We celebrated this birthday of yours not with cupcakes or beers, as we've celebrated some of your earlier milestones on your behalf, but with ... squash! It was the first birthday meal actually given to the birthday girl.
This month we started you on solid foods. First rice cereal, then oatmeal cereal. Perhaps surprisingly, given your earlier issues with eating, things went smoothly. Sure, you ended up wearing more cereal than you ate, but that's to be expected. And you actually ate a decent bit. Today's new adventures in squash were a rousing success. You actually ate most of it, leaving very little to dribble on your bib, much to the disappointment of Murray, who was waiting patiently beneath your high chair.
This month also marked the beginning of football season, which means you get a little brain-rotting TV time each Saturday, and you get to hear mom and dad yell at the screen. Instead of finding that alarming, you seem to find it amusing. But not nearly as amusing as you suddenly find Murray. After four-and-a-half months of ignoring him, you suddenly watch him constantly, and smile when you see him enter the room. I think you're still trying to sort out how you feel about him licking your feet (and hands, and head, and mouth ...), but you definitely like when he plays nearby. I think there soon will come a day when you two are best friends. Especially now that you're eating actual food.
Lately you've been sleeping through the night, to your relief as much as ours. We'd been waking you for a middle-of-the-night feeding, on the pediatrician's advice, and you'd often look at me as if to say "Don't you read the books, woman? Don't you know you're not supposed to wake a sleeping baby?" Now you snooze straight through, which is great, except we're never quite sure when "straight through" ends. Sometimes you wake up at 9 a.m. Sometimes at 6 a.m. I can roll with that, but now naptimes are anyone's guess. I watch you closely for signs of tiredness, but you've become a master of disguise there. One minute you're happily playing, and the next you're whining and crying because you're overly tired. Which is a problem you attempt to address by ... refusing to sleep. So we've had some rough days, but I think we'll get it figured out eventually.
You've been expanding your repertoire of noises lately. You've got a fantastic, infectious laugh that's undoubtedly my favorite sound in the whole world now. But you've also learned to whine. Which you do when you're tired and angry about it. Which, I might have mentioned, is quite a lot lately. That noise, my dear, is ranked much lower on my list of favorite sounds. It drives me to contemplate new and different ways to crush my own eardrums. If, that is, they're not blasted out first by your other new noise -- the indignant shriek. Also not one of my favorites. It's hard to believe that something so loud and grating can come from something so small and cute, but there it is. My days are full of "mmm mmmm mmMMMMM mmmm Mmm AHHHHHHH! EEEEEEEEEEEEE! Mmmm mm MMM." It's enough to make me long for when you learn to talk, so at least I'll KNOW what you're upset about. But somehow I know when I get there I'll long in the other direction. Maybe I should just invest in earplugs.
Your five-month birthday fell on Sept. 11, a very sad day in our nation's history. And on top of being sad upon remembering the events of this day nine years ago, I'm also sad that you might never know a world without the fear of terrorism, and without the strange things that fear makes our society do. My best hope is that you'll study the attacks in history books but feel very far removed from them. Not that the attacks should be forgotten, of course, but if the concepts of terrorist attacks on innocent people and blind hatred of many because of the horrific acts of a few seem unfamiliar to you, that will mean we've moved on. That we, as a society, have taken something painful and wrong and made it into something positive and unifying. And that's a gift even better than squash.
Mom and Dad