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Journal Key:

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

1/10/13 (Thursday)

Besides all of the errands I run and cooking and chores I do, I don't really do much around here. The other night, as I was messing around on the computer while Steve wrassled Owen to bed, I was thinking, gee, I ought to do that once in a while.

Tonight, therefore, I tricked Owen into coming upstairs for his bath. Cara helped me. We made a train. This was because she had gotten behind me and grabbed on. Owen doesn't like to be left out, so he was the engine. I got him into the tub and washed him, and then Cara showed back up. She played with him while I went and hung out for a little bit. I came back and got him out. While I dressed him, she read to him. Once he was in his jammies, he went and sat next to her. I left and got into my pajamas and checked my email and petted the cats while Cara read and Steve cleaned up the kitchen.

I thought I was home free when he insisted that Cara read his third book, but after that one, when I tried to transition him into going-to-bed mode, Owen insisted on another book, read by me. While was trying to negotiate and get to read a more fun book than the one he'd picked, Steve came in and offered to read. I do have some shame: I did it.

1/12/13 (Saturday)

This weekend, poor Grandpapa George has the flu and is recovering at home. For us, this meant that I actually had to try to parent a little this weekend. Friday is a blur at this point--I believe I picked up Owen and then a tired Cara and Mommy came home from dance class and we ate some dinner, as is our wont. Saturday was a chores type of day. Once we were all dressed, we had a little visit with Juliana. Then the kids and I were off to take Cara to the dentist. This was Owen's first time coming along to the dentist, so he could see what it was like. I think it was a positive experience. Cara loves going to the dentist, not because she particularly likes having her teeth cleaned, but because she loves the books in the waiting room and getting a little bag of "prizes" when it's over. Owen got his own brush and stickers also.

Afterwards, I took the kids to Target, where we picked out some gifts for a birthday party Cara is attending tomorrow. Then, in what was really a somewhat bone-headed move, I took the kids down the toy aisle, where they found all the toys they wanted to get but which I did not want to buy. Surprisingly, we did not have any meltdowns (probably because I'd already agreed to spend a few bucks on some little art thing for Cara).

Then it was across the street to Friendly's for lunch. We got out Owen's dinosaur stickers from the dentist and placed them on the back of the coloring sheet he had gotten. This was a nice diversion which pretty much made it unnecessary even to play with the small batch of little guys we had brought with us. And since I was by myself with the kids--which always makes me a bit of a pushover--and I figured it was better to give Mommy more time to herself to work on her graduate class studies, we got ice cream. To avoid any need to use stain stick afterwards, I spooned ice cream and M&Ms into Owen. It was also very necessary for me to eat some of his sundae. I was helping.

1/13/13 (Sunday)

Commander Cody was shooting people again in the bath tonight. Then one of the Spidermen webbed him, and he collapsed. I asked whether he would be ok. "Yes," said the other Spiderman, "he just needs a bandage. I'll take him to the message store and buy him a bandage." He carried Commander Cody around the rim of the tub for a while, taking him to buy a bandage.

1/14/13 (Monday)

It's such a beautiful feeling when your son turns to you and says, "Mommy, I love Wolverine and C3PO."

In the bath, one of the Spidermen was crying. "Like a baby!" He and some of the other guys discussed the fact that he was crying and what he was upset about. He was sad.

There were some bad guys in the bath. Robin defeated the Joker and Green Goblin, and then he picked up the Joker and announced, "I'm going to take him to the pet store, as fast as I can! He can stay there!" He took the Joker for a brisk walk around the tub, and then the Green Goblin got the same treatment. Captain America showed up.

Robin: Captain America! I took the Joker and Green Goblin to the animal store--I mean, the pet store!

Captain America: I'm sorry.

I was rather pleased this morning when Owen woke up clutching one of the several small stuffed animals he sleeps with. Ignoring the six or seven little guys who had all fallen out of his crib, he wanted to bring his dragon--and his lion--downstairs. And his blanket. The dragon and the lion and the blanket all did get tossed down the stairs ahead of Owen, hero-style.

The teachers at YBR want to know from whom Owen gets the habit of resting with his hands behind his head, elbows out. I have no idea where he gets it, but that's definitely an Owen habit.

1/15/13 (Tuesday)

Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing. I told the kids this morning that it was time to get dressed. Reluctantly, Cara got off the couch. "Come on, Buddy," she said, "it's time for everybody to go get dressed." And he got up and followed her upstairs. Usually I bring his clothes down to him. Up he went, though, planning.

"I'm going to get into my Supermans," he told me. He was wearing his Scoobies. I had to break it to him that his Supermans are pajamas, and he needs a shirt and pants. That's why he wore his Spiderman Santa shirt; it was the next best thing to his footie Superman pajamas.

Bedtime is getting interesting. Owen had to have a drink while he sat on the potty. He had his bath and got into his pajamas, and then while Steve got his toothbrush he headed downstairs to find "his" Nook. We said no. In the past, when we've said no, we've had to go and physically move him, at which time he would start wailing. This evening, we made progress: he came back to the bottom of the stairs himself and started to crawl up, dramatically wailing. He also tried to get another drink out of us, but we said no to that, too. He survived!

1/16/13 (Wednesday)

Today was Owen's long-delayed follow-up appointment at CHOP to check on his ear tubes. Because it was later in the day than previous appointments, I took Owen along on some errands after we dropped Cara off at school. Then we had time to go back home and watch a couple episodes of the Super Hero Squad before a trip to the library and finally the long drive to the doctor's office.

Perhaps many other people rescheduled their appointments until after the holidays, because the office was packed. Fortunately Owen was a very good little boy while we waited and waited. There were four or five books in his diaper bag, a snack, and two guys (Spider-Man and Iron Man), which kept him occupied. When we'd gone through those, he started messing with the peg-in-track toy cube things they have in the office; but soon after that we were called back to a room.

He was good for the nurse and doctor. I did have to hold him to keep him from covering up his ear, but he merely giggled when they peeked inside. And it turned out that one of his tubes was far enough out that the doctor was able to easily extract it! So we are one tube down. The other tube is still stubbornly in place. We have one more six-month appointment, in July, and if it hasn't come out on its own by then they may do something about it. I think Owen had noticed someone else getting a sticker as they left, so when we left he wanted what was due to him. The receptionist dug through their basket and found two Superman stickers, which I'm sure he fully deserved.

It was a long morning and Owen fell asleep on the ride back to Highland Park. He woke up when we arrived, but it was naptime in YBR. As I left the teachers were setting him up for lunch in a darkened room. Presumably he ate quickly and then got onto a mat with the other kids. Poor guy! It was hard traffic-wise having early appointments, but this one ran a bit later than I could have wished.

Tonight was playdate night also! I picked up the kids and started dinner. Owen was pretty good about playing by himself. Then he spent a little time wandering about looking for his Nook--which we decided was with Mommy, who was still at school stuck in a professional development class. Then I was able to set him up watching Spider-Man shows on YouTube, until Evelyn got home.

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