Your dad and I have been saying it a lot lately – you just seem so much older lately. Here you are, already six months old, halfway to a year, and it’s like you’ve always been here. You continue to be extraordinarily sweet. You rarely cry. You wake up with coos and sighs. You kick your legs and grin when we get you from a nap. You can barely eat you smile up at me so much. You are just so content, such a joy to take care of.
Little by little, you’re gaining control of your body. You carefully hold toys and slowly, carefully bring them to your mouth, concentrating on not dropping them. When on your back, you immediately pull your toes to your mouth, and on July 27, a week past six months, you rolled over from your back to your stomach for the first time and now do it like it ain’t no thing. We stand you up, and you are pretty solid on your feet, and you’re just starting to sit up, though you use your hands to keep you from tipping over, not unlike a little frog.
My Elsie Belsie – you are just the biggest baby. You are wearing many 12-month clothes, and the same diaper size as Owen. Your rolls are one of my favorite things on earth, and I hope that I never forget how they all look in a swimsuit.
You now officially have teeth. As of July 8 (at 5 months, 2 weeks), your first two little bottom teeth popped through. I had my finger in your mouth to let you chomp on it a while (which you will do with anything these days), and suddenly there were two very tiny, very sharp teeth on my finger. It surprised me…because though I knew you’d been teething, you hadn’t been that miserable, so I had figured we had a ways to go.
Elsa Bels, you make me laugh all day long. You have started doing this gaspy, breathy squawk/screech. We can’t tell if you’re singing or talking, but if we do it back, you crack up. You LOVE music, and love to dance. You giggle the entire time we make you dance, throwing your arms up over your head and wiggling you to shake your little booty…you even laugh just watching us dance. You can’t handle Rise and Shine – it still gets you every time. Your face lights up at the sound of the bathwater running. You get in and kick and splash and look up at us as if to say: do you see this? It’s amazing!
And then there’s Owen. You are completely smitten with him, watching his every move with awe and wonder. You crane your neck as he runs by the couch. And in the (rare) moments that he comes close to you, engages with you, gently leaning his head in to hug you or to zerbert your belly, you are in heaven. You giggle and sigh happily. If it came down to it, I’m pretty sure you’d pick him over me.
Lately, it seems like the reality that you are here to stay has been hitting him…and he’s kind of having a hard time. It breaks my heart to see how much you love him and how jealous he can be of you. This gives me a glimpse down the road into rejection you might someday face. And the day you come home from school with your feelings deeply hurt, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it. I will comfort you and give you strategies and tell you that it’s okay to be hurt and that you’re strong and wonderful and loved, but then I will go hide in the corner of our bedroom and cry for you. I pray that your love is always returned well, Elsa Ruth.
Elsa, I’m so glad you’re here. I’m so glad you’re mine. I love that you are my little girl, that I get to be the one to nuzzle your cheeks and comfort you. You are an absolute joy, such a happy addition to this home, and I cannot imagine life without you.
Things you Love: pacifier, sleeping bunny, burping, pooping, the Ergo, bathtime, being naked, chewing on anything, Owen, your dad, me, dancing, music, books with high-contrast pictures, crinkly dice, Sophie the Giraffe, rolling over, being sung to, screens of any kind, swimming in the lake or pool
Things You Hate: getting dressed, being on your belly too long, being held by too many unfamiliar people, the slightest injury (your leg brushing into the doorframe as we walk by), the sun in your eyes