You turned nineteen months old yesterday. Wow, what a difference a month makes! I feel like the last few weeks we have really had a break through in communication. You are trying to copy the things we say and if you can’t actually articulate the words yet, you mimicking the cadence of our speech. And what you can’t communicate verbally, you show us. You are constantly grabbing my hand to drag me over to the item you want. Or you say, “Mama!” and then pat the couch next to you to show me that you want me to sit down. No, not in the chair over there. RIGHT HERE. And so I sit. Because I will happily reinforce any communications you are willing to attempt.
Along with your ever expanding vocabulary, you are also increasing your independence. Understandably, you want to try to do things on your own. You can’t say it in so many words yet, but you get very upset and firmly say, “No!” when we try to help you. So whenever time allows, I let you struggle and figure things out for yourself. Sometimes your shoes end up on the wrong feet, or your vest ends up around your legs (or on backwards), but you did it on your own and that is all that really matters.
You are still wildly obsessed with shoes. If anyone has taken off their shoes for any reason you promptly sit down and remove your own shoes (and the majority of the time your socks as well) and immediately put on the unattended shoes. You then proceed to shuffle around like a little old lady in house slippers, lifting your feet as little as possible, doing whatever you can to keep those shoes ON.
The other day Ana was playing with some of her old (and rather small) dress up shoes and it was like Christmas had come early! There were fancy shoes! And they were small! And you could keep them on easily! You did lap after lap around the living room, strutting your stuff in those little play shoes. Tyra would be so proud.
If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, Ana should be incredibly proud because you like to copy every little thing she does. You are like her mini blond haired, blue eyed shadow. If Ana picks up two sticks and starts banging them together, you quickly find two items to clank right along side her. If Ana is singing at the top of her lungs in the backseat of the car, you better believe you are chiming in as well. When Ana heads outside to ride her bike, you quickly come up to me, patting your head, saying, “he-mit?” I love to watch you two interact. From the moment when your eyes light up when you first hear her voice in the morning to the end of the day when you give her good-night kisses. I treasure the hundred heart-warming moments I have the pleasure of witnessing between you each day.
You are obsessed with animal. Real animals, animals in books, animal songs, pictures of animals, you name it. If it doesn’t have “moo” “quack” or “meow” sprinkled in there, we may as well just forget about it. We drive through farm land every weekend on the way to our favorite breakfast place, South Store Cafe. As soon as we round a certain corner, before you have even spotted a cow, you start mooo-ing in the backseat. I love that these things resonate with you, but I also love that we live in such an amazing place that so many varieties of animals are so accessible.
You are quite the little busy body. You are always quickly rushing off to do something, very rarely lingering in one place or sitting still. Whenever I am cooking dinner or putting away groceries you follow me around the kitchen closing each cabinet or drawer that I open. Sometimes, for example, when my hands are full, this can be very helpful. But the majority of the time you don’t even wait for me to be out of the fridge before you start trying to close the door on me. Apparently I don’t always move quick enough for your liking.
As the weather changes, we have been spending more and more time outdoors. You just love playing outside: riding bikes, swinging, coasting on the scooter, jumping on the trampoline, drawing with sidewalk chalk, or any number of the things we do during our precious sun breaks. I love watching you hold your own as you squeeze in between the “big kids” and just start playing. You aren’t afraid to try new things, and while my heart may not be ready to watch you hop on a skateboard and coast through the cul-de-sac, I have to admit that you stayed on longer than I could have!
Hadley, it has been such a wonderful month with you. I can’t even believe that we are on the downhill slide to you being two years old already. I just can’t say enough how quickly time passes and how I just want to find a way to bottle you up and keep you tiny forever. I love the way you waddle like a little duck, leaning back and leading with your round tummy. I love how you bring baby dolls, dangling limply from your tiny hand, with you where ever you go. I love that you alternate between calling me “Mama,” “Mommy,” and simply “Mom” when you are bored because you think it’s funny. I love the way you scrunch up your little nose and squint your eyes when you think I am taking your picture. I even love that despite that fact that you are going to stop doing every one of these things one day, that these are the things that make you who you are at this very moment and I wouldn’t change a thing.
All my love,