Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dear Henry - Month 6

Dear Henry,

Happy 6 month birthday!

This past month has been incredible.  My memory is not to be trusted, but I would say that this month has seen the most change and been the most fun for us so far.  You’re evolving from this completely dependent little snuggle bug into your own little person with a crazy personality and a determination to assert your independence every day. 

This past month you mastered rolling over.  At least in one direction.  You are a master at going from back to front – we’re still working on the other direction.  From what I understand – going from back to front is more difficult than front to back so it’s nice to see you’re already doing things in your own quirky way.  I knew you were getting good at rolling, but you hadn’t done it in your crib yet.  One day I was at work and I got an e-mail from daycare asking me if you’d flipped yourself over at night yet and I said no, never!  You were too lazy.  I knew you could do it, but you hadn’t shown any interest in doing it in your sleep.  Then she sent me a picture of you sleeping on your belly and immediately after that you started doing it regularly in your crib.  Right now that’s not the best thing because you can’t get yourself flipped back over yet so you cry and need someone to help you.  You’re getting there though.  Pretty soon you’ll be fully mobile.  Yikes!

I started reading to you at bedtime in the last month.  I know you don’t know what the words mean yet, but you always sit there watching the pages (and sometimes the walls, or the windows, or the floor) and listening patiently to me while I read to you.  This is becoming the favorite part of my day – I get to share something I love so much with someone I love so much.  You got pretty excited about “Llama Llama Red Pajama” the other night.  I think it’s because the word “mama” shows up in there so much, and that’s a word you’re becoming very familiar with.  Your dad practices talking with you and tries to get you to say mama.  I think it’s probably a testament to how loving, giving, and all around awesome your dad is that he tries to get you to say “mama” before even worrying about you saying “dada”.  For the record, you don’t say anything yet – but you sure do talk a lot!

You also discovered your thumb this past month.  This is incredibly convenient for us, and also incredibly cute.  Yes, yes, I know there may be some long term ramifications of this, but right now it means that you can soothe yourself when you’re fussy and also that you become impossibly cute in a split second move that makes those fussy periods far more bearable.  Well played, my little Gus-o.  Well played.

You have become quite the little entertainer.  You love to talk and squeal and make people laugh.  One night while I was getting you ready for bed, you were deep in conversation about something that was causing a lot of shrieking and squealing and then all of the sudden you started smacking your lips (like you were chewing something) and scrunching up your nose – making funny weird faces while you continued jabbering away.  I couldn’t stop laughing – I wished I had had my phone with me to record it and then suddenly it occurred to me – what if this is what I look like to you?  What if you were imitating how I look when I talk to you as you find your own voice and learn how to form real words?  That was a sobering thought.  I guess I’ll stop calling your facial expressions “funny” and “weird” now. J

We introduced solid foods a few weeks ago.  I had debated whether or not you were ready.  TECHNICALLY you weren’t 6 months yet which is when I had always planned to start, but you were pretty close to 6 months and you were showing a lot of interest in food and eating.  We started with rice cereal and you took that okay.  So then I started adding things to it – sweet potatoes, and interesting mixes of broccoli, pears, carrots, apples, and prunes.  You’ve taken every thing we’ve put in your mouth with enthusiasm and man, you are a champion eater.  Hardly anything goes to waste.  You get excited when you see food now too – whether the bottle, or the dish of food I’m going to feed you – your eyes get all big and your whole body starts to wiggle.  That is my exact same reaction to delicious food sometimes, so we know you come by it honestly.

You took your first camping trip this past month.  We went to Crazy Acres over Memorial Day weekend.  It was cold and windy – but at least it didn’t rain.  You weren’t super thrilled with it.  You would fuss and whine and cry while we were outside and the minute we got you inside the camper, you’d have a big smile on your face and be all wiggily and happy.  I may or may not have wailed at some point "Why does my baby hate nature?!"  That may have been a bit dramatic.  That's because it was.  Sometimes you seem to bring out the drama queen in me.  In any case, I’m hoping that your love of nature will develop as the weather gets nicer and you get a little older.  I’m SURE it will change by the time you’re old enough to run around and torture the “big” kids.

So much of this past month has felt like a gift.  I am enjoying the crap out of the time we get to spend together.  I love laying down next to you on the floor and watching you flip up on your side to have a conversation with me.  Sometimes when I’m talking to you, you try to stick your hands in my mouth.  This is not exactly polite conversation behavior so at some point we’ll have to correct it, but for now I just nibble on your hands and try to make you giggle.  There will be plenty of time for manners later.
I’m surprised, sometimes, by how much I love you.  That sounds weird – but what I mean is that when we first brought you home I felt like we were bonded and everything was good and this mommy business came naturally to me and thank Heavens for that.  And then a week passed and I wondered if I had made a terrible mistake and maybe I was not, actually, a natural at this mommy thing because it was so much HARDER than I thought it was going to be and I was so exhausted and sometimes I just couldn’t make you happy and is there anything worse than not being able to make your newborn happy at 3 a.m. on a cold winter’s morning? (The answer is yes, but in that moment there's no possible way to see that).  But we were making it work and I loved you.  And then one day I realized that I MORE than loved you.  I mama bear’d you.  My love had grown fierce and protective and breathtaking.  I miss you sometimes when you are sleeping (and pretty much all the time while I’m at work).  This is the most helpless kind of love that I’ve ever known. It’s like regular love but with 100x more hope and fear and uncertainty, and joy.  It’s been 6 months since you got here, and I can’t imagine a world without you in it.  We are so abundantly blessed, and it just keeps getting better.

Love and kisses all over,