Tuesday, September 21, 2010

dear Hazel: Month 5

Dear Hazel,

Five months have flown by, and I can hardly believe how far you've come. One thing I know for sure: I have fallen Totally and Completely in love with my little bitty tiger cub. Hazel Amazel continues to astound!

So let's see:

The first week of this month, you started doing something that I found quite endearing and silly. You have all the skills necessary to crawl - you know, the strength, being able to push up, balance yourself, a modicum of coordination, knowing what limbs are involved, etc. - but you seem very resistant to the idea of crawling. Why? My guess is that it is because crawling doesn't involve walking, which is your favorite thing ever, and how you KNOW people are supposed to get around. So, starting that first week of this month, whenever we put you into a crawling position, you end up sticking your feet on the floor, which results in your cute little bum sticking up in the air in a perfect downward dog position, and you inevitably hang out there, attempting to lift your upper body so you can stand up and walk, until you ultimately topple over sideways.

But that doesn't seem to be holding you back that much. By september you had figured out how to roll in every possible direction, and that was followed quickly by your canny little self putting this skill to good use, employing it as a form of locomotion.

You'll set your sites on some goal or other, and then roll across the room to get to it. just tumble tumble tumble, and there you go. Of course, you don't really do much once you've reached the destination, given that you haven't figured out how to get from you back to a sitting position yet, and you inevitably end laying on your back in whatever spot it is you've chosen.

Actually, other than the brief moments you pass through as you roll from point A to point B, you spend almost NO time on your tummy. Like seriously. I'm getting kind of frustrated with how consistently you stick your butt in the air and roll over to your back, because you do it EVERY TIME I put you tummy side down. Without fail. At this rate you really are just gonna skip the crawling bit, because you NEVER stay on your stomach (or hands & knees, etc) for more than, oh, say, about a 10th of a second.

You even try to get up to walk to retrieve objects just out of your reach, rather than leaning over and being almost in something that resembles a (Gasp!) crawling position.

You do, however, sit up just fine now - you can't get there on your own, but if we put you into a sitting position you'll hang out there indefinitely, unless someone makes you look up too far, in which case the weight of your head proves too much for your poor top heavy body, and you topple backwards...but this is becoming increasingly rare.

We've had a few Big New Life things this month...we've started integrating the subway into our travels, though we still opt for the bus when time permits, since we don't want to overwhelm your poor little ears, but the faster transport allowed by this has been...kind of earth shattering, at least for me. It kind of makes New York feel like an entirely different city, and I can feel the possibilities - for all of us - yawning up at us. It's pretty amazing.


You basically chose your own first food - and established your readiness for it beyond a shadow of a doubt - pretty early on by stealing some of your sister's avocado. So, we went ahead and mashed some up really well, and voila, you became a bona-fide consumer of solid food! You seemed to genuinely enjoy it, so much so that we actually had to cut you off during that first meal for fear of overwhleming your poor little digestive tract, but you seem to very much enjoy getting to eat like the rest of us do at mealtimes now. So. Much. Happy. (and so big already! ahhh!!)

Oh, and how's this for precocious behavior, kid? You've taken to trying to change your own diaper. I have to be even more on my game lately than I would normally be, because you've evidently discovered the relationship between big poops and the removal of the soiled diaper...while you know how to take off your diaper, you almost never do it. If your diaper is clean, you don't seem to mind its presence and don't bother it. If you've have a large bowel movement, however, you begin the removal process as soon as you're done. I am both proud of your intelligence and ingenuity, and dismayed at the level of inadvertent mess-stress this particular behavior causes me. I love you, Hazel Rose.

You have other little personality quirks that are beginning to show up more and more...like how you now roar at your toy tiger...like, seriously, lean forward, focus all your energy on it, stare-it-down and throw your whole body into it roaring, right at the tiger...SO MUCH LIFE!

You've also discovered blowing raspberries, and so, of course, everything in every aspect of all four of our lives has become glittered with raspberries. There is no other way to put it.

These days, you are standing so well we barely even need to hold on-even just having our hands hovering by your hips is enough support for you -you've got some strong gams and a solid core, m'lady, and you're just itching to strike out on your own.

And that will come, all in good time. Already, you're picking up on behaviors we teach you -intentionally or not - and making them your own. For instance, the classic baby game "how big is Hazel? Soooooo Big!" has been a favorite, but now you actually throw your arms up in the air on your own, even if someone just says the phrase "so big" in a completely unrelated context. And you look so pleased with yourself whenever you do it, too.

And now you can recognize the wrap! We go out and about often enough that you now know what the wrap means. Its really kind of cool...I usually put you in the bouncer while I get everything ready to go - including putting on my shoes and such - and you will quite often get worried and fussy, and I think you're afraid I'm going to leave without you (which is silly...I never have, save one or two five minute trips to the grocery store across the street while you and Cadence played with Baba) but you always stop crying as soon as I pull out the wrap, and you watch intently while I put it on, and then start to get wiggly-excited as I move to pick you up and put you in it, its really genuinely exciting. Every trip is a grand adventure in your eyes, and you love being included in them...and that, pretty lady, is absolutely wonderful. Because you know what, little Hazelnut? I absolutely love having your company in every minute thing I do each day.

Thank you for being a part of my life, little bitty wonderful. I adore watching you grow, and getting to cuddle with my sweetheart little tiger cub. You're growing up so fast, it almost hurts - but I am immensely proud of you, and so grateful to be here for you in each passing moment. Here's to many more adventures, my little Hazel Rose, with kisses to your Hazel Rose nose and your Hazel Rose toes. (and everything in between, and the top of your head, too!)

Love Always,

recognizing the wrap!