I just went back and read what I wrote here when Charlotte was six months old (see here). I know it's odious to compare your children, but I couldn't help think how different, and yet how similar, parenting is this time around. Sam is a few pounds heavier than Charlotte was at six months, and about an inch and a half taller. He has one tooth, whereas Charlotte had two (although that second one of Sam's is about to bust through). He has a pretty respectable head of auburn-blonde hair, while six-month-old Charlotte was bald as a cue ball, save that one, three-inch-long curly strand at the crown of her head. Sam has rolled over a few more times than Charlotte, and has rolled over back to front in addition to front to back. Sam has sat unsupported for a few seconds at a time, which is well ahead of Charlotte (in all fairness, she probably could have done it. It just wouldn't have occurred to me to, you know, set the baby down every once in a while).
Other things are different, too. We're short one great-grandparent after losing my Grandpa Deur in April 2007. We're plus two aunts, both conveniently named Katy/ie (thanks, ladies!). But the most significant difference is in Jeff and me. I think we're both substantially more laid-back as parents this time around, more confident. We can't give Sam the undivided attention we gave Charlotte--and he's none the worse for wear. And, of course, Charlotte's a sibling in this new family equation, and that has changed so much, too.
Sam at six months is a delight. Most of the time he sleeps wonderfully--typically two naps lasting from 1.5-3 hours each, a 7 p.m. bedtime and a 6 a.m. rise-and-shine with (usually) one feeding wake-up between the hours of 10 and midnight. I would make some minor tweaks (always waking up at 10 p.m. for his night feeding, for example, and a slightly later wake-up time), but for the most part I am much MUCH more well-rested than I was when Charlotte was this age.
And he wakes up happy almost every single time, cooing and sucking his fingers in his crib. I can hear an untranscribable sound over the monitor when Sam's awake, a kind of scootch-scootch-scootch sound that heralds the fact that Sam's doing his horizontal Riverdance move, kicking his legs rhythmically while his arms and torso stay stationary. When I go in to get him from his crib, he smiles with his entire chubby little person, arching his back and wrinkling his forehead and chortling with pure glee.
He eats some baby food now, and tonight partook of prunes with a gusto I didn't know anyone could have for prunes, lunging at the spoon with enthusiasm. He chews constantly on his fingers, his bib, his shirt, my shirt, my fingers, his sister's fingers ("Sam's eatin' on me!" she shrieks), anything within reach. If you catch him in a big smile, you can see that little glimmer of white, that faint razor-sharp pearl of a first tooth, and the slight swelling next door indicates number two is on its way.
He's suffering from the classic second-child troubles: I haven't updated his baby book in quite a while, and haven't even started his birthday photo album. There are probably about a third as many pictures of Sam (which is completely unfair, because he is just as photogenic as his sister) and those I do take are often shot from the hip instead of carefully composed.
But he's not short on attention, on love, on doting sisters and parents. He's got that in spades.