How, you ask? Well let me just count the ways!
1) He chooses to walk instead of crawl at least 75% of the time. If he wants a toy, or to get from one end of the room to another he will walk from piece to piece of furniture until he runs out. Then he will push something (a toy, bike, etc) to continue on. If there's nothing to push, he lets go and just goes for it! He usually makes it to his destination before he falls - but the most steps I've actually counted is 10. He's so big!
2) He asks for nap time. I'm not joking. Around 8:30-9:00 he will either a) start rubbing his eyes - so I ask, "You ready for ni-night? You want Puppy and paci?" and he will speed over to the gate at the end of the stairs and say "up sssss" (upstairs) or "ni ni" (night night) or "Pu Pu Pu-sssss" (Puppy and paci). Then as soon as I get to the gate he carefully steps completely out of the way so I can take the gate down for him to climb up the stairs. Then he gets his hands and knees on the step, looks back to make sure I'm there (because he knows he can't climb the stairs by himself) and then goes for it. As soon as he gets to the top of the stairs I pick him up, go in his room, shut the door, turn on the fan, grab puppy and paci and snuggle him while we sway in front of his crib for a little bit, sing him a song or two, then lay him down, mostly awake still. The other option is that he will b) just go to the stairs and say one (or all) of the three things I described above, wherein I go take the gate down and the rest of the stuff happens. *sigh* such a big boy.
3) He knows what is off limits and tests it. This has been happening for a few months now, but he's now learning to work the system. When he gets in time out for something (which looks like this) he kicks and screams for a minute (literally) then I go over there and say, "Owen, you were in timeout for xyz. Momma said 'No touch.' You need to listen and obey. You're in timeout because you didn't listen and obey. Next time please listen to momma and obey, understand?" And then I used to model what he was supposed to say so I would say, "Say 'yes momma, sorry momma'." But now - usually before I get the whole 'listen and obey' schpeel out he starts saying "Ssss. Sss." Which means yes. Now that he's a big boy he's all "Yes mom! Yes Mom! I know what you're going to say, so I'll save you the trouble. YESSSSSSS."
4) He loves to play chase! Such a boy! Here's a video of us playing the other day. And this was after three rounds, so he was already tuckering out a bit :)
5) He eats out of a bowl, instead of just putting food on his tray. The other day he was getting bored with his food, but hadn't eaten very much so I offered him the bowl to pick out of himself. I put it on his tray and he just looked at me like, "Really?" Then he, ever-so-slowly, picked up his right and, his pointer finger slightly extended, and reached it toward the bowl, looking at me the whole time, like "Can I really do it, Momma, can I put my hand in there?" So I reassured him, "It's okay honey, go ahead. You can get your food out." And he did. And he put it in his mouth all slowly, hesitant to believe I would let him eat out of the bowl like a big boy. And he did such a great job! He was SO careful not to move the bowl - it was adorable to watch. I could tell he was intentionally being very gentle as he reached in and got the food out so as to not move the bowl or knock it over. Since then we've had a couple incidents where he tries to pick the bowl up and 'drink' out of it, but we just nicely remind him that the bowl stays on his tray and he listens really well. He's also started stabbing at things with his fork! He's rarely successful, and neither of us have tried to explicitly teach him how to - I think he's just mimicking what he sees us do. It's so cute!
6) And last, but not least. He loves getting in the pots and pans cupboard! I knew this day would come at some point and it has indeed, arrived!
Our little boy is growing up so fast!