You are 23 months old today, a bouncing, boisterous, brawling boy. You spring awake every morning, climb over my head to hurl yourself out of bed, and run out of the room yelling "downstairs downstairs!" (Why yes, you are still sleeping with us every night. Congratulations on beating your sister's not-sleeping-through-the-night record. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but you sure showed us.) You careen through your days at a million miles an hour, bouncing quite literally off the walls and the floor, until something catches your particular attention and you sprawl on your stomach to study it and give it your full attention. Some of my favorite moments these days is when things grow suspiciously quiet and I find you hunkered down dissecting the details of a book or a toy train or whatever bit of Mia's treasure you have managed to steal away with.
You talk a mile a minute, mostly in complete and lengthy sentences. You are learning to count and recite the alphabet. You are learning your colors too. You have brown down pat, blue and red and yellow fairly consistently, and everything else is black. You are starting to be able to pay attention to books with more words than pictures, and especially love to find one you know well and read it to yourself, flipping the pages to find familiar bits and recite the remembered words to yourself. You even read yourself to sleep some nights in your big boy bed, and at quiet time will often spend 20 minutes inspecting your books. Once you have pulled them all of the bookshelf, of course.
You stopped napping almost entirely this month, which I am not thrilled about. You still take an occasional nap when you happen to fall asleep in the car and I manage the transfer to your bed, but putting you in your room for a mid-day snooze is a non-starter. When evening schedules dictate that you must have a nap, I either drive you around or block out two hours to get you to fall asleep in your bed. For the most part, we don't bother, but we do try to enforce a daily quite time. Mommy isn't quite ready to give it up entirely.
You have decided not to wait for the lagging calendar to turn two. Your leading characteristic these days is your independence, followed very closely by your attitude. All I hear all day long is "Owen do it!" and "Owen pick!" and "No, me! No, me! No, me!" This is fine for some things, like picking your own juice cup, but less fun when you cannot be convinced that it is not appropriate for you to slice the carrots for dinner. You are desperate to do everything on your own and accept my help only grudgingly and after numerous failed attempts.
You got some underwear for Christmas, which you insist on wearing nearly full time, either alone or over a diaper. You are earning lots of M&Ms these days, but Mommy is doing lots of mopping up too.
You love to play with Mia, and you are finally at a point where you can understand some simple games and participate in a way that is satisfactory enough to Mia that she will play with you. Nothing in the world makes you happier than Mia's attention and being like her. You want to be in her room, sleep in her bed, wear her shoes, and be near her at all times. Unfortunately, you also want to hit her, push her down, pull her hair, and sometimes bite her. Dada and I bounce quickly between sighing and smiling at the two of you playing so sweetly together and prying you off each other and bundling you both off to time out.
My sweet Owen, I have to be honest here. You are a massive pain in the ass right now. You demand total independence, have a naughty streak a mile wide, don't listen for squat, are loud and wild and incredibly physical, boisterous, incorrigible, defiant, and entirely undisciplined. You are completely immune to all attempts at behavior modification. Time out makes you giggle. Putting you in your room cows you, but only ever so briefly and then you go straight back to the behavior that put you there. I spend all day every day trying to keep you from damaging yourself or someone else. You drive me absolutely crazy, and I have to work very hard to hide the fact that I find it all perfectly adorable.
Darling boy, you will likely learn this at some point, so I might as well tell you now. Your conception was a total shock to us. We had always planned to have a second child, we were in the process of deciding when to start trying to make that happen, and then you answered that question for us. Because it was so unexpected, because I thought we were likely in for another long slog and never thought it could happen that way for us, it took me a while to feel like I was ready for you. I believe now that it happened that way because it was the only chance we had to get you, and you are the exact child we were meant to have. Even when I am tearing my hair out trying to deal with you, I love you with every bit of my being, and I can't imagine how we could possibly have done without you.