your pet revelation

24 weeks

You have two furry siblings who joined our family about six and a half years before you did. Asterix (a demure, sweet, independent Tuxedo girl) and Obelix (an affectionate, somewhat neurotic beige tabby boy) are considered “domestic medium-haired” cats, but by the amount of fur that collects nearly instantly after we vacuum the house top to bottom, I would guess they’re part Wookie. They have always been fairly spoiled, which set the stage for what we anticipated would be a pretty messy disaster once you arrived. To our (rather pleasant) surprise, things have been going relatively smoothly.

Have they been neglected? More yes than no. But still, Daddy and I make time to cuddle them when we can. We’ve tried to provide them with new space that’s entirely theirs since we took their room away to make it yours. They’re no longer allowed in our bedroom, but that’s a holdover from when you were sleeping in there with us. Daddy’s sinuses have been so clear since we stopped letting them sleep with us that it’s evident they never should’ve done so to begin with.

Certainly, it’s been a bit of a tough go for them, and it’s taken them until now to warm up to you. When I say “warm,” of course, I mean tolerate and very occasionally rub their heads against your feet.

You, on the other hand, are enamored. You break into huge grins when you see them, you stare at them for long minutes at a time in rapt curiosity and sometimes, if they do something particularly cat-like, you double over in belly-laughing jubilation. You’ve even managed to grab a few chunks of fur here and there (more so from Asty, who seems to dislike you least but is, perhaps, learning to keep her distance). I love that you’ve started to realize that your fursiblings are of entertainment value; for the first few months, they didn’t register with you at all.

Since we don’t have dogs at home, Daddy and I have been thoughtful about exposing you to our friends’ pups, as we don’t want you developing fears of any types of four-legged companions. A couple of weeks ago at your friend Anthony’s house, after Anthony had already gone to bed but you were refusing to do the same, your Uncle Mikey sat you on his lap and played fetch with their dog Roxy. Every time Roxy would retrieve her toy and bring it back to you, you’d squeal with glee. Oh, how it made our hearts dance!

So this past weekend, we took you over to your Aunt Catherine’s house for lunch. You sat in your high chair and made mash out of sweet potatoes, and when we were all done eating, you snuggled on the couch with her puppy, Louie. He was so very patient with you, and you licked him about as much as he licked you. At one point, you lay down together like two peas in a pod, and you rested your hand so sweetly on his back. It was all going superbly until you snatched up one of his ears and didn’t let go when he tried to walk away. We’re now working on “gentle.”

Mimi stayed with you three full days this week, filling in while Nonna was out of town. It was so nice for you to have that intensive time with her and with Bee Bee, who was with you on Sunday and Wednesday. Mimi said you were an angel. Obie was less of one; he peed on your activity mat for the first time ever, and it required us taking apart the rubber play mat beneath it (which breaks down into about a million fist-sized chunks of foam) and soaking it in the bathtub. We weren’t smart enough to prevent it from happening again, so he peed on it the next night, too. Well, we learned our lesson: The activity mat stays off the floor when you’re not using it, and you’ve nearly outgrown it, anyway.

All of this moving things around in the living room–and the fact that you’re growing at lightning speed–has led to some changes. You love your big-boy stroller, especially now that we’ve outfitted it with the cozy cocoon of a BundleMe (we got the large size, which goes up to 3 years old, so you have some room to grow into it), and you’ve nearly flipped yourself out of your baby bathtub a couple of times. Now we’re thinking of packing up the Pack N Play that has served us so well; it was set up for you before you came home from the hospital, and it’s been there ever since. You’ve made excellent use of it, but we’re now mostly using it for the attached changing pad, which you outgrew long ago. You have to bring your knees up to your chest to fit in it anymore.

In less than two weeks now, you’ll be six months old. That big number is staring me in the face and scaring me; I feel like time has gotten away from me, and try as I might, I can’t make it slow down. You tried feeding yourself avocado this past week, and while it was hard for you to grasp because it kept slipping up and out of your hand, you didn’t seem to mind it too much. It’s definitely not your favorite, though. That honor goes to oatmeal, which you take by spoon (as if you’ve been doing it your entire life), followed closely by sweet potato.

Today, in honor of Valentine’s Day, you’ll get to try banana. Sweets for my sweet. You’ll also try water from a cup; we bought you a special training cup with a cutout for your nose. You took a spoon so well, even on the first go, that I have high hopes for the cup. We’ll see.

Happy Valentine’s Day! My heart has grown bigger than I ever thought possible because of you. I love you so very, very, very much–so much more than a bushel and a peck.

This Week in Guppy Growth

  • You are sitting up on my lap without any support at all. Amazing. When I put you on the floor to sit, though, you still kind of slump to one side.
  • You received your first passport. You’re well on your way to becoming a seasoned world traveler with a bad case of wanderlust, just like your parents.

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