Half a year / by Christina Rosalie

My little man,You are SO BIG, suddenly. You are six months old today and you do things like sit up and rock back and forth like a drunk little Buddha. You eat mashed bananas and peaches and watermelon now, and reach out for more saying "mmm, mmmm, mmm." You also tried rice cereal, but it seems to have spent more time on your little moon cheeks than in your mouth. You loved it though. And every time you try a new taste (like garlic mashed potatoes or lemonade—which I put on the tip of my finger for you to try) you make the funniest faces in the whole world.

When you're 16 you'll accuse me of doing this for my own entertainment, and it's ENTIRELY TRUE. You're hysterically funny to watch: the way you pucker up your lips and furrow your eyebrows. But man, do we love you! And really, since your diapers are clearly NOT for my entertainment, something has to be. And by the time you're 16 I'm sure I'l have a whole list of things that you do that are for YOUR entertainment at my expense, so I'm living it up while I can.

I didn't write you monthly letters when you were very little because I was still so stunned that you were here, and I was just getting the hang of the whole co-sleeping, boob-feeding way of life.

When you were teeny tiny, just two and three months old, you impressed us because you could hold your head up just a little bit, and occasionally you'd roll over, tummy to back, though always looked confused when it happened. Then, you were fascinated with your mobile, and we lived for your smiles which made your crying jags and your night time wake-ups worth it.

When you were small and fragile like that it was rainy and springtime, and we had to bundle you up to take you outdoors, and we were anxious about selling our house, and antsy because the dog next door would yip for hours in the middle of the night so we couldn't sleep deeply---even when you let us sleep.

But now it is summer and we are in our new apartment, and every day we go walking along the big lake, where we can see mountains that look like old dinosaurs napping, slung low along the lake's edge. They are soft shades of blue, like an impressionist painting, and gently rolling, and we never get tired of the view. We're happy to be here, where people are kind, and where we can play at the beach and it’s only a walk away from our house. And we're happy that we at this point in our lives: where we can't imagine life without your grins, your delighted giggles, your smell, your softness.

Yesterday, your grandparents drove all the way up from New Jersey to visit. They miss you so much, and you thrill when you're Poppy makes piggy noises, or chicken noises, or cat noises. You giggle until we're all giggling.

You're long now: longer than most babies, I think. And you've outgrown all your 3-6 month pants even though your jusssst 6 months old. You've discovered that you like eating your hat, or throwing it out of your stroller, and we've lost many hats this way. You little bugger. They're for your own good.

You are trying to crawl. You do push ups and scoot your knees underneath you but then crumple up and face plant when you try to move forward. You're still not coordinated enough, though each day you practice, and we're sure you'll be an early crawler because you seem so determined.

You have also discovered our cats. You can't get enough of them. You smile at them from across the room, and roar loudly with glee whenever they approach. Of course, they have also discovered you, and are none-too-pleased, knowing their days of lounging on the floor are numbered. When Momo, our boy cat, comes to purr next to you on the bed, you grab his WHOLE FACE in your hand, fiercely, and don't let go. He meows pitifully but doesn't claw you, as he waits for me to unclamp your little fists.

This month I feel like you're on the verge of so much. You've started looking like a little boy to me--rather than a baby. You look so mature with your little baseball hat on. And you're so dexterous and purposeful with how you handle objects now. You switch them easily from hand to hand, and have just discovered the joys of POUNDING THINGS ON THE FLOOR.

One thing though, that makes me completely crazy, is that you're DRIVEN TO ROLL OVER onto your tummy. You do this all the time now, with perfect ease. And although you've rolled from tummy to back dozens of times before, you seem to have FORGOTTEN HOW, and it's driving me nuts because you get stuck on your tummy. A lot. And when you're napping, you wake yourself up by rolling onto your tummy and you muffle into your sheepskin and huff and wail until I turn you over again. And then you roll over AGAIN. And again. And again. Stop please. Or at least, remember how to roll back over onto your back.

Oh, and you're still not pooping regularly--which is something that I'm sure you'll be delighted to know about when you're 17 and I'm sharing this information with your prom date. (Which I will! I promise! Along with the photos we took of you with infant acne.) But really, bud, what's with that? It would be nice if things were a little more consistent, because that's how the rest of the world operates, and we just can't quite get used to your poop sabbaticals.

But mostly, we love you so much! My heart has never felt so big, so gleeful, so proud, as when I am looking at you're face. I love watching you learn. Love being home with you to watch these small miraculous discoveries occur. And I'm so happy you're here.

Love, Mama