You are eighteen months old. I just re-read your seventeen month letter, and I am tempted to just say "ditto, and then some" and stop typing. You have devoted the past month to honing and perfecting your new skills. You can walk down the stairs just like a big boy without holding onto anything, at least until you miss your footing and go plummeting into Mama's arms. You are all about the sentences, Dada's shoes, Owen's turn, baby's beer (that one was shot down, sorry). You say and sign please when prompted and sometimes even on your own, say and sign thank you when told to, and now say and sign sorry when you are sprung from Baby Jail.
Oh yes, Baby Jail is back. You love to pull Mia's hair, pull her clothes, pinch her, bite her, and hit her, and it is either let her beat the tar out of you until you get some sense in that adorable little head of yours or shove you in Baby Jail for a minute or two while you chill out. At first you screamed your head off every second. Now you scream for a bit, wait quietly for the end of your sentence, offer a sincere apology, and then usually go right back to committing whatever crime landed you in jail in the first place.
You are incorrigible. You never met a "no" you couldn't ignore or a rule you couldn't break. The bungee cords tying the chairs down are no longer enough to keep you from climbing onto the kitchen table, and I'm thinking I'm going to have to just remove them and we will all eat standing up. When we go to our Mommy & Me class, all the other toddlers sit quietly in the circle and clap when told to and play nicely with their bouncy balls while you careen around the room like a drunken maniac and comply with the assigned activity only when it involves high fives or bubbles. To get around the ban on biting, you give toothy zerberts instead and then offer a wicked grin since you know you are technically just barely on the right side of the law.
You are 32.5 inches tall and weigh 25 pounds 5 ounces. You eat just about everything, sooner or later. Any fruit, most vegetables (you've even given asparagus a couple of shots), nuts, cheese, pasta, and you love the samosas we order from a local restaurant. In fact, last time we ordered them I didn't get any because you ate all of mine. You love anything you can dip into something else, as long as Mommy does it first, even spicy samosa dip and very vinegary salad dressing. You like to eat anywhere other than your high chair, but the best place is Mia's chair, which annoys her no end. You like to stand below the cabinets where you know the treats are stored and beg for a cookie. You also like to pretend that you really want an approved snack stored on a different shelf, get a boost up so you can survey your options, and then lunge for an M&M.
You are the king of the tantrums lately. When Mama says no cookie you stand in the kitchen and scream. When you want to go outside you cling to the doorknob and scream. When Mama says you may not pull everything out of the refrigerator and throw it as hard as you can to the floor to see if it comes open you scream. I tend to ignore you, since intervention is always unsuccessful, and these tantrums invariably end with you running for me at top speed, jumping into my arms, curling yourself up in a tight fetal position and trying to burrow directly into my neck. I hate the tantrums, but it is nice to have a reminder that even for a desperately independent little boy who can do absolutely everything himself, thank you very much, sometimes a big hug from Mama and wiping your nose on her shirt is the one thing that makes it all better.
The biggest tantrums though are when you get up in the morning and Mia is still in bed. You are willing to give her a few minutes, and after that you just stand at the bottom of the stairs and scream her name until she wakes up and comes to play with you. Your sister hung the moon and the stars, and she adores you too. I hope we will be so lucky that you will always feel this way about each other, but if not, then I hope you at least get back to it later in life. You are old enough now that you guys can play together a bit, and every time I see it it makes my heart grow three sizes.
You are very interested in identifying body parts - ears, eyes, nose, teeth, mouth, hair, hands, toes, tummy, and bottom, for which, rather than pointing, you shake that little booty and giggle with glee. You have the greatest smile to ever grace a face. Your eyes remain as electric cornflower blue as ever, and a summer in the sun has rendered your already-white hair a neon-glowing dandelion gone to seed. Your arms and legs have thinned out considerably, but you still push an impressive pot belly ahead of you everywhere you go. The backs of your ears are like tiny little pockets of milky, minky softness, and the folds of your neck right below those ears are the most delicious smelling things in the world.