You are fourteen months old and officially, with no room for equivocation, a toddler. About a week ago you decided that this walking thing was pretty cool after all and since then you have been 90% a walker, crawling only when you fall or when whatever you are chasing requires more speed that you can muster on two legs. And you have moved so quickly from a straight-legged zombie strut to bending your knees and doing all sorts of fancy tricks, like walking around in endless circles or doing an abrupt about-face and heading off in the other direction, just because you can. Sometimes, you just roam the house laughing and hooting, so thrilled with your new talent that you can't contain your joy.
The other thing you learned how to do this month was talk. Oh boy, do you talk. You say hi, Mia, Dada, Mama (finally!), banana, apple, duck, bye bye, all done, baby, diaper, yes, no, here (as in here, take this, I'm done with it), that (as in what is that or, much more often, give me that), cheese, elmo, bread and bed. Oh, and bellybutton. That's 20 words, which is quite a lot for a 14 month old child. And it doesn't even count the animal noises you make and correctly associate with the appropriate animal. They are moo, baa, quack, meow, neigh, and bawk bawk bawk. You, my child, are a chatterbox.
You are still an eater, happily chowing down on nearly anything, especially if Mia eats if first. You get highly offended if I cut anything to make it appropriate for a child your age. It is big pieces only, because that is how everyone else does it and you refuse to be left out. Your current obsession is raisins, although you got your first shot at peanuts today and I suspect they may overtake raisins in your affections. You still love balls and we still refer to the vacuum cleaner as your girlfriend (and you have been love for the new dustbuster too).
You have 13 teeth and three more on the way, and then we are declaring a moratorium on teeth. We are all over it. You can't get much relief, but every once in a while you find something that you can jam into just the right place to relieve whatever is most bothering you at the moment and then spend the rest of the day tooling around with that in your mouth. Lately your teether of choice is Mia's Cinderella toothbrush. You also love to put on her Tinkerbell sunglasses and walk around the house marveling at how different things look. Add that to the large flower bracelet you insist on wearing and the fact that the only stroller you will stay in for more than three minutes is the pink umbrella stroller, and you are sometimes quite a sight to see. But it all makes you happy, so be it.
You are a bit of a mama's boy, happiest when viewing the world from the safety of my hip or able to scurry back up to your perch quickly. But if you have an audience, all of that changes. With a crowd to entertain, you are a wild child, showcasing all of your best tricks by climbing over and into anything you can reach and getting your hands on things I would have sworn were far out of your reach. You talk and chortle and sing and flirt and make the whole world fall in love with you.
You love to be able to do big kid things, like walk from the car into the house instead of being carried or run around the playground instead of sitting in the stroller or the Ergo. You love to sit in real chairs and to try to put on your own clothes and shoes and diapers. You love to hold a crayon so much that you almost forget to eat it. You get so excited any time you see a dog that I worry I will have to remind you to breathe. You love to stand at the front door and watch the world go by. When the garage door starts to open every afternoon, you scream and laugh and take off as fast as you can for the kitchen to wait for Daddy to come in and scoop you up so you can give him a big, toothy, open-mouthed kiss and pull the stays out of his shirt collar.
Oh sweet Owen, you are a challenge. A high-maintenance, demanding, curious, daredevil, vociferously vocal child. You fit right in, my darling, and are a blessing and a joy in all ways.