Friday, February 5, 2010

"It's Pretty Unusual..."

Hadley turned nine months old yesterday. I cannot believe it. Part of me feels like she's been here forever, like she's always been a part of our lives, and the other part of me wonders how nine months have passed since I nuzzled newborn Hadley with her spiky dark hair and red, heart-shaped lips. Even then, she seemed to have a twinkle in her eye, a pocketful of mischief and a flair for humor. (I often imagine Hadley in utero spiking up her hair for her arrival.)

Today, she went to the pediatrician for her nine-month check-up. The nurses always make a big fuss over her, mention how adorable she is, come over and talk to her. They probably do it for every kid, but Hadley eats it up. As we walk back to the examining room, a chorus of people wave at Hadley and call out her name. I swear, she thinks she's a movie star.

After her grand entrance today, we learned that Hadley weighs 20 lbs, 14 ounces, and is 29 3/4 inches tall. That means she's in the 80th percentile for weight and the 97th for height. The doc said that her growth patterns are good and healthy; as babies move more, they burn more calories and slim down just a bit. (Note to self: squeeze those baby thighs while she still has them.)

As our time together was coming to end, the doctor sort of interrupted his train of thought and said, "You probably don't know this because you probably aren't around as many nine-month-old babies as I am, but it's pretty unusual for a baby her age to be quite this social." Hadley flashed him a smile. "I don't remember the last time such a young child engaged me quite this much." Hadley cooed at him. "It's uncommon, definitely." Hadley reached out to pull his stethoscope and grinned.

"Is that a good thing?" I asked. He said that it's like many human traits: it has pros and cons. She's obviously very interested in her world, very warm and eager to get to know people. She's curious and expressive, he said. "On the downside, she's the kid who will wander off in the store." We'll have to be more stringent and diligent when it comes to teaching her--and reminding her--about stranger danger. That, or I'll strap her to me until she's, say, 17.

Even if it means we have to watch her like hawks, I'm glad Hadley is the way she is. I agree with her: people are fascinating. I think that's why I became a journalist--people have no shortage of interesting stories to tell if you take the time to ask them. Much of the joy in my life is tied directly to the people with whom I spend my time. Just last night, I had a fabulous time with a group of strangers at a press dinner. We talked and laughed and ate good food. I hope Hadley gets the same joy from other people.

Everyone says that Hadley looks much more like Jason than she looks like me--and honestly, sometimes it makes me feel a little sad. I don't know why; obviously, I think Jason is a good-lookin' guy, and as long as Hadley is healthy, I don't really care who she resembles. But I am enjoying the knowledge that she did inherit an important part of who I am. I talk to strangers on airplanes. I love visiting new places. I'd rather do something new than rely on the security of a routine. I am prone to wander off in the store, too.

So our Little Miss Social is growing up and making friends. And I am glad. The world needs as many smiles from the Hadster as it can here you are:


  1. Hadley is blessed to have both her mommy and daddy traits in her! She is a happy baby because you both make her feel safe, loved, secure, happy, content, adventurous, curious, the list could go on!! I really can not tell who she looks like, in some pictures I see Hilary and others I see Jason, so she is both her mommy and daddy! What a great combination!!

  2. I completely agree with what Mom said :) :) Love you all!

  3. To Hilary and Jason,

    Last night I was gently reprimanded by my daughter, during the SUPER BOWL no less!, for not having kept up with my blog reading. Turns out it was a constructive reprimand. This morning's read of "Happily" was informative and fun, and also served to pump up my happy endorphins.

    When I look at your family I see joy and commitment and love.....and a lot of hard work going on. Occasionally I see bleary eyes, tired bodies, anxious faces, and the clean laundry piled up on a dining room chair. I see a young couple accomplishing 30 hours of tasks in every 15.

    I see a mommy and a daddy each working professionally from home certain days of the week, which translates into a lot of job related stuff being done at night and on weekends. Somehow you both get it all done with your usual aplomb, with Hadley's needs and well being kept first and foremost.

    Your life is full and challenging, oh so happy and rewarding, and sometimes exhausting. It all reminds me of why the job of parenting truly is for the young!

    So I just want to say, GOOD JOB! I applaud all your hard work, and the support you give to each other and to Hadley. Grandma Sandy, in her comment above, said it perfectly. Hadley is the way she is because of you two.

    And by the way, thanks for that! We all love our funny, secure, smiley, inquisitive baby. She is wonderful.