit of help; if I don’t keep my hands on yours, you have a tendency to want to pull her facial fur. She growled pretty hard at you once for that, which scared Daddy something fierce. But when I can help you pet her belly, you’re happy and so is she.
Sometimes I get sad, wondering if Chelle will pass away before you get her firmly in your memories. Sometimes I wonder if maybe that would be better.
You’re trying so hard to talk. After sleeping, especially, you babble at us. All sorts of syllables and vowels in your tiny little voice. There have been times where it sounds like words. When you get really upset, the syllable ma always sneaks in there. You’ve also said da a few times, but it seems harder for you to manage.
You amazed me a few weeks ago. I play a game with you where I lay you down and I lean over you, but I pretend to be interested in something else off to the side. I then turn very quickly and move toward you, saying “Hi!” in a rough voice. You’re inevitably just the slightest bit startled, but then you laugh like it’s the funniest joke ever. (You seem to really enjoy being scared momentarily.) So while I was playing this game, I looked away, getting ready to turn back, and you made your voice rougher than usual and said “Hah!” and giggled uproariously when I turned to look at you. When you did it a couple more times, I became absolutely convinced that you were playing the game back with me. I didn’t know that was possible at your age.
Everywhere we go, you develop a fan club. People love your smile, which is always ready to be rolled out, as if you were in love with the whole world at once. I hope you never lose that.
My advice to you this month — other than the constant admonition to remember to be who you are — is a little tougher, but you’re getting older now, and I think you can handle it.
My advice is: life is as fun as you let it be.
Mommy and I love you so much that thinking about it for too long overwhelms us. I can’t wait to see what new firsts you have next!