26 weeks (blc post)

dear august,

26 weeks today!!! fully half of one year. yesterday, for your 6 month birthday, we got your picture taken and we made prints of your little feet. of you BIG feet, i should say! they look twice as big as your newborn footprints..!! how did that happen? how did you grow so fast? i used to be able to fit you in the crook of my arm, now you spill out all over the place. not that you would stay in the crook of my arm anyway, wiggleworm that you are these days 🙂

oh gus you are so much fun! you have become both easier and harder to play with in the past month. easier because everything under the sun interests you now, and so there are so many more games we can play. and easier because you are beginning to understand and LIKE games. you giggle uncontrollably when i am trying to change you and you refuse to let me have a foot or a hand or the diaper or a shirt because you are clutching whatever i need desperately tightly in your little fist. it is too too funny for you to tease mama this way. and even though you are laughing and laughing, i still have to pry your little fingers apart — you do not give up the game so easily 🙂 you are beginning to enjoy peek-a-boo and you think it’s HILARIOUS when your papa looks away and then turns quickly to catch your eye. your papa is so silly, and you LOVE almost everything he does with you. you are also learning that your sounds attract our attention. the other day your papa was holding you while i was eating and looking at the computer. you SQUEALED and so i looked over and then you laughed. you just wanted to see if i would notice! so we all laughed together on that one.

but it is also harder to entertain you these days because you get SO FRUSTRATED by your lack of total autonomous mobility. you have discovered that you CAN move around and this is a source of great wonder and delight for you, but it is unwieldy, the way you go and not at all to your liking. you can turn yourself in a circle on your belly, and this is wonderful for changing your view of things, something you very much appreciate having control over. but you often get your legs stuck on things and cannot extricate them, and this is a source of great consternation. you have learned to do push ups, and you often do, strengthening those belly muscles and legs. but when you REALLY REALLY want to get something, it tends to get farther away, not closer, as this new found ability to push yourself up more often than not results in your moving BACKWARDS, not forward, leading to a great deal of frustration on your part. so you often get cranky very quickly when we put you down to play with your bigs or a rattle or another too, since you cannot *quite* do everything you would like to do. you will be much happier when you can crawl. and your papa and i both anticipate and fear the moment you learn that new trick.

another endless source of delight for you these days is the cat. you only noticed him for the first time right when we were packing up in pittsburgh. and since then he has been a thing of particular pleasure for you watch and attempt to engage. the cat, stupid animal that he is, actually was so desperate for MY attention this morning that he flounced down in front of YOU, and you immediately begin to squeeze tufts of hair off the top of his head. he tried to pretend this was the kind of affection he was looking for for almost a full minute, much to my surprise and your enchantment, but then he left without either of you coming to significant harm. he has a great deal of patience for you, and has not once snapped or hissed or batted at you (except once, in play), but i feel bad for the way his world is about to be turned upside down in just a few short weeks. this tenuous friendship is no doubt soon to be over. but in the meantime, you certainly enjoying trying to pet foucault — GENTLY, i am always saying — and he seems to at least not mind TOO terribly your attempts to love him bald.

i say this every month, but every month it is true — your personality just gets bigger and better. to make a ridiculously corny analogy, you really are like a tightly budded flower that is just slowly, slowly opening his petals day by day by day.. we keep seeing more and more of the little person that you are and we are continually astounded by you. you are such a pleasure! such a delight! thank goodness you seem to love kisses and snuggles because we are CONSTANTLY giving them to you. you giggle with the way they tickle your neck and feet and chest and belly and knees and hands and bum and EVERYWHERE. you are so hard to resist!!! you notice EVERYTHING. you want to touch and see and EAT everything. now that you are 6 months old we let — er, at least food. well okay and i’ve let you eat my cellphone, the camera, and the remote control. and sometimes the keys, although usually not on purpose. your little hands are just EVERYWHERE, and sometimes you get things before i realize.

in honor of your auntie m’s visit, we started feeding you some rice cereal mixed with breastmilk every night. it is now part of the evening routine — your snack, a bath, bum out time with the bugs, and then bed. it works out pretty well. and you have settled into a general schedule for the day as well. it’s nice. i like knowing about when you need to do things so we can plan our day around it. you have also tried a bit of peach — pulling my had with the peach to your mouth and then gumming all over it, trying to get the juice. and then going for your auntie after you had accidentally knocked mine to the floor. and you’ve gummed all over a green bean as well! but we will stick with the rice for awhile, until your guts get used to it, as your pooping has now become something of a mysterious adventure for all of us. we can only give you a little bit of cereal at a time, or everything stop happening if you know what i mean. but that’s all right — we are in no rush.

you still make friends easily — it’s your mama’s worst nightmare to take you out in public, as your charming smile and big blue eyes attract the attention of all kinds of strangers — who then attempt to talk to you through me. i have a terrible enough time with small talk with people I KNOW, so this extra attention from people i DO NOT know and do not WANT to know gives me small periods of hyperventilation. but you, of course, love it. you are definitely your father’s son. but an interesting development is that at the same time, you also are becoming quite shy. you enjoy meeting new people and seeing them — as long as they don’t get too close and don’t try to touch you. if someone tries to engage you too quickly, before you’ve had a chance to acclimate, you now get scared and cry. i’m so glad to be home for this!! it would break my heart knowing i had to leave you every day when you’re not ready to be with new people as much as you used to. once you feel comfortable, you are the same old gus, ready with smiles and laughs for the new friend. you just need a minute, now, to get there. i secretly kind of love this, as it makes your papa and i feel kind of extra special, since of course you dont’ even need a second to warm up to US! 🙂

you are funny when you wake up — quiet now for a few moments as you think about things or just slowly wake up. which is nice, because it gives us an extra minute in the morning or when we are napping. but creepy too, as more morning than one i have heard your stir and opened my eyes to a tiny face and bright blue eyes RIGHT THERE LESS THAN AN INCH FROM MY KNOWS. it’s a bit disconcerting to wake up that way, i have to tell you fella. the fact that you break into a huge toothless grin as soon as you see i am awake and have noticed you helps, but still, buddy, give mama a warning grunt or something. i KNOW you are perfectly capable of that.

and you still grunt. and it is still hilarious. but you’ve also begun babbling with an increasing and incredible amount of consonant and vowel sounds. you HAVE managed the famous dadadadada, and it is love. but you also say blablablabla, which is hilarious. and occasionally a HEY! in there too. and then there are a few g and n sounds. and ee’s and ii’s and oo’s. you repeat a high pitched ii sound when we say bye bye to the water after the bath, perhaps you are copying this ritual sound? you LOVE talking, and we love hearing it. it is beautiful. and funny — sometimes instead of “talking” you SCREECH out DADADADA and BLABLABLA or grunt it out. i think you get a kick out of the different volumes. and in the video store the other day you whispered it, and i whispered it back, which both startled and amused you — hey, mama can make that sound too! .

you are getting to be quite the pro at sitting up! although i still sit nearby when you do, as you do still topple over when you are “finished.” learn a little grace, gus! you like sitting up, and you sit for longer and longer periods, but still nothing tops standing, which remains your favorite physical activity if someone has the patience to hold you up as long as it pleases you to do so. and jumping is still a pleasure as well. you jumped so much with your uncle adam the other day that we put you in your johnny jump up and you finally learned its purpose and now when we put you in you go crazy! it’s nice to see you wear yourself out without also wiping out one of us for a change 🙂 and even better, it gives you a little bit of the independent mobility that you crave.

every day with your is a pleasure, gus. every day i am grateful for the opportunity to spend this time with you. you are such a blessing. i can’t believe how these past 6 months have flown by. take your time, little bugga, there’s no rush. the big wide world will wait for you.

love,
mama

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