Six Months: Baby's Half Birthday

Marcus dwill be six months old this Sunday. Thinking back to a year ago is almost impossible. I was pregnant? Just starting to not-quite-fit in my pants? None of it seems real, like Robert and I didn't really have a life before last year on August 22nd. I can't believe the things I didn't know then--or, more significantly, the one thing I didn't have.

This week I told Marcus that I'd figured something out about myself: I'd never wanted a baby. I was never that kind of girl--or woman. But what I didn't know was that that was irrelevent--I had always, without being able to articulate it, wanted him, just exactly him. He's a baby now, but he'll be a boy and then a man soon enough (although when strangers stop me on the street, commenting on my beautiful baby, and then say that their "baby" is fourteen, sixteen, twenty, I cannot even begin to imagine that, either), but none of that matters: Robert and I have always been waiting for him, whoever he is and whoever he will be. We live only in the present--the past and future are equally unaccessible--but the present is so lovely that we don't mind.

Marcus can now sit up by himself for a long, long time. Some of the other babies in the Isis Caterpillars class (graduation this week!) still need a Boppy behind them when they're sitting up to make sure they don't fall backwards and bonk their heads, but my boy is strong and well-balanced. He throws out arms to re-balance himself if he gets off kilter, and he can transfer from a sitting position to his stomach.


He loves being on his stomach--he can hang out on mats, at the daycare or at the baby class, and play and watch things for as long as his attention span (not his muscles) allows. As a good sitter, he can now play on the floor with tdhe other babies at daycare--he doesn't just have to be in the crib or in someone's arms or in a jumper, etc. (Besides, since he's no longer the youngest there--they just got a 2.5-month-old baby this week--he seems proud to be on the floor with the other "big" babies.)

When you hold him, and he's "standing," he bears more and more of his weight by himself, and he seems to really want to stand and walk on his own. He still loves Sophie and his Bumbo, but he also likes his high chair more and more. This week I got to sit and play the piano for the first time since he was born; I just strapped him into the high chair and pulled him up to the piano next to me, as though we were going to play one piano four-hands, and he sat and watched and listened for a half an hour as I played happily.

He's nursing a little more calmly--from three months until a few weeks ago he was just so distractible that he was very hard to nurse when we were out and about, but now between him realizing that the world will still be there for him to look at after a snack, and me getting better at positioning him and calming him down, we're almost back to the honeymoon nursing period of two weeks to three months.

Marcus loves his books--when we read stories at Isis, he loves to reach up and help the instructor turn the page. At home he's got some books in our bedroom, some in the living room, and some in his room. He sits up in his Moses basket now (it's a mini contain-the-baby seat at this point--Robert calls it his boat because when he sits up in one end it looks like he's about to row away) and plays with a few soft books very happily. And, of course, he shows off his Powell's Books onesie, a present from Max.


Meanwhile, Marcus is starting solids and having fun with them, although he often seems split on things --good taste, but what is that strange texture in his mouth? We are very laid back about food--we're not doing one food at a time, we're not avoiding meat, etc.--and at his six-month checkup the doctor said he thinks that's great--that there's no actual evidence that the more regimented ways of introducing solids actually benefit babies. So Marcus has had sweet potatoes and applesauce and carrots and rice, congee and bananas and avocado and pears, a fingerful of yogurt and some ground-up cooked lamb, and really, whatever we happen to be eating or see around us that seems like a good texture and fun taste for him.


He did great with his six-month shots, and though he typically has a drippy or snuffly nose maybe 3/7 days given his exposure to things at daycare, we just turn on his humidifier and wipe his nose, and for the most part he hasn't seemed bothered by anything. He continues to be a social baby: hanging out on Sean's lap watching the Superbowl (he got a little scared when Debbie started yelling in the fourth quarter, though), visiting with Sandra and Olivia (Carlos and David too) at lunch out, chilling with John (and Bob, Mike, and Tracy) at the Charles Hotel after Henrietta's Table brunch, hanging out with Miriam at Robert's office, going out to dim sum and Wagamama lunch and b.good and Haru and P.F. Chang's for lunch, visiting Ren and new baby Amalia in the hospital, running errands with us at Home Depot, Target, etc., and so on and so forth. He loves talking on the phone--probably because Robert, the indulgent one, lets him eat the phone. At this point, he'll "eat" anything, though!

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Created: 2/20/09. Last Modified: 2/20/09.