I can hardly believe that my son is already 6 months old… Where has the time gone?? I miss my tiny little delicate newborn. But now that he is out of the coma phase (as one of my friends so eloquently put it), I am having the best time watching him become aware of the world around him. This has got to be the best phase so far, and I wanted to take a moment to document my favorite aspects.
- He recognizes us. He lights up when he sees us, and is now reaching for us. If we catch his eye during a crying episode and smile, he forgets his tears and beams back. If he becomes uncomfortable being held by someone else, he looks for us to calm him. It makes us feel like the most important people in the world.
- He is curious. He’s actually playing with his toys now. Grasping, feeling… And sticking them in his mouth. You can literally see the wheels spinning in his head as he stares wide-eyed at everything around him, soaking every bit of it in. He reaches for everything. And looks to us, puzzled, as if asking for an explanation.
- He is (almost) mobile. Not yet walking, but he is a rolling maniac. Set him on a blanket and look away, and the next thing you know he’s rolled across the room. He occasionally gets stuck; blocked by a toy or even the dog. And then grunts and scrunches up his face as he pushes and pushes, absolutely determined to overcome the obstacle. My hope as a mother is that this determination never leaves him.
- We all understand the routine. Although we may not always agree on it, we all acknowledge the general routine. It makes us comfortable, it makes him comfortable. In the beginning, I would freak out when he was crying in his crib at bedtime. Now I understand that this is part of the routine: he turns into a little monster about 7pm, and will scream and cry in his crib for anywhere from 30 seconds to 8 minutes, before suddenly halting mid-scream as sleep overcomes him.
- He is sturdier. Sounds silly, but this is a big plus. I literally refused to carry him up and down the stairs the first couple of weeks of his life, as he just seemed too fragile and I was so scared to slip. Now that he is chubby and solid, I am so much more comfortable carrying him, playing with him, etc. I don’t feel like he is going to break anymore.
- He is trying to communicate. No words yet (besides his unintentional “Mama”), but he sure is trying. He babbles with excitement, as if trying to tell us about his day, and squeals with delight when happy. He mimics our coos. And yes, he has also learned to cry to his advantage. It is a pretty common occurrence for him to be in the throes of a wail, tears streaming down his face as the world caves in around him, to suddenly squeal and begin laughing mid-cry if we make funny faces or bring him his favorite toys.
- He is eating solids. Only veggies at this point, one at a time, but it’s something. I imagine that this is a novelty for us simply because he is our first, and that with any subsequent children we may dread the day when a simple bottle won’t do the trick, but for now we love it. We love making his food, watching his face as he tries a new flavor, trying to determine if he likes it or not, and marveling over the amount he can eat at a time.
- He loves the bath. And this wasn’t always this case. So it makes it a much more pleasant experience for everyone when he welcomes the tub, the toys, the water, the splashing. And he absolutely adores the part when he gets bundled up in a warm towel and then lotioned up. He laughs and wriggles and squirms, happy as a clam.
- He loves to cuddle. He laughs and laughs when we cuddle and I kiss his chubby cheeks. Now he reaches out and grabs my hands, my fingers, and yes, my hair. He does squirm after a while, but he’s still small enough that he will fall asleep in my arms at the end of a long day.
- He plays with the dog. Our poor little shih-tzu has been trying to bond with the baby for months now. But alas, he’s simply ignored her. Now he finally notices her. He reaches out to pet her and she patiently lets him. In turn, she licks the top of his head (until Mommy or Daddy notice and stop her). Even when he gets excited and grabs her ear or her tail, she never snaps at him. Just whines and looks up at us like, HELP. They’re great pals.
I’m beginning to learn that parenthood is so bittersweet. I want this time to last forever, yet I look forward to when he is a toddler and can begin to better understand everything around him. I want to continue to cuddle him and shower him with kisses on his chubby cheeks, yet I look forward to relating to him in a more mature way. I want him to continue to coo and babble and squeal, yet I look forward to having an actual conversation with him. I suppose I want time to stand still and speed up all at once. Now, more than ever, is when I realize truly what a precious commodity TIME really is.
What are your favorite experiences with, or memories of, your young infants?