Photo courtesy of Meaghan Marks

6-Months-Old Is The Best Age

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You know those moms who say in a wistful, sighing voice, “I loved every stage”? I’m not that mom. Sure, I adored my newborn son and he had his endearing moments when he smiled in his sleep or snuggled on my chest. But mostly, the first few months were spent taking care of a glorified house plant, and I couldn’t wait for him to interact more, play more, be more of a baby. Enter: the magical 6-month mark.

Suddenly, my son has a big personality. I slapped the bed next to where he was sitting and he laughed so hard his eyes closed and he stopped making sound. He started eating solids, and his little mouth is open again before he’s even swallowed the last bite, like an overeager tiny bird. I questioned whether his taste buds are functional because whether it’s sweet potato, carrots, peas, banana, blueberries... he eats whatever I give him with a vengeance, like it’s his last meal before prison. He’s even started a passionate “MMM” noise, with his eyes popped and eyebrows raised, like he can’t believe life is this damn good (and it’s hilarious every. single. time).

He sits up on his own, allowing me to plop him on the playmat surrounded by a few shiny objects and take a moment to put on a face mask, make a cup of coffee, or even pee with the door closed and without fear he stops breathing.

Even more valuable, he’s still immobile, so all of my pretty vases, picture frames and tempting breakables can stay put for the foreseeable future. We don’t have a completely child-proofed, colorful toy-filled, “in case you didn’t notice, a baby lives here” home just yet, and I’m here for it.

Every day comes with a new discovery, and watching him make sense of his surroundings is pure magic. This week, it was the bathtub drain.

He recognizes the key players in his life and greets them with big, gummy “It’s you again!” smiles. I’m no longer just a food source to him, I’m the funny lady who reads him books in the morning and sings him to sleep at night. I make up weird games and chants that make perfect sense to him, and he rewards me with belly laughs. When his dad walks in the door every night, he literally lights up and my heart melts.

Every day comes with a new discovery, and watching him make sense of his surroundings is pure magic. This week, it was the bathtub drain. He could not get enough of it poking out and reflecting his face back at him. While he leaned out of his infant tub and tried to grab it, I took a zillion photos of his adorable little tush in the air. Ugh, the cuteness.

Oh, and the sleep, glorious sleep. How I’ve desperately missed you since the third hellish trimester of pregnancy. The baby sleeps 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., allowing my husband and me a few child-free hours in the evening before we both enter eight hours of deep, restful sleep every night.

GAME CHANGER.

For all you mamas in the newborn phase, it’s pure survival mode right now, but know that the magical sixth month is just around the corner. By then, I’ll be that mom wistfully looking back and telling you six months was my favorite stage while I have a crawling, mobile little monster that I can’t take my eyes off of.

Nice knowing ya, closed bathroom door.

For more pieces like this, visit Shiny Happies, our collection of the best parts of raising those little people you love.