1. June had her first Christmas.
|Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And he lives in a van down by the river.|
Our small family (Lou, June and I) is Catholic, so we celebrate Christmas with an emphasis on Jesus Christ, not presents. At least, that's the goal. It's pretty easy to keep Christmas presents minimal when your baby is six months old and would rather play with the Huggies wipes container than anything else. Regardless, we set a small ($50) limit for gifts and got her this annoying talking soccer ball and a Playskool Purse. I was sort of torn on getting her the purse, actually. I was like, what am I teaching her about gender, by buying this purse? What am I teaching her about what it means to be a female? Why not buy her pretend-books, or a pretend-science kit? And the inclusion of the mirror is troublesome -- am I sending her the right message about character over personal appearance? Why am I buying it for my daughter if I wouldn't buy it for my hypothetical son? But then I saw that it had a tiny set of car keys and a little crinkly dollar, so I got it because that's hilarious.
|Not only does this reinforce gender roles, but that lipstick looks like a dog wiener.|
In case you can't tell from the picture, that's Sock Monkey's big red anus. All sock monkeys have these things, and I never even noticed it until it was time to wrap him up and suddenly his angry red butthole was staring me in the face. So, I'm going to have fun explaining that when she's 3 or 4. How come everyone is up in arms about the Bebe Gloton breastfeeding doll, but nobody seems to care about Sock Monkey's enormous hemorrhoid?
June also attended her first Christmas party, which inevitably lead to #2:
2. Baby's first cold virus.
June caught a cold at the Christmas party from one (or all) of her cousins, and then like the little rhesus monkey in Outbreak, proceeded to spread it to her father and I by sticking her hands directly in our mouths when we weren't paying attention to her.
3. June is learning.
June and I have a new game to play, courtesy of my husband who hung out with her on Saturday morning so I could sleep in. It's called "The Owl Flies and it's Hilarious." True to its name, we have a tiny stuffed owl that came with our baby swing, and I make it fly around June's head and she cackles. She never really cares about the owl unless Lou or I make it fly, and then it's hysterical. This is probably what happens when you're too poor to buy your baby a lot of things.
Right now she's at the age where she's interacting more, laughing more, reaching, exploring, and is generally interested in an array of things, not just Nursing and My Boob and Milk and More Milk. In addition to the owl game, we're playing:
Bumpy or Smooth?
Water is Wet
Puppies are Furry
Hats Go on Heads
This Button Makes A Sound
Where's Mommy? Oh, Behind This Blanket.
This is What Happens When We Don't Nap
If You Bite, Nursing is Over.
She's also sticking her feet in her mouth, laughing whenever her daddy does anything, putting her crinkly dollar up to her ear to hear how it sounds, and leaning forward to give kisses when I pucker up my lips. She's terribly advanced.
(I should probably also add that I am not a natural teacher, I have no idea what I'm doing or if I'm really teaching her anything, and that if she exceeds or meets any kind of developmental standards at all, it has nothing to do with me. Any tips or developmentally-appropriate game suggestions are always welcome. I'm flying by the seat of my pants here, folks.)
4. June is waving. It's like this only way less awesome.
5. June is no longer sleeping through the night.
This one hurts. She was so good at this, for a while. So good, in fact, I started to get cocky when I mentioned it to my pediatrician, like it was some kind of magical power I had that enabled her to sleep through the night, rather than her increasingly-shorter REM cycles and recent foray into solid foods. Last time we were at the doctor I was like, She's so good, she sleeps ALL through the night. I get SO MUCH SLEEP, I don't even know what to do with myself. She sleeps a full twelve hours, sometimes. Aren't I great?
|"I know, I couldn't have done it without her."|
I thought I was pretty awesome for awhile, and then God was like, hey bitch, have some HUMBLE PIE. Now, she wakes at midnight and five and occasionally in-between those hours for a feeding, and I've started taking naps in the middle of the day again.
|It tastes pretty bitter at 3 a.m.|
Also, my baby of whom I was once so proud, my baby who was once lifting her chest off of the floor during tummy time, has inexplicably regressed. Now she wants nothing to do with tummy time, or with basic motor skills, or with moving any part of her body at all while she's on the floor, in fact. When I lay her down on her stomach she lifts her head for a minute or two, looks around, and then lays her head on the floor, cheek-down, and moans like that lady in the Life Alert commercial until I sit her back up.
|Tummy Time in the Wisniewski household.|
And you know the messed up part about this? I feel guilty. Like her being totally lazy as hell is somehow reflective on me as a parent and now she's going to become like this feral child who won't know how to walk until she's twelve and some dog scientist will have to teach her. I seriously feel that in my gut.
So essentially, I'm the most narcissistic mother in the world. Everything my baby does or doesn't do I attribute to my own success or failure, except for her utter adorableness, which I attribute totally to her father. I don't know if every mom does this, or if it's just me, but it's probably not healthy either way. I need to knock that shit off like now.
And anyway, tummy time hasn't been a total bust. She laid on me during Christmas, and she's starting to like laying on me more and more lately. Don't ask me why. It's nothing I'm doing. Probably.
I like to think of it as one of my Christmas presents.