I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but this age really *is* my favourite. The last month with Benjamin has been an absolute joy, and I've gone from not really enjoying maternity leave to absolutely loving it. We're in a real sweet spot where Ben has a real little personality but can't yet move, and isn't yet in the tantrum stage - will parenting ever be so easy again? He's really becoming my little pal, and as he gets more robust and (slightly) less needy, everything is just getting easier and more fun. I am always aware that there are more challenges on the horizon (hello, eight month sleep regression!) but there's no point dwelling on what *could* happen when you could just be relaxing and enjoying the stage you're in.
That's not to say everything is sunshine and roses; having a baby is never easy but in comparison to those first few months, right now feels like a breeze. He's so interested in everything, and he smiles the biggest smile when he sees people he knows. He loves practising standing up (far more than practising crawling...) and stares at Tuna every time she's in the same room. Our Nest thermostat catches his eye whenever we walk past, and he loves scrolling it round. He's started 'playing' in the bath and loves when we dance together. He has even slept through the night a couple of times, which sounds like a good thing but I wake up at his usual time and then spend the next couple of hours laying awake, so I'm not getting any extra sleep! Basically, he's just a total dreamboat and I am completely convinced that he's the best baby of all time (and I won't let you tell me otherwise!).
Weaning has been one of the biggest challenges yet, and although Benjamin has taken to food with gusto (he often gathers everything on his high chair into one pile and tries to shove the whole lot in his mouth at once!), I have found it quite stressful to ensure he's getting what he needs (especially on the hydration front). As such, we've had a lot slower days at home so we can cook and eat at our leisure. I've also stopped trying to put Benjamin down for naps, which just wasn't working for either of us, and have just been embracing the chilled out time on the sofa three times a day where I can read a book or watch some TV whilst he sleeps on me. I'm sure nursery won't thank me for it when they're struggling with him, but that is a hurdle we can overcome in the future.
Seven months has gone by in a flash, and I keep expecting to blink and find that I have a teenager living in my house. No truer words have ever been said than 'the days are long, but the years are short'. Seven months where I've thought of him every other minute. Seven months without a full night's sleep. Seven months of feeling like a packhorse every time we leave the house. Seven months of Googling every conceivable parenting question. Seven months of cuddles and kisses and soft baby skin. Parenthood is wild, and I'm glad we're along for the ride.