Half a year already! It’s flown. Your Daddy keeps singing you the “Half Birthday Song,” which is the birthday song, abruptly ended after the first two lines.
You’re starting to love sitting up and actually getting pretty stable. Any day now I think you’ll have the hang of it on your own. You certainly prefer the view from there and the reach you have to all kinds of fun.
You’ve had some time to play with some BFFs this month including the next-door neighbor who’s a week older than you; our neighbor Julian who’s 4 months older and generously shares his loot when we go hang out in his house; sweet Cordelia from church who’s 3 months younger than you, and best of all your very own cousin Hilary, who was here last week for 4 days of crazy girl time. You guys were so adorable together and your mommies just drank up every minute. We are so full of hopefulness for all the future you two have together and we’re determined to give it to you.
You’re down for Nap #3 now, protesting as usual. You just want to cuddle and be held all the time and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better with age. I think I’ve told you this before but I’ll tell you again: I don’t mind. You are showing this preference with increasing bursts of anger though, and it is becoming a big challenge for me to respond well to that – to hold my ground when I need to and not feel guilty for not giving in while not getting cranky right back at you.
You are really giving us a run-around with night times. At least five times now I’ve thought we’d succeeded in convincing you to sleep through the night. You’ll sleep 11-13 hours peacefully for about a week and then be up three times a night for a few days and we’ll try it again. This, too, is a big challenge for me, because I feel like I’m doing something wrong. It’s so hard not to be frustrated and irrational in the middle of the night when I am faced with the decision again about what the right thing is for you: go to you or leave you to go back to sleep so I don’t reinforce the wakefulness? I feel like I never know the right answer.
Sorry if I’m being whiny. While I’m at it I should mention that I am beginning to wonder if I need to experiment with cutting out dairy in my diet because of how incessantly you spit up. I think it’s getting worse, not better, and it’s definitely part of the reason why you are still not rolling over well; I just never want to bother putting you on your tummy because I know it will make everything come out of it. We’ll get through this, too, no doubt.
You still don’t eat much big-kid food. I’ll share our meal with you now and then just for the novelty but I’m taking it slow, figuring we’ll kick it into high gear in another month when you are sitting and managing your hands with more confidence. You love food, though, and snatch anything we offer with this greedy, urgent panic that makes me laugh.
You nurse well but you seem to have your fill within just minutes and then you just yell angrily as if to say “Can we be done here and move on to something more interesting?” I think you’ve been on a bit of a nursing strike recently, too, and just scream and scream when you don’t want to nurse. I feel like you consume 80% of your calories between 7:00 a.m. and noon and then want little more to do with it. Also, you are pretty cranky.
There’s a theme going, here, I think. I am worrying about you a lot – a lot for me, anyway. Maybe you are fussy all the time and don’t eat and are much smaller than your brother was and don’t seem to be growing fast because you aren’t getting the right nutrition and maybe that’s why you’re not being consistent at night, either and maybe I’m ruining you and and and and. So, sorry about that.
This week you’ve been sleeping in your brother’s room at night and it’s gone better than I expected it to, and yet it’s still been as much as I can handle and I decided to take a night off last night so we put you to bed in your bassinet in Daddy’s office again. You woke crying several times in the night but always went back to sleep pretty quickly. About 7:00 you woke and I went to get you and we snuggled and dozed in my bed.
When we finally both woke up and got a good look at each other it was all love. You were just oozing delight that you could be right there nestled in and warm in your very own bed that you let Daddy & me use and it was even better that I was there to smile at you. And I saw you – saw your sweet happy spirit shining through in a moment free from grumpiness and I was in love with you.
And then for a moment I let the worrying get the better of me and I felt my insides whining about how you’re 6 months old now and you still don’t have a consistent night time pattern and I still haven’t settled this question or that. But your smile brought me back and I realized the only sensible thing to do is enjoy each moment right where it puts us.
So you were snuggled up under my covers like the princess of the castle, and you were beautiful. So you weren’t sleeping in your crib and I wasn’t having that elusive “normal” morning where I get up before you and your brother.
So big deal. So what?
Maybe you and I will teach each other the art of gentleness and quiet, the sweet calm spirit that chooses not to worry, that chooses to embrace each moment for all the good it brings and to trust God to make the next moment good, too.
Sometimes I laugh at myself for all my big goals and dreams for you. After all, you are just a drooly, loud, silly princess and you have no idea how profound this world is that you think is your kingdom.
I love you.