A Letter: Sixteen Months

Dear Hadley,
Today you are sixteen months old. And officially a walker. Like all you do is walk, all the time. Sure, you still fall. A LOT. And the more excited you get, the more you fall, but you practically refuse to crawl anymore. It took you awhile, but now that you can, and more importantly you know you can, you walk everywhere. It’s been so wonderful. On days like today, when it is sunny and warm, it’s so nice to be able to let you walk around outside. It’s like you equated walking with a new found sense of freedom and you know you can do so much more now.

You have such a wonderful, easy-going disposition. You are so mellow and relaxed that when you do occasionally get upset about something people are always commenting, “Wow! I think that’s the first time I have ever heard Hadley cry!” But rather than fussing or throwing a fit, you would much rather make people smile and laugh. You are such a ham and you make me smile a thousand times a day.

You recently started rubbing your hands together and at first I thought you had something on your hands or you discovered you could make a new sound, but we quickly realized you had made your own sign for washing your hands. Anytime anyone washes their hands or even mentions washing you start rubbing your hands together until someone helps you wash your hands too. I’d even dare to say you are a tad obsessed (and hoping your Mama’s mild ODC isn’t hereditary). The other day you discovered the bottle of hand sanitizer I keep on my diaper bag and you have been fascinated with this new form of “washing your hands” when we don’t have a sink handy. I keep catching you pretending to use it, and I gotta admit, I find it pretty hilarious.

Another thing you are obsessed with is dipping your food. You loooove to dip. You will dip everything into anything. Last night you happily dipped apple slices into ketchup. You are not particular. I’ve heard about children like this, but as Ana wasn’t a dipper, I never had to worry about it. But you are a whole different child. If you see us dipping any of our food, we better be prepared to get you some too. STAT.

You have officially reached what I like to refer to as the “copy cat” age. In other words, you like to mimic the things we do. I’ll grab a tissue to wipe your nose and you will quickly grab one to emulate the motion. You also like to reciprocate. If I am brushing your hair or washing your face, you like to return the favor and do the same thing for me. It’s incredibly sweet and gratifying to know you are so aware of all the things we do for you in your day to day life.

I think the copy cat behavior plays a huge role in your love for baby dolls. You are such a wonderful little mama. You are always carrying around a doll, pushing a baby in the stroller/shopping cart, or hugging your stuffed animals. It’s so cute to watching you pretend to spoon feed your babies when you can’t even spoon feed yourself yet!

You are starting to talk quite a bit more lately. You aren’t always easy to understand but there is generally some sort of commentary steadily coming from your vicinity. You have added several words to your vocabulary this last month: momo (more), beebee (baby), baybay (blankie), uh-oh, and sissy. There are few things more precious than when you hear Ana’s voice first thing in the morning. Your eyes light up, you squeal, “Sissy! SEESEEY!” and you take off to find her.

While you can often be a sweet little angel, you are still very much a curious, and often times mischievous, toddler. Case in point: you have recently started emptying your crib. Sometime you do this as a stall tactic before you fall asleep, other times you do it to entertain yourself once you have woken up. You like to toss everything out of your crib: pillows, stuffed animals, dolls, blankets. Once your crib is empty you will even start removing articles of clothing. Namely socks and shoes. For some reason, you like to throw all the items in front of your crib with one exception. You prefer to take your special lovey, your beloved blankie, and drop it behind the crib. The first time you did it, it took us forever to find it. I had no idea a blanket could even FIT down there. Now as soon as we walk in to your room you point to show us it’s back there. You little stinker.

Last week your dad took a quick trip to Bend and since you are quite the daddy’s girl, you were really struggling with having him be gone for two whole days. You kept pointing to the office and asking, “Dada?” Then as if I just wasn’t getting the message, you started pointing to every single picture of him and loudly stating, “DADA!” Finally your dad had a few minutes to chat so we used FaceTime on our iPhones. You could not have been more delighted. You kept squealing with glee and trying to kiss the phone. In fact, you even accidentally hung up on him a couple times in your excitement. But it was adorable and I know it meant the world to your father.

Hadley, I know I keep saying this, but you are just such a wonderful little girl. You are growing up so quickly and I can’t even believe the things you are able to do that you couldn’t do just one month ago. I love watching you learn and change. These moments in your childhood are so brief that I hope you don’t mind if I just pick you up, hold you close, and savor these fleeting moments.

All my love,