Paloma,

Today you are six months old. This month has flown by. I've been completely occupied by the renovation and move and you've been absorbed into this thing they call crawling.

All month I've been saying you are *this* close to crawling and all month you've continued to struggle with being *this* close to crawling.

On Wednesday you went from lying on your tummy back up to sitting, which is the one piece you were missing. Now now! now you're *this* close to crawling.

Except that same day you figured out sitting back up, you later made an attempt at standing up in the middle of the room, unsupported. Um. Baby? You've got, like, 80 years to overachieve. Let it go.

All this being *this* close has turned you into one frustrated kiddo. For the most part, you are like this:

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For the last few days you've been more like this:

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Both of which I enjoy. Both of which are utterly exhausting. You are killing me, in the best sort of way.



Towards the end of this month I felt like you were ready to try some food. I've handed you a nibbled-on pear, apple, peach and nectarine slices, a rice cracker, and a banana. The chicken? You grabbed that out of my hand, shoved it all in your mouth, and pretty much ate the whole thing.

Apparently, my milk is lacking protein.

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My hope is to facilitate a healthy appetite and a good relationship with food. I'm the sort of person who asks for a pinch of sea salt with my oatmeal, so I'm really hoping you develop the same sort of culinary snobbery. I don't plan on ever feeding you with a spoon; I want you to feed yourself what looks, feels and tastes good at the moment, so if that means taking the chicken right out of my hand, then go for it.



At the same time I handed you some food, I became aware that you were, in a way, outgrowing me. Over the next six months you'll slowly start to wean and need me less and less for nutrition. This, along with your ability to sit up and play all on your own, has me suddenly feeling like I could fathom having a second child.

All through pregnancy and these last six months, I'd been repulsed by other babies and kids. It's not something I'm proud to admit. I was still teaching at the museum before you came, and it was not easy to face 20 kids every day and pretend to like them. I chalk it all up to being protective of you and our relationship, but it was really odd for someone who has spent the last 13 years of their working life teaching kids and enjoying every moment.

Will you have a sibling one day? I don't know. We don't know. Not yet, not any time soon. Your papá and I have definitely rolled the idea around in our brains, but it's not anything urgent.

We spent exactly one month as a family of two before you came down from the stars to grow in my belly for nine months, and now that we're a family of three, I'd like to just sit like this for a bit. I want us to travel and grow and explore and bond as three before we attempt to be four.

But I also have to admit that I don't feel another one out there in the stars like I felt you. Maybe that will change one day, but maybe it won't. Maybe this is us, our family, like it is now: three.

I'm perfectly OK with that.



You hear all the time from adults that kids grow so fast, and I was having a really hard time believing that since my own childhood seemed to crawl by, but now that I have you, I get it. It's true. It all goes by so fast. We're already half-way through your first year. You've gone from a watery mess that exploded onto our bed one evening in March to a baby that can rock back and forth on all fours, sit up unsupported, call out to the dog and cat in a frustrated and excited squeal making them cringe and run away.

I'm sorry if it feels like I hover, or like I'm always right there, but it's fascinating watching you grow. Sometimes I just like to sit next to you and watch as you explore. It probably looks like paint drying to most people, but I see all the subtle ways you're learning and discovering your own physical mechanics as well as the world around you. It all happens so fast I fear I'll miss it if I blink. I do walk away every now and then to give you some time to yourself and I usually don't return until I've heard that tell-tale thump and subsequent tears. I pull you up from the floor, hold you, and tell you that, "Yes, I bet that was a surprise!" The tears stop and you lunge back down to the floor for more.

Happy first Half Birthday.

Love,
Mama

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