Damian, 6 months
Dear son, before I start, I want you to know that I know what it's like. You are the fourth. Everyone had their own page by the time they were born. And here we are 6 months into your life and I hadn't written anything yet. No timely updates on your weight gain even! This has nothing to do with our love for you. In fact there is probably more excitement about your existence in this house than any other previous baby, simply because there are that many more people and your siblings are all old enough to express their fervent love for you on a daily, hourly basis. The fact remains that there are only 24 hours in a day and I am still only one person and therefore...
I am a fourth child myself. There are zero pictures of me before my first birthday. It is what it is. You'll be fine.
Damian surprised us all three days into his life by having already figured out nighttime. He started falling asleep in the evening on day 3, continuing through the night with 3-5 hour stretches of uninterrupted sleeping. It was amazing, glorious. It was short lived. I was anticipating sleeping through the night at 3 months, since that's the first point in time of a baby's life where significant changes/improvements happen. Well, a change did happen, not for the better. He wakes up every 2-3 hours now. A stretch of 5 hours is rare these days. I can handle it well on the days he goes right back to sleep after a feeding but on many nights he is up between 4 and 5 and doesn't go back to sleep for an hour. Or at all. My alarm is always set for 6.20 am when I need to get up and get the other kids ready for school. Those two schedules do not work well together. I'm a zombie on most days.
What has improve though is his daytime sleep. He started out with 20-25-minute naps during the day. It was killing me. Nothing can get done during that time. It took me longer to get him to sleep than he actually slept. The waking time he wanted to be carried. I'm glad there was no hidden camera in my home during that time. The daily episodes of bouncing a crying baby in my arms while doing - everything else! - were film worthy, albeit probably extremely stressful to watch. "What is your homework? What did you say? What is your question 58 times what is how much? What? What? Can you tell me later? Aaaah!". I also mastered cooking while holding a baby. The trick is to hold the baby so it doesn't get burned. Fun.
The biggest difference with Damian is the fact that he has so many older siblings. None of the others had that. Even Nikola, who had Ivan and Veronika did not really experience a different babyhood, because they were just too little to act as older brother and sister. Not so now. Everyone is just delighted with the baby. The baby! It's so sweet to watch. Damian is the most kissed and hugged little boy in the world. He knows them all and smiles the biggest smile when he sees them. Veronika is the only one that can carry him around - for a short period of time because he is now 17 lbs (7.8kg) - and he loves it. He's always had major stranger anxiety. He basically is ok with me, papa, Veronika and the current baby sitter. Everyone else is out. So Veronika is a major helper and he adore her.
Nikola has his very special relationship with Damian which is basically a constant attempt to make him laugh. He usually succeeds which is also fun to watch, although on many occasion ends up being dangerous for the baby. Nikola has not been known for his gentleness in general so this is a challenge. But no matter how violently he is being shaken or sat upon, Damian just complies and laughs and laughs... I suppose boys understand each other.
Now that he is six months old Damian has managed to take 2-hour-naps twice a day. What a blessing this is. He is much less cranky and so am I! I nurse him to sleep most of the time, although occasionally he will fall asleep on his own in the crib. It's remarkably easy. He has also started eating some solids and is absolutely thrilled with them. Thrilled! He wants it all and lots of it. He scarfs it down and reaches for it and generally just wants.all.the.food. So far it was cereal, carrots, potatoes, banana, apple and pumpkin. I'd say the cereal wins, but he'll take all the other stuff gladly as well. Again, Veronika loves to feed him, which is nice and gives me time to do something else in the meantime, because that is all that I (try to) do: do several things at the same time! It doesn't work well.
Damian also picked the wrong place of birth to develop his dislike of the stroller. He just does not want to be pushed in this cozy reclined contraption while the world passes him by. He doesn't see the point. He tolerates it for about fifteen minutes, after which he starts wailing. Occasionally we're all lucky and he falls asleep. As soon as he wakes up though and realizes where he is the wailing returns. Before I pick up Nikola from preschool I usually swing by the grocery store (called Billa) and he always always cries there. It's bad enough to be in the stroller, it's a million times worse to be in the stroller indoors. A travesty. By now all the store ladies know me. Last time one of them said with a sad voice: "Oh, this baby really does not like our Billa!" It was kind of funny, although I assured her it had nothing to do with that particular store. He doesn't discriminate and equally hates all indoor stroller activity.
One more thing. If I was anxious with Veronika to welcome any new milestone - for example rolling over at the time the book said she would - so I am now near-indifferent to any new development as I know it will come soon enough. And so Damian surprised me with a timely roll-over moment at around 4 months. Why, because he can. And he is perfect.Posted at 04:49 AM on January 30, 2013