A Letter: Seventeen Months

Dear Hadley,
Today you are seventeen months old. And today also happens to be Easter so it was a very busy day at the Bateman household! We hosted Easter Brunch and some of our family and friends came to spend the day with us. It was funny because a few people who don’t see you very often kept commenting on what a little person you are becoming, what with all the walking and talking (or rather, attempting to talk) you are doing. It just seems like you are growing up so fast all of a sudden.

This weekend you went on your very first Easter egg hunt. You and Ana have been hiding plastic eggs around our house and collecting them in baskets since we got the Easter decorations out, so your Dad and I were pretty confident you had this whole thing figured out. Sure enough, we set you down at the park and you beelined for an egg, picked it up, and put it in your basket. You were a natural.

This month your language has really taken off. I think you are up to about 25 words now. Since you have been attempting to communicated more and more we decided it was time to start working on your manners. You picked up on it right away and (with some mild prompting) you happily say “pees” and “tay oo.”

As your language is expanding, it’s interesting to see which words you are able to learn. You can now say “poop” and “butt” which your sister (and, who are we kidding, your father) find hilarious. One day you started saying them with such intensity, I thought maybe you wanted to do something about it. I asked if you wanted to go potty, you nodded, and headed for the bathroom. I was thinking “could potty training the second child really be THIS easy?” I took you in and you sat…and sat…and sat. Eventually I’m sure your bottom started to hurt, so I finally took you off. But that began your obsession with the potty. So I dug out the Baby Bjorn potty chair and you LOVE to sit on it. And rip off toilet paper and put it directly into the bowl. I am pretty sure all you think we do on the toilet is fill it with toilet paper.

Near the end of March, just before Spring Break, we had some crazy weather and it actually snowed enough here that school was canceled. We dressed you girls in your snow clothes and headed outside to play before it all melted away. You have been in the snow before, but this time you were mobile and got to walk around and really check it out. I handed you a little snow ball to play with and you instantly started to eat it (don’t worry! It was clean!). You made a series of silly faces… and then WENT BACK FOR MORE. You were hooked.

A day after the snow melted, the sun came out and it got warm, so as Oregonians we were obligated to get outside and play! Our driveway is a little steep and you weren’t sure how to get down to the flat cul-de-sac where your sister was busy learning to ride her bike. You couldn’t walk down without falling, but it wasn’t such a drop off that you’d need to go backwards on your tummy (like you do on the stairs). So, being the little thinker you are, you compromised, and scooted down the driveway on your butt! You were quite proud of yourself too.

You are still wildly obsessed with shoes. You are always trying on our shoes and walking around in any shoes you can step into. Boots are your new favorite because you can actually get them on your feet by yourself. Ironically enough, you spend most of the time we are at home trying to put on shoes, yet the second we get in the car (or the stroller) the first thing you do is pull off your socks and shoes. You, Hadley, are quite the enigma.

Your mobility is a blessing but it can also be a curse. Now that you know you can get around on your own you always want to get down and GO. Sometimes it’s not safe or convenient for you to be down so you are constantly telling me, “Walk! Walk!” and trying to wriggle out of my arms. I understand that you want to get down, so whenever I can, I let you walk on your own and explore the world around you.

As your coordination is progressing, we have started letting you use utensils with your meals. You love when we hand you a spoon or a fork with your food. You always give us this look of excited trepidation like, “Really? Are you going to let me use this? COOL.” Sure, it makes meal exponentially messier, but I figure you have to learn somehow.

Dolls are, hands down, your favorite thing to play with right now. You are such a little mama. I love seeing you cuddle and feed your babies. Whenever I see you going near the dolls I often find myself stopping whatever I am doing to see what you are going to do next. I see you cover them with blankets, give them bottles, and feed them. And it just warms my heart.

I often find myself hovering a step away as you bravely explore new parks or play structures. I know it can be frustrating for both of us having to be in such close proximity to one another, but I know that in no time at all you won’t need me to be so close. So for now, I will just treasure those amazing moments when you reach out and put your hand in mine.

All my love,