Friday, March 13, 2009

Six Months

My baby boy,

Whereas last month was dominated by travel, this month was all about food. You tried solids (i.e. purees) for the first time on Valentine's Day, beginning with rice cereal. We started you with breakfast but you weren't really having it, which surprised me since your mommy is all about breakfast. So we switched you to lunch, and it turns out you really like food. (I'd say I wish we started you sooner, but the poops are rather gross and I'm glad we staved those off a bit by waiting until five months.)

As far as food goes, you seem to be an equal-opportunity kinda guy, gladly gobbling up anything we put before you. Anything except green beans. You do not like green beans. You don't like the smell. You don't like the taste. You don't like the aftertaste. You'll eat them if mixed with sweet potatoes, but only if there are more sweet potatoes than beans. If the ratio gets too close, yuck. Your dad and I hope your opinion of green beans changes, because we both really enjoy green beans.

As far as style goes, I wouldn't exactly call you a neat eater but you're a lot less messy than I feared you'd be. Your food tends to stay on your hands and face, and even tends to remain in the mouth region of your face. I haven't had to dig any food from your ears or wash it out of your hair yet (knock on wood), though I do generally have to wipe the folds of your neck as you seem fond of hiding some extra food there. That said, you have little say in when you get your next meal of solids, so I can't really blame you for trying to save a little for a snack.

As if in recognition of the fact that you might one day need them for this eating thing, you decided to grow some teeth this month. One Sunday morning, you had a tooth. And then that Thursday you had another. You have long been a big fan of mouthing everything, and your drooling had actually slowed down a bit, and your nighttime sleep didn't seem at all disrupted, so we really didn't see this tooth thing coming (although perhaps this was the cause of some of your napping difficulties). But there's no mistaking it -- you have two teeth, and they are very sharp. We used to let you gnaw on our fingers, but I think that era is over, as it now feels like a teeny tiny saw is attacking as you rub your teeth back and forth. You may know this already, as you spend a lot of time (playing, sleeping, even eating) with your index and middle fingers of your right hand upside down and shoved into your mouth. One day you're going to bite down too hard on your own hand and realize how much it hurts. Ouch!

As far as other firsts go, you went for your first walk in your big boy stroller, a hand-me-down from your friends J&J, whose mommy and daddy realized they didn't need six strollers for the two of them and graciously offered up their Zooper for you. You also wore your snowsuit for the first time, then promptly grew out of it, though not until after I took a few pictures and went out in the snow. You appear to have inherited your daddy's ridiculously long arms, so the fold-over mitten part doesn't exactly fit anymore. Thankfully, your friend N had an extra snowsuit in the next size up and her mommy is letting you wear it -- thanks C.

Although you still haven't rolled from your back to your front, you have been working hard on sitting up. You can do it for several minutes at a time now. You can right yourself when you start to lean to the side or to the back and have figured out how to reach for toys. You still lean too far forward and grunt, and you still fall over, and you still spit up often when sitting, but you definitely seem to enjoy the changed view and the increased independence sitting gives you for playtime. That said, it's still hard for you, so you tend to play on your back or your tummy a lot still.
I love that when I put you in your crib to go to sleep, you follow me with your eyes as I leave the room, smiling the whole way. The top of your head is to the door, so you watch me as I walk past your left arm, looking over your shoulder and craning your neck until I close the door and disappear out of sight. Sometimes, you use the slats of the crib for leverage or just roll onto your side for the best view. One day you'll realize you can roll from your back to your front to make this ritual easier, and then you'll be on your tummy and completely disinterested in sleep, and all bets will be off. But until then I love this little moment we share.

I find myself crying often these days, already feeling nostalgic for these days when it was you and me. I go back to work on Monday, and you will begin daycare, and the thought of it just breaks my heart. I know that Miss M will take great care of you and that you'll love getting to spend time with the other kids, watching them and learning from them. You'll enjoy play-doh time and dance time and playing with her dog in the park. But I also know that I'm going to miss you so much. I'm going to miss your no-longer-quite-so-gummy smile and your laugh, miss watching you play with your feet whether they be bare, stocking, or shoed, miss giving you lunch and having mouthfuls blown back at me when you decide to do raspberries mid-bite. I'm scared I'm going to miss your big moments -- your first time pushing up on hands and knees, your first words, your first steps. But most of all, I'll miss you. I'm not sure whether I'm more scared that you'll miss me terribly or that you won't miss me at all.

I love you so much my heart aches just thinking about it. Leaving you on Monday morning will be the hardest thing I can imagine doing, but there just isn't any other option for our family. These past six months with you have been so amazing and so perfect, even in the roughest and most difficult moments. I know you won't remember them, but I'll cherish them always. I promise you that I'll be thinking of you from the moment we drop you off until the moment I get home in the evening. And the morning and evening will be my favorite part of the day, the weekend my favorite part of the week, because they'll be the times I get to spend with you.

I love you with all my heart,



Nicky said...

Other than during the immediate postpartum period, the time when I have cried the most, by far, was the week before returning to work. I know exactly what you mean when you say that your heart aches thinking about. As the day approached, I seriously wasn't sure if I would be able to do it. The only advice I can offer is to bring P with you on the first day, and know that it will get easier. You'll see how much Harry has a blast with the other kids, you'll grow more confident in his daytime care, and it will get easier.

mo*reezy said...

Ugh, I am so sorry that you have to go back to work when you aren't feeling good about it. I am sure Harry will be fine, but it's not ideal or at all pleasant for you. I totally get it.

Meanwhile, Harry is flipping adorable.

Mommy, Esq. said...

If you trust Miss M then you'll feel okay once you are at work. I do feel like my kids really enjoy their time with April so that helps when I'm running around at work. Make sure you leave to get home for bedtime at least the first couple of weeks. I'm dreading the first time I miss it but is also tough sitting in traffic to and fro. Let's catch up this week.

Amanda said...

That is such a beautiful letter. I started to get all teary eyed. :-)