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6

June 10, 2009

We reached a big milestone last week.  The little Turtle is six months old, meaning that we have been parents for half of a year.  (That’s 1/36th of the way, Christer pointed out–and put that way this whole parenting thing sounds very, very short.)

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The big news on the baby front has been the start of solid foods.  Or slightly runny, squishy, not-quite solid foods.  In the past two weeks we’ve tried bananas, pears, and avacado.   Bananas were a big hit, avacado is tolerated, and pears–well, pears illicit some entertaining faces.  I keep trying to get some in him, though, because his little digestive track needs their help.  He also loves the little mesh feeders, which I have decided are my favorite new invention in baby stuff since I was a kid.  Add a slice of banana or an ice cube and he’ll happily chew and suck on one for half an hour.

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We took our first camping trip last weekend and Turtle enjoyed playing in the dirt at the campsite, looking out the window of our tent, and watching the gentle waves of the lake roll over his legs.  He wasn’t so keen on the sleeping, though–he stayed up late watching the fire (sometime nearing midnight he collapsed into his grunty giggles watching the fire, prompting mama and papa to add in our best Bevis & Butthead chants of “fire, heh-heh, fire.”) and continued to stay up crying much of the night.  Ah well.

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Turtle loves meeting new people and studying new faces.  On our airplane to Idaho my sanity was saved by several neighboring passengers and flight attendants who offered to hold him for a bit.  While he was fussy for me, he lit up for them, eager to explore their new smiles.  Same goes for friends at parties, events at Christer’s work, babysitters at drop-in nurseries at yoga and church, strangers behind us in line at the supermarket.  It seems a fun age where he is curious about everything new, and not quite smart enough yet to consider that anything should be scary.  So strangers or big dogs, thunderstorms or water sprinklers, new experiences are curious or maybe exciting, but rarely seem to upset him.

This was a busy month of visitors and end-of-the-year events at Christer’s work and traveling.  Turtle has now set foot (or diaper clad backside) on eight states, and flown over nearly half the country.  As parents, we’re feeling more comfortable taking him a variety of places.  We’re a bit more secure about what to expect of him, and a bit less worried about how badly things could go if he doesn’t act as we expect.

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He’d rather be moving than sitting still–the car and the stroller are favorites, as is his new perch, strapped on my back.  He isn’t quite mobile yet, although he pivots around in circles on his belly, and I’ve noticed him trying to press up on his knees a bit into crawling position.  The stroller is a miracle cure for babysitters and fussy evenings.  And Christer and I love our neighborhood even more now that walking to free summer concerts and the local ice cream stand have been added to the mix of activities sure to please both babies and adults.

And although he’s usually moving, he’s also learned to rest this month.  Who would have thought it was a skill–but he’s started to learn that he can rest his muscles and let his head droop onto the ground where he lies, the softness of a bed, or, my favorite, a waiting shoulder.  It’s adorable to watch, and irresitable when he cuddles as I carry him.  I’ve been warned that as babies grow they spend less and less time curled in mama’s arms, and that I’ll miss those early months of cuddling and rocking.  But I think that the occational, intentional hug or snuggle just might be the best sort of reward for parenting; his way of showing his love and giving back all the cuddles and kisses we’ve given him.  So keep exploring, little Turtle.  There’s always shoulders ready to hold you up when you’ve seen the world and are ready for a rest.

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