My darling Katherine,
You are 5 months old, baby girl, and this time last spring we were just finding out that you were on the way. So you've now been a part of my life for a whole year. I can't believe how time flies, yet I can barely remember life without you.
This week you weighed in at 10 lbs 14 oz, a huge leap forward from last month and you finally climbed onto the weight chart for your actual age - though you are smaller than 99.6% of all other five-month-old babies. I love every tiny perfect part of you, my little miracle. It's wonderful to know that you love me too, and I want to remember always how your little face lights up with pure, unadulterated delight when I walk into a room and greet you.
One advantage to your teeny size is you still fit well in your moses basket, and happily sleep right next to me there. When you wake at night, I can soothe you by simply reaching out, and you often quickly fall asleep holding my hand. At the beginning of the month, you started skipping the 4 am wake up, pushing it back by another hour. We've also moved bedtime forward to around 9:30 pm and there were four glorious days in the past week where you slept through past 7 am. I felt like a million bucks when I didn't have a tiny little person functioning as my alarm clock at O-dark-thirty. You've started napping consistently for 45-minute stretches several times a day and falling asleep on your own if I put you down when you're drowsy. I feel like a genius for figuring out this sleep thing, but in truth, you've done most of it yourself. I'm not foolish enough to believe that you won't ever challenge me with your sleep patterns but for now, my little sweetie, I'm so proud of you and grateful for the extra ZZZs.
This month you learned to laugh with abandon, though it doesn't happen very often and the most random and unpredictable things tickle your funny bone. When you really get going, I laugh like a nutter right along with you and we set up a spiraling chorus of giggles as you laugh at me laughing at you. But even the tiniest giggle seems to set off a bout of hiccups, so clearly your little diaphragm could use the exercise. You've also developed a certain brand of charm and a winning smile especially for your daddy. Don't tell him you know this, but he is slowly and surely falling under your spell. And you're falling for him too... sometimes when you are frustrated with Mummy, he'll pick you up and make you smile and giggle even while you're still in tears.
You've discovered the pleasure of testing the world with your tongue this month. Your favorite thing to do is lick cloth... your muslin, Mummy's shirt, Hare's ears... it's all good to you. You've become fascinated with your hands too, and since hand-eye coordination isn't one of your momma's strong points, I recommend all the practice you can get.
When I was pregnant with you my hair grew thicker than it had ever been in my life, but this month, little one, it started falling out incessantly. In sympathy, you started losing most of your dark newborn hair and what's left is decidedly lighter. You're rubbing out a bald ring around your head that is leaving you with this odd kind of monk tonsure at the bottom and a wicked comb-over on top. So month 5 hasn't exactly been a good hair month for either of us.
You haven't yet made any real effort to start rolling or reach out and grab things in your world, but I think it's because you are such a chilled out little thing. You are also incredibly brave and resilient, barely letting out a wail when you had your injections this month and almost never collapsing into tears when you are startled or scared.
It seems to be a competitive pastime among mothers, comparing their little one's accomplishments, but the truth is, baby girl, I CAN wait until you conquer your milestones. I CAN wait:
- for you to roll over, because I like knowing you'll stay where I've left you;
- for you to start teething, because I adore your gummy grin;
- for you to start sleeping in your own room, because I like being able to soothe you while barely moving and we both stay mostly asleep;
- for the time when I'm not the most important person in the world to you;
- for you to squirm to get out of my arms because you'd rather explore than cuddle;
- until you're no longer comforted by a simple kiss and a cuddle from Mummy;
- for the time when I can't coax a beaming grin from you just by smiling like a looney myself.