The first of March.
The first six months of parenthood to our incredible little boy. So at six months old, I wanted to take a minute to celebrate him exactly as he is at the moment, before any more firsts happen and another six months fly by.
He has the most incredible giggle, a real full-on chortle that lights up a room. His favourite thing in the world is Millie, and he quite often bursts out laughing just at the sight of her. He has started to recognise his family, and generally greets those he knows with a toothy grin. His bottom teeth have been through for a while, and we have the first top one emerging at the moment, so there has been plenty of drool, and some funny faces as he gets used to the new addition!
We are just venturing into the world of food, so he doesn't really have any favourites, except to say that if I have spent time peeling, cooking, blending and spooning something he is far less inclined to eat it than when my parents offer him a chew on some pear. When he does humour me, he wants to hold the spoon himself, and occasionally manages to get it somewhere near his mouth.
He got a walker from my parents for Christmas, and he is often to be found moving disconcertingly quickly around the kitchen in his wheels. He likes to make a beeline for anything dangerous, such as a hot oven, drawers open at head height, those kind of things. He also follows the dog around, to try and open drawers, and more recently has taken to sidling up to me and grabbing my cardigan to chew on.
He can sit up now, but mostly prefers to be on his front, and has mastered the art of shuffling backwards, which means he often reverses under the sofa until his bottom prevents him from going any further. He will sleep for ages as long as he is curled up against someone's chest, but when he is awake he has to be on the go, and will get grouchy unless you are moving him around and walking about the place. Nappy changes are becoming an increasingly complex operation, as he doesn't want to lie on his back at all any more, and has taken to strewing the contents of his changing table about. Being showered with cotton wool balls while trying to fasten a nappy around a back to front baby feels like some kind of weird game show and all the things that were conveniently placed nearby are now having to be moved further and further out of reach.
He has absolutely no routine whatsoever, with the exception of having a bath and a book around the same time each evening. Sleep, both at night and during the day, is still largely unpredictable, and he can't bring himself to go to sleep if there is something more interesting going on. No matter how sleepy he is, he will keep himself awake if he gets the impression he might be missing out. He has been droopy-eyed as we have arrived at the library, but the minute the singing session starts he is wide awake and bouncing around again. Christmas Day and my birthday meal both found him awake long past his usual times because he could tell there was fun to be had! He does seem to have moved into his own room without much fuss at all, but I haven't quite brought myself to put away the travel cot from our bedroom yet!
He has just started to join in a bit more when we go out, and has started squealing along to the songs at the library, and also splashing me with alarming gusto in the swimming pool. It is lovely to be at the point where he is starting to interact, as usually when something is new he quietly takes it all in, which meant the first few swimming trips felt a lot like I was moving him around in the water while he looked at me somewhat nonplussed. Now I have no idea what he looks like because he keeps drenching me with water and laughing!
He has a few songs that he definitely likes, mainly the ones that involve lifting him up and down very energetically, and I am anticipating that I will soon have biceps of steel. He found me swinging a sock about disproportionately hilarious yesterday, and after a morning where he had been particularly unsettled, this raucous laughter suddenly broke through at the simple act of sliding a sock around the bed and absolutely made my day. We have lots of songs, a song for getting him dressed (the hokey-cokey), a song for putting socks on (an adapted version of once I caught a fish alive) which we sing a lot, and the theme tune to the crystal maze is a sure fire way to a smile. He likes train noises, which I have just discovered works particularly well for teeth brushing, a very exaggerated version of the ABC song, and my night time concerts tend to include Elbow, Travis, and more recently the full length version of American Pie which I now know word perfectly.
Life as a parent is so all-encompassing. It feels like we talk of little else, and the smallest things take on such huge significance. He has grown so very much, and there is something miraculous about seeing this little person that you have made gradually discover the world before your very eyes. He loves playing with his feet, and studying his hands, all normal, typical baby things, but seeing the gradual transitions up close really bring it home how fascinating human development is.
I don't find motherhood easy at times, the introvert in me is having to get used to the fact that quiet alone time is a thing of the past unless I very deliberately seek it out, but I do find being his mum the most natural thing in the world. I love the way his head rests on my shoulder, how he wraps his arms around my neck, and that he has started placing his hands on top of mine when I'm doing the actions to songs. As much as the middle of the night waking is tough, I find something so peaceful sitting in the dark stillness as he drifts back off in my arms, and often sit up longer than I need to relishing the quiet bubble and the cuddles as he clings to me in his sleep. I love seeing my close family in new ways, he brings so much joy to those around me, and it is so special to see. Watching The Husband be such an amazing dad is incredible, even if T did utter something that sounded suspiciously like DaDa the other day, which I am trying not to be too perturbed by! Motherhood hasn't made me any better at small talk, or any better at walking into a group of people and making instant friends, but it has made me more confident, more independent, more proactive, and has given me a sense of strength. I would do anything in the world for him, and love him so fiercely it surprises me.
I think he is going to be mischievous, and a bundle of energy. I expect to need eyes in the back of my head, and lightning reflexes. I already feel that I am wearing new glasses that highlight potential danger everywhere I look, and home seems to suddenly be awash with sharp corners and protruding edges. If his current personality is anything to go by though, he seems to be a very happy, content little boy, loving, giggly, and so very excited by the world, long may it last.