Green = Steve | George = navy | Janet = Purple | Evelyn = Black
Cara likes to comb Owen's hair. When he and I picked her up yesterday, several kids at her camp spent time rubbing Owen's head and messing up his hair, which she announced she was going to comb when we got home. She got distracted then, but this morning she did comb him thoroughly more than once. He looked very handsome. She was somewhat concerned to see when we picked her up today that his hair looked basically like it always does. She blamed it on him for messing it up or perhaps on his teachers. I blame it on time and on the kids at her camp who rubbed his head again.
Owen walks more than he crawls now, but he still can't quite just pop up off the floor. Karen was very impressed with the way that he can just stand up from sitting on the Elmo couch now, and she worked with him on standing up independently. He really can almost do it! She just steadied him a little, and he got his feet in position, got his tushie up, and leaned back until he could straighten up. He almost did it himself a few times. He just needs practice and confidence; he still doesn't think that it's an option.
He really loves working with Karen. He's always happy to see her when she comes in, and he totally shows off for her. I think he understands what she's there to see, and he gives it to her. I don't think he'll stand up as well for us without her, because he might not see that that's what we want. He carried some books around, and she got to see us read Clumsy Crab. Owen was definitely excited about sharing one of his favorite books: he made some of the sound effects I usually do, and he joined in several of the motions that he usually just watches! Flirt.
To work on Owen's balance, Karen suggested that we teach him to kick a ball. We got out a lot of balls, which distracted Owen from the Playmobil animals he'd wandered back to. Karen held both of his hands, and he showed us that he absolutely knows how to kick a ball. Another thing that would be good for his balance would be for Owen to try throwing a ball while standing up. He did that once, but after that he elected to bring the ball to Mommy rather than throwing it to Mommy. That's actually fairly typical of Owen right now. When we used something to lure him into standing up, he would be very excited about it but then once he was standing up he'd wander off, delighted about walking.
We have another new trick to do. Drinking out of an open cup is good for his mouth, so we are going to encourage that and speech by giving Owen sips of juice when he says "juice" or "ooce" or "djoos" or whatever. He's giving it a good shot. Karen pointed out that he really pays attention when we have him watch our mouths form a word. I think he really does. Also, today I learned that, given a choice, Owen will ask for a cup of juice over a cup of milk.
To celebrate Grandmama's birthday, we had FishFest at Aunt Claire's house. The heat's been stultifying this week, so the pool was very popular. Owen spent more time in his floaty thing this time, which was nice. He splashes a lot less when he's in there than he does when we're holding him, for some reason. He loves to be carried through the water as if he were swimming! We brought water toys, and he liked saying "ball" and throwing them. Cara was jumping in, so I tried jumping in with Owen, but only in the shallow end. He liked it.
Cara tried her first clam (which will be her last for a while, but she was very polite about it) and Owen tried shrimp, which he liked very much. We'd gotten some pastries at the Italian bakery, and the nice lady had tossed in a few cookies for the kids. I let Owen have one in Claire's living room, having cleared it first, and he demolished it. He ate a couple of them, but they were those very crumbly ones, so he and the rug were both coated in crumbs. He was very happy.
The kids and I had a long and busy day. Owen at a late breakfast at Toys R Us, where I could not ask for help finding anything because I didn't want anyone to notice that his stroller tray was full of scrambled egg. We got a birthday present for Nick, and then Owen went to sleep in the car while I drove to Middletown to pick up Cara and then we drove down to Wall for the party.
It was a bounce party, which is one of the best kinds of party! I'd brought Owen because there was a bouncing area for toddlers. It was a big rectangular sort of pen; on one side there was a smallish slide, in the middle were some inflated cubes, at the back were some walls sticking out, and on the left was a low ring like an empty kiddie pool. It was a little weird to just sort of put Owen into something on his own, but gradually we both got used to it (Cara was off bouncing). It took Owen a few minutes to get the idea that everything was bouncy and soft. He stood up against the wall and soon he tried walking a bit, and he found out that falling down was fun and funny.
The kiddle pool was probably his best thing. He would sort of dive headfirst to get into it or out of it, and once he'd wriggled his way over the edge he was very proud of himself. A couple of times he spent so long sort of draped over the edge that I got Cara to go and see whether he needed help; he was happy, though, and so we left him alone. Once he couldn't make it over, and I suggested that he get a leg over first. He tried it, and he was pleased that it worked!
Owen also spent some time thinking about the slide. The only part he saw was the ramp up, with little footholds sticking out. I told him to go "up, up, up," and he did try it. He was perfectly able to climb up, but he didn't know where it was going and I guess it felt funny, because every time he tried it he just climbed back down after he got halfway up. He saw plenty of other kids going up and over, and plenty came over from the other side and down the ladder, too!
In the second half of the party we were in another room with no real bounce thing for Owen. His favorite thing there was one of those little red cars with the yellow roof. He pushed it around and eventually I showed him that he could sit in it. He got in sort of backwards and then climbed onto the seat. I pushed him around a few times, and we practiced getting in and out, with some success. He liked waving and saying "hi" to the other little kids at the party.
We were down south, so afterwards we stopped at the Monmouth Mall. in the food court, we got a couple of hot dogs. While we waited Cara explained to Owen what we were doing, so he kept saying "OT-da!" Everyone liked the OT-das. Owen walked halfway across the mall, fortunately in a direction we felt like going. There was a Barnes and Noble. We wanted to go in. Owen wanted to walk in and out and in and out and around in circles. He thought it was very funny. Eventually I had to catch him. He did not think that was very funny.
He was very vocal while we looked at books. He barked--well, he yipped--at every book that had a dog on it. He likes the dog books. (Cara's "favorite animal in the world" is a chihuahua. I am troubled.) He said "duck" and "ball" and made noises for dogs and cats and sheep and cars and trains and monkeys. The boy likes books. We read a peek-a-boo book that made me finally realize that he has a word for "peek-a-boo." It's something like "badoo!"
Owen still doesn't say "Mama" the way he says "Dada." I guess he does sort of say them both recreationally. He did say "Mama" a lot today, though. "Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama!" he would say, as we walked through the party. "Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama, Mama!" he would say, as I pushed his stroller through the mall. He was happy to see me, but he wasn't calling me. I'm really not sure what he was talking about. He was a happy boy, though.
Owen started yipping while I was getting his things together at YBR this afternoon, which let me know that the next mother who had come in was the one with the seeing eye dog. He's becoming quite the helpful communicator. It was raining as we walked to the car, and Owen was excited to tell me about the bubbles in the gutters.
It occurred to me how oddly relaxing it was to get to be the one who rang the doorbell at YBR this afternoon. In the mornings Owen likes to push the button, and it's a very delicate and chancey operation. Anyway, a father showed up and came in when I did. I got Owen's lunch box together and went in to get him. Miss Chava was saying to Owen, "Yes, Jacob's daddy is here, and this is your . . . . ?" He bounced in his bucket seat and smiled at us both. She tried a couple of times. We got nothing!
Owen clearly remembers that pickup time is doggy time, because he did some very optimistic yipping both inside and out on the street. No doggy today, though! A couple of times, I got him to say "doggy." It does sound kind of like "daddy." He gave "kitty" a shot, too. It's funny how we--well, I, at least--have completely neglected encouraging him to name the animals. We've been so taken up with the animal sounds, I guess!
I wasn't thinking, and while we were all playing after we got home, I said "Daddy." Poor Owen got excited and started heading for the door.
Today was a special day: our Playmobil order arrived! Owen loves his Playmobil 123s, and Steve decided we should get him some more because the only children he has are girls! We got two little sets, one a ride-on snail with a boy, the other a dolphin and a boy with a float. (The one who rides on the snail is dressed up as a ladybug. That's a little weird.) They're exciting, of course, because they're Playmobil and new, but Owen already knows that those are his boys.
Owen got mad at Miss Chava today. He was very, very angry at her. It was afternoon snack time, and he had more snack to eat when everyone else went out to play. As soon as Miss Chava asked him whether he wanted to go outside, the screaming stopped. Actually, that's pretty much what happened last week when Robin kept him inside for speech therapy! (Well, with less screaming.)
For Casey's birthday, we went over for swimming and hot dogs. (OT-da!) Juliana was ready to go before I had all of our stuff together, and she offered to walk Cara. Owen came out the door, and she offered to take him, too. He walked up the hill to her with a little bit of help, took her hand, and off they all went! I was left on my own to pack things up and bring them over. I kept peeking outside, and he just toddled along happily. He likes Juliana; he was saying "hi!" to her from the car when we pulled up.
It wasn't too much above 80, but the big kids were having a blast in the pool, so I had to make one of those huge sacrifices that parents are called upon for and take Owen in anyway. It was actually nice; the water was warm. He got to splash and squeal and play with the big kids. I put him into his float and PJ basically took over and spun him around and around. The two of them were funny. PJ kept asking, "How do you say 'mommy'?" and Owen would say, triumphantly, "mommy!" They were both thrilled.