Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hattie: 18-ish months

Oh my, Hattie.  How you've grown up since you turned one.  Or maybe it started with when you began walking.  I can't quite pinpoint when exactly it was that you broke out of your shell...but you are out and you are a sweet spunky little girler (as you are affectionately known around here--pretty creative nickname for our little girl:).
It's not hard for an onlooker to figure out who you would call your best friend.  You spend every waking minute following Griffy around, imitating him, antagonizing him, laughing at him and making him laugh.  
 I was looking forward to our time together when Griffin started preschool, but you are lost without him.  We have to plan something away from our house because being at our house without him is just weird for you.
 For a few months after you started walking, you carried the evidence of your ever increasing independence...usually on one or both sides of your forehead.
You have a deep and endearing love for animals.  For your first love Cooper, and all of the animals you haven't met yet.  Some of your favorites are ponies, kitties, bears and birds.  Any books about animals are your favorites and you mastered your animals sounds long before the other words you learned.  You are talking more and more everyday...lots of "yes" and "no," but an every increasing vocabulary that I understand far more than anyone else.  You love to babble in your own little language and we just nod right along with you.
Even though you have started stretching your boundaries and straying further out into the world, you still have one arm wrapped around your mamma.  I am your comfort zone, and though it poses a hassle to me in some social situations...I love it.  You get nervous around new people, especially elderly people and when you see someone coming toward us, you start patting my back as if to continuously check that I'm still there, still holding you.  I am.  Always.
One of your favorite activities while I'm feeding Archie (and am a sitting duck who can't play, wipe your nose, or reach a toy) is to "call dada."  You grab my phone and start pretending and I ask "who are you calling?"  100% of the time, you say, "dada."  Then we actually call dada and we all just pretend to have a clue what you are saying, but you certainly have some things to tell your daddy on the phone, and I love that.  PS- you called for dada after naps for the first time, and I'm pretty sure that as if you didn't already, you surely now have him wrapped around your little finger.  And boy is he crazy about you. 

 In addition to loving animals...
...you also love trains, babies, and snacks.  Oh, how you love snacks.  And it's not like you don't eat your meals.  You eat everything...and I love it.  The best compliment I get as chef is you, devouring everything.
This stage in your life was unique in that you became a big sister.  You are still our baby girl, but now you are a big sister and you already love on Archie in the only way you've been taught to love on your baby sibling.  You love to "hold you," whenever I am holding him (for just a few seconds before you are "all done"), you kiss him all the time (probably how he got his first cold), you are always trying to give him his "da" and it makes you very anxious when he cries (which thankfully is not very often). 
Hattie, Archie is so blessed to have you as a big sister.  When you were born and I saw the love Griffin had immediately for you, my heart exploded.  And it exploded again witnessing your instantaneous love for your baby brother. 
As I said, you are in such an interesting development phase.  You are so much more independent and wanting to try things all by yourself, but yet you are still so dependent on us.  You can do so many things by yourself, it's amazing.  You feed yourself, with utensils.  (Griffin is just learning to do this as a 3 year old:).  You drink from a cup, you can sit on a chair and eat dinner.  You play by yourself, you read books, you get me a diaper and lay down for diaper changes.  Such a little helper you are.
I love your sense of caution in the midst of curiosity.  This trait will serve you well.  Having a baby is so much easier because I can count on you to check in with me.  You are not one to wander away, run away or get lost.  You are like a little herding sheep dog.  You go out, check things out and then check back.  Then go a little farther, and right back.

Another amazing quality I see in you is your empathy.  You have a very strong sense of how the people around you are feeling.  When Griffin and or Archie cries, you cry.  Or you come tell me that Archie is "cry....cry..." in your very concerned face.  I love seeing how your heart feels and connects with your brothers.  The same is true of their happiness.  You are a sucker for Griffin's laugh.  But so are we all.
Did I mention that you follow Griffin, EVERYWHERE.  You copy EVERYTHING he does.

Your daddy and I are often in awe of the two of you. Of your relationship with each other, and how you two have shaped each other.  I don't even like to consider who you would be if not for him and vice versa.  And while you copy most things he does, you have found ways to make him laugh and copy you.  He knows he isn't supposed to "splash big" in bathtub.  But, he also knows I know you don't know better, yet.  Just last night, I hear him say to you quietly, "Hattie, do you want to splash? Splash, Hattie!"  And moments later he's roaring with laughter. 

When we get you all tucked in for bed, with your pinky, bluey and da....we say "I love you," and you point your finger back to us, waiting for us to point our finger back to you, to touch fingers in the sweetest little non-verbal, "I love you," that's all of your own invention.  We go back and forth while leaving your room, "You."  "You."  "You."  "You." 
On one especially tired night, you were almost asleep by the time you hit the pillow (or the corner of the crib that you love to snuggle up in), and I said, "I love you," but I figured you were so tired I started to leave...and I took one last look at you and though your eyes were closed, head buried, you lifted up your little pointer finger to tell me you loved me too. 
You, Hattie.  You.

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