When Did This Happen?

Hazel has a few words (Mommy, Daddy, tickle, baby, ball, eat, apple, book, and I think a few others). She’s also gotten to the stage where she has more sophisticated wants than she has vocabulary for, and she hasn’t quite mastered pointing. It’s frustrating for everyone; I’ve been trying to introduce sign language (we have got milk and eat down for that), but it’s still a frustrating time.

At the same time, she is delightful. She has more personality than her size would imply. She’s her own little person, through and through. She’s feisty, independent, and loving. This little girl loves! She loves the cats–even The Beast, who is kind of unlovable. She sees the cats, points, smiles and looks ridiculously happy. She’s very gentle with them (for the most part), and approaches them gently and slowly. It’s like she has an instinct for it. And she’s incredibly sweet with her stuffed animals. She’ll pick one up and carry it around all day, and smile at it. She’ll hug it tight and make it give her kisses, and then is delighted with the kisses she just got.

She has a favorite book–Fifteen Animals by Sandra Boynton. I read it to her every time she gets into bed, and she holds the book while she sleeps.

She loves Oliver. They adore each other. They sit in the back of the car and have conversations. Oliver will ask Hazel questions, and then say, “Yes or no, Hazel? Yes or no?”. Hazel will nod or shake her head, and Oliver will take it very seriously. They listen to each other.

Oliver becomes more and more of a total character. First, he can remember everything. Once, about a year ago (when he was just-turned-two), I picked Conner up from Army (heehee!), and we had to wait awhile for him to be ready. We got out of the car and one of the other infantry guys brought out a ball for Oliver to play with. This weekend, when we were there, Oliver asked if he could look for that man with the yellow ball. How can he remember that?!

He also has this amazing imagination. He has started playing pretend games, and is very elaborate with what is going on. Things often get stuck in the mud (I don’t know why, but that’s been an ongoing theme in his imagination since last summer). Today, a dragon got stuck in the mud and Oliver couldn’t get him out! I offered to help, and proceeded to attempt to pull the dragon out with all of my might, but my attempt was foiled! The mud was too thick! So Oliver found a hero who saved the dragon from the mud and they were friends.

He also talks a lot about his “work-job”. When we tell him to do something, his response is likely to be, “But first…” Often, first he has to go to his work-job. When caught picking his nose, he has explained to our nanny that picking his nose is his work-job. And when prodded further, declared that Hazel is his boss at his work-job, and makes him pick his nose. And pays him $1 for it.

So, when did this happen? When did my kids stop being babies and start being these intelligent, imaginative, loving, really cool people?

Also, just for kicks: