Early in the holiday weekend, The Lad was sitting on the kitchen counter, gnawing a spoon while I cooked. He lunged for the container of spoons, and I automatically said, "NO!" as I grabbed at his hand. But I never actually had to block him because, much to my happy surprise, The Lad looked at me, stopped and went back to his spoon-gnawing. It was like the day I walked into daycare and saw him holding a bottle (something I never see him do at home because of nursing): He aged three months in a single moment.
"That's right," I thought, "now's when they start getting it." And boy, is The Lad getting it.
This weekend, The Lad added a halting, clumsy crawl to his movement repertoire. He sat in the big tub for the first time and took a quick dunking as he tried to grab The Boy. He stayed up until the last guest left our Fourth of July party, which, granted, was only 8:30, but for him that's LATE and he never cranked, just drifted off as we saw the last of our friends out the door. He got his first kiss from a girl, one of our party guests, a little blonde 3-year-old who took a break from rough-housing with all the older boys to pat The Lad's back. He laughed and wrestled with his brother.
My baby even is giving high-fives now. If you hold your hand up to him and say, "Give me five," The Lad looks at the hand, looks at you and slowly brings his own little paw up to tap your palm. Then, he looks at you with quizzical eyebrows while you clap, as if to say, "I don't know WHY that makes you happy, woman, but OK."
Six to nine months is my favorite part of babyhood, I think. Newborn snuggles are lovely, if you can get past the sleep deprivation, and when he's not throwing a tantrum, few things are as funny as an almost-toddler, learning to walk and stumbling about like a drunk. But this six-month era is just about perfect, as far as the first year goes.
What's your favorite baby era?