dear maggie, or magpie, or maggie girl, or maggie mags, or magaroo, or any other combination of silly names that we've given you,
you are seven months old.
it snuck up on me. it really did. i don't know where the time has gone, though i'm pretty sure a fair bit of it has gone to you. i don't regret that. not even one tiny bit. in fact, it seems preposterous to me that it would ever be any other way.
you change every day, but the past month has brought the most obvious changes.
you pull up, on people and objects.
you sit from crawling easily.
you like to crawl under and over things, and you especially like to hang out under your exersaucer like it's a fort.
you're working on your pincer grip. i need to vacuum more often because whatever's on the ground is free reign for your exploring hands.
you talk, though no real words yet. today, it really sounded like you were working on "yeah" or "yay" and, remarkably, you imitated me for several minutes when i talked back to you.
you sometimes seem like you are close to saying mama or dada, and you do say dadadadadadadada as it seems to be one of your favorite consonant sounds.
you are learning what "gentle" is. you are learning fast.
i think you know what "no" means. i wish i said it less. i'm trying.
you love, love, love to be outside. if we go for a walk in your stroller, you are now facing forward, sitting straight up and looking at the world around you. you love it.
you now deeply dislike the changing table. this saddens me, as it used to be the place where we had so much fun. you're just too interested in spinning around and twisting like a pretzel. i have to give you a toy to get you to be still.
you are beginning to hate your car seat too. when we've been out and about, you seem to resent being restrained. i understand it, but we're talking to you about how you may not arch your back but you may protest verbally. i swear i think you understand.
you still don't really like green beans.
we've had our fair share of sleeping challenges lately. you've done some great things, like learning how to put yourself back to sleep after waking up and yelling out, which is awesome. but you've also had some real trouble sleeping through the night. this has caused me no end of stress--well, at least, it did at first. i kept thinking i needed to DO something else, to change something we were doing, that somehow we were harming you in someway by comforting you, rocking you, doing whatever we needed to do to help you get back to sleep. but any time we thought about doing something else, it never felt right, never felt like it was right for you.
so, with your grandma's help, i just decided to trust my instincts. i still struggle with this. case in point: even though we've been through two teeth already, i still doubt the distinctive signs of teething. i doubt the fact that i KNOW that you teethe for a month before they cut. i doubt the fact that i know that you get a runny nose just a few weeks before it cuts. i doubt the fact that it interrupts your sleep in strange ways, until i see that distinctive little white line underneath your gum. but until then, i just keep thinking that you're sick, that you're cranky, blah blah blah.
basically, i doubt myself all the time. and i've been doing it with your sleep. it's been a rough month, but that month was full of things you've learned to do: crawl, pull up, stand in your crib, sit up, etc. and then there are the mental milestones also: learning language, learning about inside/outside/under/over, learning words and ideas and gaining independence. so i know that the month began with your sleep being interrupted by that.
and if this wasn't all maddening enough, you'll occasionally give us a night or two in a row that's entirely silent. you sleep like a log, and it reminds me that you can. those are little gifts, and they tell me that you know what? you really do like to sleep and you really do want to sleep. you just are having some trouble right now.
so i'm trying to listen to my gut when it comes to you. sometimes it's hard, because this is my first time at the rodeo, but i'm trying really hard. thanks for being patient with me.
you love mango--but it doesn't love you.
you love to spin around. i foresee a 2 year old you in twirly dresses spinning. if you look, you'll find pictures of me spinning and twirling on our wedding day. the apple doesn't fall far.
i love to giggle with you. one afternoon, before your daddy got home, i was giving you kisses. and i started making kissy sounds and saying "kiss" and you started to giggle like it was the coolest thing in the world. and so, of course, i started to laugh because your laugh is entirely infectious. it was the best thing that has happened in the past few days. i love those moments.
you think the best thing ever is to pull up on the TV armoire and touch the buttons. you were laughing to yourself about it today.
when i come back from upstairs and you are playing, i always say "hi!" and you always give me the biggest grin. it is the best.
when you are crawling toward us, and we say "hi!" or "come on!" you start to breathe really fast because you're so excited and you crawl faster. it's adorable.
you have started letting strangers interact with you and even hold you (!) and it's awesome. i love watching it, because it tells me that you are secure enough and confident enough in our love for and protection of you that you can explore the world a little bit. i love it.
i don't know what the next month will bring for us, but i know that you will keep on being a delightful joy. i was looking at the pictures of you when you were so small, just born, with your old man wrinkly forehead and clothes that just didn't fit. i can hardly believe that you are the same girl, except that you are as beautiful today as you were that day. your personality is so kind, generous, loving, and observant. you are so smart, and i am so lucky to be your mom.
thanks for teaching me a little more every day why it's important to become like a child if we want to return to Heavenly Father. your wide-eyed embrace of life and your absolute empathetic and total love for us shows me more about what i want to be. thanks for forgiving us our frailties and loving us into our strengths.
we love you more than we can say.