Dear Elsa – A Letter at 5 months


You are five months old, and little bits of your personality are starting to slip out. In the past few weeks, your dad has been saying, “I guess she’s not the quiet one.” And I think he’s right. Your infancy was marked by serenity, calm, and quiet. And while you are still calm and happy, you’re also showing yourself to be pretty silly.

You are the easiest laugh of all of us. You break into giggles when you’re smiled at, talked to, when you’re playing with toys, anytime Owen’s visible. You appear to enjoy slapstick comedy best, and we get your biggest laughs when jostling you around, or when you’re dancing with your dad, or bigger yet when we play music and make you dance. Singing “Rise & Shine” while moving your arms rhythmically is a guaranteed laugh. You make raspberry noises and giggle at yourself.

Bathtimes have become a waterpark once again. We lay you back in the water, head propped up on a rolled up towel, and you kick. You kick so hard you make waves that annoy even Owen. You splash and laugh, even as you splash water in your own face. Your froggy legs move constantly in water; you even get excited as we undress you if you can hear the water running.

You are such a happy baby. You bring us so much joy, Elsie Bels.

At a recent doctor’s checkup, it was medically confirmed that you’re basically “a little round basketball” as your dad calls you. Your weight-to-length percentage was a whopping 97%. Your neck has all but disappeared, and your rolls, Elsa, are impressive. You have at least five rolls on your arms, and the rolls on your thighs are few but deep. Your wrists have rolls. Your knuckles have rolls. And your cheeks basically touch your shoulders and chest. People are always saying, “Wow…she’s so…healthy” as they hesitate to say big about such a cute baby girl. But really, you’re kind of a gigantor. You’re wearing some 9-month clothing, and you’re only 1 diaper size beneath Owen. We’re not sure what to do with you.

You are also, well, a girl. It has become apparent that you have a pretty low pain tolerance. The slightest brush of your leg against a chair as I hold you, walking past it, elicits big sobs. As Owen monkeys around the couch next to us and bumps your arm slightly, you cry. Loudly. Whereas he is daily taking big spills, headfirst, and popping up, saying “I’m okay!” You seem a little bit dramatic, and I’m a little nervous about what your learning to walk process will look like.

While you’ve found your legs and love to stand on our laps, you still don’t seem to have much ambition to roll, though you’re starting to push yourself up on your forearms when you’re on your belly – especially if Owen’s anywhere on the floor near you. He’s starting to notice you more, now that you laugh at his antics. He brings you toys – to your great delight – and lays down next to you when you’re on your play mat, usually inadvertently hurting you, but still – it’s adorable. He plays peek-a-boo with you when you sit in your crib, and goes in to help get you up after a nap, saying in a sweet falsetto: “Ga-moooorning, Elsa! Sweetie girl! Elsa be cute!”

And you really are such a sweetie, Elsa Ruth. You continue to stop nursing – constantly – to look up at me and smile. You still give a little giggle as you smile sleepily up at me just before falling asleep. You will crane your neck like an owl to see your Dad and Owen and grin at them. When we come to get you as you’re waking up, you grin and pant and kick your legs like you’re biking up a mountain. And your cuddles are my favorite. I love to pull you into bed a bit before getting up. You lay next to me on my pillow, my hand under your head, the other resting on your belly, my nose pressed against your cheek. You are just so plump and snuggly. You sigh happily before the pacifier falls out the side or your mouth in another last bit of sleep. These are the moments I hope to memorize.

You are deeply, deeply loved, my girl.

Your Mom


Things You Love: bathtime, nursing, pacifier, being carried in the Ergo, being naked, Owen, your Dad, me, dancing, eye contact, when anyone dances near you, music, Rise & Shine, our Elsa Ruth song (to the tune of Praise Ye The Lord), chewing on fingers, grabbing your feet, sleep, your sleep bunny, funny noises, burping, seeing someone come to pick you up from a nap, screens

Things You Hate: getting dressed or undressed, getting out of a bath, when you can’t poop, when you get even slightly bumped in the leg/arm/head, getting put down after being held for a while, being on your belly




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