Dear Owen,

You are 18 months old! A  year and a half as flown by since you were born. I always say that whatever age you currently are is my favorite, but I really, REALLY mean it this time. This age is just so much fun, and you have such a personality.

I feel like I should say this in hushed tones so as not to jinx myself, but Owen, you’re just so good. Parenting is a hard job, but really, these last few months have been, dare I say it…pretty easy. Save for a small sleep regression a few weeks ago, you go to bed between 7 and 7:30 every night, and we don’t hear from you again until 7:30 the next morning. Sometimes even 8! (Although, that’s rare.) You start the day with kisses for Mama, and as soon as we’re done changing your diaper, you run into my room to kiss Dada good morning. And then immediately, you tell me it’s time to “eeeaaaattt!!!”

Because you DO tell me that. A lot. You love to eat, and would do it all day if I let you. You’ve become really proficient at using a fork and spoon, and it still surprises me to see you eating something like cereal and blueberries like a big kid. You will eat almost anything I give you, although your distaste for green beans remains. You do however love zucchini and broccoli, which I hope continues.

Your language has just exploded over the last few months and you never stop talking. You have so many words! Sometimes we can only understand them in the context of a situation, but most of the time we know exactly what you’re saying. Of course, you’re still learning, and sometimes get frustrated with me when I don’t know what you’re asking for. Most of the time a request to “show me” will solve the problem, but on at least one occasion you were repeating a word over and over with no solution. Learning to talk is hard!

Your first sentence was “Oh, my Dada!”, which has expanded to “Oh, my Mama (or any of your relatives)” and most recently, “Oh, my cheese.” I wasn’t kidding about you liking to eat. When we go to the grocery store you point out all the foods as we pass them by. You say please (“mease”) when you want something, although still have to be asked, “how do you ask?” to get you to do it sometimes. Recently you’ve discovered that asking of me specifically gets a much faster response, so many requests now sound like, “Open, Mama!” or “More, Mama!” You love animals and can name so many obscure ones (ostrich, dolphin, ram), but you don’t really like many in real life and tend to shy away from them. Except for Kodiak, of course. You LOVE Kodiak, and have recently discovered that you can feed him things like Goldfish crackers, much as we don’t want you to. I think Kodiak loves you even more now!

You’ve inherited the music gene and love to shake your stuff to any beat, play the piano at grandma’s house, and love the toy xylophone, drum and guitar. I hear you singing to yourself in the morning, and recently you’ve begun to sing “Five Little Monkeys” and “Ba Ba Black Sheep”. You can count to ten…sort of. It goes like this: “1, 2, 3, 4…gibberish…8, 9, 10…yay!” You can also recognize some letters, especially the letters O and E. You are obsessed with trucks and buses and tractors and can already decipher between things like a backhoe vs. a tractor vs. a dump truck. Mama is in trouble, because I would basically just call them all trucks.

You’re going to be a big brother this summer. If we ask you where the baby is you will pull up my shirt and kiss my belly, but I don’t think you really know what that means. If we ask if you want a brother or a sister, you’ll answer a broda-sisser. I think you’re going to be a really fantastic big brother.

Mostly, Owen, you are just so happy and loving, always offering a kiss and a hug, playing with your toys or sitting in your room surrounded by books, paging through them happily. You fill our hearts with joy every day and I can’t wait to see how you continue to grow.

I love you, little boy.