And, just like that, I blinked, and all of a sudden, half a year had passed, and my baby was six months old.
Now I’m scared to blink again, just in case I open my eyes, and he’s, like, 42 or something. Seriously, though, I know my perpetual surprise at the passing of time is something of a theme for these posts, but HOW? Just HOW? This time last year I’d just announced my pregnancy, so I have particularly vivid memories of that time – memories which are particularly hard to reconcile with my life now, and the little six month old boy who’s my constant companion. Earlier this week, for instance, Terry and I took a drive to Cramond, to go to a particular beachside cafe which we last visited around this time last year. The cafe has closed down, sadly, but as we wandered around, pushing Max in his pram, I couldn’t stop thinking about the difference a year makes: or even half a year, as the case may be.
At six months, Max…
…. can sit unsupported for a few minutes at a time, and will try to pull himself up onto his feet any time you take him by the hand.
… probably thinks his name is “Gorgeous,” given how often I address him that way.
… still has just the one tooth, although he’s started to suck his gums in a way that makes us suspect more might be in the post.
… loves music, and being sung to.
… thinks it’s hilarious when someone yawns: which we do quite often these days – Thanks, Max!
… is more interested in the labels on his soft toys than the toys themselves.
… has a very LOUD little voice, which he likes to use at every opportunity.
.. has started to nap in his own room during the day, and is even managing to self-settle occasionally, although he still much prefers to sleep on US.
… is still the same happy, smiley little boy he’s always been: just bigger. A whole lot bigger…
The big news this month is that we’ve made a start on the weaning process. I’m actually a little bit scared to mention this, because I know the NHS advice is to wait until 6 months, and we started a couple of weeks before that. But we did our research, spoke to the health visitor, and were confident that he was ready, so we started him off on some pureed veg, and he absolutely loved it. He’s still getting most of his nutrition from milk, obviously, but it’s been fun letting him taste some new things, and so far he’s eaten everything we’ve offered him, so fingers crossed that continues. We’re probably going to wait a while before trying him on actual solids, because he still spits up a lot, and we worry about him choking on something, but the small amounts of pureed food do seem to be helping a bit with his reflux, which isn’t quite as bad as it was last month, although, with that said, I’ve just this second remembered the massive load of laundry I need to go and take out of the machine. BRB…
Where was I? Oh yeah: I guess the “food” is technically the biggest change, but I’m more amazed by the fact that he can now sit up all by himself, for what seems to be longer and longer every day. He can’t crawl yet, but he’s giving it a good go, and I’m both looking forward to seeing him get a little more mobile, but also dreading it, because MAH BEBE. Y SO GROWN UP?
Along with the increased independence (!), he’s also intensely interested in absolutely everything, but is particularly curious about the small details of things: like the print on my pyjamas, for instance:
His favourite “toys” this month:
– The key to the patio door, which he has to be lifted up to, so he can touch and examine it in detail.
– The label on any of his Jellycats
– The polka dot coasters that live on the coffee table.
– The little silver pan we use to fill up the steriliser.
– My face.
Sleep-wise, he’s still sleeping through the night, and, as I mentioned above, this month we had a bit of a breakthrough, in that we’ve been managing to get him to take most – although not all – of his daytime naps in the cot in his room, which gives us some much-needed time to catch up with work. Although he sleeps pretty soundly at night, though, his routine has become much less predictable this month, and he’s gone from waking up at 8am-ish most days, to waking any time between 5:30 – 9:30, which is … I’m going to go with “challenging” here: not because of the occasional early start (It only took a couple of weeks of newborn life for me to start viewing 6:30am as “late”…), but just because it’s hard to get into a routine of our own when we don’t know how long he’s going to sleep. I’m not sure if it’s a 6 month sleep regression, or just the lighter mornings (We fitted blackout fabric to the windows in our room, but some light still leaks through…), but we’re hoping it settles down soon: those 5:30 starts feel a lot worse when you’ve been used to getting up at 8am for the past few weeks!
For me, meanwhile, other than the sleep (non) issue, and the fact that I’m still really struggling to find time for anything other than Max, June has been an easier month all round. OK, there have been a couple of meltdowns (And I’m not talking about the baby, here…) when the lack of time has started to cause a lot of stress, but, in general, I’ve been feeling less overwhelmed, and a bit more in control of this. And the fact is, this is just such a lovely age that part of me wishes I could press the pause button on it, and keep him at 6 months for just a little while longer. It’s an age where he’s just so full of fun and personality that it’s impossible to look at him without smiling, and he seems to get as much pleasure from being around us now as we do him. A few nights ago, Terry was holding him while I sat on the couch, and Max suddenly started reaching out his little hands to me, and laughing: it was just so sweet that it almost made me cry, so God knows what I’ll be like once he starts talking. The words “emotional” and “wreck” spring to mind….
Seriously, though, just look at that little face:
And those chubby little thighs!
Happy half-birthday, Max! You’ve turned us into the kind of people who use phrases like “half-birthday” now, apparently, but you’re growing so fast that we wouldn’t have it any other way…