All those months as you grew inside me, I thought you would never get here. I was impatient. I wanted to fast forward through the pregnancy and hold you in my arms. And then you were here. Now six months have passed and my impulse is the opposite: I want to slow things down a bit. I want to savor this because it is going quickly, and one day I am going to look up at a rosy cheeked toddler, and I'll have a hard time remembering what that toddler was like as a baby. I'll love that toddler to bits, of course. But I'll miss the baby.
Last week you celebrated your six month birthday with a double ear infection. I'm experiencing some mom guilt over this one because, looking back at your sleep patterns, I'm fairly certain that you had at least a mild infection for several days before I carted you to the pediatrician. I was trying not to be a neurotic mom, but all the signs were there. By the time we saw the doctor, one of your ears looked awful and the other was well on its way to awful. This is your second major infection in less than two months. I see tubes in your future.
Yesterday we took you to your six month appointment. You are a long thin baby barely breaking the 10th percentile for weight, but nearing the 90th percentile for height. For a teeny thing, you are strong and you struggled with the doctor who wanted to check your (still infected) ears. You turned beet red and let out a mighty wail with each of your four immunizations, but you quickly settled down and were smiling again by the time we made it to the car.
You are so happy. A smile machine. You flirt with everyone, even the nurse who has just jabbed you with four needles. On my desk I have a favorite picture of you grinning pure sunshine. When I am feeling down, or when I miss you, I study that photo and it helps.
I haven't had eight hours of sleep since I was seven months pregnant and you, my dear, are the reason. You don't sleep as well as your big sister did at this age. I've initiated sleep training several times, but you've been a bit stubborn, and you've also been sick with seemingly constant colds and ear infections. I have a hard time letting you cry when I'm not certain that you are free of discomfort.
You are still a breastfed baby, but you are eating solids now. So far, you have not refused anything I've offered. The nice thing about your eating solids is that it slightly reduces the amount of milk you need at daycare. This is marvelous because I am able to keep up with you and we've not needed to supplement with formula yet. There may come a time that I decide to stop pumping, but we aren't there yet.
You've been sitting well for a while and you are now getting up on your hands and knees. You haven't worked out how to go forward, but it won't be long. When you do work this out, we are in trouble. In anticipation of your impending mobility, I am trying to get big sister to keep toys with small pieces off the floor and I'm looking at what needs to be baby proofed for a second time.
You have no teeth, but given your new game of "bite mommy while nursing" I suspect teeth won't be long. I've been reading up on this biting and I'm either supposed to yelp and say "no bite" sternly, or I'm supposed to observe you and remove you when you seem to slow down while nursing. Most gurus suggest the former technique, but there is some debate over this. At least one web site suggests that yelping may scare you off the breast starting a string of negative feeding associations that will lead to later food issues and eventual obesity or anorexia. Nothing is ever straightforward, is it?
Your big sister adores you. She wants to feed you. She wants to hold you. She wants to bathe you. She wants to dress you. You return the affection. You watch her and try to catch her eye when she is not focused on you. You squeal when she talks to you. You laugh from the joy of her company. When I first learned I was pregnant with you, I had a vivid image flit through my brain. It was of two little girls holding hands as they ran along the beach. It fills my heart to see that my girls are well on their way to being friends, and I know I am going to cry when I see my girls hand in hand on the shore.
Love and devotion,
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