This is a month of seconds for us. We’re celebrating Hannah’s second Christmas and reliving all the delights of having a brand new baby with Audrey. Both girls hit big milestones this month with Hannah turning 18 months and Audrey turning 4 months. I’m usually so focused on Hannah’s new skills that I often overlook how quickly Audrey is becoming aware and capable in our playful home.
Hannah has always been a little chatterbox, but now her communication is exploding. She is mixing words, signs, and songs into a delightful language. I’m offering as much as I can on the subject while she heartily absorbs everything I say. The words that she recognizes best have multiple associations. For instance, the animal sounds match with their names and pictures. She’s starting to use the words that go along with her signs, too. Even though she’s generally impatient about getting food or drinks, she is conscious about saying please so I oblige.
Our family names are also frequent topics of discussion. It makes me swoon when she proclaims, “Dada, Mama, Rara” before bed even if Dada does always come first. When 5 PM hits and we’ve read her favorite book five times and I run out of things to talk about, the three of us sit on the couch while I tell the girls I love them. It’s a total cheesefest, but it warms my heart. You would be surprised how quickly it passes those last minutes before Dada gets home to talk about all the combinations of our family love. (Mama loves Rara, Hannah loves Rara, etc.)
As much as I enjoy hearing everything that Hannah has to say, the topic that truly lets me know I’m on the right track as a Mother is the way she talks about herself. She says her name with a smile and brings it up when we’re talking about having fun. She also says “Han Nah” when I’m doting on Audrey, not out of jealousy, but to recognize that the way I feel about her sister is the way I feel for her.
While we read our books, play with puzzles and stretch across the floor, Audrey still comes along for the ride in her carrier. She’s spending more and more time awake these days. Plus, she eagerly plays on the floor or sits with me to watch Hannah. She is such a complacent and happy baby that I often marvel at how lucky I am that she came second.
Even though I haven’t shopped for Christmas gifts or had a moment to myself in almost two years, I wouldn’t change a thing. For the second time in my life, I feel like everything has come together to form a wonderful path to follow into the future.