Month six

Dear Eleanor,

Today you turned six months old. I just want it on the record that you are awesome. I have had a blast following you around the past few weeks, though this might have something to do with your occasionally sleeping through the night now.

Having fun

You’ve started to recognize songs and nursery rhymes that we repeat, so if we sing something familiar you give us a big smile. But your favorite recitation is a book called “Moo, Baa, La La La.” Dad and I can’t actually read the book to you anymore because you insist on gnawing on it, but we have it memorized and give a dramatic performance of it daily. Your first word will probably be “quack” or “oink.”

Words will flow

While you always have a smile for strangers, you’re usually curious or serious. Your curious face is wonderful — giant dinner-plate eyes and mouth slightly agape. And you are SO curious, so curious that you sometimes can’t stand to eat. We’re all in position, ready for a meal, but then I have to wait five minutes while you crane your head to check out every object in the room. And then Dad talks so you have to turn to look at him. And then Dad stops talking so you have to figure out where he went. And then you notice your hand. And what is this? It rotates! You stare at your palm and then slowly turn your hand over to inspect your fingers, and then you turn it back again to look at your palm. How are people managing to get work done when they could be watching their hands rotate?

Shock and Awe

Your serious face is filled with such brow-furrowed pensiveness. As soon as you learn to talk, I expect you to fill us in on your plan for peace in the Middle East. Your seriousness seems to extend to your eating. Last night we gave you your first real food: sweet potatoes. You scarfed those down as fast as you could. Your dad asked if he could eat the same thing. Mashed sweet potatoes with a bit of water to thin them out. This is what he asked for while I made a dinner of chicken-apple sausage and angel hair pasta with butter herb sauce. If you’re trying to impress a man someday, go with the baby food.

So serious

You’re not quite crawling, but you’re adept at scooting all over the house. With all this movement, you’re less interested in your toys and more interested in the “toys” you find around you. These include cords, door stops and all sorts of kitchen utensils that I leave out for you. I’m mainly leaving the utensils to distract you from the cords. Scientists always point out how human babies are born helpless but have giant brains. But it’s starting to look like your brain can’t keep up with your body. You’re brilliant, I’m sure, but please stop pulling on that cord that’s going to send a lamp crashing onto your head.

Toys everywhere

The best part of all your scooting is that you can exercise free will. A couple of weeks ago, we were goofing around on the bed. I was tickling you and making silly noises, trying to get you to laugh. I laid down on my side to rest for a moment, and you started to scoot toward me. I thought you were about to gnaw on my nose or cheek because that’s what you normally do. Instead, you rolled over and settled your body into the concave space next to my abdomen, the place that was your home for so many months. You put your thumb in your mouth and rested there for a moment. And this is going to sound silly, but I started to cry. Because you chose to lay beside me. Because you’re getting bigger every day, and someday you’ll be a teenager and probably won’t even want to go out in public with me. But I’ll always have that tender moment when you wanted to lay beside me.

Beauty at six months