Happy Six Month Birthday, me wee one! I cannae believe that six months today, you came into my life. That whole month was a blur. We had just moved into our new house one week before you were born. That week before you were due was crammed with working until the last minute, packing up our CoHi house and shifting over to our Admo house, and getting your Nanaji and Naniji settled for the long haul. I still remember watching you undulate beneath my skin and kick the remote control off of my tummy. The day you were born was equally mad with the giddy but mind-numbingly painful contractions, the pushing and tearing, and the prayers and laughter. You arrived as a tiny ball of fury and garnered your nickname as "The Beast" when it came time to nurse. Eager to absorb the world around you, you refused to lay your head down and cuddle. Instead, from day one, you kept your head high. Wobbly, but high.

Five months ago, you were still working on growing out your angry eyebrows and filling out your chubby cheeks. It was a blazing hot summer and though you adored going outside, the over-100-degrees days kept you inside with me where we walked back and forth between the family room, the dining room, the kitchen and back. Over and over and over again. Then up the stairs. Then down the stairs. Then up and down and up until TP came home and I got a chance to drag my unshowered, underfed carcass upstairs and collapse in bed for an hour or so. Just when I started feeling like an unappreciated slave to a non-responsive master, you started to smile. A genuine smile, not one of those "I have a huge surprise for you in my diapers" kind of smile. Made everything totally worth it.

Four months ago, you were sturdier, more alert, and already an accomplished host as we welcomed (with pleasure and also a bit of selfishness) family and friends to come and stay with us. Along with our evening strolls to get some fresh air and relief from the house, we started taking out to exotic locales like Whole Foods, birthday parties, and concerts. You enjoyed going to restaurants and favored the loud, brightly lit ones (Udupi and Jaleo). You had an unfortunate episode of thrush and a needle-heavy visit to the doctor's office, but for the most part, you remained happy and healthy and heavy.

Three months ago, you demonstrated your appreciation for humor by gracing us with the most insane cackle and giggle combo ever. Your laughter was ear-piercing, random, and heart-stealing. We would go to great lengths to get you to laugh with such gusto, including, but not limited to, singing songs, using scary voices, and pinching your brontosaurus thighs.

Two months ago, I cut my own heart out and returned to work. It was so hard to do and the only thing that made it bearable was that I knew you were in good hands and that (Insha'Allah) this was only temporary until the day I could start working from home. I thought of you every moment and could not get home fast enough to sweep you in my arms and try to snuggle with you even though you were already too macho for such sappy expressions of love. As a DC resident, we introduced you to the local flavors of the Eastern Market, the voting booth, and the Smithsonian. Although you inherited your eyebrows, your cleft, and your skin tone from your father, you did manage to inherit the ability to travel well from me as was proven by our calm and quiet trip to Florida. I can't wait to get your passport picture taken and start help you start racking up the air miles!

One month ago, you started sleeping a little more, going out to the park to observe the big kids, and eating actual foods. When we introduced you to honeydew and cantaloupe, you exhibited great pleasure followed immediately by great frustration that we weren't fast enough in giving you more. You celebrated your first Eid with a stylish shalvar kameez, a lunch at Lauriol Plaza, and lots of quality time with the grandparents. Our little milk-fed veal, you are already busting out of the 6-9 month old clothing and although you are getting taller each month (some of those outfits make you look like you are wearing capris or flood pants), you seem to remain a skinny mini. Lavender-scented bath time is enjoyed by all but you certainly keep us on our toes while you explore your own and try to fit all ten toes into your mouth while simultaneously throwing gang signs and grabbing your privates. Now that you can sit up, you prefer that immensely to lying on your back. You still take great delight in your multi-colored bees and fireflies but now have also discovered that books taste pretty darn good and my chin is fun to gnaw on. And now that you have your own laptop computer attached to your highchair, one which allows you to play DJ and chew on a sunflower, you are pretty content to sit on your own and look very busy at work: holding all calls, canceling meetings, and banging on your desk.

Today, you are half a year old. Alas, we celebrated with yet another doctor's visit in which you were jabbed no less than four times (regular shots plus an extra bonus flu shot). But the day is bright and sunny and despite being mid-November is actually warm enough to enjoy some time at the park where you can sit in your bucket seat, throw your arm nonchalantly across the back, and swing, swing, swing. I love you, Zainy Zoo!

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