Green = Steve | George = navy | Janet = Purple | Evelyn = Black
Yesterday, when Juliana came over, Owen went upstairs ahead of us and called for us to follow him up. When we made it, there he was on the couch! I had to check with Cara and look to see whether there was anything he could have stood on, but it looked like he'd done it himself for the first time ever.
Today, with Karen, he did it again! It takes a lot of effort. He's able to get his right leg just barely up high enough, and then he can grapple his way up there. Now he just needs to learn to work the remote, and he'll have it made!
One of our goals today was to assess his speech. We were pretty confident about it, but Robin was less sure. We wanted to make sure we were right. Owen was very helpful. He went and got Hop on Pop and said, "Karen readit!" She did. Well, at every page she had him tell her about it. On just about every page, he had something to say. My favorite was "up high Brown!" when Mr. Brown appears at the top of a very skinny mountain.
Owen said lots of other things, too. He was concerned when Cara left. Karen asked him what was wrong. "I don't know where Cara go!" he said. "Cara go home," he guessed. At two years, he's supposed to be using two- or three-word sentences spontaneously. We've definitely got it.
He refused to ride a ride-on toy for us, so Karen took out something else: a balloon. A balloon is perfect for playing catch, because it's much slower than an actual ball. Our goal is for Owen to catch it by trapping it in his arms; he didn't succeed much today, possibly because the balloon was too big and kept hitting him in the nose before he could get his arms around it. He did really like running around with it, laying his face against it, and generally having it.
At dinner, we had meatballs. Owen said, "bye, Daddy," a few times before we figured out he was saying "spaghetti!" He is getting better at getting things onto his fork, but spaghetti still eludes him. He ate a little, I think, with his hands, but otherwise it was a fruitless struggle and of course we are not allowed to help.
Today was Owen's two-year well-visit! He and I went on our own, which seemed to confuse him--he wanted to know where Cara was. He was willing to have a good time without her, though. I was a little bit concerned because I hadn't brought anything to entertain him with besides whatever was in my purse, but he really liked the chair in the waiting room. He liked sitting next to me. He liked standing up and looking out the window. He liked talking to the window. He liked sitting down. He liked it all. When we got called back to a room, he really wasn't interested.
Once I'd picked him up and set him on his way, he walked back to room six. This room seemed to have nice chairs, too, but soon it was time to get measured and weighed. Owen is in the 50th percentile for height! I think he's 34 inches. He's between the 25th and 50th for weight, at about 26 and a half pounds. He got to use the big-boy scale! He kept his clothes on (I'd been dreading the scale part, so I was delighted) and marched down the hall after us, and he stepped right up onto the scale, holding my fingers. Getting him back into the room was a little difficult, because he was ready to go and explore the office.
Now, while he played with my work ID and generally enjoyed being up on the cushy table while I filled out the milestones chart. Having done that assessment with Karen really helped! I know Owen can stack blocks up more than four high and that he can imitate a line that I draw. I only had two "no" answers on the front, but the back was just absolutely beyond him--can your child dress himself? No! When I looked at the ages paired with things, though, those skills seemed to be expected of children well beyond three years, while the ones on the front, actually, were for kids at three years. Maybe the ages on the chart are the ages at which we'd be concerned if the kid couldn't do those things?
Seeing the actual doctor was wonderful. I don't know that we've ever had as relaxing an appointment with Owen! She was pleased with everything. She was very impressed by his vocabulary and language skills. She was satisfied with his physical skills. He was friendly and agreeable. The doctor kept knocking on wood; she was very relieved and pleased and impressed by how far he's come! I think this is what it always felt like to take Cara to the doctor.
It snowed for Owen's birthday party! ("Maybe we can make a no-man!" Cara suggested.) Fortunately, everyone made it safely here and safely home.
When Owen woke up, there were streamers and balloons and food and lots and lots of people. He was clingy at first, but then he relaxed. Everyone was someone he knew and was glad to see; today was just neighbors and family. He was definitely excited when Griffin got here. I'm not sure they actually interacted, but each of them definitely noticed the other. The thing is, the other guy was never paying attention at the right time. They both had fun playing with the He-Man toys and the train stuff. Owen was playing with a few Playmobil things and I poured out the rest of his bin. Both of them came right over: it was as if a pinata had broken.
PJ and Casey were very interested in helping Owen open his presents, and because Owen was a little slow at the start, PJ helped a lot. Casey waited patiently and got to take the things she'd brought out of their gift bag. There was one last present, and Owen finally pulled the paper off by himself! He got some very nice things, including a tricycle (which wasn't wrapped), a new shirt ("George rides bike!") and Star Wars pajamas, some very cute little cars, three-piece puzzles that will help me next time I have to answer a question on an evaluation about whether he can do three-piece puzzles, a MerMan figure, some train things, a wooden puzzle, a farm animals book . . . he got a lot.
When we lit candles and put the cupcake in front of Owen, he really looked like he was leaning forward, getting ready to blow. He waited while we sang, apparently pretty confused. By the time we got to the end, he seemed to have decided that he liked it. We helped him blow out the candles, and Steve eventually got a fork to use for his cupcake. He'd seen cupcakes in a store earlier and been excited about them, but now that he had one of his own, well, there were other things to do.
It may be that he had to leave the table when the other kids did. He loves PJ, and PJ was going down to the basement. He had to follow him. Juliana was leaving, and as I was walking Owen down the stairs he was saying, "Bye, Juliana. Good-bye, Juliana!" I had to haul him back up to show her.
We ended up relaxing with some He-Man, and gradually the party trickled to an end. Cara went to sleep over with Grandmama and Grandpapa, so it was just Owen and us. He mostly played with three He-Man figures, who seemed to keep falling off the couch, getting back up, and declaring that they were guys.
Steve, to Owen, looking down at the living room right before bed: "Look at your toys. You got a lot of toys."
Owen: "PJ open!"
He loves PJ.
With Cara away this morning for her sleepover, Owen and his parents had a lazy morning playing with his new toys. Cara got home and not long after we had lunch; Owen had a long nap, and Cara went outside to play for a very long time in the snow. Eventually we rounded up the kids and took another exciting family trip to the bank, where the kids were once again given coloring books, stickers, and even some tattoos (we should go there every week! well...no let's not). Owen became annoyed when I wouldn't let him have my wallet, so he and I left a little before everyone else for a planned trip to the grocery store.
The first place we visited at the store was the produce department. "I want banana, Daddy!" Owen said very clearly. I hadn't been planning on getting bananas, but I picked up a bunch. However I couldn't quite see myself feeding him a banana while shopping. It was a long shopping trip and by the end, even after having had a long time to play with my keys and lose them in the shopping cart, he was quite annoyed about not getting to have a banana. Finally I got him out to the car and gave him some. We were all relieved.
Owen does a lot of talking with his toys, but a lot of it is gibberish. One of the phrases he has learned, now that the holidays are over, is "Merry Christmas." So tonight he had his Skeletor figure, who was riding a totally unrelated dinosaur toy. "Merry Christmas!" said Skeletor. Then he and the dinosaur cruelly smashed another He-Man figure. Then Skeletor was off the dinosaur. "Oh no, what happened?" asked Owen. "I no know!" said Skeletor.
We had a special make-up session of PT today, meeting Karen here at five. Everyone was delighted to see her; it's very sad to think that Owen can't understand that he'll only see her one more time!
Today, Karen wanted to work on the next things Owen'll have to master. One of those is stepping up a snall step independently, so she'd brought in a few things. The first we tried was her duct-taped phone book, which Owen, somewhat to our surprise, stepped up onto without hesitation. The second was a four-inch box. Cara modeled for Owen, and so did one of his He-Man figures. Then Owen stepped up and neatly stepped off again--I do wonder whether he could stop up there. We were astonished. It was a little hard to get him to do it again, but that was just because he was distracted. He did it a few times. Karen hadn't thought she'd need it, but it was a good thing she'd brought in her six-inch box! Owen can do that one, too, with a tiny bit of help and if someone kind of catches him at the top. I think I can stop being so cautious when Owen has to step up coming in the front door!
Our other goal is to work on jumping, which we tried in various ways with almost no success. There are two parts to jumping, though, says Karen: bending the knees and pushing up off of the feet. Owen understands the knee-bending part fine. To work on the tip-toe part, she got out a puzzle. She held the pieces up, and when Owen told her which one she wanted she made him reach up high for it. He can go up on his toes, especially if he gets a tiny bit of support from a couch or someone's finger. He liked this game! When they played it with the Elmo dress-up toy, half the time Owen said "reach up!" instead of telling her which piece he wanted.
In the car on the way to ballet, Cara exclaimed, "I love ballet!" We spent the rest of the ride hearing Owen loving ballet, too.
Cara also told me, plaintively, about a scrape she had gotten on her finger. Owen was very concerned: "What happen, Cara?" Later, she asked me what was for dinner and I told her. She was disappointed and got whiney. Owen was very concerned: "What happen, Cara?"
We didn't have much waiting to do before Cara's class, so Owen had to come to terms with not having his coat off. Soon Cara saw her class going in, and off she went. Owen was very disturbed, again, when I wanted to leave without her. We went to Target and found him some winter boots, and he got to walk around the store in his socks for a few minutes. He gets a kick out of walking and likes to peek at me between racks. Of course, he thinks he's funny when he goes around a big display to where I can't see him. Both kids got new socks, and it was time to go back and get Cara.
Last week we were a little late and she was ready to go when we got there, but this week we had to wait. It was crowded and loud. Owen stood in the middle of the room, peering around and calling, "Cara? Where are you? Where are you, Cara?!"
Today was Poetry Night at Linwood, so I got to pick the kids up early again! We went to Chili's to have dinner with Hinda. Owen was very taken with Hinda. He gave her his little kids' menu and crayons. He gave her his fork. He gave her a napkin. He gave her his menu again.
Cara had bought some books at the used book sale at school, so we'd brought some in with us--it hadn't occurred to me to bring anything to occupy Owen. One of them was The Berenstains' B Book, which involves a big brown bear, a blue bull, and a beautiful babboon biking backwards and bumping many things that begin with B. Owen liked that a lot. He told us all about it. Mostly, he told Hinda.
After we ate, when we got into the car, Owen said, "Oh-ee, Mommy, Cara--home!" We had to tell him we weren't going home yet. He was somewhat disappointed until I thought to tell him we'd see Hinda at Poetry Night.
He says her name: I think it sounds kind of like Honda, but Hinda's hoping not. Anyway, any time she walked away from us, he called her. When we got into the cafeteria and she started setting up her equipment (she was there to videotape), the kids went running around. Basically, Owen went between Hinda and Cara. He would run to the back of the room and then look around and call Hinda. For some reason, she didn't come to play. He would go and check on her. Then he could head back to run around some more. Like all of the little kids we've ever brought there, Owen loved running on the ramps. He did that for a while.
When Poetry Night started, Cara went to watch. Owen, who had been left in the back, came trotting across all that space, yelling "Cara! Cara!" while the first poem was read. He and I went to spend some time in the hallway. In the hallway, he remembered hearing me mention the word "lion." He wanted to see one. I found three lions on a bulletin board display, which were enough for him. He noticed a zebra pattern on a nearby sign, which he felt was also important.
Fortunately, although he was having a good time, Owen was soon picked up by his daddy.
When Owen met me at school, he seemed very interested in showing me something. "Look, Daddy!" he walked me over to a door that was very probably locked, and marked "Janitorial." He said something about the door and looked like he was going to open it. I dissuaded him. When I got him outside and into the car, he started talking about homework. "Did Cara do her homework?" I asked. "No, Daddy. Owen home-work." He seemed to want to tell me that either he was homework, or he had homework, or he was going to do homework. Eventually I just agreed with him.
He was happy when we pulled up to our home. "Home!" We played He-Mans for just a little bit and then it was time for the bath. He has so much to say, especially when his Playmobil people are running around the bathtub. It was nice to have some one-on-one time with the buddy.