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Journal Key:

Green = Steve | George = navy | Janet = Purple | Evelyn = Black

9/25/14 (Thursday)

I have to admit that it's been really nice not having to do the journal every day. Still, I've felt bad about not doing it, and there have been plenty of things I've wanted to put in!

A few weeks ago, I took Owen to Target to try to, among other things, replace his sneakers. All summer, his toes were hanging out of his sandals. I figure his sneakers must be pretty bad, too. We found the superhero sneaker section, and there was a broad selection, including lots of different heroes, and all of the shoes lit up.

I got Owen to stand on the foot-measurer-thing, and we started trying the shoes on. Target puts shoes out with long elastic strings holding them together. They're long enough to let you walk. Owen objected to them. I explained that we would cut the string off after we bought the shoes.

The first ones didn't fit. We had to try on a different style. Those were no good, either. Nor the next. We tried a larger size. No good. We tried Spiderman, Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Avengers. Eventually, I gave up. Owen put his old shoes back on. We moved on.

Me: Did you pretend the shoes didn't fit because you didn't like how they were tied together?

Owen: Yes.

Hmmmmmmmm. Anyway, one of these days I think I'll have to take him to Stride Rite.

A few days later, Owen and I were driving to Lindeneau to get Cara.

Owen: Am I going to college soon?

Me: Um, no, not for a very long time.

Owen: When?

Me: When you're grown up. After Cara goes.

Owen: What does college look like?

Me: It's . . . buildings. And trees.

Owen: Will there be classes?

Me: Yes.

Owen: (crying) I don't want to go to college!!!!!!!

Me: No, you'll like it when it's time to go.

Owen: But I don't want to go!!!!!

Me: You don't have to go! You don't have to go to college if you don't want to.

He gradually recovered.

Since Steve's been in class two nights a week, I've been in charge of Owen's bedtime routine a lot. One thing he likes is to read books on my bed. The other night, he was wearing new pajamas. They're not the thick footie ones (we got those, but we've managed to restrain him from wearing them too soon), but they have long sleeves and long pants. I was reading to him, when he interrupted.

Owen: Mommy, I'm hot.

Me: Do you need to change into other pajamas?

Owen: No. I need to be a little warm. (puts thumb and finger close together to show how little)

Me: So . . .

Owen: I need to be snuggled. In a bed.

Me: Usually, if people are too hot, they don't get under blankets.

Owen: (happily crawls under my covers)

Fairly often, he ends up snuggled in my bed. When I'm done reading, he announces that he is sleeping here. I agree that that will be fine and I will sleep in his bed. I start to leave. He shrieks with glee and runs to his own room to sleep.

Last week, I lounged around in the living room while Steve took over Owen's bath. Owen has a lot more fun when Steve is in charge. Well, different fun. His guys have generally not been getting to play in the bath with me in control. Today, though, they were out in full force.

The bug guy was Bug Lord, and the shark guy was Shark Lord. This, according to Owen, was the episode in which they discovered that they were brothers. (Most of Owen's imaginative play lately has been "episodes.") They held hands for a while. Then, they went into the hot tub together. Afterwards. they went to the pet store to pick out a dog. While Steve can come up with some bizarre situations, this one was definitely all Owen.

It's been striking to see how much Owen is growing up. He doesn't forget things anymore, so he's harder to lie to. He remembers the trips we took this summer. He wants to know when we are going to go back to Florida. He wants to send things to people. He can do things around the house. Yesterday he was making kind of a mess, crawling onto the shelf where we put shoes near the front door. When we got home from the Loefflers', I asked him to clean it up. This morning, I was startled to find no shoes at all on the floor; I had to find my own among all of the other shoes, which had been piled on the shelf.

He still likes to head-butt. He told me that a while ago he head-butted Miss Sarah at school. What happened, I asked. Well, he said, I just put my head down and went over . . .

Owen shared big news last night. "For all these years," he said, "I never had a job. Now, I have one. I'm the line leader!!!" Further questioning elicited the information that he leads the line when they go outside. One of his friends has an interesting job: he's the substitute. If someone is out, he does their job. It's good to know that there's a backup system.

Poor Owen had a tough time a few months ago when Cara and I had last days of school and he didn't. More recently, he's had a tough time with us starting school and him not. I've had to explain again and again that he has a year before he starts kindergarten. A year is a long time. There will be fall and winter and spring and summer. Yes, it will snow. Yes, we will have Halloween and Christmas.

At Back-to-School night at Lindeneau, I bought Lindeneau hoodies for both kids. I figured Owen would want to have something from his new school. Also, I thought it might confuse him.

For Steve's birthday last weekend, we put up streamers. There were some left rolled up, and Owen has been playing with them. He's been tying his little guys up, tying them to a dinosaur toy, and generally apparently defeating his superheroes. Kilowog is basically in a coccoon. Others are being dragged behind the dinosaur. "We give up! Tie us up!" they said. There are bits of streamer all over the floor. Well, it's sort of contained. It's a contained mess.

I like journalling this way, with no pressure. It's a rainy day, a day off from school. Owen surprised us by getting dressed before he came out of his room this morning. We just had to almost force him to change from shorts to sweatpants before he went to school. We'll have leftovers tonight. Cara and I can get things done around the house. Owen can lead the line at school. I can catch up on the journal.

When I eventually go through the whole journal to pick out parts to print for the kids, this part will be a lot easier to deal with!!

10/5/14 (Sunday)

Today we went to Applefest at Aunt Claire's house. It was an all-afternoon sort of party, with food out all the time. It was mostly grown-up food, but Owen actually ate both lunch and dinner: he had some chicken, some red pepper, and some apple. He ate both meals under the dining room table. We did explain to people that this is not how he eats at home.

Apple-picking was fun. Owen had announced that he wanted to pick four pumpkins and four apples. He got fewer of one and more of the other. The apples were a good adventure. He and I went into "apple caves" under the trees. Some trees had apple caves I was easily able to enter; others did not. Owen did not see why I wouldn't come in with him. He also picked a small leafy branch which he decided was a pair of "apple goggles." I'm not sure what they did. Anyway, we picked a lot of apples and each kid got a big pumpkin.

I'd made sure Owen had gone to the bathroom before we left, but he had to go while we were picking. I had to take him into an apple cave. He really likes to spray around, when he has a chance.

"Not on me!" I cried.

"Then get out of the way!" he replied.

Believe me, I was. He finished. There were people just a few trees away. "Pull 'em up!" I urged him, sotto voce. He did. We exited the cave. Owen went running to Aunt Claire and Daddy, who were also nearby. "I peed on a tree!!!" he called.

In the evening, after a lot of eating and baking, Cara and Casie set up a fire pit outside and we went to make s'mores. At this point, Owen and Cara basically add up to a normal person: he eats chocolate, and she eats toasted marshmallows with graham crackers. Owen usually spends his time running around, gathering sticks. By now, it was dark. Claire let him have a flashlight, which he enjoyed very much.

She took him looking for sticks. They got about ten feet away and he stopped to look in a bush. He found a dead spider, apparently. He came back.

"I looked for a spider," he told everyone. Then he put his flashlight up to his face to tell a scary story. "There was a spider, and it went up a web. In a bush. It went up a web, and it died. And that's the end of the story."

In a little while, Casie, who had gone into the house, called Claire to come check on the apple pie that was in the oven and also to see what cute thing her kitten was doing. The kids wanted to go see the kitten, too. I stalled Owen a little, to give the kitten a chance.

Someone suggested that Owen could tell the kitten a scary story.

"No! I couldn't!" he cried. "Because she is beautiful and sweet and little and cute!"

He had had rather a lot of chocolate at that point. It was awfully late, though, and we soon dragged the kids home and tossed them into bed. Soon, we can toss ourselves, too!

10/17/14 (Friday)

Owen has been doing a lot of art lately. Many of the things he draws are Halloween-themed, such as the many mummies he's made. Each has a couple of pieces of unraveling bandage coming off of its head, so it looks as if they have extra limbs. Because these are Halloween decorations, he has taken to hanging them up in his room. This started a week or so ago, when he drew a series of boxes around the outline of a mummy and explained to Steve that that was where he should cut: it was a dotted line! We have had to cut out a lot of creatures, including mummies, bats, monsters, aliens, and alien spaceships. We have also hung whole pictures.

Mr. Ray came to YBR today. He'll be coming once a month, I believe. Owen reports that Mr. Ray knows "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Owen remembers that I used to swing him around while singing it. This evening, he requested a repeat performance. Despite Owen's increased size and Steve's warning that my back might not be up to a trip to the ballgame, I took Owen out after his shower. He landed on his bed. He stood up and started marching and saluting. He barked. He had become Muscle Puppy.

He was Muscle Puppy for a little bit.

Owen: Sometimes I pretend I'm a real puppy, and I fight ninjas. . . when my computer does the alarm, I go through a tunnel in the ground . . . and I fight ninjas . . . and I lick things, because I'm a real puppy.

Then he licked my jeans.

Reading to him in the evenings takes a while sometimes, because now he's very invested in The Wizard of Oz. He can read "Oz." He may or may not believe, now that we've passed the big reveal, that the wizard cannot do magic. We've been generally doing two chapters a night. Owen suggests that Dorothy should "get a plane" to get home to Kansas. I'm not sure what he made of my explanation that they had not been invented yet. It's kind of a weird concept to think about for the first time.

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