A Painted House

Dear Edison: Month Six

Posted on: May 23, 2011

Dear Edison,

You’re six months old!  A whole half of a year!  Didn’t you just get here?  Weren’t we just struggling with nursing and washing newborn sleepers and trying to get through the day with everything intact?  And now here we are with a six month old and I can’t remember what life was like before you.  Oh yeah, I didn’t have an omnipresent drool mark on my shirt indicating that I either have a young baby or I’m overcome by constant thoughts of chalupas and have lost all control of my salivary glands.  Edison, I love you with all my pea pickin’ heart, but your drool is gross.  Don’t take it personally; all drool is gross, even that of your own progeny.  You’d think I’d have a higher tolerance for my children’s bodily fluids than most considering your brother is in the running for Most Frequent Puker: Toddler Age Group, but drool still makes me shudder.  And you have a lot of it.  I’d make some mention of volume except any reference to cups or buckets leads me to mental images of vessels filled with baby drool and next thing I know I’m entered for Most Frequent Puker: Age 30.

We’ve started you on solid food this month as you seem to need more sustenance than just nursing can provide.  You’re pretty excited about this new facet of your day, grabbing at the spoon and gaping your mouth open as wide as you can as soon as I put you in the high chair.  I’m not surprised, as you’ve always had a strong urge to eat and eat often and lately that’s translated to reaching for anything you see us aiming toward our own mouths.  I had to wrestle an American cheese slice out of your grubby, eager little fingers the other day when you lunged out of my arms and grabbed it off of the counter. I had no idea you were capable of covering such distance and with such accuracy.  You were not pleased.  Though I do wonder if I’d let you keep it, how you would have handled the unexpected taste and texture.  The pictures alone might have been worth the dairy exposure and choking risk.  Anything within your range of reach instantly goes into your mouth and you’ve been known to risk life and limb in your quest to grab a forbidden object that we thought was out of reach.  Edison, I get that you’re in that stage where you want to taste the whole world, but it’s not worth cracking your head open.  Unless said item is covered in chocolate.  Or nacho cheese.

I’ve also started giving you pieces of soft and dissolvable food to eat; crackers and fruit loops and soft pears stuffed into one of those mesh feeders.  You loooooove crackers and get really angry at me when you find that there are no more pieces on your tray to dissolve with spit and smoosh into your hair.  I’d wager you’ve probably only consumed two or three crackers worth in this entire month despite being handed a couple every day.  I’m honestly not sure where the rest of them have gone but I bet once I finally get around to cleaning out the inside if your ears I’ll find out.

You continue your quest to achieve and maintain Favorite Son status, Edison, this time using your words.  You’ve progressed in babbling syllables, your favorite being mamamamama   And it took all of sixteen seconds for you to realize that if you start calling for mamamamama you’ll immediately get my attention.  Smarty pants.  So now when I put you on your changing table, on the floor to play with toys, or in your bouncer so I can make dinner, go to the bathroom, or just not be drooled on for three minutes, you give me those three minutes and then sweetly start cooing my name at an increasingly louder decibel until you get a response.  It’s a brilliant move, Edison, because though James may know three thousand words and do his very best to recite all of them to me each and every day, you’ve found the one word that trumps him.  Just brilliant. 

I hope that as you grow you’ll continue to call my name for important things, realize that you’ll call it regularly for not important things, and know that someday I’ll answer with an exasperated “WHAT??” and then discuss with you that I can hear you just fine and repeating my name four hundred times is not necessary. But don’t let that stop you from practicing now, Edison.  It’s the highlight of my day to hear you happily babbling to yourself and watch you look around to see if I’m coming yet.  I promise, I’ll always come.

Love, Mamamama

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