She’s finally six months! My Ivanna Liz is six months old.
SIX DIGIT. That’s what I call it. When leaving the hospital after delivery, your doctor quips, “Make sure you breastfeed exclusively for six months — no food for the baby.” When you get home, older mothers say, “Lazima ukule for six months ndio maziwa itoke.” (You must eat well for six months to have enough milk to breastfeed).
When you ask about the baby not sleeping through the night, the SIX DIGIT again shows up; “She will start sleeping when she’s six months old. Then she will be full — now that you’d have started weaning her…”
I say, ‘Little Ivana, Sofia’s baby, I want my shape back! Flat tummy, toned arms and all.’ The SIX DIGIT pops up again, “You have to wait for six months because you went through a C-section.”
So you go through the motions – which include baby clinics. There was this episode. “Next clinic ni ya (is) baby welfare. So we will just check the weight,” the nurse says on our way out of the clinic. I don’t know if it was how casually she said it, or my hectic shoots, the tones of events I organize, or that I don’t take the weighing seriously compared to the vaccines (because I never forget vaccines). It had slipped my mind. And no sooner was I back to the clinic than the nurse glanced up from the clinic book and said, “Mtoto hajafikisha (the child is not yet) six months and you are already skipping checkups?” Sure I was five days late and downright remorseful. But… did you use the digit six again?!
Well, the most exciting part about month six was weaning her. I remember calling my mum-in-law at Ivanna’s month-six day asking for recipes. I wanted her to feed on fresh natural foods – doing everything to avoid supermarket shelves. I wanted my baby to grow healthy. The other reason I fuss over her diet is because she has eczema and the doctor had cautioned that there were foods that worsened eczema. So her first meal was porridge and some pawpaw, and pumpkin (malenge) and she loved it! It was going to be great! And I was also going to start my toning up…
The other day I was having my tea in the morning and she grabbed my mug. I was like, “Who taught you that move?” You know when they grow and they start surprising you? Today this move, tomorrow that, the other day another one…. You see time speeding by; which also makes you a little scared – that she is growing so fast! You see yourself missing a number of things. Like, I love her size. I can hug her tight, bully her into giving me that priceless smile, the tiny fingers – she is just so CUTE! Selfish of me, I know….
Ivanna still wakes up at night, but we pray that she quickly learns the tact of resting when everybody else is. She is so much a part of me – I don’t know if I can leave without her. I would still go back and do Ivanna’s first SIX MONTH all over again!
I LOVE YOU MISS IVANNA LIZ.