Olive is about to turn six months old, a fact I can barely comprehend. I mean, I KNOW, way to start off this post with a tired, tired cliché, but it’s TRUUUUUUUE. How is the first half of her first year almost overrrrrrrrrr?
It doesn’t help that she’s cycling through milestones like gang busters. Baby development is so fun to watch because everything changes so QUICKLY. When we left for South Dakota last Thursday night, Olive could sit up for a very short time, and only by supporting herself with her hands. By the time we left South Dakota on Monday, she was sitting, unassisted by her hands, for quite long stretches. She still tips over (stick straight, like a log… TIMBERRRRR) on a regular basis, so I can’t set her on our tile kitchen floor, for example, without risking a goose-egg. But, she no longer needs to use her hands to stay sitting.
(Back when she had to use her hands as support. You know, a whole week ago.)
Also: rolling. Olive started rolling back-to-front AND front-to-back a long time ago… first week in January, I think? Anyway, she’s been ABLE to roll for weeks, and yet… she doesn’t really. Not all that often, and especially on a softer surface, like our bed. Again, when we left for SD, I was able to put her on a blanket on the floor and she would stay there. By our 2nd day at my mom’s house, she was rolling herself all the way across the living room floor. Something must have clicked (Oh, hey, rolling will get me places!!), and now I can’t put her down without quickly scanning the floor for anything she might shove in her mouth. Walking into the room to check on her, only to find an EMPTY BLANKET is a little unnerving, I’ll admit. Luckily, I’m a fast learner, so it’s only happened a few times.
[So then, last night, I was braiding Kate’s hair into a million little braids so she can have wavy hair the next day, and Olive was laying on the living room floor. As I braided, I watched in sheer HORROR as she raised herself, over and over, onto her toes and fingertips, and inched around. Sometimes she would scootch forward, sometimes backward, and she didn’t really seem to have CONTROL over which direction she went, and sometimes she would end up on her hands-and-knees for a few seconds. Maybe I should be “proud” that my FIVE MONTH OLD is getting close to crawling, but? No. No, no, no. I’ve been to this rodeo before, and the only thing early mobility means is 1) baby-proofing (UGGG) and 2) more bruises on the baby.]
Speaking of losing her, I’ve also started putting her in her crib for the first stretch of sleep at night. This is how we’ve done it with all our babies: co-sleep exclusively in the early months, then slowly start using the crib for naps and “first sleeps” of the night. As they start to sleep longer stretches at night, they also start to sleep longer stretches in THEIR CRIB, thus slowly transitioning out of our bed. By age 2, they are no longer co-sleeping with us at all, except for maybe if they are sick or something.
I started putting her in her bed for the first stretch of sleep of night. The first night I did this, I fell asleep, forgetting to listen for her to wake up (I’m not trained to do this as she’s usually right next to me). Suddenly, I was tapped awake by an almost-tearful Marin saying “Mommy! I can’t handle her! I’ve tried everything! She doesn’t even want me to read her a story!” AW, poor kid! Apparently, Marin thought that since the baby was asleep in HER ROOM, she was in charge of her. Oh, Marin.
Anyway-anyway, I was telling you about losing the baby: it seems like I am bound to wake up about once a night in a PANIC because I forget that the baby is in her crib and I CAN’T FIND HER. This usually happens when I’m not fully awake, and leads to frantic patting of the bed all around me, increasingly racing heart, muttered “WHAT THE FUCK”…. and then remembered location.
And EATING. Oh my. I’m a big fan of delaying solids. I am. You should know that about me. I see no rush to start; it’s just a big mess; none of my babies ever really ATE anything off of a spoon anyway, HATING having me aiming something at their face and batting the spoon away is it got close to their mouthes (resulting in even MORE mess), etc. However. This baby? Is obsessed with eating. Starting around 4 months, she has been lunging and grabbing for our spoons, plates, cups, whatever we’re eating. And she’s getting GOOD. I mean, my arms ACHE after holding her while trying to eat, restraining her so she doesn’t fling my meal to the floor.
We’ve started giving her food. Cucumber slices, apple slices, carrots. She just sucks on them. She doesn’t have any teeth yet, so she’s not really GETTING much. But she’s SO DELIGHTED to have something to gnaw on. Meals are SO MUCH more pleasant now. I can sit her in her high chair, give her something to suck on, and she’s QUIET for, like, 15 minutes.
(Where’s my carrot, bishes??)
The other thing that’s mind-blowing about this age is that, since she’s exclusively breastfed (minus the juice she sucks out of carrots etc), every calorie that she’s consumed, every ounce that she’s gained has been from me. I mean, I grew her in utero, yes, but I’m still growing her, and she’s much bigger NOW than she was THEN, you know what I mean? How is my body able to… produce an entire HUMAN is beyond me, and how it continues to support said human is even cooler. I love watching her (chubby for her body, but petite still) little thigh rolls grow, watching her cheeks get heavy with chub.
(And I absolutely CANNOT stop kissing on her.) (OBVS.)