The Advantage of Being a Six-Month-Old Sponge
By: Tanya Dodd-Hise
Tuesday, April 24th marks six months that this amazing creature named Harrison has been in our lives. I can hardly believe that the time has passed so quickly! I mean, I used to look at Nicholas and Noah and think that, but I guess because it has been a long time since they were babies, I had forgotten just how quickly the time really does pass! I find myself stretching to remember tidbits of what life was like when the boys were babies, aside from the ever-present memories of the terrible reflux that they both had until they were 14 months old each. I am grateful every day as I watch Harrison grow stronger and happier, and less miserable as the reflux continues to diminish. And let’s think about it…the first few months with her were ROUGH! Poor girl was spitting up so much, changing formulas six times until we found the right one; I prayed regularly that she wouldn’t have to endure it until 14 months as well. When she started cereal at four months, she wasn’t very eager to use the spoon after the first time, so we did the thing that everyone says you aren’t supposed to do: we put it in her bottle. This only brought minimal relief to the puke party around here though. But when I started making her fresh veggie and fruit baby foods, she quickly got on board with the spoon, and soon was spitting up less and less. This may be no big deal to most people, but for us, watching our baby girl go from screaming and crying all the time to a happy, smiling one has brought daily joy to both of these mamas.
So now I sit and think that wow, she will be one year old in just another mere six months. No way! But alas, as I have witnessed with her brothers, time never stops and they are going to continue to grow, thrive, and learn. Right now she is like a little sponge, soaking up everything going on around her. She loves our daily walks/jogs in the stroller, taking in all of the goings-on around our neighborhood: cars, trees, birds, dogs barking. There’s just so much to see and hear! We are trying to teach her baby sign language, a few signs at a time, and have discussed that now is the perfect time for her (and US, too, for that matter) to learn Spanish. The advantage to being a sponge is that you can soak up so many things at once! We plan to start teaching her swimming this summer, since infants can learn what to do fairly quickly when put into the water. Noah was 18 months when I put him in Infant Aquatic Survival lessons, and it took about eight weeks before he could “fall” into a pool fully dressed and swim the length of the pool to get himself out. It is amazing to watch how much they can do when they are not hindered by fear! I also want to put her into baby Gym Kids, just to get her out and around other babies, doing some constructive motion while having fun. I also try to watch, however, the amount of arguing that goes on in front of her – from all of us, with each other. I tell Noah that she is always learning and always watching, so he should always try to be a good example to her. This can usually turn an attitude around for him, because he always wants for her to look up to him and to love him the way that she does now. It’s also a good reminder for me to watch my tone in front of her, since I have a tendency to get loud when I am irritated (as well as using words that I certainly hope that she doesn’t soak up as our tiny, baby sponge). I will soon have to start censoring myself better in the car with her, just like I do when Noah is in the car; I would hate to hear some of the things that come out in the car come out of this beautiful baby girl’s mouth!
The adoption will also be proceeding very soon, and I will be giving updates along the way. My goal is to definitely have it all completed well before she is one year old – it’s just a matter of getting everything done (and getting the money to do it!). So while six months have already come and gone, we have much to look forward to in the next six months…and beyond!