My daughter will turn six months old in a week and a half, and I’m thinking of having a small get-together. Nothing much, just dinner with family and maybe a cake. But the celebration isn’t for my daughter, it’s for me and my husband. Perhaps six months is not the triumph I will feel when she turns a year old, but I still think it’s a hell of an accomplishment. There were times in those early weeks that time seemed to grind to a halt, and I didn’t think we’d ever see this day.
It’s a lot of work, caring for a helpless little thing ’round the clock. And to be honest, it’s a bit thankless at first. I remember wanting to be able to tell people about her – to describe her – but not having much to say. “She likes to have her hands by her face when she sleeps, and can break free from a swaddle to get them there,” I’d tell people. “She’s a good baby,” I’d say, followed by what felt like a guilty admission that I wanted to say more, but there just wasn’t more to say.
Six months in, we are starting to see a bit more of a personality, and there are lots Of things I can say about her. Things I don’t want to forget and that can’t really be covered in any detail in her baby book. So here they are, in no particular order:
She really is a good baby. Extremely even-tempered. Quiet, calm, and a good sleeper. She seems to get bored sitting around the house with mom, but that’s easily remedied with a trip to the supermarket or the mall or Grandma’s. She often wakes up quiet. If she’s napping I might hear her kicking around on the monitor. If it’s morning and I have woken up on my own, I go in to her room to check on her and sometimes she’ll just be lying there, wide awake. Once, she awoke from a nap in her pack ‘n’ play while I was in the kitchen, and when I went to check on her I found her reading her fabric book.
She’s just started teething, which has led to a great deal more fussiness, but it’s also led to a great deal more naps, and that’s all right with me.
Her first favorite toy was the changing table mobile called the Flutterby, a hand-me-down from friends. I had no idea such a thing existed or that it would be such an essential item. As a newborn she loved to stare at it, then she started “singing” along with it, and now she likes to take the wings off and chew on them. We’ve spent plenty of time after the diaper changes on the changing table, just to play with the Flutterby.
She has lots of other toys she likes – the stuffed bee her father got her for Valentine’s day, the aforementioned fabric book I got her for Christmas, the crinkly blocks and the baby laptop. But her must-have item is the purple hippo blankie, given to me by a friend at my baby shower. The hippo is a must for nap and bedtime and it accompanies her on all outings. Now that she’s teething and likes to chew on it, I bought a second one so that I could put the first one in the wash.
In addition to and far better than all the baby toys are things with lots of buttons/keys. The remotes and the computer keyboards are great. Even the thermostat provides entertainment when I turn the heat up or down. Perhaps the best thing is mommy’s netbook, which I let her type away on and will occasionally make error sounds. This provides hours of entertainment.
She’s much more interested in the cat now than she was at first, and stares at him whenever he crosses her path. Watch out when she starts to crawl, Sid, she’s coming after you.
She’s very strong as well, and will kick and kick her legs, as if she’s trying to run a marathon. She also likes kicking her legs through the crib slats and no matter how many times I pull her back, I always find her back in her favorite position. She can sit up pretty well and loves to do so. At around four months she started rolling over from front to back and once, around five months she made it over from back to front, but has seemed really uninterested in rolling either way ever since. However as soon as she could make it up to her side, she started sleeping on her side and that’s a constant.
She is super interested in what we’re eating and drinking. She grabs at glasses and today, while reaching for a piece of bread I had on a napkin, nearly yanked it to the floor. We’ve tried introducing water, rice cereal and a couple of pureed foods, but she’s not nearly as interested in that as our food. We’ve had the best luck with carrots.
All of this is from just the first 5 1/2 months, so I’m sure the next 6 1/2 will fill a book. And watch out for that celebration. It’ll be a doozy. I think we’ll have a parade.