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Journal Key:

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

6/19/14 (Thursday)

Owen, Cara, and I went to the grocery store in Highland Park today, to pick up milk for our repaired fridge and some things for dinner. In the store, Owen wanted a banana.

Me: We have bananas at home.

Owen: But I just want one!

Me: Yes, you can have one when we get home.

Owen: But I want to take one of these!

Me: But we don't need to; we have bananas at home.

Owen: I meant, I want to come back another day and take one!

After that, he pointed out a lot of things that he did not want.

Owen: Look, they have popcorn! I don't want that!

Owen: Look, they have hot dogs! I don't want that.

He didn't want hot dog rolls, candy, pizza, ice cream, lemonade, or orange juice.

We spent a relaxing evening at home, coloring, watching tv, and eating cherries, as well as the frozen pizza that was as close as I was willing to get to cooking on this, the night before my last day of school. In the bath, Owen created an origin story for his Spiderman and Green Lantern figures, who were just ordinary guys at first, walking along, saving each other from drowning, and then going to sleep, together, under a giant cup.

A while after I tucked him in, Owen popped out of his room. He wanted "a snuggle." He had finished reading several books, only one of which had been in his bed when I'd left. His night light was turned off and sitting on his dresser. This was not the first time he's popped out over the past week. I snuggled. I re-tucked. I specified that there would be no more pop-outs. So far, that has worked. I think we'll need to start mentioning it at the first tuck-in.

6/20/14 (Friday)

We got takeout for dinner and put on Frozen. Unfortunately, after a while, Owen was done with the movie and wanted us to come and play with him in the playroom. Steve and I were still eating. We were not interested. We sent him to play on his own, in spite of many invitations to join him. Eventually, he came back with a more enticing announcement: "You guys have to come see what happened in the playroom! There's a big commotion!!"

There was, indeed, a commotion. He had dumped out the He-Man bin, an animal bin, a vehicle bin, and the big superhero bin, all on top of each other. It worked out nicely, because we found several toys to throw out while we were sorting things.

6/21/14 (Saturday)

After a lazy morning, we all walked to the park with a picnic lunch. We settled on blankets under a tree and ate; Cara finished first and went on the swings. Owen insisted repeatedly that he was not going on swings. Eventually (he's been kind of a big eater this weekend) he also finished. We went to the playground to play hide and seek. Cara had brought along a beach ball, and she and Steve played with it, pushing it down the slide to each other and following it, then running back up. We had also brought bubbles, and I spent a lot of time sitting on the grass, blowing bubbles for kids to pop.

The walk home was slow. Owen was tired. He explained that he was going to take a nap in his bed when we got back. He wanted the window open and the lights off. He wanted the lights off in the living room, too. He was going to read some books in his bed and then go to sleep. When we got home, he and I went upstairs. He got into bed. He got out to get some books. "Mommy," he said, "can you please leave?" So I did.

He did spend a long time alone in his room, but he did not sleep. At three, we went down the street to the Loefflers'. Ron had an old computer that he wanted to disassemble with the kids, showing them what the components looked like. After that, we let them go in the pool and got takeout for dinner. It was a relaxing summer day!

6/22/14 (Sunday)

In the morning, Owen fought the newspaper. He started out fighting just a few pages, but gradually more and more of it got pulled in, and eventually the entire Star Ledger was crumpled on the living room floor. Well, he didn't crumple a Kohl's ad. "Oh," he said, "This isn't the newspaper. It's a magazine for girls." He set that aside. I let him enjoy the chaos for a while, but then I folded things up and we went and washed his hands and feet and learned a little bit about the way that newsprint gets us messy.

Steve was jealous, last week, when Jim could just send Griffin into the bathroom by himself. We've been working on Owen. He can handle the toilet, but washing his hands is still a problem. He has grown, but he can't reach the handle of the sink upstairs yet. We've been sending him on his own, with instructions to call us for the washing part.

This afternoon, Owen and I went out to Barnes and Noble while Cara had a playdate. We read a lot of books, but none of them were Scooby Doo or Super Hero Squad. We had a treat. We also played Legos. As usual, Owen started out by just making a pattern. He denies that it is a pattern, but it is. Gradually, though, he made his creation taller. It turned out to be an airplane, but there was a giant hawk inside it, and the hawk's wings had broken out and become the wings of the plane. There was also a lot of fire at the back. At the front were some robot parts. Those were what I was required to work on.

We also went to the bathroom there. "This is really tall" said Owen. It wasn't, particularly. "Mommy, pretend you don't think I can reach!" I tried to say appropriate things, but he wasn't happy with my efforts. "Pretend you don't think I can get my pointer in there!" Eventually, he peed and I claimed to be very impressed and we were able to go wash his hands without my letting him stand on my knees.

6/23/14 (Monday)

It was Cara's first day of camp, and Owen and I went and dropped her off. Really, it's been a day of Owen running ahead of me, giggling. He ran ahead as we went back up the ramp in the camp building. He ran ahead in Highland Park after I picked him up in the evening. He ran several "races" with me in the hallway tonight. He's very, very silly today; he actually just popped out after an hour in bed, giggling.

It was taco night. That's the kids' favorite, lately. Owen ate his taco and refused another. We reminded him that he might be hungry when bedtime came. He denied it. We gave him a banana. He ate that. When we went in to brush his teeth, he told me that he was hungry. Sorry, Bunny!

6/24/14 (Tuesday)

Last night, Owen and I discussed whether today would be a staying-home day. It would not. What if he woke up early? It still would not. What if he woke up very early? Nope. What if he woke up very, very early? Still not.

Owen woke up very, very early. I blame his window having been open all night: the birds get loud. It was not, however, a staying-home day. We had a relaxing morning, and then Steve took him to school while I waited, with Cara, at home for the guy to come and finalize the repairs to the fridge.

I had Owen write his name on a picture this morning. "Ok, but I'll make my W like an M," he said. He did. "OMEN" he wrote.

After dinner, we all went and got into the car and drove to Highland Park for the YBR graduation. Everyone got a lei as we entered. Owen pointed out all of the friends he saw. At first he was shy, but after we'd been there a while he started determinedly waving hello to people, even people he didn't know. He also had to get up out of his seat to go and say hello to some friends.

Miss Sarah told us that Owen still expects her to come over to our house. She can come for a sleep-over, but, he explained to her today, she will have to bring her own bed.

There was a "surprise guest" at the graduation. To no one's astonishment, it was Mr. Ray! Mr. Ray actually greeted Owen personally while we were getting some snacks. "I love thus guy!" he said. "He really gets into the music." Most of the evening was Mr. Ray singing with the kids, which was great. Owen went up and sang and jumped around and really had a fabulous time.

6/25/14 (Wednesday)

Cara had dance at 5:30 and got out of camp at 5, so tonight we did a lot of running around. Owen and I spent some time hanging around Target while she was in class. Actually, I parked near Target, and then I got to sit and wait while Owen finished looking at a book. Next, we went to Petco and looked at all of the animals. Actually, we did a lot of running from place to place. We ran almost all the way from Target to Petco, first off. In the pet store, we also ran. Owen found many interesting things to look at. Pictures of animals are almost as exciting as actual animals.

At Target, we stopped in the rest room. I went into a stall, but Owen insisted on waiting outside. He didn't need to go. Oh, actually, he did. He was going into the next stall, and I should not come in with him. When I came out, he came shuffling out of his stall, where he had peed with the door open. His shorts and underwear were around his ankles. I got him to pull up the underwear and, eventually, he got the shorts, too.

I was a good mommy and participated in Owen's bath battle this evening. I was Robin. Joker had stolen my gadgets, and Green Lantern and I were going to go to his underwater lair and get them back. Joker would take a lot of battling. We also had to battle his mechanical sharks. I got Owen to drain the tub before we could start the next story, which would have featured the toy cow, as well.

The other day, I heard Owen singing a theme song for Robin. It was very much like the Spiderman song: "does whatever a robin can!"

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