Six-Month Birthday

After a nice weekend of skiing and baby-less brotherhood, I’m back at it. My lovely wife didn’t have the same benefit driving across the state of Texas with Ellison in tow to go see her family. She experienced “single parenthood” and expressed later that it’s a toughie. She had a passenger down and back (thanks Bob and Todd), but the routine is disrupted and travel can become a nightmarish proposition.

Celebrated my own birthday yesterday (number Paul Pierce…or Kirby Puckett, or Walter Payton, or Nolan Ryan, or Charles Barkley), but it’s all about our little half-year old Ellison who, this morning, surpasses the six-month mark.

Probably better we get a full check-in on her development and see where we were versus the norm. Kinda like a development scorecard. I went to to refer to the typical six-month milestones so we could match up where our little Ellison currently matches up.

  • BEGINS TO SPEAK SINGLE CONSONANTS, LIKE “DADA”: Not there quite yet. Looks like she’s singing before she’s speaking. Kinda like Christina Aguilera. You swear she’s saying something, but not sure what. It’s still a series of moans, groans and rolling sounds. One thing about Ellison, she’s crazy communicable. Once she starts speaking, she’ll probably never stop.
  • ROLLS OVER BOTH WAYS: Yeah, she’s rolling over. That was a milestone that I kinda missed out on. Seemed like I was always in the other room or at work. You walk into the nursery and the girl’s sleeping on her belly. You go to wake her up and she’s on her back. She’s rolling over, but it’s something that just happens without a witness. Kinda like how no one ever remembers a 7-11 being built…they just appear.
  • THE BABY WILL BEGIN TO LOOK FOR A TOY DROPPED OUT OF SIGHT: Check on this one. It’s either Sophie the giraffe or Dotty the Dog. Dotty was a $5 dog that we bought at Wal-Mart and has appeared to be her favorite little teddy bear. I wanted her to be a monkey lover. Others monogrammed teddy bears for her. Turns out her best friend is some cheap, ratty stuffed dog from Wal-Mart. It doesn’t take much. Not only will she look for it, but when you give it to her she rubs it on her face and then sleeps with it on her head. Check.
  • HAS NO HEAD LAG WHEN PULLED TO A SITTING POSITION: Her problem here. She was at this since about four months old. She was turning her head in the hospital just a day after birth. Strong head and neck.
  • BEGINS TO “TRIPOD” (SITS WITH ONE HAND ON THE GROUND FOR SUPPORT) AND SOON WILL BEGIN TO SIT WITHOUT SUPPORT: Check. It’s a little easier when you give her an object in front of her to kinda balance on, but she’s got this down. Starting to balance to the point of sitting up on her own, but not quite. Progressing nicely.
  • CONTINUES TO GRASP AND MOUTH OBJECTS, BUT NOW CAN TRANSFER SMALL OBJECTS FROM ONE HAND TO ANOTHER: Check. I will say, though, it appears that she’s starting to favor the left hand. Everything she grabs is going in her mouth. Other day, I put my pinky out to her left side, she pulled it toward her mouth with both hands and bit down. Then I held my thumb out to the right, she saw it, honed in on it and grabbed it and put it in her mouth. She’s mouthing everything at this point. Including beagle ears.
  • SIX-MONTH OLD BABIES BEGIN TO RAKE AT SMALL OBJECTS BUT CANNOT PICK THEM UP YET BECAUSE THEIR FINGER COORDINATION IS NOT YET PRECISE ENOUGH: What if she’s not only help turning pages in story books, but closing them when we’re done? Check plus.
  • SHOWS DISPLEASURE WITH LOSS OF A TOY: Not really there yet. As spirited as she is, we’ll know when she gets here because her displeasure will strip paint off the walls. She’s indifferent to losing a toy at this point even though when Dotty’s not on her head, she becomes a little fussy. We’ll give her a half-check on this one.
  • IS ABLE TO RECOGNIZE EACH PARENT AND MAY EVEN BEGIN TO SHOW STRANGER ANXIETY: Check on both of these. That was last month for Ellison. It was a little difficult to get used to her not recognizing you when you would pick her up from the daycare. Now, she recognizes me. Kinda blushes when she sees me. That’s an awesome feeling. The stranger anxiety was brutal but short-lived. Grandpa got it. Nana and SharShar got it. It was a little rough, but seems that’s subsiding.
  • MAKES ATTEMPTS TO FEED HERSELF: Yep. She grabs the spoon and jams it in her mouth. She’s holding onto the bottle with both hands.
  • SMILES, LAUGHS, SQUEALS AND BEGINS TO IMITATE SOUNDS: Yes on all. She imitates “farting” sounds when I press my lips against her necks and create “neck-farts.” It’s a little call-response thing we got going. She doesn’t imitate daddy’s actual farts, though. She does that on her own.
  • CAN BE CONTENT IN A PLAYPEN FOR A WHILE PLAYING WIHT ONE OR TWO TOYS: On her back under the umbrella of toys in the living room. She can keep herself busy in there for a bit. Also, okay in the jumper by herself for durations of time…usually two to three minutes. She doesn’t like to be alone for too long.
  • CAN BEAR WEIGHT ON HER LEGS WHEN HELD IN A STANDING POSITION: This was happening at four months. Girl’s gonna run before she walks, it appears sometimes. I think she’s getting a little irritated with laying down. She either wants to be sitting or standing. Girl is anti-gravity.
  • MAY DEVELOP ONE OR MORE TEETH BY 9-MONTH CHECKUP: Not there yet, but she’s teething. I have little doubt of it, but no swelling or visible breakthroughs yet.
  • YOUR BABY IS THE FREAKING CUTEST THING EVER PUT ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH AND TO DISPUTE THIS IS FUTILE: Okay, I made that one up. She is, though. And now, why you really came here…the pictures. You don’t wanna hear me type (hear me type?). You don’t care about her development. You just wanna see the baby. So I’ll stop talking and just give you what you want. Thanks to Uncle Jacko for his photo contributions.

One of favorites right here. Sure, I like smiling pictures like everyone else, but I like her more in the state that she’s always in and that’s making bizarre faces and even more outlandish noises.

She’s perfected the “West Texas squint.” This makes it possible to see objects in blinding light and under the constant strain of 40 mph wind gusts and blowing dirt.


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