Henrietta is six months old today. I feel bad that I didn't do anything to mark this occasion. Something small, but shiny, like bake cupcakes. With sprinkles. Not that she'd be eating them.
I meant to do something celebratory, but I somehow didn't realize it was today, as in today, and now it's 6:20 and we've already had dinner and Sam is sick and the show's over, folks. By 6:20, I'm pretty much tapped out. We did take a very long walk around the neighborhood in the unbelievably good weather, waving at neighbors and greeting kitties and listening for part of the time to This American life, and my very soul was celebrating how gorgeous it was outside, so we'll count that as a party. Sam thinks it's insane I wanted to do something to mark the day anyway. But hey, we all survived six months. There were times I wasn't entirely sure we would.
I think someday I would like to have a bit of a snapshot of what she was like at this age, so here it is. This is my Henrietta Plum, in no particular order. [Note: I wrote these words yesterday, and took the pictures this morning.]
Right now, at this exact moment, she is playing on a blanket on the living room floor. She's screaming, shrieking really, in what appears to be joy or wonder or sound experimentation, since it's not her upset scream. She's on her back, rhythmically pounding both legs against the floor in unison. She's wearing a green and white and purple striped dress and rainbow-striped legwarmers. Strike that. She's wearing one legwarmer. The other has been removed, and she's waving it around like a flag.
She's close to crawling, so she turns easily from her back to her tummy, then pushes up on all fours and rocks back and forth, as if gaining momentum or courage. Sometimes she tries to lift a leg or an arm, but immediately falls over, which doesn't seem at all disconcerting. Any day now. She's going to figure this out any day. And then, I imagine, the whole world is going to change.
She's eating, bits of this and that, and I'm finding it absolutely fascinating and ridiculously fun, though I didn't at first. (More on that in another post soon?) She has two adorable bottom teeth, and this morning, while I ate breakfast, she ate a breakfast of champions: spears of cucumber, and fingers of dry toast. And by eat I mean she held them in her fist, and gummed them into submission. I wiped her down, but all day I could smell cucumbers on her, and it was the loveliest smell.
She's quicker to laugh now, and ticklish, and we make ourselves fools trying to coax that laugh from her. I would do that all day if I could. I don't think I'm hyperbolizing when I say it's the best sound in the world to me.
The glitches of breastfeeding have resolved themselves, and now it makes up the best parts of my day. She's more aware of what's happening, and what's going to happen, so when I sit her on my lap to begin, she plucks at me, impatient, excited. She can position herself without my help, and she looks up at me, her eyes completely fixed. Often, I can't resist tickling her a little, and I skip my fingers over her belly until she makes this reluctant sort of grunty laugh, and she smiles around her full mouth.
We sing to her all day. I mean, all day. We have standard songs we've made up and repeat ("Let's Change Your Pants, My Darling" and "Vomit Down the Side of the Face" are classics), and the rest of them are whatever song happens to be in our head with the words changed to suit the situation.
She likes people, likes smiling at strangers, especially men. She likes watching our cats circling around the room. She likes music. She seems to like my coral-colored shoes, which she tries very hard to eat. She likes books, though lately she wants to eat those more than have them read. She seems to like fashion, since when I dress her in the morning and stand her up on her changing table, she looks down at herself as if taking it in the whole effect. She likes taking walks with us. She likes her dad, really really likes her dad.
I feel like I've gone on and only scratched the surface of her personality, which is becoming more distinct all the time. She's such a happy kid, happy and charming and totally alert and interested in everything that's happening. At night, when I put her to bed, I miss her. In the morning, when I first hear her wake up and begin to chatter and move around in her crib, I get up and do a few things before I go in to her, and there's this feeling I have that is best described as lucky. I feel it right in the center of my ribcage, this shimmering, nearly-solid sphere of good fortune. Don't get me wrong, it's not all giggling and small cucumber-scented hands, but the early morning is pure, and I am usually nearly giddy that in just the other room there's this joyful, silly, gorgeous, wonderful creature who is mine to hold and play with, and we get to spend the day together, and how on earth, how in all of the world, did she happen to come to little old me?
Happy six months, Kid. I can hardly wait for more.