Thursday, December 14, 2006
6 Months: A Retrospective for Harry
When you were still a tiny baby in my tummy, I started a journal, so your Dad and I could write to you and tell you about our lives as we anticipated your arrival. We began your book on the first day we felt you move around inside me, which was before we even knew that you were a little boy. Well, we sort of had a hunch because your baby journal, titled "Dear Baby," --because that's how we always began our entires, even after we knew your name would be Harrison--is navy blue with silver stars-- very "boy" looking. I have to admit that I have missed writing to you like that. The free time I used to spend journaling, I now spend blogging, and my free time is getting scarce as you start to move more and more everyday. All of this is a roundabout way of explaining to you (and the Internet) why the form of today's entry differs from all the others.
Six months is a long time-- half a year-- and sure enough, you're getting so big and independent, Harry. Sure, sure, you still need your Dad and me to feed you, change you, dress you, and carry you around, but you are starting to express your preferences, and you're beginning to play on your own-- for a little while anyway. You're not the tiny little baby you used to be, and to illustrate that claim, I'd like to take a trip down memory lane, showing you all of your important sixes.
Here you are in my tummy SIX DAYS BEFORE YOU WERE BORN. You surprised us all by showing up almost 3 weeks ahead of schedule, but when you look at this picture, it is clear why you made such an early entrance: You were completely out of room. Look at how puffy Mommy is. I am not a large person, Harry, and I am afraid that 6 pounds, 4 ounces is as big as you could be. Besides, if you stayed inside for one more second, I surely would have gotten a stretch mark-- thanks for letting me off the hook streak free.
Here you are SIX SECONDS OLD. Your Dad and I couldn't stop staring at you, and we thought you were the most handsome baby in the world. Now, of course, you are the most handsome baby in the world, but in this picture you look a little goopy, stressed, and scrunched up. You were really crammed in there, Harry. Even your little ears were crinkled up and smashed flat. On a gross (to you-- beautiful to me) note, I am pretty sure you were still connected to me when this picture was taken.
Here you are SIX MINUTES OLD all snug and with your Dad, who looks like the proudest man in America. See how much we loved you right away, Harry?
Here you are SIX HOURS OLD, and it looks like you were burping-- something you did a lot because all we did in the hospital was nurse, nurse, nurse. Not even much time for sleeping, Harry. You were born hungry, and you were determined to make Mommy's milk come in right away, which it did! Note that Mommy has taken a shower, something that probably made nursing more enjoyable.
Here you are SIX DAYS OLD and sleeping like a tiny angel. This picture is so sweet; it transports me back to those days when all you did was eat and sleep and pee and poop and cry.
Here you are SIX WEEKS OLD and finally not so darn scrawny! You were kind of scary, kiddo, with your itty bitty arms and legs and your floppy little head. By six weeks, you were starting to get more solid, and you weighed over 10 pounds. You still didn't DO a lot, but as you can see, you were great at steadying your head and posing for the omnipresent camera.
Here you are SIX FORTNIGHTS OLD and getting good at tummy time. Don't worry, Harry. There hasn't been a major change in slang since I wrote this. Nobody says fortnight now, either.
Here you are SIX MONTHS OLD enjoying some rice cereal and prunes. Your Dad and I are worried that the solid food will hurt your tummy, but we both know you can't take a Thermos of breast milk to kindergarten.
Your month-by-month progression
Here are some random pictures of you being adorable. I especially like the ones of you sleeping on the couch like a tiny old man, waking up with pillow face and messy hair, and looking just like your Daddy sitting there in the sunlight.
We have had a wonderful time getting to know you, Harry, and we know what kinds of milestones we have to look forward to: teething, creeping, crawling, cruising, talking. What we are most exctied to find out, though, is what milestones you'll reach that "the books" don't talk about. For instance, it melted your dad's heart when you started holding his finger when he fed you your bottle, and I can't describe the joy I felt when you smiled at me and squeezed my face with both hands when I got you up after a nap. Your dad and I love when you pat our cheeks as you're falling asleep or waking up in our bed, and we both got a thrill when you started to help us change your diaper by keeping your legs in the air.
I also wonder what you'll think of this blog when you're older. I know that when I see my baby pictures, I think "Oh, what a cute baby. Why didn't her parents notice her crossed eye?" in a very detached way-- that tiny thing with the creepy hair couldn't be ME because I don't remember her at all. What interests me most about my own baby pictures is seeing my parents looking so young, and my grandparents, too. THOSE are the people I remember, and that's just how I'll always remember them. I feel the same way looking at my brothers' pictures (though compared to the number of photos of me as a baby, Ben and Jon barely have any pictures), whom I remember as babies and toddlers-- their baby pics look more familiar to me even than their grown up selves. I only recently stopped instinctively responding that your Uncle Jon was 8 when people asked. For some reason 8 is the age he stuck for me-- I have no idea why. Weird, huh?
So, I have to stop typing this, Harry, because you are having a screaming conversation with the legs of your swing. You are rolling around your room right now, and the swing has impeded your progress, so you've propped yourself up on your arms to look it straight in the leg and tell it exactly what you think. I'm going to help you find a clear path around it.
Lovingly looking forward to seeing you get bigger, but hoping you'll slow down a little,