When I was five weeks pregnant with Hazel, an ultrasound revealed no heartbeat and haemorrhaging; the doctor explained that it looked as though I was probably having another miscarriage. I was told to return the following day for a confirmation ultrasound and to plan for whatever came next. The next afternoon, the sonographer exclaimed, “There’s a heartbeat!” and I promptly burst into profoundly shocked/relieved/confused/disbelieving tears.
It may seem odd to start a birthday post with talk of blood and hospitals, but I mention it because every now and then I catch myself watching Hazel and marvelling at the fact it was her tiny, hopeful heartbeat that astonished me way back in 2012. She’s HERE! She MADE IT! I’m amazed by her aliveness in a way I haven’t been with Moses (who contentedly set up camp in my uterus and fooled me into thinking that staying pregnant was an easy task for me to accomplish).
This is Hazel starting out her year as a 1 year old:
|(Lots of fun, but only one game.)|
Earlier this week I measured Hazel’s height against our height-recording bookshelf, and after drawing the line and pulling away the book (which had been resting on Hazel’s head [this is a completely foolproof process]), I noticed this:
cool! Okay, maybe only for me.
cool! Okay, maybe only for me.
Two-year-old Hazel hasn’t changed much from 16-month-old Hazel or 19-month-old Hazel: she still loves dandelions, she’s still affectionate and fun, and she still loves puzzles and drawing (on both paper and non-paper surfaces). On top of this she’s added some new talents, such as climbing, running, asking questions, catching a ball, and losing texta lids. She’s confident, cheeky, observant, easy-going, patient, playful, curious, and a joy to hang out with.
Hazel loves dancing (most frequently requested: Shake it Off by Taylor Swift). She loves playing with water, especially when bubbles are involved. She loves strawberries, and swinging at the park. She loves having her hand stamped at the library. She loves babies. She loves being helpful. She likes bows, goggles and sunglasses. She has approximately seven all-time-favourite tops to wear, which means every morning is the best time ever!!! because she gets to choose and put one on, and every evening is the worst time ever!!!!! because she has to take a beloved top off again. She does not understand the concept of “doing laundry,” and is always devastated (de.va.sta.ted) when one of her tops needs washing. She also refuses to wear jumpers over the top of whichever top she’s chosen (for that will cover them up, thus depriving the world of their splendour), and it takes some serious negotiating and/or an icy wind for her to let us rug her up without drama. She enjoys chasing birds, jumping in puddles, eating (cooked) carrots, patting dogs, and pooing in the bath. She does not like having her nails cut, getting undressed at bathtime, seeing one of her tops heading for the washing basket, or the fact that she is not allowed to eat dessert until she’s finished all of her dinner.
Hazel calls all male strangers “Michael.” When she and Mo are allowed to watch TV, Hazel throws up her arms in celebration and yells, “Tee bee!!!” before speeding to the couch (it’s both cute and concerning). Her favourite show is The Wiggles. Her favourite Wiggle is Emma. While watching, she and Mo sit as close together as possible and snuggle (I’ll provide photo evidence of this in Mo’s birthday post at the end of the month). Her favourite books are two Play School nursery rhyme books Mamachi gave her, which we’ve now read approximately 13 bazillion times, and Wibbly Pig Can Dance by Mick Inkpen. Hazel likes carefully putting things into bigger things (pencils into a box, sand into a bucket, blocks into a bag, Duplo into a saucepan, marbles into a container, etc.) and can spend long and happy chunks of time transferring each small thing to the bigger thing one at a time, and then transferring them out of the big thing once again. Her favourite game to play, however, is Shops.
Lately, when I’ve asked her how much my bananas will cost, she tells me, “Two weeks.”
Hazel is a teeny scientist. She’s fascinated by how things work. (We therefore freak out when we realise she’s been silent for a while, and we can’t see her.) Her favourite experiments are “I wonder what will happen if I pour this water here?” and “I wonder whether the wall would look more interesting if I scribbled on it with this particular texta?” Each of these tests has been performed rigorously, using various vessels, liquids, floors, textas and walls, with different results. She’s still oddly fascinated by eyeballs, and likes babies especially because they seem to be the only ones who mostly let her poke theirs. She also likes touching peoples’ ears. Sometimes, when everything’s a bit boring, she grabs a handful of Mo’s skin and twists it, just to see how loudly he’ll wail this time. The world is a very interesting place for Hazel. She is constantly asking, “Why?” (Even though her last vaccination was months ago, she still seems to be recovering from it. “Why needle?” she asks, repeatedly. Our explanations about protection and herd immunity seem to fall on deaf ears.) I popped into the room to sneakily take this photo of Hazel playing in the cubby house she and Mo had built, and it wasn’t until I was back in the kitchen and looking at my shot that I realised Hazel was so content in there because SHE’D TAKEN A GLASS OF WATER WITH HER:
By the time I’d dashed back to the room, she’d already dipped in both of Roary’s feet.
Apart from her random attacks on Mo (he’s regularly sporting a fresh scratch somewhere on his face), she is kind and empathetic. As we wander around in parks, shopping centres, and libraries, she notices and points out other kids who are crying (“Mummy! Baby, sad”), and seems to worry about them until they’re okay again or we walk out of earshot. If Mo’s upset, she’ll follow him into his room and sit with him while he cries. I once found Mo on his bed dolefully explaining the reason for his distress while Hazel patted his back and mirrored his sad facial expressions (it made me smile; I had to look the other way so that Mo wouldn’t misinterpret my amusement). Hazel’s often the one who’ll find a way to snap Mo out of his grumpiness; she has various ways of making him smile. (She also has various ways of making him frown.) She spends a lot of time observing and copying Mo (older and wiser! must learn ways!), and has recently started involving herself in stories he’s recounting by repeating – in whatever tone he’s using – the key words of whatever he’s telling us.
Mo: And then we saw a dog catch a stick!!!
H [excited]: Dog! Stick!
Mo: But then he fell into a hole and got stuck.
H [sad]: Hole. Stuck.
She also listens intently to, and makes sure she is included in, all of Mo’s negotiations so she doesn’t accidentally miss out on anything he may receive:
Mo: Can I please have two pieces?
H: Hazel! Two!
Mo: Can I actually have four pieces?
H: Hazel! Four!
Mo: Can I have a hundred pieces?
H: Hazel! Hunna!
This is what Hazel did when I asked her to show me her happy face:
This is what Hazel did when I asked her to show me her sad face (compare these with Mo at two):
This is what Hazel did when I asked her to show me her excited face:
And this is Hazel showing me her actual grumpy face (though I hadn’t asked to see it):
This is Hazel when she is overwhelmed (she regularly takes time outs face down on the floor):
|Not. Coping. Need. Moment.|
She’s very ticklish under her chin and under her arms (Mo discovered the latter in the bath not long ago). Deflating balloons also crack her up.
I’m not sure how to end this summary of Hazel at two; I feel like I could - or should - go on and on, in the hope that writing will somehow freeze Hazel at this age, unable to age until the post is done (that’s how it works, right?). Alas, the post is done, and Hazel will continue to grow up, probably far too quickly. She is already two. She will never be one again. *sniffles*
Hazel, Hazely-woo, Hazy-Belle, She-Who-Currently-Hath-No-Decent-Nickname: You are sooooooo loved. Happy birthday, my darling.