Dear Clark Allen,
You are 18 months old tomorrow and I can’t believe that we’ve been blessed by your presence for a year and a half. You are so full of energy that you show me every day what it means to live life to the fullest. Even though you don’t speak much, your personality beams through already. We know that you have a great sense of humor and love to make people laugh, and that you are fairly patient for your age, but you get a terrible temper if you can’t figure something out. You seem to catch on to everything so quickly, finding out how to work things after glancing at me and Daddy, and while it’s sometimes frustrating, most of the time it’s so darn cute and amazing that you could be so smart already. If you do something bad (which, given your sense of independence, happens frequently), you will often try to make up for it by smiling at us, and then Daddy and I are defenseless because your smile is contagious.
One of our favorite things to watch you do is to see your independence developing. If you are playing and we’re working on something in the room with you, you will quietly crawl on the couch to sit. You can play for hours by yourself, but you are intrigued by other babies, too. I wish that you had more time with other kids because I think you’d really start to flourish linguistically. My absolute favorite thing is to cuddle with you, which you let me do most days. You like to tease me about giving kisses while smiling at me, but will give Daddy kisses freely. You think it’s a game because you know how much I want kisses! Lately you’ve been yelling both of our names all day long, and we never get tired of hearing it because we know that you want to be close to us. I love our tight little family group and how much we all love each other. I’m scared that giving you a sibling someday might ruin our closeness, but I know in my heart that it will only grow stronger.
I wish you could see how amazing your Daddy is. I know that you love him and he loves you, but I don’t think you will realize for a very long time just how much it means to have a Daddy that wants to play with you and spend time with you as much as he does. He’s looking forward to passing on all of his knowledge (and it’s a lot of really valuable insights) to you and teaching you about how the world works. I think the only person on earth that your Daddy loves more than me is you, which is saying a lot because that’s really hard to beat. I hope that one day you will understand this love because it’s rare in our world and it’s something to be treasured. After all, the best examples of men are those who demonstrated their love to others with no shame.
- Clothes Size 24M/2T – we have to roll some of the 2T pants up, but they mostly fit.
- Diaper Size: 4’s are getting a little tight – we may need to move up to 5’s soon. We’re also trying to slowly potty train you by teaching you about the bathroom and putting Pull-ups on you sometimes.
- I know you weigh a little over 30 pounds and you are already 3 feet (36 inches!) tall! Everywhere we go, people think you are at least two years old because you are such a tall boy. You are fairly slender for your height because you are constantly on the go.
- We just moved you up to a size 7 shoe – much bigger than other kids your age! I wonder if you’ll have Uncle Jake’s size 15 feet someday and hope that you end up with size closer to your Daddy’s shoe size (because bigger sizes are harder to find).
- You haven’t really started to speak much yet, but we don’t worry because we know you understand. We can say the most obscure thing, and you’ll overhear and do it without being told twice. Your vocabulary right now includes jshs(juice), ni ni (night night), no, Mom, Dad, Gaga (any grandparent), ducka ducka (tickle tickle). We know the language explosion is imminent, and we can’t wait to find out what you are thinking and feeling.
- Your favorite toys are found items like plastic lids, but lately you’ve been focusing on some of your toys more. You love your blocks and could stack them all day. You are starting to play with your cars and make vroom noises as you move them around. Hands down, though, you’d rather be outside. You love to explore and observe, and you almost always stop to listen and watch when the wind blows. When you have to come inside, you cry and kick and scream because you love the outdoors. We can’t wait until it’s warm enough to take you camping because we know that it’s going to be one of your favorite things.
- Your favorite tv show is still Yo Gabba Gabba. It’s one of the few shows that you crawl up on the couch to sit and watch. You love shows with music like Fresh Beat Band, but you’d rather have them on in the background while you are playing so you can stop to dancey-dance when the music is on.
- Favorite foods: tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and cookies. You love sweets and veggies. You’ll eat just about anything we put on your plate, but the veggies almost always go first and sometimes you don’t care for meats as much. You won’t drink much plain water, but if we put a bit of lemon juice in it, you’ll drink it up. We water down all of your juice so you aren’t as hooked on sugar as we are. We have to watch every single drink in the house because you want to be a big boy so you’ll steal our drinks and dump them all over yourself. Sometimes, though, if you are thirsty enough, you manage not to spill a drop as we catch you red-handed and wet-mouthed. Funny how that happens.
Sweet little boy, there are only six more months until you are two whole years old and that scares me. I’ll have to start gathering ideas for your birthday party soon. You are growing up so fast and I can’t believe how much my life and Daddy’s life have changed for the better since you arrived. I wish I could keep you at this age forever because you are so loving and so much fun. I can’t wait for a summer of adventures, taking you to the zoo and playing outside. The funniest part of all is that I can already see a glimpse of the man you are going to become, and I’m proud to say that you’ll be so much like your Daddy. I love you so much!