of Harriet, for her fan club

The pencil line where we measure the growth of our English baby has bumped up two inches since September. She still has awesome hair and The Cheeks. She now has seven teeth, four on top and three on bottom.

 Harriet morphed from speed-crawler to walker in two days’ time, and now slaps about the house like a pudgy duck with wings extended for balance, heavily shifting from leg to leg, a little stagger-pause after every step. She’s a little faster every day. She can make it down the hall, across the room, and thoroughly engage with the contents of the kitchen bin (trash can) in the time it takes Mommy to brush her teeth.

Her main nicknames are Hay-wet, Harrie, Squeaker, and Wee Chickin’ Lickin’. Her main words are DaDad, MaMa, BaBa (bottle), and Goo’ Guh (“Good Girl”–we think this is meant to refer to her sister, and shows a touching confidence). In the last two days she has added “Yasss!” which she says no matter what question you ask her.

Harriet is a tad emotional when she’s tired but this one is jolly even when she’s ill. (This is a good thing, as she spent six weeks with pneumonia this winter and now has the tummy flu.)She thinks nearly everything is hilarious, which tendency is a very nice one to have, we find. Yesterday Norah jumped down the step from the closet-kitchen into the living room and she broke down into chuckles. (Though I must say, Norah does look rather funny when she jumps. Or runs.) She finds the word “no” or any form of discipline particularly hilarious. Sometime I will write a post advising other child-trainers precisely what to do when the trainee bursts into laughter at any hint of a stern expression or adverse consequences. As soon as I figure it out.

 The light of Harriet’s eyes and the joy of her life is her Daddy. When I hear the door open at the end of the day, I  look at Harriet. Her entire little self goes stiff–is it, can it be–then Daddy calls “hello!”–and she drops what she’s doing and staggers for the door, usually so quickly that she falls over and finishes the journey on her knees, scuttling up to Daddy as fast as she can. When she’s about two feet away, she can’t take the tension any more and bursts into tears, like a baby in nursery who has a great time until mother returns and he suddenly realizes she wasn’t there! If Daddy makes the mistake of picking her up before he takes off his coat, he’ll be wearing it awhile, because it breaks her heart all over again if he sets her down. When I get her up from her nap, she’s always craning her neck as we walk down the hall, peering into every corner, checking to see if he’s around. If he’s home, she doesn’t take her eyes off of him or stop yelling “Da!” until I’ve handed her over. (Sure, sure, Harriet, here he is, don’t mind me, I’m just the woman who carried you in my womb, bore you without an epidural, and spends my days caring for your every physical need.)

I love her so much there’s a little burn where my heart is when I think about her.

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16 Responses to of Harriet, for her fan club

  1. Juli says:

    Oh Betsy, what a beautiful post! It nearly made me cry…

  2. Haley says:

    Her cheeks have disappeared since I left, and I think they were somehow removed to her belly region!!

  3. Sharon Mac says:

    ohhhh, and I love her too! Wee chickin’ lickin’!

  4. She couldn’t be more adorable, Betsy. Her name itself is so endearing! Love her love for “Da” – so precious.

  5. Caitlin says:

    Does the Harriet Fan Club have a button for members? I’m a big fan of The Cheeks. 🙂

  6. Courtney says:

    What a sweetheart. Oh Betsy I just love the way you write!

  7. Pam Lowther says:

    Thanks, Betsy, for posting this. I just love hearing about your girls since I do miss them and you so much! I laugh how much Harriet and my Noah are alike. They’d make such good playmates if we lived close by (they’re only about 1 month apart!). I am sorry to hear that Harriet got pneumonia for so long this winter. Noah just got over it too this weekend actually. He’s still finishing his antibiotics to be sure. It’s not fun when your little ones are sick, especially that sick! It just warms my heart to hear you describe your children and your love and care for them. You’re a great mom, keep up the good work!

  8. Madeline says:

    My eyes are a little wet.

  9. abby says:

    Harriet is adorable! I love her “little” tummy! That’s awesome that she loves her dad so much. I really enjoyed reading this!

  10. Amberly says:

    You know we are strong members of the Harriet fan club! Madeline talks about her constantly – actually, she talks about both girls all the time! I can’t belive how much H has changed and grown into a little girl over the last month. Every time I see her, she makes me smile. Sweet Harriet girl…

  11. Mom & Dad N. says:

    As long-standing members of Harriet’s fan club, I can’t tell you how much this post meant to your Dad and I. We feel as though we got to know her a bit more at this stage of her life. How precious! Almost didn’t recognize that “little girl,” she’s grown and changed so much! Thank you for taking the time to give us this snapshot of her sweet little self!

  12. J says:

    As president of the Harriet Fan Club, I’d like to say that she absolutely makes me giddy just lookin’ at her. Oh, and that belly!!! Makes her Auntie Jen proud!!

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