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  • Kevin Vandever

Happy Six Months

Dear Lilo,

Today you are six months old. Congratulations! You and your parents have made it this far. We (society) often take this for granted. Still, it's really a miracle new parents team up with new babies to make all this work, especially given that babies and parents don't speak the same language for quite a while, maybe 20 years or so. You either laugh or cry (scream); that is how your parents know what's up for now.

That said, you are doing well. You are healthy and happy most of the time. "Don't be late with my meals, and everything will be fine." You seem to say. You love shower time (your parents don't give you baths anymore) and enjoy hanging out on the changing table. You know the importance of a clean diaper and are happy to go in for this service several times daily. I love that your parents take you everywhere and you adjust nicely. You've already flown cross-country to visit your Daddy's side of the family, and you handled it brilliantly. You have at least two more long trips coming up this year. I'll be on one of them and look forward to it.

You are talking more these days, although the only word I believe anyone can understand is "Dada." I have yet to hear you say that, but that's the rumor. I have, however, witnessed and engaged in conversations with you. You look me straight in the eyes and say a bunch of stuff to me. I love it even if I don't understand it. You talk regularly with your Auntie Kalia (Auntie Koo as she is now affectionately known) in New York. You do this via an iPhone app called FaceTime, and yesterday when I made a FaceTime call to your Auntie, you knew what to do. Like a seasoned pro, you stared at the screen with a massive smile until your Auntie answered. It was the cutest thing and confirmed that you and your generation will be accustomed to this technology. You'll never know the life of landlines and cord-tethered phones where one manually dialed a number instead of demanding, "Siri, call Auntie Koo!"

Today also happens to be Mother's Day. Your Mommy's first. Make sure to wish her a wonderful day. You can do that by holding down your food and going extra easy on the diaper, although your Dad will probably handle diaper duty today, if not most days. It's not your Mother's strong suit. Smiling at her would also be a perfect way to say, "Happy Mother's Day" (It's OK if you don't feel like smiling. You can emote as you want. I only ask today because you're six months old, and it's probably all you have right now to bring joy to your Mom. As you age, feel free not to smile on request or demand).

Apparently, you had a rough time sleeping because your parents are attempting to switch you from being swaddled to sleeping freely; thus allowing you to turn over onto your stomach or sleep on your side as you desire. The new slumber-based freedom, however, comes with a new challenge. During the night, you took off your mittens, scratched your face, and woke up in the process…or you woke up first and then scratched your face. I don't know. I wasn't in the room, but whatever the case, your parents and you had a rough night sleeping, so as of now, 11AM, you are still in your bedroom. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility, even at six months of age. You must be hungry by now, so I'm sure we'll hear from you soon. We will celebrate today with brunch and a general hang. Our brunch will consist of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and sausage. Not sure what yours will be. Last night you didn't hold down your food, so your Mom will probably be a little cautious today, as will most of the family. I make no such promises :-)

Happy Six Month's birthday!

And Happy Mother's Day to your incredible Mother and the finest grandmother and great-grandmother you'll ever know, Mimi Cha Cha and Mama Franny.

Much love,



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