Six months

A six-month-old. Unbelievable.

He’s really growing heaps these days–both as in his swaddle and his pants can’t contain those little legs with their ever-chubbier thighs, and as in he seems to be trying something new almost every day. We of course are in constant denial, as evidenced by the fact that it seems to take about a week of washing poop stains out of pajamas before we concede that it’s time to move up a size in diapers.

Just yesterday morning, I caught him practicing his “ba, ba, ba” babbling (despite my attempts to steer him toward “ma, ma, ma”) and making up little songs (well, that’s what I’ll call them) in his crib for the first time. And, as you know, he’s trying out new foods and rolling around a lot more. He rolls and scoots in circles but you can tell he is trying very hard to move forward. I’ve been saying we need to get more serious about baby-proofing for a while, but it may be time to get serious. In fact, when I faced facts and went to buy those size 3 diapers and saw that they come in a “cruiser” variety, I think I audibly gasped.

No teeth yet, despite strangers’ insistence that he’s been teething since month-two when the drooling began. But we have had our share of sleep disruptances this month. We had finally, happily been reaching stretches of 8-10 hours and then we flew to California for Christmas and–while he actually seemed to be okay at first (same nap schedule, fairly quick to change time zones)–by the end of our trip in Northern California, he was waking up every 2 hours or so! We’re not sure if it was just all the change or maybe the excitement of all sleeping so close to each other, but it was brutal. We came back and started settling back into our routine and then–BAM!–he caught a cold. I went back to nursing him and soothing him to sleep for naps and putting him down asleep at night (doing whatever made our baby feel better) and we were all getting up about every two hours again. He’d fall right back asleep, but he’d forgotten how to put himself to sleep without our help. Luckily, when we decided to be strong and put him down awake again, he remembered quickly and we’re at least back to four hour stretches and easy naptimes. Though last night he decided to keep falling asleep with his legs through the bars (and I mean all the way through!). Oh, kiddo. I’m really looking forward to the day we have some sort of consistency to plan the day around–will it ever happen? And will we ever stop charting his sleep?

Sleep occupies most of our thoughts lately, so I could go on forever–but I promise I won’t.

When I mentioned last month that he has started grabbing for my face and lips, someone warned me that my hair was next. Indeed I find myself delicately unfurling his fingers to loosen his grip on my hair about ten dozen times a day. Ouch! I throw myself willingly into danger, of course, when I blow raspberries on his tummy: anything to make him laugh! He shows a lot of interest in anything going into our mouths and grabs for our drink glasses so that he, too, can put his mouth up to the rim. Often, he’ll try to put his tongue where the line of fluid is visible, leaving little waterfall of drool in his wake. We can’t help but still love the way his hand shoots out to touch whatever comes near it–still remembering only so recently when his fingers were tightly laced in fists. He tends to somewhat brush new objects, waving his wrist back and forth to feel things with his fingertips, the palm and back of hand. He likes to be rolled from side to side or tossed in the air, and he still prefers standing to sitting–though he is getting more adept at the latter. In the tripod position, he can usually last on his own for a little while before eventually losing his balance. He’s rarely content to sit still, which can be exhausting (and we sometimes lament that he doesn’t know how to just “chill”), but it’s gratifying to see how much this restlessness is tied to his excitement over what lies before him. Eyes wide, mouth open to an “O,” he bounces up and down waving his arms as if to take off in flight in pursuit of his next target.

He was, by the way, a terrific flier–something which while we know we can’t guarantee will always be the case, we were very happy about. We have many more flights planned for his first year and, as you know, one or two of those are likely to be substantial!

In the never-say-never category, I must confess that we are now the not-so-proud owners of a hideous exersaucer (but he loves it and it’s so cold outside). We also now have a video monitor which I know seems ridiculous for folks living in a 500-square-foot apartment with a baby sleeping in the closet 3 feet from the bed–but I love it. It’s so nice to check on him without disturbing him–to see whether he has gotten stuck or rolled over, or whether his eyes are open when he cries out and we need to decide whether to open the door.

Finally, I think we’re going to join the Y across the street and take advantage of the family swim times, the $5 babysitting hours, the music classes and storytime. Now that Hudson is six months old, it seems that so much is available to him and I look forward to watching his eyes widen for all of it!

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