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08/07/2005

Six months again

Today Charlie's six months adjusted.

He rolls over with careless ease, and can travel several feet of quilt-covered floor in a very short time. While on the floor, he prefers to be on his front, and happily shoves toys into his mouth while simultaneously holding his head and chest up. He tries valiantly to crawl, knees churning, feet digging in, but ultimately settles for grabbing fistfuls of quilt and pulling himself laboriously forward. In this way he can travel entire millimeters, grunting, panting, and whining the whole time.

In the window of his room I've hung a butterfly suncatcher. He loves the butterfly and tries hard to grab it when I hold him to look out the window. Looking out the window is an easy way to distract him when he's become fractious; his window faces on the front garden, which is lately vivid and full of movement.

Today we spent a long while playing on the bed, no toys, just rolling, talking, and tickling. He prefers rough play to quiet, and is never happier than when I'm gnawing on his feet, teeth in play, or jolting him up and down hard on my knee.

His favorite toys are still very simple — a shiny rattle, a stuffed cloth ring with chewable projections, his rubber teething flower. He has not yet begun to appreciate the many kinetic charms of my personal favorite, the spinny thing, but he gamely tries to mouth it when I offer it to him.

He can blow wet raspberries, and did constantly for a few days, but seems now to have lost interest in doing so. He doesn't imitate us. He doesn't babble. His vocalization is generally limited to long consonant sounds, though rarely he will softly and tentatively muster a "guh...guh." When Paul addresses him with a long string of "ba ba ba"s in varied intonation, first he starts, snapping to attention, then stares and stares, mouth open, transfixed.

He likes to make noise with his fingers in his mouth.

He shivers and grows wide-eyed at the opening strains of the prologue and "Jet Song" from West Side Story.

He eagerly eats three solid meals a day, fruits, vegetables, cereals, meats, and the occasional fingertip's worth of soft-serve ice cream. He opens his mouth emphatically, tongue extended, and raises his eyebrows in appeal if I'm slow in spooning the gruel. Today at lunch he spent many happy minutes chewing diligently on a dill pickle chip, briny drool running down his several chins.

His navel is an outie.

At bathtime, he crows with delight when we spray him with his tiny rubber squirting turtle. He still loves to drink water poured into his mouth in a trickle, and will patiently wait, lips parted, tongue out, as I raise the bowl over his face.

He usually has at least one long nap a day, frequently two, a great improvement from his former practice of waking up after only 46 minutes. He goes to bed at night between 6 and 7 with no fuss whatsoever — we don't rock him to sleep or feed him until he slumps, since putting him in his crib and giving him a final friendly pat are comfort enough for him. He wakes once at night and we feed him. He wakes again around 5, but coos himself back to sleep. Around 7 he spends about half an hour singing quietly in his crib before he asks in earnest for company.

It is an indescribable pleasure to give it.

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