The Sixth Month

Since we first tried to introduce solid foods at 4 months, Alexander consistently struggled with the concept of eating from a spoon. I didn’t know if this meant he wasn’t ready for solid foods, or if he was ready but just didn’t understand what to do. Having never been tasked with teaching an infant to eat with a spoon, I really had no idea what I was doing. So when my parents came to visit around the time he turned 5 months old, I handed my mom the spoon, a bowl of cereal, and the baby to see what awesome grandma tricks she had up her sleeve.

Turns out grandmas know all the good tricks. (It’s like she’s successfully raised a kid or two herself or something!) Tim and I had been quickly dumping the contents of the spoon in the baby’s mouth then pulling the spoon away only to have him spit the food back out. (Were we trying to trick him? “Ha! Now there’s food in your mouth! What are you going to do now, baby?” I really don’t know.) My mom, on the other hand, kept the spoon in his mouth so he could suck on it like he would a bottle (you know, like the way he’s been ingesting food for his entire life…interesting tactic).  One meal with Grandma, and now the kid’s eating solid foods like a pro.

(That’s Tim feeding him in the picture, by the way, lest you think my mom has hairy man arms.) (She doesn’t.)

And it’s a good thing he figured it out, too, because that meant we got to move past rice cereal and oatmeal and onto the exciting world of vegetables. When we gave Alexander his first spoonful of squash, we completely blew his mind. He was astounded to discover that there were other flavors in the world besides milk. Clearly, we’d been holding out on him, and he urgently needed to get more of this amazing new food into his mouth.

So far, we’ve introduced squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and peas, and he’s loved every bite. He gets excited when we put him in his high chair and get the baby spoon out. He opens his mouth wide, begging for more food. And he grabs the spoon and helps us guide it to his mouth when we’re not doing it fast enough for his liking. The kid loves his vegetables.

Other things Alexander loves include:

The dogs. I’m pretty sure they’re his favorite thing in the world. Every time he sees them, he breaks out in a big goofy grin and reaches out to try to pet them. The dogs are less than thrilled with this new development, but they begrudgingly tolerate it. I think they’re relieved he still stays pretty much in one place at the moment. Unfortunately for them, if anything motivates Alexander to start crawling, it’s going to be his overwhelming desire to get closer to the dogs. It won’t be long before he’s chasing them around the house.

Mommy and Daddy. He reaches out for me when I get home from work, and his entire face lights up whenever he sees Tim. I heartily approve.

Hiking. We picked up this backpack for $10 at a garage sale last spring, and I’m positive it’s going to get a ton of use this summer. The boy loves the great outdoors.

Books. He loves looking at the pictures, turning the pages, and, let’s be honest, trying to eat them.

Hanging upside-down with Daddy.

Playing Super Baby with Mommy.

Opening presents from Grandma and Grandpa, especially when there’s lots of crinkly tissue paper to play with.

Toys, including but not limited to: His sit-n-play, the monkeys in his bouncy chair, the mobile in the pack-n-play, restaurant menus, burp cloths, and his feet.

At his six-month check-up, Alexander weighed in at 17.4 pounds and measured 27.5 inches long. Over the last two months, he jumped from the 25th percentile in length to the 85th. All those vegetables must be good for him!