September 15, 2008

My Girl, Seven Months Today

She is a ball of chub growing rounder by the day, bulking up in the way so many babies do before they start crawling. Her tummy pokes out quite a ways and she regards it, along with her feet, as a plaything conveniently attached to her body. When sitting, she slaps her tummy like a drum yelling, "Ah, ah, ah, uggah!" If on her back, she pulls her feet up toward her head and holds on to her toes as if they're a cliff ledge from which she dangles for her life. She's always charmed by her feet, so surprised to find them there. The girl has the memory of a goldfish.


Some babies chew on their toys, others study them in detail. Firefly is a pounder. Her first means of exploring most any new object is to pound it against everything that is handy: the floor, another toy, her leg, her other hand. In her high chair she pounds on the tray, in your arms she pounds on your chest. Last week she figured out that she could also pound her hands together (aka clapping). She holds her arms straight out, clapping away while happily babbling, "Abaababa baaba."


When she sits on the floor, she presses the soles of her feet flat together like hands folding for prayer. She loves to have the bottoms of her feet kissed. Although she's quite averagely sized in most other ways, her feet are itty-bitty. Tiny and narrow, they swim in any shoes we put on her.


She has desperately wanted to eat solid food for some time now. She grabs for the food on our plates and waves her little arms around, trying to get some service. A friend took a picture the other week that perfectly captured Firefly's feelings on the subject. In it, both kids sit on T's lap. Puppy is nibbling on a chip and Firefly is glaring at the chip, completely exasperated that someone is eating right in front of her, again.

The other day I granted her wish and offered her some sweet potato. She flapped her arms with joy and opened her mouth wide like a baby bird, leaning in toward the spoon, so excited to finally get to try this forbidden food. The moment the potato hit her tongue, she scrunched up her face in disgust as if to say, "What the hell? This stuff is horrible." Not that it stopped her from repeating the whole act again the next day, and the next. Again, the memory of a goldfish.


From her earliest days, she has stuck out her tongue if something pleases her. First comes the smile, then out comes the tongue. We call it the Tongue of Happiness. It appears most often for her two favorite things: eye contact and singing. While being held, she'll throw herself backwards until she's upside down just to catch the eye of someone standing behind her. And if you look her in the eye and sing to her? You become her favorite person in the whole wide world.


Right before she falls asleep, she catches her breath and holds it for several long moments before releasing it in a deeply satisfying sigh.


When Puppy was this age I remember feeling like I knew his personality really well, that I could picture the little boy he would grow into. Maybe I've lost the focused pride of first-time parenting, or simply learned how surprising children can be, but I feel that Firefly is still an unknown in so many ways. We know her patterns and preferences inside and out, can interpret her gurgles and cries. But the core of who she is and who she will become still feels like a mystery she carries inside her. One I'm so grateful to be able to watch unfold.


Anonymous said...

This is really lovely. You describe it all so vividly that I can see it in my mind. =)

Meg Weber Jeske said...

Wow, 7 months already. Yay for Firefly!

Lori said...

So well written Heather! This summary of Miss. Firefly's beloved quirks will be something to treasure and share when she's older. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Tammy said...

Okay, so the poster Kendra said exactly what I was thinking... it's like I'm there watching Firefly! She sounds like a sweetheart and loads of fun!

Bobbie said...

She sounds so adorable. I can just "see" her pounding on everything. You write really well. I felt like I was there.

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