Happy Half Birthday! Yesterday you turned six months old! I know, I don’t believe it either, but those newborn pajamas sure aren’t fitting up over that belly, so I guess it has to be true.
If last month was The Month of the Grunt, this month is The Month of the Squeal. You have found a new high-pitched register in your voice and people or things that are worthy enough are met with the squeakiest shrieks of enjoyment. It’s a fail-proof way to elicit some serious smiles.
I’m afraid I jinxed us by bragging all over town about your mystical deep sleeping habits. I miss those 9-hour nights. The wicked combination of teething, getting arms and legs stuck in crib slats, and discovering the concept of separation has reintroduced us to middle-of-the-night wake ups. Sometimes a couple. Sometimes every hour. No more laying you down and retrieving you the next morning bright-eyed and eager. Back is the creeping backwards out of your room, waiting outside the door holding our breath, and wincing at the monitor at 3:30 a.m.
But it’s ok. I wrote about it in those first months, and it’s just as true these days: when I lean over your crib in the morning and our eyes meet, and your whole face lights up with recognition, there is just nothing that can diminish that moment. Not sleep deprivation, not the previous day’s meltdowns, not even the puddle of runny poop that is beginning to seep through your sheets.
Some may call it chemical, but I plead divine.
Speaking of those teeth, you’re sporting TWO BOTTOM TEETH! Woop woop, girlfriend. And it only took you a month and half to push out those itty bitty chompers. Seriously, can we not come up with a more efficient way to get this done? It’s 2013, people.
This month you’ve experimented with some rice cereal and bananas. I don’t know that you actually absorbed the calories from these foods as would be required for actual “eating,” unless those calories can be taken up through your chin, your cheeks, your fingers and your bib. Because that’s where all the food ended up. I am so excited to dive into this real food thing; it will hopefully eliminate the ticking time clock I hear every time we are out and about ominously counting down until “Feeding Time.” Instead of retreating to the car or a bedroom, I can just shove some mushy fruit in front of you. Win!
I’m not trying to be dramatic here, so I’ll preface this by saying everything is absolutely, 100% A-OK. Nothing to worry about at all, except for some musculoskeletal issues that I’ve self-diagnosed as “Toting Chunky Baby Syndrome.” TCBS in medical circles. But there was a two-week span where I was worried, with scary-sounding “just in case” tests that planted seeds of anxiety and far off scenarios felt like they were closing in. “What if?” games (not the fun kind of game) ran through my mind, and I thought about a future that I wasn’t there to be a part of.
And in those cloudy days, I watched your Daddy close. I watched him come home and mechanically perform the same ritual—bag down, wash hands, tie off, grab baby. I watched him roll over and stumble out of bed at 5 a.m. to soothe your cries. I watched him bounce you on his lap in an unashamed effort to coax out a smile. I watched him make ridiculous faces and talk to you in sing-song lyrics because that’s what you like most. And I knew, no matter what the doctor would tell us, you were going to be just fine. Your Daddy loves you with a love that strangers witness and wish they had, with a love that reminds people why you need more than just a Mama, a love that would compensate for the unthinkable. He loves you that much and more, baby girl. What peace that brings me. What comfort and rest I have knowing that I am not alone in this battle to keep you safe and warm and smiling. He fought for me for years, and now he fights for you, Addison.
Some other lessons I’ve picked up this month are perhaps less philosophical but equally important to note.
Skinny jeans don’t work for every body type. Namely, your body type.
Some days you can fly right down that to-do list making neat little check marks of productivity. Other days, all you get is the satisfaction of opening a child-proof pill bottle with one hand.
And every now and then, getting louder does in fact get you exactly what you want.
Thank you for teaching me so much already, sweet girl. I hope I can shape your life in half the way you have redefined mine.
From My Whole Heart,