Today Zoe is five months old! I can't believe how fast it has all gone. Yesterday I took some pictures of her at five months. It was fifty degrees outside (pretty much  like spring/summer in Chicago!) and I had just gotten this crazy pink tu-tu in the  mail. Its called a "Ruffle butt" which seems entirely appropriate, considering. She had no idea why she was sitting outside on the cold concrete, staring at the snow without her snow-suit on. Its hard to get cute pictures in the winter time, so I had to take advantage of this day.

In another month or so, we have to go back to the Pediatrician. I am dreading it because I can't lie about how I am still letting Zoe get whatever she wants at night. Let's face it, I let her get whatever she wants most of the time. You see, she still wakes up twice a night! She is so used to getting a nice, warm cup of milk, that she has become quite the midnight snacker. And, well, I just can't bear to let her cry. Not to mention, we are living in Chris' parents' house right now. If Zoe wakes up in the middle of the night and lets out a wail, we all suffer.

The Pediatrician is hard enough to face already. I have to mentally coach myself to answer her questions that roll at me faster than an oncoming train:
 "How many times does she poop a day?""How many times does she eat?""How many times does she do tummy time?"
"Does she roll over?""How many times does she smile a day?" "Does she like ___?": "Does she ______?" "How much does she _______?" "Do you ______?"
All within the span of 10 minutes.
 Plus, I don't always know what the correct answer is! Sometimes I'm wrong, and I get a litany of reasons as to why she should be doing tummy time more often, why I should stop picking her up at night when she cries for the second time...etc.  Last time I learned I was supposed to start reading to her at 4 months ! Ummm...yeah. She tries to eat the book. ( In my defense, I mumbled something about early childhood and how I was a first grade teacher and how I knew the importance of reading)
Okay, so It's not that bad.  But it is!
The first pediatrician we went to see was much older (like 70's old). I could tell that she thought that Chris and I were very young. I know that I come across as being only a teenager. I think she literally looked me up and down. I being appraised--like a car--and found wanting. Before she even asked me, I blurted out:

"I'm twenty-three, this is my husband, we are MARRIED. We went to college, we are/were teachers.Yeah, it was a surprise to have a baby, but we LOVE it. We LOVE having a baby. We are just so enamored with her. See?"
 I proceeded to make gooshy faces at Zoe (to a stone-faced baby that couldn't smile at 2 months old to save her life.)

Since then, the Pediatrician relationship has been rocky. Let's just say, she didn't like my brilliant idea not to get a Hepatitis B shot ( I had done some research, heard some things). She "shot" that one down pretty quick. (I stuck to my guns...sputtering all the way).

So now, every time we go to the Pediatrician, I come armed. I spend about an hour getting ready:
Does Zoe have a hat? check.
Does Zoe have a clean diaper? check.
Did Zoe have a bath today? check.
Have we done tummy time? check.
Does Zoe have a pacifier?
Does she look awesome?
Is her hair combed?
Are her fingernails clipped?
Do I look older than 16?
Did I dress up like a professional? check.
Do I look like an AWESOME mother? (or at least good?).

Its kind of like bringing your prize "pumpkin" to the fair. (Have I ever done this? No. But for the sake of a bad metaphor)
I'm being judged, as a farmer. Zoe is being judged as the pumpkin.She gets poked and prodded. She gets weighed. Finally they tell you the results:
"The only thing that is average about her is her height" ( aha, I knew my daughter was above average!)
"She is in the 94th percentile for weight. For head size: at first, I was worried wondering if her head had suddenly become large, but it looks like she has had a big head from the beginning!"
So, my pumpkin is the fattest and has the widest circumference.

HA. I knew I was doing something right.