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Dear Zella: Month Five

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Dear Zella,

In your fifth month, you really came to life. You were smiling before this, sure. You were starting to grasp toys, I know. You had perhaps rolled over the odd time or two. But this month, you became a rolling, inchworming, grabbing, giggling sensation. Placed on your back, you immediately roll to your tummy until you get bored with your vantage point and either heave yourself back onto your back, or push your butt high in the air with your toes pointed against the floor and scoot yourself forward an inch or two to take a look around and see the sights. Once last week, I sat you up, forgetting for a moment that you cannot yet sit up on your own. But when I let go, you stayed upright for a long moment before wobbling off onto your side.

Your smile is wider and your voice is louder and more insistent. You command attention wherever we go, even from your hidden seat at the bottom of the double stroller, which makes strangers on the street do a doubletake. You have started to have the faith that you can reach out and grab the things you want. Sometimes this is successful (see: toys), sometimes less so (see: nursing my chin). This month we invested in an exersaucer, and you love half-standing in it, investigating the toys, and slowly rotating around, Ron Swanson-style.

As you’ve gotten older and the weather’s gotten better, we’ve started going on even more fun adventures. You’ve been to the aquarium, all the local parks, and a bunch of parties. We’ve been to the beach almost every week this month, and have taken a few trips to the pool. You’ve been great about napping in your stroller or in the Ergo, and have even been a sport about nursing under a blanket so I can keep your face out of the sun. This week, we finally bought a giant yuppie sun shelter to set up at the beach, so now you can roll around and grasp at your toys in peace, even in your too-young-for-sunscreen condition.

Your brother remains mostly a source of great amusement for you. Your eyes light up when he comes around, squatting over you with a mischievous grin and asking if you’re “Aweek? Aweek!” Occasionally you are not awake, which sometimes leads to Ezra squealing his crazy wake-up squeal and jolting you out of sleep up in tears. But mostly it leads to giggles.

On your fourth monthaversary, we were in Massachusetts. On your fifth, we were in Wisconsin. While we prided ourselves on taking your brother camping twice each of his first two summers, we simply could not figure out how to do it with both of you. Your dad says that this is just a space problem — our gear won’t fit in the Fit — but I’ll confess that I was intimidated by the prospect of trying to get all four of us to sleep in a single canvas room. So, we rented a tiny cottage on the shores of Whitewater Lake, and we loved every minute. You lolled in the warm water, giggling at your brother’s antics, and your dad tossed you up higher and higher in the air. He even dunked you once, with decidedly mixed results. But you don’t stay mad for long. You’re a giggler by nature, your waterlogged cries trailing off into chuckles as we made funny faces at you.

You’ll turn six months on another trip to Wisconsin, a two week idyll in cabins in the north woods. By then, I imagine, you’ll be able to sit up all by yourself on the beach, wearing sunscreen and munching on banana puree like a grownup. I’ll try to restrain myself from singing Sunrise, Sunset and weeping.

Actually, the truth is, because we have already seen Ezra go through these stages, I find that we are less frantic to keep you young. We have more faith that each age will be the most fun yet, and we are always rewarded.

Keep growing and giggling.
Much love,


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