Letter to Camille: Seven Months

Hello, Princess Camille! That’s what I call you when I see the picture of you in your polka-dot dress with your matching beret. So regal. Such a royal highness.
You are 7 months old today, and just full of energy, smiles, and sweetness. I put you to bed just a little while ago, and enjoyed rocking you as you went to sleep. Some of the books/websites I read say I shouldn’t rock you to sleep every night. They say you need to learn how to fall asleep on your own.
Well, too bad!
The tradition began unintentionally. I’d feed you before putting you in bed, and you’d usually fall asleep mid-meal. Instead of trying to avoid that, I find the whole routine to be very peaceful and comforting. As I rock you, I enjoy the weight of you in my arms. I often rest my head on top of yours, and feel the warmth of your skin. Many nights, I’ll doze that way for a moment, lulled by your rhythmic breathing that signals deep sleep. One day, we may have a bedtime battle when you’re too old for the rocking chair. But for now, I don’t care what the baby books say. I like rocking you. You like being rocked. Everyone is happy.
I know I said it last month, but this month you’ve grown so much! Your Daddy and I like to say you are very busy. You are interested in everything around you, and constantly want to see, hear, touch and explore. You could be looking at one thing, waving something else in your left fist, and cramming something else in your mouth with your right hand. All at once.
We took you to a restaurant to meet another couple and their 4 month old girl a couple weeks ago. This was our second meeting, and both times, their baby has slept through the outing. You’ve been awake, very awake, but very happy. The contrast between you and a 4 month old is startling – it’s just amazing how much more alert you are now that you’re older.
You were content to sit in our laps at the table, giving you an opportunity to look around the restaurant and smile at everyone. I’d set a toy in front of you and you’d eagerly pick it up and bang-bang-bang it on the table. Then you’d drop it on the floor, and I’d put it away and pull out a clean toy. Repeat.
When our food came, holding you became more of a challenge because it’s a Mexican restaurant and all the plates are hot. You dangled your sleeve in enchilada sauce twice before I gave up and pushed my plate away until your Daddy could hold you. But neither of us minded the extra effort it took to keep you away from the plates and knives – you were having so much fun and we enjoyed being with such a happy girl. And a very busy girl. Even when you had dropped all your toys and had no clean ones left, you busily waved your arm back and forth in large sweeping arcs across the empty table, as if daring something to get in the way to be snatched up by your eager hands.
You’re sitting up very well now. You still wobble and little and will fall over sometimes as you reach for a toy, so I won’t let you sit without being right there with you to catch you before your head hits the hardwood. But, last week I was very pleased with myself when I discovered the best trick – the box.
I was about to throw out the empty cardboard box your mega-pack of Publix diapers came in, when I decided to try an experiment. I put a blanket in the bottom, tossed some toy blocks in there, and sat you down inside.
You played happily with the blocks, and as I hoped, whenever you’d start to fall over you’d catch yourself against the side of the box. The box was just small enough to keep you from falling over all the way, but large enough to allow room for you to play.
This is great, because I can let you play in your box while I cook dinner or work on straightening up your room. I’m still right there to chat with you and I’ll come over and play with your blocks too, but you get the freedom of sitting up all by yourself.
The last couple of weeks, you’ve been eating like a champ! You spent a week or so pretty much ignoring solid food, but suddenly decided to gobble it up again. Back when you were on your food strike, I’d offer you some peas, and you’d let me feed them to you – only to spit them back at me. This became so regular that I decided one night to feed you while wearing an apron. Smart idea. You and the highchair were still covered in baby food, but I was fairly clean.
Despite the spitting, you still seemed to be having fun, so I continued offering you the food. Now you’re eating marvelously, thank you very much! Soon, I will introduce you to crackers. Fun!
You’ve also begun to grow some more hair this month, especially right on the top of your head. It’s just long enough to hang down over your forehead like a forward comb-over, but not long enough to really style yet. But that didn’t keep me from trying.
The other night, before bath time, I wanted to see if I could use a little lotion to get the long locks on top to make a big curl. I knew if it didn’t work, I could wash it out. It absolutely would not curl, but instead stuck straight up like a little baby mohawk. You just so happened to be wearing your “I’m with the band” tank top, and the combo was adorable!
Such a little rock star.
Camille, thank you for such a fun month. I feel very lucky to be your mother, and to watch you really waking up to your world. Another mom I know has a saying that appears on her emails – one that puts a lump in my throat nearly every time I read it because it’s so true. “I am your mother; you are my child. I am your quiet place; you are my wild.”