Just here at my feet she sits, in the rocker that is really too small for her now. When I look down at her, as I frequently do, she rewards my attention with a smile that appears to be all gums but to me is really all eyes.
Those eyes are saying all the things her little mouth can not yet form as words. Sometimes they pose the most serious of questions, so intent is her curious little face. And sometimes, they are looking for the punchline, so quick to crinkle and shine. When she lifts her little eyebrows at me, I could probably just die of happiness right there.
It is a quite a business to be 8 months old. There are so many new sounds to try out, and at varying volumes. There is ah-bah! And vvvvwah! And Dadadad. Traitor.
And legs. Legs are for kicking. Determined kicking. Kicking like you mean it. If there was ever a baby more proud of their kicking, I'd like to see it. This baby is simply delighted with her own ability to kick. How her little heels are not bruised with the effort, I don't know.
And she does stuff. Like people stuff. Stuff that newborn babies don't do. Because she is not newborn anymore.
No, she is eight months old and she is in the 70th percentile for height and weight. Her head is in the 90th (no wonder that hurt on the way out). After a funny reaction to the rice cereal I had fed her three times before (it has milk solids in it – possible allergy?), I kind of fell off the solids thing and so can attribute pretty much all 8.2 kilos of her to, well, my boobs. But after seeing our lovely maternal and child health nurse, I was reminded that a baby can not live on boob alone forever, no matter how good a paddock they might provide, so we are back on track and Harlow is happily eating at least two little meals a day.
She doesn't sit up yet but is preparing to crawl. I can't remember if that's normal or not. Whatever. I think she's ace whichever way she decides to do her little thing.
What I know for sure is that you should never expect that things will be easier with each subsequent child. Either the new baby changes the rules or you can't remember what the rules were with the last baby. I don't have a clue what I'm doing.
Luckily, this little girl doesn't seem to mind.