6 months, 6 months! Good grief, child, wasn’t I just baking cheesecake bars while counting the minutes between contractions? Was that really 6 months ago?
Of course it was. Time has flown and you change so much everyday its hard to keep up.
I know I must have loved you the moment I met you but it feels like everyday I love you even more than I thought I could the day before.
I don’t know if it’s those chubby cheeks, that big scrunchy-nose smile, that raised eyebrow you sometimes give me. How cute you are as you frantically try to swim out of my arms and across the bathtub to retrieve your rubber ducky. I think it’s all of it.
I love the way you are always trying to wriggle onto your belly and out of my arms these days, as if you could crawl across the air if only I would let you. The world around you is far too interesting for you to enjoy staying in one place anymore. You sit up all by yourself now and you like pitching forward, trying out the whole hands/knee combination, just to see what it feels like.
The other night you did a full push-up, digging your toes into the rug and sticking your sweet little bum high in the air. It was the most amazing thing we’ve seen you do yet and you looked about as surprised as we felt. Ever since you’ve been perfecting a sort of earthworm maneuver, butt up in the air, chin on the ground, trying desperately to move forwards instead of backwards.
For now, forward locomotion is still just out of reach but you can turn easily in a circle and you’ve scooted backwards across the room on more than one occasion. I think it’s only a matter of time before you start to figure out crawling.
You still love to put everything in your mouth and it’s funny now to watch you develop genuine preferences among your toys. You’ll even whine and try to reach back if I pick you up and take you away from something you were playing with. You are so good with your hands now, we have to be very careful what we leave within your reach.
You love spoons, baby spoons and big people spoons. You don’t actually like to eat food off of spoons though and you’ve thus far spit out every attempt to feed you in this way. On the other hand, you are very happy to gum on a stalk of Chinese broccoli. Honestly, I’m a little proud of you for that.
You love bath time, toys that rattle, music, your rubber ducky, tickles, and singing. The other day you and your daddy were laying on the bed and I managed to tickle both of you at same time. Watching you lying together, noses almost touching, laughing like crazy was probably one of the most fun moments I’ve ever had.
Speaking of Daddy, after giving him the cold shoulder for so many months, it seems you are finally back on the daddy train. When he gets home from work you grin from ear to ear and you will even fall asleep in his arms again! He loves you so much and it’s one of the nicest things to see the two of you playing together.
You still don’t sleep through the night, or even in your crib most of the time, but you fall asleep more easily now, sometimes even on your own.
And while it would probably be ideal if you would sleep in your own bed all of the time, I will really miss you when you do. I love falling asleep at night with your daddy on one side of me and you on the other. You like to curl up as close to me as I’ll let you and clutch my hand until you fall asleep. I love your little baby sighs and your sweet cereal breath. Will, why do all babies smell like cereal even if they’ve never had any? Just a thought.
I read somewhere that in the next few months socialization will take a back seat to exploration and I can see how that is true. You are still such a smiley baby, so happy to indulge anyone around you with a smile, but at home the “baby in the mirror” is no longer as interesting as the toy or spoon or plastic bag that you spot out of the corner of your eye.
Speaking of plastic bags, you find them fascinating, which is sort of unfortunate since they are really not safe for babies. You are also fascinated by the humidifier in our room, you try to grab the steam and get so disappointed to open your hand and find nothing inside. You like books too, eating them, that is. I’m hoping we can transition to enjoying them for their non-culinary attributes soon though.
Lately you’ve been giving me “hugs,” especially when I pick you up in the morning or after a nap. You pinch my neck and shoulders in your hands and bury your head in my chest and it’s just about the sweetest thing ever.
You’ve known your name for about a month now and you will also respond to a few of your Daddy’s nicknames for you. You also respond when I say “Hello!” to you. It sounds nothing at all like the word “hello” and at first I thought nothing of it, but after listening for a few weeks now, I’ve realized that you are actually trying to mimic what I’m saying, it’s just you haven’t figured out the sounds quite yet. You like to grab my mouth while I’m talking to you, as if trying to figure out how it works.
Sometimes I worry a little because you don’t have many sounds of your own yet but I think you understand quite a bit now, things like “diaper,” “bedtime,” and “eat.” It’s fascinating to watch you when I switch from English to Chinese to chat with Ayi. You become perfectly still and just stare at us intently at first, then you start smiling. You know we are speaking a different language and you understand parts of it, but it takes you a few seconds to switch gears.
You love the Chinese language, and you love all of the kind Sichuanese people who come up to you all the time wanting to make you smile. You nearly always oblige them. In fact, all I have to say now is “ni yao xiao le ma?” and you give the group a bashful little smile. Everyone is so kind to you and you should feel so flattered by all of the compliments you get! I’m almost glad you are too little to remember this, I wouldn’t want it to go to your head!
As I wrote earlier, you are still blond-reddish-haired and blue eyed, but you are getting much chubbier than ever before! You went through a growth spurt a few weeks ago and every since, its like you are a different baby. Whereas before you were always too small for most of the clothes sized for your age, now you are too big! Especially your legs, they are getting so long! Your hands and arms are so much chunkier now and your tummy is finally all round and plump. You are by no means a fat baby, but you are definitely not as skinny as you were for so long. It’s amazing looking at the pictures of you from your first week home and the ones we take now.
You loved your first trip to Thailand, you loved all of the people wanting to smile at you and hold you, you loved hanging out with your Ahyee, Nai Nai, and Grandpa, you loved the sunshine and all of the colors. Not that you aren’t happy in Chengdu though too. You love cold air for some reason. Whenever we take you outside you get this big goofy grin on your face as you suck in the cold air. It’s like a funny game to you.
Speaking of Chengdu, we have only a few more months here before it’s time to go back to the U.S. and then on to India. You will celebrate your first birthday in America, six months from today. Your daddy has already requested a bushel of fresh blue crabs for the birthday party menus. 6 months used to seem like a long time to me but now it seems like nothing with you in our lives. I can’t even imagine how much fun we will have with you between now and then.
Happy half-birthday little man. We love you so much.