I ought properly title this post - halfway home. Why? Because I distinctly remember how much better things got when Connor turned 6 months old. In fact, leading up to your birth, your dad and I used to say that if someone offered us a deal where we could fast forward through the next 6 months of our lives, we would take it - in a minute. But then, of course, we met you - and I have to admit I'm pretty happy nobody offered me that deal. Because you see, Helen, when it comes to babies, I have hit the lottery with you. True, I still worry about you (probably needlessly in many cases) and at times you stay up late screaming in pain which is no picnic for anyone in the house (damn reflux!), and this month, you even decided you would wake up every 3 hours for a few nights running. But I can live with all this for this month, Helen, you have shown us your laugh. You pump and kick your fists with the best of 'em - and you can go at it for quite a while. Sometimes, the cutest little sound escapes your lips and if there was a way I could make an adequate phonetic representation of it here, I would - but mere letters fail to capture this sound. If someone out there is trying to decide whether or not to have another child, you should hear this sound, because you will decide right away that you must have another child just on the off chance that your child makes this crazy sound.
You can also grunt, and you continue to fart and belch with impressive force. So impressive, my dear Helen, that sometimes you wake yourself up and it is not uncommon for an adult to get fingered for your gas. But the spit-up? I hesitate to write this because every time I do, things go terribly awry, but it seems to be dying down a bit. You were still able to impress both of your grandfathers with a load that catapulted from your mouth to the floor at least once when they were visiting with you separately.
I headed back to work for a few days and during this time, you learned to use a bottle. Your father assured me you had acquired this skill, though I was a bit doubtful since it never seemed like you drank much when I was gone. And, on the first day your grandma and grandpa were babysitting you and Connor, I got a call from my mom asking if I had any suggestions for how to get you to take a bottle. The answer? Kick Ed. Technically, this wouldn't help you, but it would relieve a lot of stress I felt when I got that call. Lucky for your dad, he works further away than my steel-toed shoe can reach, so his behind was safe. I sent out a panicked e-mail to the Milk Moms and advice came back, and you buckled down and learned to drink quite nicely from that ol' bottle. I am sure Connor is astounded that any creature would not think the bottle was the coolest thing in the world.
As I mentioned, you had a few days where you decided to wake up every three hours. Since my parents were visiting during this time, you and I were both sleeping upstairs rather than bunking downstairs to give others in the family a break, and this meant that your daddy heard you wake up. Apparently, it got to him because one morning, he smothered his toothbrush with diaper rash cream instead of toothpaste. He noticed when the stuff hit his teeth. Ew! I give you full credit for this lack of functioning on his part. Way to go, babe!
If there was one thing in this world that you love, it's your bouncy seat. I can't say that Connor ever cared for this piece of equipment, but it suits you just fine. You enjoy looking in on the action, and you love when Connor or someone else comes up to you and talks to you. My, how you giggle. You especially love it when you've had just a little too much cuddle time with someone and you need your own space. Perhaps this is the early signs of you being a loner, and maybe eventually you'll turn into an ax murderer. But, maybe you'll just have some dipshit high school counselor tell you one day that you have a lot of 'inner anger' and that someday you're going to explode. This happened to your Aunt Linda in high school and we're still waiting for the explosion. Perhaps you take after her, so I try very hard to respect that you need personal space.
And today, Helen, though technically one day over the month (so properly belongs in next month's letter), you were in your daddy's arms and when you saw me you jerked your whole body in my direction and reached for me and I swear, I almost cried on the spot, especially when your dad confirmed you did it all by yourself. Because sometimes, I wonder if you really need me. With your brother, my place in life was clear. He pretty much dismissed all people besides me as "not the mommy" and therefore, not useful or necessary to him. He tolerated your dad, but he didn't seem to care whether he existed or not, so long as I was nearby. But you, Helen, you seem to react to all people pretty much the same. And while I assure you it is wonderful to be able to leave a room without inciting tears in a baby, it does mean - every now and then - that this small part of me questions whether you know that I am the woman who will have your back, no matter what, even after the first of us parts this world. Because that, Helen, is what a mama is for.