Green = Steve | George = navy | Janet = Purple | Evelyn = Black
Today Cara got to have a visit back at good old Yellow Brick Road. She got to see some kids she knew. Owen had the distinction of successfully pushing the doorbell at the Baby Brick for the first time this morning.
Tonight Owen had his bath. We used the bubble toy, which was a nice distraction. Then Cara brought in a Playmobil toy to give to Owen. It was what I think of as the "Daddy" figure, who has dark parted hair and is wearing a painted-on tie. I strongly associate myself with this figure. Anyway, Owen had a great time with it, having it climb over the far side of the bubble toy and get stuck ("Uh-oh!"). I showed him that the figure could slide down the side of the tub, which was funny. I also showed him that we could put him in our big cup and pour him out, with many Daddy-made sound effects of alarm. This was very funny. I remember that Cara used to find it very amusing when I would do this same thing with her girl toys. The difference being that Owen wanted to be the one pouring out the man, instead of just watching.
It was date night! The kids were thrilled to go and play at the Loefflers'. Well, Cara was, because she knew what was going on, and Owen just likes to go places. He went right out to the train table and picked up an engine: "choo-choo!" When Steve and I snuck out, PJ was obligingly asking him what noise a sheep makes.
Em reports that the kids spent a lot of time playing outside. The girls ran off to play together, but PJ got a baseball bat and wanted to play "flower-whack" in the lawn, and that sounded good to Owen, too. The boys drifted off while Em was grilling, and when Em went to check on Owen, she found him partway up the slide. She moved into catching range and watched. He turned around and slid down, then sat at the bottom, happily swinging his feet. She figured he was content, but soon enough he decided to go for it and accomplished a face plant in the mulch. From that, he sat up, thought a little bit, and headed back to the slide.
Inside, Owen did a lot of standing up from people's laps and once even from the floor. He also went down the stairs himself (with a spotter), standing up from each step on the next one down. At the bottom, of course, he couldn't imagine that he'd be able to just stand up and walk away; he had to plop to the floor. He was happy and laughing and chatty and snuggly.
All four of us went to Grounds for Sculpture today! Owen's first reaction was to be alarmed by the sculptures, but that may have been partly because he had just woken up. He loved having big open areas to run around in. He loved being outside. He enjoyed the musical sculpture, where he got to hit things with a big metal rod. Really, this is one of his favorite things to do.
It was tough to wrestle the stroller through parts of the park, but it was definitely good to have; that was a lot of walking. We took him out and let him walk around some areas. At the amphitheater, there are five big bronze tigers. Cara had to have her picture taken with each of them. Owen had fun walking around and stepping on the "seats," which are just big stone blocks. He was definitely not interested in going near those tigers! He wouldn't let us get him over to any of them to take a picture. There was one statue that he had fun with; it had a low, round base that he liked crawling on and through. We walked him down a hill to a stream, which he seemed pretty interested in going into, and I suddenly realized how bad it is that he's so "multi-mobile." If we'd gotten him to sit down near the bank, he'd have just scooted in! Steve convinced him to walk back up the hill.
I've been working with Owen on a new animal: the crab. We don't have a noise, but I've taught him to click his "claws." He looks like he has little castanets.
I took Owen down to Trenton for his High-Risk Follow-Up visit this afternoon. We spent our waiting time very nicely; Owen waved and said "allo!" to people in offices who had not even glanced at him, while I fed him some of the leftover yogurt he had in his lunch box. He doesn't seem to say hello to people who are actually looking at him.
The first stop, as usual was to have the Bayley Scales of Infant Development administered, to check Owen's cognitive development. Last time, when he was a little past 14 months chronologically and 12 months adjusted age, he rated at 13 months old, with a cognitive score of 105, which is average. Today, at 17 months and 9 days chronologically and 15 months 9 days adjusted, he rated somewhere in the 17-18 month range, with a cognitive score of 120, which is "superior"! The "parent's report" that the therapist wrote says "doing mighty fine!"
Even so, Owen was not a particularly happy camper. He did the test sitting on my lap because he was too clingy for us to put him in the high chair. He got antsy at the end; I think he might have gone a little further, otherwise. In the test, Owen had to find objects hidden under fabric. He had to feed a baby doll with a spoon. He had to do a puzzle and then do it again when the therapist had turned it around. She put out a board with six pegs standing in it, and as she took the pegs out she reassured me that he only had to get one back in. He put in four and was fooling around with the others when she moved him on to the next thing. He had to do some matching. She showed him a card with a picture of a tree on it. There were three pictures at the bottom. Which was a tree? He did a few of those. The thing that she was starting do try when he really was just done was another matching activity. She had a card with pictures of crayons on it, and she had circles of matching colors. She laid them out on the right colors and then took them off, and I do wonder whether he'd have matched them up. In the right mood, I think he would have. Of course, he has a lot of moods in which he wouldn't!
The poor kid was very unhappy throughout the physical and auditory examinations. His weight is very good; he's made a jump since last time. (He was supposed to be at least 24 pounds, but he was 25 and one ounce.) The doctor says he's basically caught up to a term infant and admonishes him that there's no reason for him not to walk. The auditory exam was interesting. The tubes are still in and working; this audiologist cautions us that if the tubes come out and his fluid builds back up, he would still hear though not as well. We might not be able to tell that he was impaired. I'm glad to hear that, because it makes sense and I like it when things make sense and I know that we'll have him monitored.
I wish that the more physical and upsetting parts of the examination came last. Instead, last is the physical therapist and speech therapist. Owen was tired and shy and clingy. It took him quite a while to get warmed up, and honestly he was only lukewarm. He didn't really say anything or even babble that much, but he did some signing. He walked a few steps, which the therapists thought was great and I had to tell them wasn't really, compared to what he could do. Both therapists assessed him as about 12-13 months, which I think is really behind where he is because he just wasn't showing them what he can do. They do take into account the things I say, but they also have to go by what they see. Even so, it was a big jump from where he was last time, and they were very pleased with him.
There were a few cool parts. The physical therapist brought out what I could only suppose was a balance beam, but, fortunately, it was just to see whether he could get over it. He could. He crawled over it when I went over to the other side, and later he walked and stepped over it. He tried coming back, but he tripped, poor thing. The other part was just funny: the physical therapist was playing ball with Owen, who was certainly happy about it. Owen sat there, smiling. "One, two, three!" He rolled the ball. Owen sat there and got rolled into. They repeated this a few times. I'm not expecting any sports scholarships.
Steve has taught Owen what a crocodile (or alligator) says. It's sort of an open-mouthed heavy breath. Owen is very good at it. Tonight he also made some good snorts for pigs and did some snoring when he put his Playmobil people to sleep. He's slightly congested, which I suppose helps with the snorting.
One of the papers that the hospital gave us yesterday talked about the activities that Owen should be doing. (Among other things, he should be playing with blocks, which we could either buy or make out of wood, which we could find in a lumber yard.) One thing that its' time for him to try, it seems, is feeding himself with a spoon. That sounded like an exciting adventure! This evening, we tried it.
It was taco night, so I gave him a little bowl with some refried beans in it. This was a very lucky choice, because unlike yogurt or applesauce, beans stay put when you turn the bowl over! After I'd given him a taste to convince him that he wanted to eat the beans, I let him have the spoon and he went to town. He liked banging the spoon on the tray, and he liked banging it in the bowl. He liked waving it around. (Beans are a lot less likely to fly than yogurt or applesauce, too!) The best part was when Owen pulled the bowl closer to him on the tray and put his face down to it to try to eat. I tried giving him advice, but to no avail. Eventually, Steve told him that he had to put the spoon in his mouth. That seems to have been a major sticking point. Once that had been suggested, things went much better.
Owen was able to put the food end of the spoon into his mouth and get food off of it, though he didn't put it in at what you would consider an appropriate angle. Once in a while I could get the spoon back from him and reload it, and eventually I got another spoon, thinking perhaps I could feed him with it. No, I loaded it and he took it, to put into his mouth sideways or upside down and to tap on the tray.
It was a fun and productive experiment, and Owen got to go right from the high chair to the tub, which had to be rinsed out afterwards.
It's been nice being the one to drop Owen off in the morning. I'm getting better at remembering that he gets to ring the doorbell. He was walking around in the kitchen this morning with Miss Carol, who asked him whether he wanted to go over to the other teacher in the toddler room and sit. Immediately, he sat down for her. He doesn't do that for me!
Two afternoons in a row, when Cara and I arrived to pick Owen up, we've had to go all the way out back, down a long ramp, to where the toddlers are playing outside. Everyone is very happy. Owen is delighted to see us. Miss Gracie asked him who was here. "Da-da!" What Owen likes to do out there, it seems, is to push a push toy back and forth across the yard. It makes him very proud. He also gets plenty of things in his shoes! Maybe we should start sending socks. Maybe I should start taking his shoes off outside!
He really loves having Cara there and walking to the car. She runs ahead and comes back, and he shrieks with laughter as he toddles along, holding my finger. The bad part: I do insist on picking him up and carrying him across the street. He is not happy about that.
At home, Owen's favorite thing has become the Playmobil toys. It's great that he has such a nice set! He likes to put people and animals in the trucks--they tend to sit sideways to drive. He makes animal noises. He puts people and animals to bed. He puts things in the tree. He also really likes to use them to hit each other. This morning he and I each had an animal, and his animal would hit mine, who would scream and run away, then peek out and eventually emerge. Then Owen's animal would hit it again. For a while, a cow was really beating the lion brutally.