Posted by: Ingrid | April 28, 2014

Six Months: Not so little baby

Dear Liliana,

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I can now tell people that my children are four and a half, two and a half, and a half.  Yikes!

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So.  Six months.  Half a year.  At this point in the animal kingdom, most animals are walking, running, and fixing their own meals.  In some cases they are out of the proverbial nest already (sharks, for example) because if they don’t leave home their mother will eat her young.  And then there is you.  At six months your biggest accomplishment has been to wrap us around your little finger and teach us to jump at your command.

Proving that you will be queen or dictator of the universe someday.

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But that is doing nothing for you in the here and now.  For example, did you know that baby books say that your hypothetical baby should roll over at around four months of age?  Some precocious kidlets may roll sooner, but you were six days shy of six months and I realized that you had never rolled over.  Not ever.  It doesn’t even show up in the five and six month chapters because you should be doing it already.  Once I realized that I felt embarrassed, slightly demoralized, and thought perhaps you might try to spend the next 80 years of life on the couch channel surfing.

Enter tummy time boot camp that would have made Jillian Michaels proud.  This mostly entailed a lot of time on your stomach while I fended off your brothers who wanted to flip you over when you started crying.  First you would complain.  Then you would lower your head and bounce your body up and down, looking like a spastic worm.  Next you would break into real crying.  This would continue until you moved into helpless acceptance, lowered your head in defeat, and began trying to nurse the carpet.  Does your baby eat when frustrated?  Apparently mine does.

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April 24, 2014, you finally tipped your head to the side (and realized you were halfway there) flung up an arm, and ponderously swung your body over.  We laughed and clapped and I promptly turned you back on your stomach.  You are still not thrilled with rolling but at least I know you can do it.  I feel slightly better, since by this time both your brothers had teeth and were rolling and here you are, a baby dud.

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On the other hand, you can blow raspberries and I’m pretty sure that’s a seven month skill, so maybe it will all work out in the end.

You are big.  I carry you around in your car seat but that needs to change.  You are a chunk of baby pudge, weighing in at 18.5 pounds.  One thing you have down is eating.  In fact, you have it down so well that you sometimes try to nurse and suck your fingers at the same time.

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I look at your thigh, arm, and chin rolls and think, I did that! and feel pretty awesome.  Then I look at my not-back-yet body that doesn’t fit into my normal clothes and think, You did that. and feel depressed.  Apparently you are giving me my first real “losing the baby weight can be difficult” experience.  I love looking at you when you are nursing.  You gaze into my eyes with so much expression and interest.  I can’t believe the number of expressions that cross your face!

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We are finally at a point where I can leave the room and know that you will usually be okay even if your brothers are around.  Isaac is your favorite.  There is no other way to put it.  He is in your face, he talks to you, laughs with you, tickles you.  You love it.  Jonathan is much more back and forth, probably because you feel a little like competition.  Sometimes I look at the expressions on your faces in pictures and it cracks me up.  I vacillate between laughter and wondering what on earth we’ve gotten ourselves into.  Can someone say “mischief”?

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Sleep has been okay.  You are still teething with no success and your sleep varies.  The biggest problem is that once you are up you stay up and talk, complain, and whap your swaddled legs against the pack n play.  You are SO loud.  It’s not even that you’re fussy.  You are just trying to get our attention and comment on the poor service you’re getting.  But you do this at 4:00 am.  I can’t believe your brothers can sleep through the noise.  Some mornings you end up in the bedroom with the white noise on and the door closed, your dad is already up and working, and I end up on the couch with ear plugs in and a blanket over my head and I can still hear you.  So annoying.  Particularly when I realize that you have commandeered our bedroom.  Project “get the boys in the same room” can’t come fast enough!

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You are a champion dream feeder, just like your brothers.  In fact, you usually do better if I feed you before you wake up.  If you get the chance to wake up you are WIDE awake, like it’s party time or something.  You smile and giggle and flop your legs around.  If you had a tail you would wag it.  Also, you haven’t taken a pacifier in months.  Zero interest.  And we are still double swaddling you, for the record.  We have to keep you contained somehow.

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I have discovered that you are quick to smile but slow to laugh.  Your baby laughs are contagious when they happen though!

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We celebrated Easter this month and the weird “third child but first girl” dynamics were in play.  Jonathan wore what he wore last year (size 18 months) because he is a boy and who cares.  But you’re a girl!  So two days before Easter I am looking for a dress to borrow so that you can wear something special.  But I’m not going to go shop for it.  And you didn’t have a hair bow or fun shoes to match.  Maybe by the time you actually care I will get my act together and you will be fashionable and coordinated.  I am still finding pink glitter on you from the dress!

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A week ago I was holding a friend’s new baby.  A brand new, not even out for 12 hours yet, baby, with the softest ever cheeks and hair like the down of a chick.  Then I came home to you, bobbling in your bouncer, with your no longer so smooth cheeks and your interest in looking everywhere.  You are more interested in grabbing your toes than sleeping on my shoulder.

But then you grinned at me, in a way that no new baby can do.  I think I’ll keep you.

Love,

Mom

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