6.21.2005

Five Months: MZ the Communicator



Miriam continues to be a happy, healthy baby with an attentive nature and loads of charm, and is even becoming a communicator. Her fifth month brought her first nights away from home, her first road trip, and her first time in a pool, which she handled with her typical intense awareness, and with new means of expressing herself. From her giggles that are as addictive as crack to the stern razzing she makes when it’s time to pay attention to her, to the wonderful edgy laugh she gives when she wants a change or a break, MZ is starting to voice her needs without cycling up. When she does that edgy laugh, I hear her saying, "I'm holding it together here, guys, but I need you to work with me." Gone are the days of silence or screaming, there’s now a continuum and she rarely cries herself purple. And she's giggling all the time. When something strikes her as funny, she’ll giggle happily for minutes at a time, completely engaged and engaging.

But nothing beats her morning smiles, which if anything have become wider and more ready. No matter how tired we are, those first smiles give us an incredible jolt of energy. She’s truly a benevolent dictator – when we start the day is MZ’s whim, but at least we can look forward to those smiles.

Since she learned to roll over, she has little patience for floor time. She may spend a few minutes playing with a rattle or Taggie toy, but rolling over has an irresistible pull, despite her absolute boredom with being on her belly. She still likes her bouncy chair, however, and has just begun to grab at the rattles and mirror that hang from the chair. We hope that with these new grabbing skills, she'll enjoy being on her back again.

We’ve also noticed that while she’s mastering a new skill, the others drop away for a while. Now that she’s mastered rolling over, she’s starting to chatter again. But it’s been a while since we’ve seen a thumb sucked, more often it’s several fingers, sometimes of both hands. And she LOVES airplane and pony rides. Jiggle her on your knee and you're rewarded with smiles, fly her overhead and you get full-on grins and giggles. She holds her body extremely well, although there's always the risk of the drool fountain landing on your upturned face.

She's also showing some signs of teething, not just the bottomless drool fountain, but chewing rather than sucking on things, and at dinner the other night she leaned over to gnaw at a porcelain plate. We don't know if this is because everything goes in her mouth at this stage or because she's actually getting teeth, but this weekend we may finally go buy her a high chair in preparation for introducing solid foods.

Speaking of food, MZ is taking a bottle with regularity now. My work schedule has stabilized to three days/week, from 10-5, which means she's taking two bottles each day that I'm at work. She still tends to nurse every two hours (rather than three) on Wednesdays and Fridays, but I enjoy the chance to reconnect with her. And Robert enjoys beginning the day with her on weekends, he gets up with her and gives her a bottle while I sleep in a bit.

The work makes life a bit more harried, but it also gives Miriam wonderful time with Grandma Georgene, Grandpa and Aunt Sarah, and makes me truly appreciate my days with her. Through my moms group I get to spend time with other babies Miriam's age, and I know how lucky we are, both to have this time together and to have such an easy-going, healthy child. And although I sometimes worry about MZ's small size (just 12.8 pounds at her four-month check-up), I see that she is well within the normal range, and that truly, every baby develops at a different pace. MZ seems way ahead on the alertness/interactive front and the rest will come. And while we’re looking forward to what's ahead – solid food, crawling, even standing – right now Miriam Zsofia is delightful company and we wouldn’t change a thing.

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