Happy Birthday, Hadley!

Dear Haddie,

Today, you turn 2 and Mommy simply can’t believe how fast this year has gone (as opposed to the looong time it took to reach milestone #1). Overall, you are a delight and beloved by all your family and friends. In the past few months, you have grown in leaps and bounds from a baby to a little girl with a zest for life. One observant lady at church commented, “That Hadley sure has a vivacious little personality, doesn’t she?” Oh, if only she knew!

Daddy and I have decided one of the reasons why you cried the first year of your life is because you couldn’t talk. But ever since your first word “Hi!” (social being that you are), followed by “Ajax” (the neighbor’s dog; nice to know where Mommy and Daddy stand on the food chain), you have been diligently attempting to mangle the human language. You love to play hike-and-seek with Daddy, which is always followed by the grand announcement “Dare [there] he is!” You have also figured out how to manipulate Mommy by prolonging nighttime with the assertion, “No, snuggles FIRST!” knowing that Mommy is, indeed a sucker for snuggles and would never turn them down.

Sing, Sing a Song
Your good friend Barney allegedly taught you to count to 10 a few weeks ago. You are also coming along nicely with the alphabet song, which usually takes us about 15 minutes to get through because at the end when it comes time to sing “Won’t you come and sing with Haddie…” you need to go through the list of everyone you know. After all, they would be sooo remiss if they were excluded from singing your alphabet song with you.

You are also a child prodigy when it comes to dancing and singing at story-time on Mondays. Your favorites include “Shake your sillies out” and “Twinkle, Twinkle little star,” the latter of which you know almost all the words. The other children watch you in awe and just to be nice, you often go over and help them by forcing them to do the actions. Because they’re obviously too stupid to figure it out for themselves.

Your very favorite song is “I’m so glad when Daddy comes home!” While Mommy sings, you act out the actions when he walks through the door: you clap, shout for joy, climb upon his knee, put your arms around his neck, pat his cheek and kiss him. You do it all so well, except for that one time when it came time to pat his cheek and you gave him a left hook, followed by your proclamation “Uh oh! No hit!” You’ve done much better since we schooled you on how to pat. Softly.

Toy Story
Besides playing with balls, your favorite activity is making messes and dumping things on the ground because you know your Beluga Whale Mommy can’t bend over to pick it up. Mommy has tried to make cleaning fun by a perky little song “Clean up, clean up!” but you’re not fooled (though you usually go along with it while plotting your next path of destruction.) Despite your failings with keeping a clean house, you love to help Daddy in the yard with your little watering can and often grunt like he does when moving rocks and dirt around.

You’re not really into dolls but adore all your stuffed animals (Hoppy, Cocoa, Piggy, Ducky and your dogs, Spike and Lily), the latter two being your best buddies. You love all the neighborhood dogs as well but your favorite of all is Uncle Chris’ dog, Kita. The very same non-personality, introverted moody dog that Mommy and Daddy can’t stand. You know, the one that runs away every time you come through the door. Somehow despite her obvious disdain for you, she is your favoritestestest thing in this world, surpassing even Grandma.

Sibling Revelry
You are very excited to be a big sister and accept it with perfect faith that somehow your baby brother is growing in Mommy’s tummy. Sometimes you like to lift up Mommy’s shirt to talk to him but always make sure to quickly cover it up because it is rather unsightly! You often talk about the fun things you’ll do with your brother, including his position in the Family Snuggle Chain in Mommy and Daddy’s bed.

Fun on the Run
One of our favorite things about you is your gregarious, adventurous personality. While many of your best friends are more dependent and clingy, you delve into every situation with bravado, rarely exhibiting shyness or fear. You love tackling the playground and everything about our weekly visits to “[gym]nastics.” Mommy has taken you hiking since you were six weeks old and these days, you’re the intrepid hiker who drags Mommy up the mountain.

We are so happy with the beautiful little girl you are and for the special role you play in making us a family. A few weeks ago as we snuggled before nap-time, I gazed into your hazel eyes for a very long time. You looked so peaceful, trusting and innocent as you reached out to hug me, a moment that simply reduced me to tears. I was overwhelmed by a perfect love I never knew could exist and was so grateful for the light you are in our lives.

And then you woke up in the worst mood ever and threw tantrums for the rest of the day.

And so Happy Birthday my precious Hadley. And welcome to the Terrible 2s….

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