© 2008 denise

Letters To My Daughter: Month 6

Dear Reese,

You reached your sixth month of life a few days ago. Amazing how time goes so fast. Also, you have discernible eyebrows now, for which I am glad.


You might have noticed that I’ve been a little preoccupied lately with my computer — one reason is that I’ve started picking up several part-time projects (which, you no doubt have noticed seems to lead to a near full time occupation of my spare time) and the other reason is that I’ve been making a list of the scope of your development this month. You change so fast that I fear if I don’t document all these new things, I’ll miss them, and I hate the idea of missing out on these experiences.


This very moment you are sitting up all by yourself, on the floor, with your toys scattered around you. This has to be the biggest leap in your physical development, and one I fully embrace because YOU, dear Reese, are beginning to explore the joys of playing by yourself. Just for about thirty minutes at a time, you are capable of sitting up, balancing, grabbing, reaching, stretching, and self-correcting when you lurch forward. I’ll walk into the living room where you are playing and you turn your head as far as you can just to look over your shoulder and smile at me. Do you even realize that when you do that it melts my heart? I think you do, somehow.

When you are tired of sitting, you fall backwards and then AND! THEN! you grab your feet. The foot grabbing, this is a very recent development and a hilarious one at that because of the lengths you will go to try to fit your foot into your mouth. The foot-snatching occurs on the “Magical Changing Pad of Bliss”, on the floor when you are playing, and in the bathtub too. There is no place that you won’t try to eat your toes. I’ve been eating your toes for MONTHS and now you finally understand my joy.


Speaking of eating, there’s something we have to discuss. I realize that your lower jaw has been blessed with the appearance of two mighty incisors, but you are NOT obligated to use those chompers so indelicately upon your primary nutrition ports. I realize that you are still too young to be empathetic to my pain, so there isn’t much I can do to stop you if you decide to use Jake or Smiley for teething purposes. Don’t make me switch you to a bottle!

Now that’s out of the way. You are generally a great baby. You have the best disposition for a sixth month old, and your personality is really starting to show. You are smiley and unafraid of strangers, and will happily go to whom you are passed without complaint. You are single-minded and determined when there is something you want to do: Reaching for my dinner, grabbing for a specific toys, clamping your mouth shut when I try to feed you carrots, and reaching up with your hands to grab my face and pull it close for your special open-mouth kisses. As long as we keep you entertained with new toys or a change of scenery, you stay in a great mood. The best part about being six months old is that it is much MUCH easier to distract you out of a bad mood. A simple change of position, or a new toy, a nap or a feeding is all that we need to do to keep you on your sweet side — or at least it keeps you from doing that annoying billygoat bleating.


The past few weeks you’ve been spending your waking hours grabbing things within your spider arm reach and shoving acquired things into your mouth. It used to be that you would primarily chew on your own hands and fingers, but now you gnaw on my hands, my face, sometimes my hair, every toy you own (and some you don’t), and I swear I even saw you eyeing up the dog. I assure you, Ronin does not fit neatly into your mouth.


Something Grandma noticed and brought to my attention that I had not caught before — you have discovered the sensation of your own two teeth in your mouth by repeatedly thrusting your tongue, back and forth, over the top of those little biters. I don’t know how I missed it, or if you literally started doing this the day I took you to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, but it’s just sort of neat to see you suddenly become aware of these physical changes in yourself.

This month we started daycare for a few hours each day with a nice family down the street. It’s hard to hand you over in the morning, but I actually think of these few hours as “school” for you. You are in an environment where you are learning more about your world – colors, pre-counting, pre-reading, exercising, songs, sharing with others, and verbal development. You get to interact with some older kids daily, which is something I couldn’t provide for you but I am thrilled you get to experience. And the verbal work! You have been a pretty good sound maker, but lately you actually are seem to talk back to us! Like almost a real conversation, only we still don’t really understand the words coming out of your mouth.

The downside to daycare is the fact you seem to have had this endless cold for the past month. The snot. The phlegm. The COUGHING. I really disliked the coughing. Fortunately for me AND you, the coughing has diminished greatly, but there still seems to be some congestive yuck still lingering in the back of your throat. I’m praying daily that you don’t develop the dreaded ear infection.
This week, you so generously passed your cold to me, so now I get to feel your pain. All I have to say is “BUCKETS OF SNOT”. Gross.

Oh! Yes! How could I have forgotten? You saw your first significant snowstorm last weekend. 20.4 inches of snow! I was more excited about the fact I got to dress you up in your cute snowsuit and put you in the snow! You didn’t much like it. And then, oh that snow, it fell on your FACE. YOU REALLY DIDN’T CARE FOR THAT EITHER. You didn’t try to put the snow in your mouth, which actually surprised me considering your propensity to place everything else in your mouth. Ah, but there will be next winter, right?


Reese, you are just lovely. I race to the daycare every day to pick you up, and I can’t wait to get you home so I can play with you and hold you again. You make life so much more complicated and intense, but every day I scoop you out of your crib just to nibble on your cheeks, to see your Chroninger eyes and your Philipsen chin. I don’t know how you do it, but every day you make me even more thankful I am your mother.




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