He hollers from the bottom of his three-year-old belly to the top of his three-year-old lungs.
This is, I reckon, unconditional love in its finest form.
Big brown eyes and a crop of blonde hair, hurling at me, one hundred miles an hour. Dropping cult-classic one-liners because he knows I'll giggle. And so will the tables around us. (Yes, I taught him. It will never not be funny.)
"What're you having for breakfast, dude?"
"This," he grins.... half-open packet in his fist, sugar crystals sticking to his cheeks.
He's the closest thing I've got to kids until I'm blessed - not hashtag, the actual kind - with my own, and I'm already praying they're as brilliant and adorable. (I'm terribly biased, of course. I get him at his best. No tears, no potty training. But still.)
My heart melts like a pat of butter on the short stack I'm cutting into kid bites for him when he looks up and says, "Thank you, Brookie!"
(Little man has never met a stranger, but he's already mastered the gift of making you feel like the most important person in the room.)
When he asks me to read him a nap-time book, we pick out two.
"Does Peppa have a friend named Salt?"
He doesn't laugh at my joke, but tossing the Nerf ball high enough to hit the ceiling is a riot.
We flip pages, and heaps of energy dissolve into sleepy eyes as his little head hits his Star Wars pillow.
"Sweet dreams, Paden. Love you."
"Love you most," says that tiny voice.
No way, kid. No way.