This week Taylor hit six-months – a big milestone in a baby’s life and the point when everything (I can confirm) does get a lot easier. In some ways it’s flown by – it seems like only yesterday when I started to have those contractions leaning over the sofa in the living room and being told at the hospital that I was too late to have an epidural (whaaaat????).
Yet I can’t imagine our lives now without her – she has completed us in so many ways and every day she brings more fun, love and happiness to our lives and excitement about what the future holds for us as a family.
I’ve also discovered that I’m actually quite a good mum. I did have my suspicions pre-baby that I might turn out to be a bit useless, but I’ve actually taken to motherhood pretty well *big pat on the back*. I’ve had to become much more organised with a baby and I actually quite like the new me – I’m even on time for appointments and meetings, which (those who knew me Before Taylor will appreciate) is a somewhat spectacular achievement. Or perhaps it’s just that those meetings and appointments are now much more pleasurable lunch dates and play groups…either way, I’m enjoying this new chapter in my life and have discovered that I’m far better at looking after someone else than I ever was at looking after myself.
Yes, it has been testing at times. I admit that the early sleepless nights did take its toll on my patience and some days I still feel like telling Taylor to go take a walk. Only yesterday did I spend my entire morning cooking up three different types of Annabel Karmels second stage weaning purees (I know, right?) for her to spit them – literally – back in my face. This morning I took her to Rhythm Time and she decided she really wasn’t feeling the musical instruments and proceeded to kick, scream and roll until I took her home.
But for the most part she is a very happy, cheerful and content baby. She has so much energy and never wants to sit still. Her play mat is now pretty much redundant since she rolls from one side of the room to the other, and she can escape from her bouncer chair even when she’s STRAPPED IN. I discovered this last week when I left her in her bouncer for a few minutes and returned to find her wriggling on the floor with her foot still in the strap. Another time I’ve left her on our large living room rug and returned to find her rolling to her hearts content all over the hard wood floor. What did I say about being a good mother? She has also expressed an interest in skydiving, planking with her arms and legs in the air as she pretends to fall through the clouds. At other times she prefers to body board, frantically moving her arms as she pretends (I imagine) to come into shore. That girl has a great imagination.
She smiles all the time and loves attention from absolutely anyone. I swear I could hand her to a complete stranger and she wouldn’t even notice I was gone. As long as she’s being fussed she’s happy. If she’s not getting attention she makes these strange little reptile noises before breaking out into full-on tantrum ‘look at me!’ mode. She saves her best smiles for Dad who gets a huge grin on his return from work everyday. I don’t mind – I get bored of looking at my face too.
And she is (dare I say it) now sleeping through the night. She goes to sleep at 7pm and will sleep for at least 10 hours. Result. We’ve even managed to maintain quite an active social life, going out for meals or a few drinks with her asleep in the buggy, or having friends round after bedtime.
Some of the other things Taylor is doing at six months.
- Sitting up for short periods of time of her own
- Is now fascinated by her feet and makes a sport out of fitting her foot into her mouth. This comes in especially useful when I forget toys
- Eating three ‘solid’ meals a day and has started this week to feed herself finger foods. Sweet potato is by far her favourite food.
- Has two front teeth and is fascinated by the toy that is her toothbrush
- Sleeping through most nights from 7pm until 6am (jinx!) Sometimes she wakes up from 4am and we bring her into our bed to sleep with us – even though we keep saying we need to stop!
- Sleeping in her own room (has been since four months)
- Constantly rolls onto her front and hates being on her back. This makes nappy changing particularly difficult!
- No longer has a dummy. We took it off her at four months as she kept crying for it in the night. It wasn’t that difficult so we never gave it back!
- Protests if we take a toy (or baby wipes, nappies, cotton wool, talcum powder…) off her
- Has discovered how much fun it is to splash and soak us through at bath time
With every week comes a new developmental milestone – it’s hard to remember the newborn who just sat in the bouncer looking around at her environment. I loved that newborn more than I could ever have imagined, but I have to say that with every month parenthood gets better and better.