Monday, June 27, 2011

Month 6!

What can I say?  You've grown a bunch in the last 6 months, and your mom's requirement that I measure that growth in alcoholic beverage packaging units required that I find an appropriate unit...that big bottle of Red Stripe was about the same size as your head...Hurray!

But seriously, this has been a momentous month, and given the nature of things and calendars and our human interest in memorializing and recognizing arbitrary milestones, the half-year mark is a big deal!  It certainly feels like a big deal, and I think your mom would agree that the last 6 months have flown by, except for a few choice [screaming baby] moments that slowed down to a seemingly interminable experience.  But more good than bad, as they say, so...Hurray!*

This was definitely the month you took real notice of your hairy older brother (pictured above with the one toy in the house not covered in your baby slobber)...he's been pretty cool with the new puppy we brought into the house in December, but occasionally the melancholic realization your mom will never look at him the same flattens him out.  But when he's happy and playful you cannot get enough of watching him bound around the house.  I can't wait until you can crawl over and give him a hug.  He, on the other hand, would probably prefer that never happen (grumpy old troll!)

One of your many aunts got married in early June, and you rocked the wedding with a casual nonchalance (i.e. sleeping) that definitely made you the coolest person in the crowd.  By the way, you love the face-out position in the Baby Bjorn - whether we are at the mall, outside for a walk, or perusing the aisles at Costco, you are definitely a fan.  Except for the wedding snooze, you are generally wide eyed and curious when hanging in the Bjorn.

You paid a visit to your granddad's boat shop and we had the opportunity to record the visit with this shot of you in a bass boat...I don't want to prejudice your development, but let me whisper in your ear now: ski boats are cooler than bass boats.

You love books, which gives me such hope for the future.

You also like to imitate the Enlightened, sharing your wisdom with us who wander in the dark...this gives me reservations about the future.  I'm not sure there's room in this house for any more pedantry.

June also brought us our first real travel as a young family - we three flew to Chicago for a mix of business and pleasure; in the shot above you are rocking the hoodie look, with your mom doing Bjorn duty.  We saw the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Magnificent Mile, some old fave restaurants, and...

SWINGS!  With the loving encouragement of your new friend Harper Lou, you were brave enough to try out something brand went well!  Of course, your mom would not let go of your hands, but still!

You met some more little people friends that we left behind when we moved south to birth you in the warmer climates of you are saying " 'sup " to your new buddy McKee.  He's about six months ahead of you and is already walking and producing moments of terror that your mother and I have not fully prepared for in our home...this visit was inspiring and served as a fair warning of What Shall Come to Pass in the next 6 months.

What does this open bridge have to do with your month-iversary?  Well, I could make up some quasi-philosophical blather to fit the occasion, but the truth is that we got stuck on the north side of the river while the bridgemaster worked out some kinks in the system, and the waiting provided some awesome visuals.  Chicago is a stitched together with these bascule bad boys, and it was fun to be reminded of their importance.

This is what I have come to think of as the "crawling launch position" - in previous months tummy time was mostly about getting you to strengthen your neck and core muscles to get you to this point...what's not obvious in still photography is that you are generally kicking and pushing with your feet now when you are in the tummy time position, but you have yet to figure out that lifting your belly a bit while kicking and pushing could propel you across the floor and into the "Mommy and Daddy will really get no rest" danger zone.

But while you are not yet crawling, you did cross an important developmental milestone this month:

"I think he likes it!"

More swinging at a park much closer to home.

Trying to give Dad a hand with those confusing cell phone camera was blinking 12:00:00 and you were all "just let me see it for a minute"

The rare close encounter of my two favorite little buddies.

And a few days after the first cereal, we tried a little mushed up were not a fan.  You may have inherited my mother's aversion to foods which are green in color.

All in all it's been a great month, and a great cap on the first 6 of your young life.  It really is moving so fast, sometimes your mom and I just look at each other this complicated look that (for me, at least) tries to communicate this mash-up of feelings: anxiety that it's all going to change, excitement about all the cool things you are learning, gratitude that the nightmare parts of the early months are gone, fear of what nightmare parts the coming months are going to bring...

Life does not prepare a person to be a parent...being a parent to one probably doesn't prepare for the next...the reality of being a parent is that it's an ongoing experiment with daily failures (and unanticipated successes) that make Edison's light bulb seem simple, and you don't really know how it's going until you can look back on the earlier phases with a little objectivity...  With that in mind, I'm going to call the first 6 months of this particular experiment a fantastic success: we are all still here, we all still love each other, and I got more than 5 hours of sleep last night.

So the next big challenge is finding a bottle of booze large enough to form a reasonable comparison for your next weigh in!  I'm thinking magnum wine bottle?

*who knows what memory of contemporary marketing campaigns will remain when you are of age to read my formative years, Red Stripe ran a series of ads featuring happy-go-lucky Jamaicans holding bottles of the beer and saying "Hurray Beer!" or similar

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