Seven Months: Sitting Pretty

In Tahoe

My head reels at the changes in the last few weeks, and also that I no longer seem to be able to find time to post. I used to blog while pumping at work, but now that I'm home full-time, I never find a chunk of time. Thus this incredibly tardy update. I've also decided to make this monthly report a letter to you, Miriam. I hesitated for a long while, feeling like I was copying the more famous Mommy Blogs, but in the end this stands for you, so the change begins...

My dear, delightful Miriam,

At seven-plus months, you are the most hilarious, cheerful, irresistable baby. You sleep well (although we're working on a better nap routine), and no doubt that helps you enjoy life. But there's something else, you seem to prefer to be happy. Even when you go to eleven, afterwards you're all smiles, and particularly with whoever was holding you at the time, as though you want us to know you don't hold a grudge.

You seem to enjoy all the activity in your world. Your grandparents each have you a day a week, and you light up like Fourth of July when they walk in. But those smiles are nothing compared to the ones you reserve for your Dad. He's the only one you will take a bottle from, lying in his arms. Everyone else is allowed to merely support you while you hold your bottle, but your Daddy can cuddle you, as he does almost every morning while I am strapped to my milking machine.

However, you do permit us to feed you. At first, you wanted to wield the spoon, but at some point a few weeks in, you started letting us do it. I'm convinced you're merely delegating until the time is right to take back the reins. And you like almost everything. You started with the requisite rice cereal, then butternut squash, which you burned out on and now will accept only combined with cereal. Then came green peas (yum), carrots, sweet potatoes (double yum), green beans, bananas, apples (which you accept somewhat grudgingly, like your dad and mom), and cantaloupe (also yum). Next up are summer squash, peaches, spinach and papaya.

We feed you in your Bumbo seat on the table, and you prefer to look out the window while you eat, still with the tree fascination. You're also fascinated with los gatos, especially Moki, who will allow you to pet him once or twice, until that turns into grabbing handfuls of hair, and then he slinks away slowly rather than darting off amidst hisses and claws. Your Dad thinks you two will be fast friends someday, and I'm beginning to agree, since Moki now shows real concern when you cry, and you shriek with delight when you see him.

Shrieking is also big, along with hollering. I think you want to make sure you can hear yourself, you'll holler when you're alone, when you're with us, when your mouth is full of toys. You explore the upper register with abandon, then throw yourself back to the death rattle. But our favorite is Bah, bah, bah, which you repeat often, in all tones of voice. There's the happy I'm up tone in the morning, and the annoyed, Make it stop, tone that has repleced your angry razzing. But my favorite is the almost-subconscious, very soft Bah bah bah you make when you are concentrating on something else. Your "mantra" makes me melt.

In the last few days, you've also been coughing up a storm, as though it were a word, and you are delighted when we cough back. Cough. Cough. Cough, cough. Cough, cough. and it goes on like this for minutes.

Speaking of coughing, we're weathering our first family cold, and you're much more cheerful about it than are we. At first I thought you might be teething, but no, the mocos got white and your whole face looked congested, and then we fell. We want nothing more than to nap and sip chicken soup, but while you are gooey and tired, you are not the least cranky. That's about normal these days, you are full of smiles for those you know and anyone who smiles at you.

And the laughter! You have everyone in your family addicted to those giggles, we'll do anything, beyond dignity, to hear you giggle. I repeat farm animal noises incessantly because sometimes it makes you laugh. And you love to have your body nibbled, it sends you into paroxysms of truly infectious laughter. Your Grandpa says you're going to extend his life by 10 years, what with the beneficial effects of all the laughing he does with you.

You started your seventh month obsessed with crawling, to the point of upsetting your sleep with noisy dreams -- I'd find you on your hands and knees, rocking and hollering in the middle of the night. But since you learned to sit unsupported, you've backed off crawling and will sit for 15 minutes at a time, playing with your various toys. Your favorite is an emptied-out Costco-size plastic candy container, filled with giant linking beads. You dump it, wave it, drum on it. You chew on the lid, and the beads themselves. You even reach into it sometimes to pull a bead out, thrilling me with your ownership of each developmental skill.

I no longer obsess about whether you roll from back to front (yes) or front to back (almost never), whether you'll walk or talk early or be small forever or fail to thrive in some key area. Sure, there are the occasional bouts of worry, but overall you are constantly moving forward, exploring your world and us with enthusiastic good nature.

Miriam, just when we think it can't get any more fun, or we'll explode with happiness, you delight us with something new. Happy seven months, sweetheart.



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