My beautiful girl is six months old today. There is no way I will actually be able to encapsulate in words how wonderful-amazing-fantastic this kid is, but here's my best attempt:
My baby girl almost always has a smile on her face. After those first two months when she was almost always crying, almost always in pain, and I was in agony right along with her because I could do nothing to fix it, it was hard to imagine we'd ever see her smile. Now it amazes me every day how much she SMILES! And when I hold her, her body is calm and her eyes are happy, and she smiles up at me with those eyes that crinkle just like her dad's. Oh, I wish there were a way to capture that feeling and pull it out whenever I needed it.
Back in the sick days, just about the only thing that could make her feel better was to be held. All the time. Including when she slept at night. And it exhausted me, but how long is she going to be little like that and WANT me and NEED me? Not very long, I told myself. She still likes to be held, and her favorite sleeping position is still on my chest, but she now sleeps on horizontal planes that are not me. However, sometimes I keep her there even though I know she could be put down, especially on the nights I work. Sometimes I hold her while she sleeps and then all of a sudden I look at the clock and it is the middle of the night and I should be sleeping so I can take care of her in the morning, but I just DON'T CARE because holding that little sleeping bundle is so wonderful.
And her laugh. Her laugh! She laughs and squeals and giggles, and even has a belly laugh! She has all different laughs for all different occasions, and the other day she even laughed so hard she snorted! She loves to sit on either my lap or her dad's lap and just stare at the other person, laughing and smiling, and then look at the person holding her, laughing and smiling, back and forth, back and forth. She could do it for hours.
She just loves being around us, and while she can be put down now (Did you read that?? My child who had the NEVERPUTMEDOWN disease is now happy to roll around on the floor or sit in a bouncer. It's true!) she often will bellow if I leave the room, and all I have to do is pop my head around the corner and look at her, and she rewards me with her huge smile, as if to say, "Thanks! I just needed you to look at me!"
Now that she enjoys places other than my arms, she is loving this whole new world of "things." She LOVES her crinkle book; and her elephant teether with the peanuts in the belly; and GiGi the giraffe, the first toy she ever picked out herself. She loves being laid on a blanket so she can roll and roll and roll. She loves looking at herself in the mirror; it makes her laugh like crazy. She loves her bouncy activity center; she jumps and screams and laughs until she chokes while she stares at the frog and laughs at the flowers. She has learned that many of her toys have buttons, and when you push them, MUSIC HAPPENS, and SHE MADE IT HAPPEN! She loves all music, and if she finds the right tune, she will dance with speed the Lord of the Dance would envy. Watching her marvel at all these new experiences is amazing. Just watching her look at her hand with wonder makes me feel like the world makes sense.
She loves her dad. Oh, she loves that guy so much. They have fun rituals, like the one where he leans over and she grabs two huge fistfuls of his hair and YANKS and doesn't let go and laughs and laughs and laughs at how funny she is. Or the one where he flies her around like a plane while I cook, and she laughs as they zoom past, over and over. She already looks at him like he is the only guy in the planet, and I love how we both feel that way about him.
She has discovered the joys of being upside down. This kid would be upside down for hours if I didn't stop her. She loves laying on her back across my legs with her head hanging down and her eyes fixed on something across the room. If I try to sit her back up, she will sometimes fight so hard I think I will never get her to sit upright again and I will have to walk around with a baby in the shape of a "C" whose nose I am perpetually looking down.
She adores her cat and her dog. When she sees their faces, she laughs so hard she squeals. Cleo is still her nanny, and she will stay with her no matter what we are doing in another room. If I am shaking a bag of treats in one room and the baby is sleeping in the other, Cleo stays with the baby. MoJo recently started coming and sitting on my lap when Josephine cries, and then he slowly rubs up against her and starts purring. Josephine will immediately laugh and pet him, forgetting her tears, and MoJo will just sit and let her hit him in the face (she needs some work on refining "face pets").
We are seeing the beginnings of a little dramababy. She will FLAIL her head back and give a fake sob and throw her hand over her face, but if you react the way she wants you to, she is smiling a millisecond later. Seriously, is it possible for a kid this young to have a fake cry? She definitely has one. We are already seeing those moments where I just imagine she is saying, "But I just have all of these FEELINGS! It's all just so overwhelming!" I know it will not be funny later in life, but it sure is adorable and funny right now.
She is growing too fast. Some of the 9-month clothes we got out a few weeks ago are already too small, and she fits into most 12-month clothes. She sat unassisted for FIFTEEN SECONDS on Monday! She is all about her sippy cup; she doesn't get much water out yet, but she loves trying. She seems moments away from running. She is just so strong and sturdy and ready to go go go.
She is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can't believe it has already been a half a year. I know it's so cliche to say, but it feels like yesterday that we brought her home, put her car seat in the middle of the living room floor, and looked at each other as if to say, "What now?" If the first half year of her life went by this quickly ... I can only imagine how quickly the rest of her childhood will slip by. I waited so long for her, and now I have to pinch myself every day to see if it is real. But she's real. She's here. And I love her more than I ever could have imagined.
I love you baby girl.