six months.

To the world, you are now a girl. Once you were a baby, genderless and obscure in your characteristic cooing. Now, you are lavender and ruffles and tiny barrettes, eyelashes and sweetness. There are rolls around your thighs, three on either leg, high up, and they are beautiful and perfect and they won’t last much longer. Looking at them, squeezing them as I smile to change your diaper, brings a lump to my throat when you later sleep; when you begin to crawl, these sweet things will disappear. This whole baby self of yours, perfect and ethereal, will be replaced. Innocence gone. It is hard to burden this truth. I cry. And then I change another wet diaper and smile and start to laugh with you and move on to chunky books and teething toys and food. Sqwawking at your brothers. Grasping their hair with serious affection, drawing them close as you squeal. Seti walks in, his paws tapping the floor gets your attention, and you dart up and track him as he approaches. Laughter, squeaks! Though you cannot crawl, you can shimmy and reach, the world just beyond your fingertips.



She sleeps. When she sleeps, her arms lie wide open, sprawled upon her earth. Once awake, her eyes scan the room, looking for interesting things. Shapes? Colors? Contrast?
In the early weeks, her reptilian slate eyes peered over my breasts out at the sunlit world. Now, her eyes, deep blue, scan restlessly everywhere.
She grins. She hides her grin in fists, letting shiny squints escape her wrinkled face every now and then.
In the early weeks, her fingers spread out in delicate, feminine arabesque. Newtlet fingers. Now: fists.
The moro reflex is still intact. Diaper her with a sideways glance and she’ll whack her arms back against the padded changing table.
She sucks her fists like she did when she was born. She stares at her photo and then starts cooing. She does this to her giraffe, too. And also to her reflection.
She spits up and is starting to drool.