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Journal Key:

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

2/23/12 (Thursday)

Owen has promoted himself: we've had to remove the booster seat. It really doesn't seem like a good idea on his part; he has to sit on his knees a lot. However, he had discovered that the other chairs at the table were more to his liking than his own was, so we gave up. In a way, it's working out for us. We don't have to pick him up as much. He's a little hesitant about getting out, though. This evening, having eaten a good dinner, he was sitting sideways, dangling his feet off the chair. He stayed like that for a while, looking contemplative.

Me: Owen, are you stuck?

Owen: No.

Me: Do you want more?

Owen: No.

Me: Are you stuck?

Owen: No.

Steve: Do you want to get down?

Owen: Uh-huh!

I gave him a hand to hold, and he scooted off the chair uneventfully.

2/25/12 (Saturday)

Owen spent this morning running around singing "Old Macdonald." He sang it in the house. He sang it in the car. He sang it at gymnastics and, actually, at the end the other parents started singing it, too. When Owen sings it it comes out more like "Old Moo-donad had a harm." He encourages adult participation--"Sing it, Mommy! Sing Old Moo-donad!" He's definitely got it stuck in his head. Audrey sings it at school, he tells us. If Audrey does it, it must be good.

This afternoon was PJ's birthday party, at which Cara ran around with the other kids and we barely saw her but Owen was nice and snuggly. He clung to us, at first, and was lucky enough to be allowed to try cheese doodles. He liked them. Eventually he was ready to get down and play. Fortunately, we were able to de-cheese him. He walked through several battles that were going on between boys with light sabers or blasters, and somehow nothing happened to him.

In the evening, Grandmama and Grandpapa came up. We ladies sat down to play Rummy-O, and eventually Owen joined us and played happily with my tiles. The tough part was that we did gradually have to give them up, but mostly I snuck them out without his noticing. He got the idea that this was all about numbers, so he did a lot of counting. Grandmama started counting, too, and saying some very high numbers, and Owen counted right along with her! He's not particularly reliable or anything, but he can say his numbers all the way up to about twenty-two!

2/26/12 (Sunday)

Owen went to gymnastics again today (it was a make-up for a snow day), where he repeatedly frightened a new teacher by his habit of flopping down onto mats. Ironically, he's been really bad lately about getting upset when he does trip and fall by accident!

Later, Claire and I took Owen to Barnes and Noble. It was kind of crowded and crazy, but we all had a good time. When we stopped to get a snack, Owen kept grabbing the poles that held up the rope that cordoned off the line. He would hold on and walk his feet up onto the base: he was climbing the pole. He tried all three. He liked running under the rope. It was easily six inches above his head, but he put his hands up in case it hit him anyway. There was a lot of running around on this trip, but eventually we settled in with some books. Owen opted to read them himself, which we all found very pleasant.

It's been quite a while since I've gotten to sit in the glider with Owen to read. I sit on the ottoman, and he gets the chair. Tonight, though, Cara sat with him and read The Bears' Picnic. Then Steve sat down and Owen sat in his lap for one last book before bed.

2/27/12 (Monday)

Owen became a Munchkin today! He woke up bright and early, and while we were having breakfast I tried to get him into the spirit of things. I got him to say "I am a Munchkin," but I think he thought it had something to do with eating bananas. Then he started growling. "I am a dino!" he said. Clearly, this was more interesting than being a Munchkin.

Audrey was there when Steve dropped Owen off, but that didn't help enough. Steve started him playing with toys, and Owen was happy. He asked Steve to take his coat off, and he was very sad when instead Steve had to leave. When Steve called, though, later, he was doing fine.

When I arrived to pick him up, he and some other kids were standing around the table playing with moon sand. First he showed it to me (he had two . . . blobs) and handed it to me, and then I got some big, big hugs. He told me he wanted to go home.

Things are definitely different on the other side of the street. We don't need to pack snacks; they provide them. I think we do need to send any utensils we want him to use. We don't need to send two drinks anymore. They're going to work with him on using regular cups. I find that mind-boggling.

Miss Grace said he'd done great; at first he'd studiously avoided her, but later he'd come sidling up and tell her what he was playing with. He was the only one of the four new Munchkins who had actually spoken to them today! (Audrey would sing songs but wouldn't talk.) While I was there, he talked to Miss Grace about Scooby Doo. He told the teachers we had to go pick up Cara. Miss Mona said that earlier she'd asked him whether Cara was going to come to pick him up. "I don't know," he'd said. "Maybe."

He sounds so mature sometimes. I asked him whether he liked his new school. "No," he told me. Poor little guy! It must have been a hard day, even though it was a good day. Coincidentally it was haircut day, and they'd been confident about about him to give him one, so he looked very grown-up this evening. He told us that he'd played with Audrey and with Daniel. Steve asked him what Daniel had played with. "Daniel play with Owen!"

Owen absolutely adores Steve. Lately, he's been feeding him. He tries to make him share his sippy cup. Tonight Owen wandered off in the middle of dinner but then came back to sit with Daddy. I went to get him some yogurt. "Daddy want yogurt, too!" Owen declared.

We found out right before Owen's bath, while he was hanging out on Cara's bed and getting undressed, that he had gotten to play outside today. Cara and I asked him what he had done on the playground, and he didn't answer. Steve answered for him: "Collecting leaves in his pants."

2/28/12 (Tuesday)

Cara woke up and came into the bathroom while I was in the shower, and then Owen woke up, too. When I was dressed, I came out and discovered that Steve was still asleep: Cara had pulled the ottoman over to sit by the crib, and they were playing happily! It was a great beginning to the day.

Owen cried again when Steve left him at YBR, but then he had a great day. They started to learn Latin (I'm sure that changed his life) and someone came to show some snakes to the kids! They were allowed to touch the snakes, and Owen has told me that he did not but has also told me that he did and so did Audrey. The kids were playing outside when Cara and I got there to pick him up, and when I asked Owen said that he does like his new school.

In the car Owen said, "No, Cara, you're bad to Owen!" I don't know what he was referring to. She seemed completely unconcerned.

We dropped Cara at ballet and took ourselves to Target, where we had one quick errand. In the parking lot, I was able to show Owen some geese. While we were in the store, he was very eager to get back out to see more. We hung around in the parking lot for a little while, Owen sitting in a shopping cart, watching the geese.

Back at ballet, Owen found a book he really liked. Cara came out and got ready to go, but Owen told her to "sit on the bottom!" (That's how he tells us to sit on the floor, on our bottoms. He points to where he wants you.) Eventually we had to start to leave, and then he wanted to take it with him. I had to pry it from his fingers.

Tonight I offered Owen a choice of pajamas: did he want to be Spiderman or a dinosaur. He took both, ran off to the bathroom, threw them on the floor, and said, "No, Mommy! You not do that to Owen!" Pretty soon, I did.

2/29/12 (Tuesday)

I brought clothes downstairs and started to take Owen out of his pajamas. "No, Mommy! You don't do that to Owen!" I did.

He had another good day at YBR, though he started out with crying again. He was playing with Mr. Potato Head when I got there, putting all sorts of things onto him. His potato was wobbly, so Miss Mona went and got him some feet. He'd found feet already when she brought them back, so he put one pair underneath and the other on top of the head. It's nice that he doesn't immediately want to leave when I get there.

YBR provides snacks in the morning and afternoon, and I don't think they're as satisfying as what we used to send. Tonight we discovered a big up-side: Owen ate a very good dinner! It was playdate, and we had chicken parm. Owen was at the table a lot longer than the big kids!

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