How? How how how?
How are you six months old already?
Don't make me bust out with the "but it feels like only yesterday!" cliches, young man.
But seriously, weren't you a tiny smushy little newborn a few days ago?
Oh, mighty Ez, it's going by so quickly it hurts.
Everywhere we go, people ask. "Is he always this happy? Is he always this good?" And I have to sheepishly admit that yes, you are.
You smile at everybody, and they of course smile back. How could anybody not smile at you, all round and satisfying and Gerber-baby perfect?
I wasn't sure what to expect of you, little man. I was comfortable with the idea of you, of a boy, of another baby just like your brother. I generally assumed you'd be more difficult, harder to please, more awake-all-night-and-crying-all-day simply because your brother wasn't like that, therefore I was due.
You go to bed like clockwork and you sleep all night. You take naps. You cry when you are wet, when you are hungry, and when you want to be held. Though you always, ALWAYS want to be held. I sometimes feel guilty that I am not documenting your babyhood enough, either in words or photos, but then I remember that most days you don't let me put you down long enough to grab the camera or type with both hands free. I put you down -- only for a second! I'm right here, I'm still here, don't cry! -- and your entire face immediately melts and you start to wail. Piteously, despairingly...and when I reappear as promised one second later and you flash the sort of smile that most humans reserve for the airport, reuniting with a long-lost loved one, after an extended tour of duty overseas.
You are so easy to love, it's ridiculous.
You aren't much for those milestone charts -- something that amuses me, since your brother blasted through them, always at least a month or two or three ahead of his age, before grinding to a halt around his first birthday and forever humbling me and changing my expectations of this motherhood business. You, on the other hand, have no interest in rolling over onto your tummy, or sitting up on your own. And you know what? That is damn fine with me. You'll get there when you get there, and I know we'll get there entirely too soon for my tastes. In the meantime, I'll take all the extra immobile cuddles I can get.
Although "immobile" isn't entirely correct, since you have gotten pretty good at the upside-down-crab scoot, where you arch your back and neck and kick your feet and propel yourself across the floor, or very nearly off the edge of the changing table, as we recently almost learned. Yes, please give me some time before you start crawling. My reflexes are a tad rusty.
Eating, on the other hand! That's where you're a viking. You will eat anything. Everything. Stuff that a six-month-old semi-toothless non-sitting-upright-assisted baby should have no business eating, and yet you reach for it, grab it, gum it expertly without the slightest cough or gag. You drink water from my cup, steal your brother's orzo and parmesan, chomp on teething biscuits and delight in every fruit and vegetable puree I can think to offer you. With the notable exception of green beans. Not a fan of the green beans.
It's gotten a little overwhelming, actually, trying to keep up with your appetite and your zeal for new and different flavors. And yet I have to admit to being really freaking proud of you when I lazily bought jarred versions of some of your favorites -- squash, sweet potatoes, blueberries --and you rejected every. single. one. with a look of extreme disgust.
(Your father is beside himself with joy, I'll have you know.)
You adore your older brother, and the feeling is rapidly becoming mutual, as you sit and laugh hysterically at each other for no apparent reason at all. Your laugh is a squeaky little giggle, and you reserve it for only your most favorite people.
I keep talking about your smile, I know, but I have to tell you: there's a smile that I don't have any pictures of, that I don't think I'll ever have a picture of. It's a smile you only give to me -- it vanishes the instant my face disappears behind a camera, or when you sense there's anyone else in the room with us. You give me this smile in the morning, as we snuggle up to nurse. You give me this smile in the afternoon, as we curl up on the couch to settle you down for a nap. You give me this smile when I kiss your chins or belly or sing you a song and it's a smile I will never forget, and I will never feel guilty for not sharing it with anybody else in the world.