Hannah at 19 months
It's been wonderful to spend so much time with Hannah over the last month (though I did miss her for the week I was in Edinburgh). There have been some great moments with her:
Hannah and animals: She adored Cocoa (my mum's tiny dog) and spent half her time chasing her to try and cuddle her. The photos of them cuddling are superb. She loved Alex (Andrea's parents' sheepdog) and spend a lot of time giving him orders. Unfortunately Alex responds well to his name, but not so well to cries of "aiyeah" or "aleah" which was as good as Hannah could master. Still they spent ages playing together outside, on the farm, and in the tractor. And Hannah adores watching sheep, horses, cows and other animals whether it's from a train, bike, car, buggy, or even when she walks.
Hannah and other kids: She's beginning, slowly, to interact more with other children. There's certainly a selfish-streak (which all kids seem to have at this age) where Hannah doesn't want to share things, but she's all into copying other kids whether it's how they play with the sand, how they walk in the street, what toys they play with, or what they do in the playground (the latter normally ending up in arguments as Hannah tries to take toys or space on the playground). The fastest way to get Hannah home is for her to decide to copy/race an older kid! The pictures of her with some other kids are wonderful, particularly when they are together pulling Hannah's little wagon (or when one is pulling the wagon with Hannah sitting in it) – though I am sure things will change more over the next couple of years.
Hannah and playgrounds: I don't recall to much about every enjoying playgrounds much in my youth, but I don't remember very far back! Hannah is clearly addicted to the things. We're fortunate to have a playground outside our front door in Beijing, and similarly outside my mum's and dad's. Andrea's dad put up a swing in his garden and built a sandpit in an old tyre whilst their local playground is just a few minutes cycle away. Wherever we went Hannah found a playground and began climbing something or sitting on a swing (which she can stay in, literally, for hours, it seems). It's the easiest way to look after a child.
Hannah and food: In the last month, Hannah's become so confident at using a regular cup and forks and spoons, we just give her normal cutlery at meal time. But as all parents will know, kids don't always want to eat when you want them to, or what you want them to. Hannah is no different, but it does add a little something to mealtimes: some fun and some frustration. Often there is some laughter and tantrums thrown in as well.
Hannah and words: Slow progress here. The listening is going well but the spoken needs work, or at least a few more months. I'm realizing how incredibly effective one can be at communicating by pointing. Maybe her strong ability in non-verbal communication is holding her back from needing to speak? Anyway, she manages to get what she wants using the words she has, few of which are actually correct words, but some are on the right track, e.g. "doodoo" for dog or "buh" for bus. She is also good at using onomatopoeia such as "vroom" for other vehicles.
We love our incredible little girl: she's easy and adaptable, sleeps well, plays well, and is adorable all the time. She makes vacations more fun and life more interesting.