Stella turned six months old on Sunday and on Monday we took her in for her check-up. She’s 15 pounds 12 ounces, fiftieth percentile for weight and height and ninetieth percentile for head size (90th!), thanks to her dad. Bigger heads = bigger brains, right? Yeah, let’s go with that. Also, who cares because she’s adorable, large head or not.
She can sit up by herself and has taken to rolling and scooting herself to areas she would like to be. Sometimes on her play mat, sometimes near the dog toys, sometimes right next to the play mat so that she can chew on the tags. It’s true what they say about babies: don’t spend the money on toys, all they want is the random things you already have in your house. She loves to grab at my water bottle and try to get water out. Sometimes she succeeds, but most of it ends up on her clothes or mine. All part of the learning process.
We started solid foods while my parents were here. The first try was avocado and while she was super excited about the spoon, she was not particularly interested in the avocado. She kept looking at all of us like, “Why the heck do you keep putting that gross green stuff on this awesome toy?” I’m sure she’ll like green foods at some point, but for right now she’s taking after her father.
Next we tried sweet potatoes, with better results. I mixed in some breast milk so at least it had a faintly familiar taste and she chowed down. After the first few attempts at feeding her she decided she could to a better job of getting the food into her mouth and demanded the spoon. Now she doesn’t even let us get close to her mouth, she just grabs the spoon away from of us and shoves it in (or close enough to) her mouth. Very independent, this one. We’ve tried green beans, carrots, and papaya and she is sticking with the sweet foods for now.
She’s starting to laugh a little bit, mostly when we tip her upside down and raspberry her cheeks or neck. Sometimes there’s sound but mostly she just opens her mouth in excitement. When she does make a laugh sound I am always caught off-guard by how amazing it is to hear and will spend the next ten minutes trying to get her to make it again. I guess this is parent-hood: spending all your energy to make someone happy.
She loves watching sports, something she inherited from both sides of the family (though it clearly skipped a generation for me). This weekend she was so distracted by Rugby that she couldn’t finish nursing. I finally passed her off to Wes so they could watch the end of the game together. I know it’s still a few months before football season starts, but I know Wes is looking forward to teaching his daughter about the sport and watching games with her. I’m equally excited that they’ll have that bond. She’s started to recognize when Wes comes home and where before she would cling to me she now smiles when he enters the room. During bed time he sings to her or pulls her close for a little dance before we turn out the lights. Wes doesn’t get a lot of face time with her during the week so bed time is especially important.
This month she started rolling over like no big deal. I watch her move herself to some new toy or remote control, or Tsunami’s ears, exploring everything she can. She tries to scoot herself along and sometimes gets there but sometimes also gets frustrated. I try to give her encouragement and let her know that sometimes learning something new is hard but, I mean, she’s six months old so probably all she hears is blah blah blah blah so eventually I turn her over or move the object a bit closer to she can reach out and touch it. She tries to put everything in her mouth, including Tsunami’s ears and there is a constant refrain in the house of “No licking! Both of you!” Usually they both look up at me like, What? We’re not hurting anyone.
I can’t believe that we’ve had a baby for six months already. Half of a year and it’s gone by in the blink of an eye. During the day sometimes I let her nap on me because I know that before too long she’ll be too big for it or just not be interested. While my parents were here she gave me a hug and I nearly started crying because her hands are so little now and I am her world but it won’t be like that always. One of these days she’ll prefer her dad and at some point I’ll have to give up breastfeeding so I won’t even be the only thing keeping her alive. Her hands won’t be so tiny and they won’t always reach for me. Some day she’ll be a teenager and she will probably say hurtful things to me and it will break my fucking heart to hear them and it will take every ounce of energy to remember that teenage girls have it rough and she won’t mean it or even remember it. But for now her hands are tiny and they do reach for me and trace my face and scratch my sides while she’s eating. Her face does light up when I come into her room and she cries when I’m out of sight. So I’ll let the naps happen probably more often than they should for as long as I can.