Green = Steve | George = navy | Janet = Purple | Evelyn = Black
When Karen arrived, Owen went scooting gleefully to her--or maybe to the door. We had a really good session. She's working with him on cognitive skills as well as physical, and she's very happy with him. She has a puzzle that consists of ten or so fish, each a different color. The pieces that come out are their tails, and they are interchangeable. None of them were in, and she gave Owen the black one. He had to turn it around and maneuver it to get it in, but he figured it out. Then he moved it over to be with the black fish body. She gave him the pink one, and he got it into the pink fish body. She gave him the red one, and he got it into the red fish body, but then he decided that it would be more fun to bang two fish tails together or to squeeze them together really hard, sort of the way he squeezes my cell phone. He sort of wiggled them, and we think it might be a sign for "fish." All Karen and I had expected was for him to try and maybe get a tail to fit into a hole, no matter what the color, so we were pretty impressed!
We worked on walking a lot, too. Karen had brought a really wonderful toy; it was shaped like an elephant ("pffffffff!" said Owen), but it was a shape sorter where you sort the shapes into a rotating barrel that's the elephant's body and then they can come back out through the trunk, which is a wide, stubby tube. Alternatively, you can "feed" the elephant through his nose! I sat by the kiddie table with the elephant ("pffffffff!") and Karen had Owen a few feet away at the ottoman with the shapes. She gave him one to bring to the elephant ("pffffffff!") and he walked right over. He went back and forth, ("pffffffff!") and after the first time he turned around by himself. Every time, Karen sneakily moved farther away. Soon she had to come over to get some of the shapes back. Seeing this, Owen helped by bringing back the one he'd just brought for the elephant!
He really started to be much more independent in his walking. He's got good control; he's even able to stop himself and just stand there. Karen went into the other room to get another toy, and he was standing at the ottoman. I encouraged him, and he went walking after her! Later he walked out of the playroom on his own, with no specific destination in mind! We've been saying for what feels like months that he's really close to walking, but I think that today he got a lot closer. He gained some of the confidence that he's been missing. In the evening, he walked across the basement with the Wii remote, hoping to get the tv to do something. He walked across the kitchen, shaking a snack trap of Cheerios and spreading them all over the floor. He was at the ottoman in the playroom when Karen said goodbye, and he stood up and then walked all the way over to give her a hug goodbye.
Yesterday Owen also demonstrated that he can say "'ello" and "bye-bye," and I'm pretty sure that he tried to say "cock-a-doodle-doo." He said "ock" once, and other times he sort of made the rhythm of it. He may be trying to make a cat noise, and he may be barking for a dog. He wouldn't quack for us, and Karen speculates that perhaps Robin has a duck that is somehow duckier than the ducks we are providing, since he quacks only for her. He says something that sounds like "I did it" or "I do it," which I think is pretty unlikely. He's kind of consistent about it, though, and Karen says that, in her experience, things that sound like something often turn out to be something.
Karen learned yesterday that when you crawl after Owen, saying "I'm gonna get you," he doesn't show you whether he can crawl faster; he comes back to be tickled.
I got a text at school from Robin, "Owen took so many steps! He walked around the room and back again. We all had tears." Sandi said, when I went to pick him up, that Robin had predicted that he'd be walking in a couple of weeks. Karen also, yesterday, before he started walking, predicted that he'd be walking in a few weeks. THen this morning Robin started to work with him, and suddenly Sandi heard her screaming: Owen was walking around the room. They all did have tears in their eyes.
He's done a lot of walking tonight, and we're certainly going to keep encouraging him. His big disadvantage is that he can't stand up without something to hold on to, so he's like a glider that can't take off without running off a cliff. Some day he'll work that part out.
Today Aunt Claire came! Owen had a very long nap and then we went out to an early dinner. We think we might need to hold off on taking him to any more restaurants for a while, because he just seems too antsy for them now. Fortunately partway through the meal a little girl sat down at a nearby table, and they both spent some time staring and waving at each other, which helped. After dinner we drove down to the Barnes & Noble, where Owen got to play with some nice big Legos, and then visited the train table. It was nice to introduce him to Legos, which he hasn't seen too many times before, and he was engrossed by them for quite a while. As we walked over to the train table, he made his "choo choo" noise, which he does without opening his mouth.
Owen did a lot of random toddling today. Every time he does it his confidence goes up. As Evelyn said yesterday, the main thing holding him back now is learning how to stand without having to pull up on something.
Evelyn and I had both seen Owen getting excited enough about the tub in the bathroom that he leans all the way into it, so that his feet actually lift off the floor. Tonight I had the exciting experience of finding that, right after I put him in his bath, he got up and leaned so far out of the tub that he actually bodily slipped out onto the bathroom floor. Very luckily he was not even slightly injured by this adventure. But from now on I will have to avoid turning away from him for more than, say, one second, while he's in the bath. At least he is enjoying his baths again!
Tonight Owen had a reverse incident in the bathroom: this time he tipped over and fell head first into the bathtub as it was filling. So basically he is no longer allowed in the bathroom except under very strict supervision! (He is fine--Evelyn was right there to get him out.)
Today ended up being just the four of us. Mommy and Owen went out shopping for baby toys in the morning. They weren't shopping for Owen, but they both saw many things that they wanted. Cara and I meanwhile found a superhero-creator on the web. Evelyn had the good idea of taking all the cushions off the sofa and love seat and covering the living room floor with them. Owen always gets a kick out of being put on the couch or on the bed, but we always worry that he will wander off the edge. With the cushions on the floor there was no danger, and he spent a lot of time crawling all over the place and enjoying himself.
At dinner and at lunch Owen was very communicative with his "all done" sign. At dinner I think we all agreed that he was actually saying "All done." In fact, he was so proud of himself that he said it several times, and very loudly.
Today was Cara's graduation! Grandmom and Grandpop came along with Evelyn and myself. Cara and her classmates got to get up on risers in the multi-purpose room and sing quite a few songs, with dance moves and all. They had memorized some poems, too! It was really quite impressive. Cara had a ball--she is an old hand at performing in front of crowds. She got a graduation certificate at the end, and a class picture with all the kids' names on it. Then she got to go out to Chili's with all of us grown-ups.
Afterwards, we picked up Owen, came home, and Grandmom and Grandpop got to see Owen showing off his latest skills. He toddled, made his animal noises, popped some bubbles, and got to play with the iPad. Grandpop got a chance to read some books to Owen, which they both enjoyed.
Now Cara is a first grader! We're very proud.
Owen and I were introduced to a new mom at YBR today, and we'd been talking to her for all of about fifteen seconds when she asked, "Is he flirting with me?" Yes, he was. Owen was playing some very coy hide-and-seek with her. He's also starting to wave "hi" as well as "bye." When we stepped outside YBR, Owen started squeaking excitedly. There was someone with a very big dog on the sidewalk. Owen really wanted to go and meet the dog. He wanted to grab it and fall face-first into it, but the poor doggy was shy. It was very hard for us to walk away from that dog. We turned around for many last looks as we headed to the car. Well, actually Owen turned around to go back, and I turned him around again many times.
One very convenient thing that Owen does: when he's crawled up stairs, the first thing he does is to scoot around and close the gate behind himself. He can't actually close it himself, but it is helpful that he gets it started and I'm very glad he's always got something to do that gets him away from the stairs.
It was Cara's last day of kindergarten! She came home with a very good report card, instructions for the summer reading contest (fifteen minutes a day, but I figure we'll read when we feel like it and just record it), and a summer journal. She's excited about the journal. It's not something to turn in apparently, but just to do. Every page has a prompt, like "My best friend . . ." or "I wish I could . . ." Cara's already done that page: she wishes she could turn into a superhero. Actually, she just wishes she could turn into. She'll have to write "superhero" later. She's drawn all of Wonder Woman's gear, down to the boots, which evidently she would put on once she'd turned.
I keep having to put Owen's shoes on him before we leave YBR, because they have him hanging out without them and he has to have them on because he walks to the car. (He holds my finger.) Today he turned around in the next driveway and saw a little girl leaving. He started talking to her excitedly, and we had to go back. For a little bit I was concerned about a Tragic Hugging Incident, but when they were a few feet apart neither of them knew what to do. We all had to walk together down the block until I cruelly picked Owen up to cross the street to the car.