Dear Wally Ben,

Happy 6 Months Old day! Time really has gone unbelievably fast, although it feels so long ago that we were meeting you for the first time. Your first six months were a wild adventure.

Your dad and I have had so much fun getting to know you, and we’re so grateful you have let us become parents by practicing on you. You have been a real sport about it! Together, we’ve muddled through learning to eat, nap, play, and we’re still learning how to sleep through the night. (But I am holding out hope that this 6 month marker is what will do the trick! Tonight, baby! 7 hours straight! You can do it!) Because of all the practice you’ve given us, any future brothers or sisters will have some very experienced parents!

Now, enough about us. Let’s talk about you. You are a good little boy! A few weeks ago, we took you to a restaurant for breakfast. I swear, if it were up to the servers and patrons in the restaurant, you’d be the next Olson twins! I walked out of the restaurant thinking we need to call an agent, stat! Move over Zak and Cody! Managers ignored their duties, servers stopped in their tracks, and customers didn’t finish their food, because they were distracted by the adorable, well-behaved baby hanging out with a teether on his mommy and daddy’s lap. Watch your backs, eTrade babies! Wally Ben is on his way to steal your careers and your fake moving mouths tricks from under you!

Okay, and not to go on about how cute you are (although as your mom, it’s my job), but you should know that right now your obvious best feature is your eyes. I can’t tell you how many times people get their first look at you, and without hesitation, they say, “Those eyes!” (Or at the local Butera, “Los ojos!”) Your dad says Daniel Craig eyes, but I’m hoping not, as I don’t want to witness all the broken hearts you’ll be dishing out. Your eyes are your most popular feature, but I love your cheeks. I love the soft smoosh of your cheek against mine when we are looking the same direction.

You are an active little fellow! If you are being held, you want to stand. And when you stand, you want to jump. And when you jump, you want to fly. Your favorite spot is in your jumparoo, and the happier you are, the more you jump. You don’t like to be in the same place very long. In fact, the other day I had you in your bouncy seat (which you wouldn’t lay back in any more…you had to sit up and lean forward in) and I turned my back for one second. I looked back and, even with your little bum strapped to the chair, you were leaning your top half of your body to the right, hands on the floor, like you were ready to crawl away and drag the chair with you. I am enjoying this non-mobile state because I have a feeling we’re in for a major adventure when you are really on the move.

You love to learn new skills, and like a true Ottenhoff, you like to practice that skill until you are the best at it, and then you move on to the next thing. First it was grabbing toys off of your playmat mobile, then rolling over, then spinning toys (you are an impressive spinner!), then screaming, then fake coughing (I swear you sound like an old man who’s smoked his whole life when you get to hacking). This morning you started fake laughing, which will be fun to hear the next few days (and incidentallty is a great skill you can use the rest of your life to make your future bosses, future girlfriends, and mommy feel funny).

You are extremely demanding. You let us know when you want or don’t want something. This will be the cause of a little strife around here in the future, I’m sure, but I am glad that you will be the type to be strong and stand up for yourself. I’m going to make it my goal not to take the fight out of you, but to mold it into a fruitful part of who you are.

You also are rather silly. You love to terrorize Buttercup when your dad helps you chase her around. You smile at mommy’s goofy voices when we read (like my turtle voice, “Try da bahsket,” which works instead of “Say cheese,” to get you to smile in pictures). When your dad turns you over to wash your back in the tub, you like to pass a little toot his way. I don’t know if you mean to be silly when you do this, but I love when you lean toward us, leading with your forehead, mouth open, like you’ve got a big fish kiss you are ready to plant on us but you can’t figure out how to get your forehead out of the way. And you change what makes you laugh every single day, but most of the time we can trust your daddy to figure out what’s funny to you that day. When you go to bed at night, your dad and I spend a lot of  time talking about the silly things you did that day.

So, Wally Ben, happy 6 months old day. Thank you for the first six months of our journey together, for all the joy you’ve let into our lives, and thank you most of all for making our little family a family. You are quite the little man, and we can’t wait to get to know you better!


Your Mommy and Daddy

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