Posted by: Ingrid | April 24, 2012

Six Months: Of Teething and Rolling and Opinionated Babies

Dear Jonathan,

The other day you had gotten hold of something, a book or toy, that belonged to your brother.  When Isaac grabbed it out of your hand you bellowed.  Your face and tone made it clear that you were mad.  That you wanted that particular thing.  You are starting to get opinionated, which is the story of this month.

Which means it’s either time to find us another sweet cuddly newborn or get you a new home where opinions are allowed.

(I am only kidding.  On both counts.)

Not only are you vocal about your opinions, but you also have teeth.  Two teeth, to be precise.  At five months and nine days you pushed your first tooth (bottom right) through.  At five months, three weeks, out came the neighboring tooth.

All of that drooling paid off!  Unfortunately, I still don’t seem to remember the fact that you are now a little piranha, and keep offering you my finger to chew.  Ow.  You are also trying to adjust to life with sharp objects in your mouth.  You do the funniest facial contortions trying to figure out what on earth keeps poking you!

You are sort of Jekyll and Hyde these days.  On one hand, you are smiley and charming and oh so chill (usually at the beginning of the day), and we always remark how happy and complacent you are.  Come evening, we almost always make comments about how, “Jonathan wants to be held ALL the time – he’s so fussy!”.  You are lovely and pleasant when happy but make yourself very noticable when your demands aren’t met.

You are still nursing like a champ, teeth and all, and have made it to roughly 19 pounds.  I am seriously thinking I should be able to use you for a kettle bell workout or something.  I am curious to see if you will stay big or if your weight will drop off like Isaac’s did.  You have already tried your first food – paper (that’s up there with rice cereal, right?).  Isaac has tried to introduce you to oranges, graham crackers, and boogers (all offers were intercepted).  I think we are going to hold off on real food for a bit longer though.  The nursing thing works for me plus I am in no hurry to have to sit you in a seat, smear orange and green mush on your face, and then wash you off three times a day.  This rationale could also be why your brother still sleeps in a crib and is not potty trained.

On the other hand, you do show a certain fascination with watching people eat.  You find it riveting when you are sitting in someone’s lap and their fork goes back and forth, from plate to mouth.  It’s kind of fun to watch, but I think my general laziness will win out and we will continue nursing for a while.  Besides, once you start the real food the dirty diapers go south really fast!

You are on the move as much as you can be at six month.  No longer content to be held, you want to sit up, or be held in a standing position.

You started rolling over and over again mid-April, these slow ponderous belly-flop looking rolls.  But they get you where you want to go and you have some sense that you can see something and get to it now.  You can move front to back and back to front and kick your legs and arch your back and work your abs and try so hard to sit up (or stay seated).  Your best friend is the bouncer (except when Isaac is nearby and feeling particularly “playful”).

Isaac has not gotten any gentler with you, but is still willing to share on occasion.  Including things like very large stickers that he puts on your head.

It wasn’t until I tore the sticker off (along with a good bit of hair) that I realized that it would feel like ripping off a very large band-aid.  You howled.

You want to touch everything right now: grab noses, pull hair, stroke the couch, hit the chair leg.  It’s as if the whole world is looming over you like an enormous mobile and you can’t wait to get your hands (and mouth) on it.

You love staring at people’s faces and watching them interact with you.  Your eyes light up and you are so earnest, so thoughtful, as you babble and giggle and smile.

Speaking of giggling, you laugh the most when we change your shirts.  There must be something about under the chin that gets you because you can’t stop laughing.  I love it!  Not so lovely?  When you bite me while nursing and think that’s funny.

You get called all sorts of things.  The normal Buddy, that is used interchangeably for both you and Isaac.  But you are also El Chunko, and Mister Man, and Littles and Bubba.  It is, in fact, a little embarrassing to think about and write down what I call you.

I kind of forgot some very big things this month.  I got to solo parent for nine days while your Daddy was in Haiti.

Well, I claim to have done the solo thing when really, it took a village (literally) to get through those nine days.  You definitely got lots of loving from lots of dear people!

We also went on a Pastoral Transitions retreat in Wisconsin for five days without Isaac.  It was fun to have you all by yourself and to see more of your personality come out when you weren’t being sat upon.  You got to listen to the Hunger Games, in its entirety, while we were on the road and you definitely asserted your vocal independence while on the retreat!  Maybe 6 months is just a little too old for long days of sessions.

I am so out of touch with what you should be doing, Jonathan.  What to Expect Your First Year has not been read at all this time around.  It took me until last night, when you were spitting prodigious amounts of saliva and doing your little motor boat routine, to pull from the deep dark recesses of my brain that blowing raspberries is a developmental milestone.  Yay!  You hit a milestone and I finally noticed!

One of my favorites this month has been watching your hands as you have learned what to do with them.  Sometimes you will move your hands above your head, sometimes with a toy clutched between fingers and other times empty.  You are transfixed by these things that are attached to you, that you are moving.  Your hands take on a certain grace, like a mime, full of expression and  they are beautiful to watch.

Have you really been here an entire six months?  I feel like time is slipping through my fingers with you.  Opinions and all, I think we will keep you.



P.S.  Last night I walked in on you when you’d just woken up from your nap and were still swaddled.  Have you ever seen a monster burrito trying to do a sit up?  Me either.


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