Five months ago, you were a tiny bundle that was shuttled from person to person in an attempt to keep you from harm's way (i.e. your big brother). ZP was still in the throes of jealousy and the terrible twos which made for a harrowing time for all. In fact, your arrival heralded ZP's first full sentence which was repeated whenever he saw TP carrying you: "Baby Ziza DOWN!" You took everything, including ZP's shrieking and banging and general havoc-wreaking, with great aplomb and and composure. You were so very easy-going and undemanding. The visitors you received were astonished by your shock of hair, your saucer-sized eyes, and your rosebud mouth. You slept well, you ate well, and you actually enjoyed a good cuddle session.
Four months ago, you were your Nani's roommate to allow your poor bedraggled parents a moment of rest. You retained your lovely hostess manners while various relatives and friends came to visit and ooh and ahh over you. When ZP was born, we bought a new leather recliner. This time, we craiglisted my old IKEA couch away and replaced it with two bigger, microfiber Crate and Barrel couches so that Babu could sleep more comfortably. Your wardrobe grew exponentially as people took pity on you suffering the indignity of wearing some of ZP's hand-me-downs. Soon, his room was strewn with as many blue shirts as it was with pink dresses. Eventually, your grandparents had to return and you were left in the care of just the three of us.
Three months ago, the weather was nicer and we started taking you out for walks. As it is with most babies, the fresh air would knock you out. But for those brief moments before the stroll began, you would soak in the sights and sounds and smile. We thought that all infants were pretty much alike in the early months, but you proved us wrong. As energetic and volatile and explosive as ZP was, you were ladylike and gentle and sweet. ZP started taking an interest in you and actually acknowledged your presence instead of steadfastly ignoring your existence completely unless and until TP glanced your way. He even started to want to hold you and offer you some of his toys . . . to look at . . . for a short time. Your sleeping and eating habits were still a welcome surprise to us and we kept waiting for the other shoe to drop but it never did. Thanks for the sleep!
Two months ago, I cut my own heart out and returned to work full time with Tia taking care of you and ZP. 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 I was just a flight of stairs away. The first week was torture because every time I heard you cry, I wanted to drop everything and sweep you up. Actually, that did happen on more than one occasion (thank goodness my work is flexible enough to allow me to do so). But eventually, you warmed up to Tia and a routine was set and there was peace in the land again. During the day, you play nicely on your own or, when ZP isn't charging head-first into you, with ZP himself in that you observe him playing with his toys, dashing around in circles, and singing songs to you. In the evening, TP handles the ZP feeding duties (which I was more than happy to relinquish) while you and I have a little mother-daughter bonding session beginning in the tub, progressing to the couch for a quick dinner, and ending on the bed where we smile at each other, give each other some cuddles, and then pass out with trails of drool glistening on our cheeks.
One month ago, you took your first flight to Georgia for your Chai Khala's wedding. As expected, you were very well-behaved on the plane to Atlanta, in the van to Columbus, and throughout the wedding festivities. You were dressed in some pretty fancy finery that you Nani tailored for you out of some of our gently-used (i.e. old and didn't fit anymore) shalwar kurtas, saris, dupattas, you name it. While ZP was running amok with his uncles (from ages 5 to 7), you were content to lounge around with Nani and Babu and everyone who could get their hands on you. You took your first dip in a swimming pool/jacuzzi with Uncle KG and, much like your lavender-scented baths, you found it to your liking. The next week, you played the gracious hostess again when the wedding party arrived here for the second part. The evening drives to the parties when you were hungry and/or tired were not so much to your liking. Nonetheless, for the most part, you still displayed a good nature, a super wattage smile, and (once again differentiating yourself from your brother) a stunning preference for vegetables over fruit.
Now, you are half a year old. You just sprouted your first tooth. You have graduated to the 6-9 month clothes. You enjoy giving raspberries and are starting to babble a bit. You love gnawing on board books, trucks, and power tools. Alas, we celebrated your six month milestone with yet another doctor's visit in which you were pronounced a happy, healthy baby and then jabbed no less than four times as a reward. But the day is bright and sunny and pleasant enough to enjoy some time at the park which is where you are now. I love you, Aziza Baziza!