Six Months

Dear Baby Ike,

Yesterday you turned six months old, and on Monday you had your six-month checkup with the pediatrician.  You now weigh a whole 17 lbs. and 9 oz., and you’re 25 and a half inches tall.  You’ve done so many new things this past month, I can hardly keep up!  You really love it when we make a zzzzipzzzipzzzzzzip sound as we zip up your sleepers (snaps are seriously inferior for getting-dressed entertainment).  You’re sitting up on your own now, which threw me for a loop because I expected you to roll over before you sat up – wrong, Mama!  You clearly do things on your own timeline, as all babies should.  Just the other day, Grandma said that you rolled over in stages, starting on your belly, then hanging out on your side for a bit playing with a toy, then eventually flipped the rest of the way over onto your back.  And this morning you did it without all the pauses between stages, twice in a row.  You tolerate a whole lot more tummy time before you get mad about it these days.  You’re almost mobile…which is a whole new world of parenting for your father and me.  I doubt we’re ready, but as always we’ll try to catch up quickly.

You’re babbling all kinds of sounds now, becoming quite the little conversationalist.  I’ve heard Gs and Bs and Ws and Ms and many more.  You still love doggies, and get so excited when Grandpa and Maggie do their little obstacle course in which he lies on the carpet and she runs around and jumps over him, and you don’t mind when Dexter tries to make you his popsicle.  Your squeals of delight are the best music my ears have ever had the privilege of hearing.  You love to stand on our laps and jump and jump and jump up and down, laughing and yelling.  I know there’s a Jumperoo in your future, thanks to your Grandma on Daddy’s side.  She and Grandpa are coming up from Alabama on Saturday, and I know they cannot wait to see you. Skype is great, but they don’t yet know the force of your current cuddles since you’ve gotten so much bigger than the last time they saw you.

For quite a while now you have shown keen interest in food when you see people eating, recently adding a sort of practice chew to your repertoire  but we held out and waited until yesterday to give you your first solids – starting with avocado.  I think that you did like it, because you kept eating it, but the faces you made were hilariously indicative of displeasure all the same, complete with an emphatic and perfectly-timed blehhhhh sound at one point that cracked everyone up. You are too hilarious right now, sometimes I can hardly stand it. This eating thing opens up a whole new world for you to explore, and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be one of the people who get to guide you through it.  I have so much fun with you; I still can’t get enough of your chubby little smiles and sweet little snuggles.  I’m sure I’m probably forgetting some milestones (oh!  passing toys from one hand to the other – I didn’t know that was kind of a big deal, but apparently it is) but suffice it to say that you continue to amaze me with every little thing you do.  I know that most people probably will not agree because they think the same of their own babies or the babies in their lives, but I’ll tell you a (not so) secret:  we think you’re the best. baby. evah.

Love,
Mama

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Newtown

It’s now Sunday evening Monday morning, and I’m still having a hard time grasping what happened in Connecticut on Friday.  I saw some headlines via Facebook on Friday morning shortly before we headed into our lunchtime holiday party, and remained fairly glued to my phone throughout, hoping that the initially reported numbers of dead children would be some kind of mathematical fuckup, a false accounting, anything that would make that final number go down, not up by one or two more in the end.  I tried to not think about it and participate in the silly reindeer games during the party, but laughing and enjoying myself felt so horribly wrong.  I desperately wanted to just get up, walk out to the parking lot, and drive to my mom’s house and hold Ike. When I got there a few hours later, she hadn’t even heard the news yet.  I didn’t want to tell her.

I have tried to avoid the news, at least televised – I definitely do not want to see small children trying to explain what they had seen.  I don’t have anything brilliantly insightful to say about it.  It’s horrifying. No explanation could possibly be satisfying.  I don’t know that there is anything we can do to truly prevent all recurrences, but I also don’t think that we should live in fear of something you can never see coming anyway.  I am just trying to enjoy my child, every second that I have the opportunity.  I don’t know what else I can do, other than hold on tight, and still know that I’ll have to let go at times as well.  I am thankful that Ike is still way too young to need an explanation from us.  How can you explain the incomprehensible?

I have seen references a hundred times this weekend – look for the helpers.  There are bad people that do bad things, but most people are helpers.  Thanks, Mister Rogers, for helping us remember that.