Maia can totally sit up now! Like a real baby! We got the bouncer out and everything! We're very excited about the bouncer. This is the big one where she sits suspended with her toes on the ground and has a little "keyboard" and some toys and rings for hanging things and so on. We assembled it and put her in it and then sat on the couch for a blissful twenty minutes or so while Maia bounced and explored and Chloë explored with her. She may be having more fun with it this second time around than she did when she was still small enough to go in it herself. Maia seems to enjoy it, and enjoys the attention from Chloë. I had her in it the other day while I was cooking dinner and only looked over at them when I heard Maia laughing at something Chloë was doing. It is the most wonderful sound.
She is decidedly not taking to baby food. I never understood mothers who breastfed exclusively until nine months or whatever, but now I do. She'll eat, yes...sort of...with lots of dexterity and patience on our part. Since I have no patience, I'd just as soon let her nurse and not struggle to get her to eat from a spoon. She doesn't seem to totally have the hang of getting and keeping food in her mouth, and her interest is just not there. Every once in a while she'll be really keen, but mostly she's much happier gnawing on the bib, or her fist, or pulling the bib off (until I wised up and got a tie-on one instead of the Velcro one), or slumping down, or grabbing the spoon, or making her bird calls. She does get some, enough to change the quality of her dirty diapers, but I'm convinced that at her six-month checkup she's going to have fallen from the 97th percentile to the 37th and the pediatrician is going to give us a talking-to. Not really. I need to get out the nine-months box for warmer clothes. But seriously, how does she stay so chubby and content when she only nurses for nine minutes at a time and won't eat solids?
She remains a stubborn baby in her own way. She still won't take a bottle from her Omi or Memaw. At night, sometimes she's okay going down, but sometimes she stays up and cries for an hour and a half. And if I give up and go in and offer to nurse, she beams at me, and she sucks for a few seconds and then breaks off and looks up at me to laugh. She wakes often in the early evening, and I wonder if the noise we make, or maybe the white noise we run, is bothering her. We've got to figure it out.
She digs being able to sit. She likes to play the sit-stand game, and to lounge in my lap while we're sitting in the bathroom while Chloë's on the potty, and to giggle at her daddy playing peek-a-boo, and to gnaw softly at my face. Chloë has agreed to let her play with her duckies at bathtime, so we pop one in after we've got her settled and she promptly lunges at it and stuffs it in her mouth. I bought her a new toy while we were in Seattle, one of the ones with a handle that makes a whirring noise and vibration, and she'll sit in her carrier and pull and let go, pull and let go. I remember five or six months being the time when I started to really warm up to Chloë's babyhood, and I think the same is happening here. But I'm wistful at the same time. I look at Chloë and how tall she is (she can climb up a couple of the ladders at the park by herself now!), and I look at the newborn pictures of Maia and how much bigger Maia is now, and I understand why people sigh about why babies can't just stay babies, even though the diapers and the blowouts and the food issues and the night waking and the crying and the dependence can be, shall we say, wearing. They're so sweet, all the same, and they're so soon gone.
(I do a short chant with Maia while playing with her feet: "So sweet-- such a treat--baby feet!" She's mildly amused, but Chloë will ask me to repeat it again and again until I cry enough. She doesn't ask me to do it to her own feet, though. Her feet are cute, but they're big hulking toddler feet now.)