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Journal Key:

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

6/26/14 (Thursday)

Daddy (or "Daddy Junior," as Owen has taken to calling me--he calls Evelyn "Mommy Junior," so that's all right) has been a little under the weather for the past couple of days, and evenings have gone very fast since I have been getting home late and the kids have been getting home even later after Cara's dance class is done.

Thankfully, tomorrow I work from home and Cara does not have dance, I'm starting to feel better, and tonight was declared "Daddy night." Thus it became my job to oversee the bath and bare witness to the nightly bath "battle," which involved little Joker being pummeled by the good guys. I innocently judged the battle to be over when little Robin came by and clunked Joker off the tub ledge and into the water; but no, Owen explained, everyone had to beat the Joker. He would be serially polished off by all of the other little super heroes, and possibly even the large plastic cow--but not the two toy sharks, who are currently posing as Joker's mechanical henchfish.

We did in fact manage to get out of the tub without going through all of that physical violence; possibly because Mommy went to the library today and brought back a new batch of books. These are a good motivator for a little boy at bedtime. We sampled a few, including a harmless Captain America story which actually started, as it explained, before even the oldest people around today had been born (more of a flashback than any of us bargained for).

Owen's favorite pastime these days is telling us that he is hungry at about the time we start reading to him every night. This annoys me no end, because of course, had he eaten a proper dinner, he would not be hungry. Tonight however, there had been so much rushing around in the evening between picking up children and dropping off children that we parents gave in quietly and provided snacks to go with the books. (Honestly, we tend to end up doing that regardless, but tonight I at least felt less guilty and shameful about the whole thing.) So we had to wait until I'd read three books and he had eaten his cheese stick and his bowl of Cheerios (with Cara helping) before we got to brush his teeth.

Afterwards, in bed, there were only a few things left to do. He just needed his fan on, his night light, not one but two books to look at, and then he wanted me to turn his lights back on so that he could find the "on" switch for his night light.

6/27/14 (Friday)

Owen: Mommy, is tomorrow a staying home day?

Me: Yes, it is! It's the weekend.

Owen: (squeal of joy) Then I will wake up early!!

Me: Um, don't wake up too early. I want to sleep!

Owen: Okay, I will wake up Daddy.

Me: OK!

Me: Actually, you could go downstairs by yourself and color.

Owen: If I did that, I would be so scared!

Me: OK. Well, maybe you could just snooze in your bed.

Owen: OK. I will not wake up too early.

6/29/14 (Sunday)

In the afternoon, we went to Grandmama and Grandpapa's house. The kids both took full advantage of the kiddie pool in the back yard, but then we pulled Cara out to take her to the Melting Pot as a reward for having finished the last level of Razkids, a leveled reading website. Owen stayed to have a picnic with his grandparents.

They picnicked in the back yard on the grass, surely a step up from their previous picnic, which took place on the driveway. Grandmama had even brought out the old play tent, which used to be in Cara's room. I believe they decided that two people was the top capacity they were willing to load it with.

When we got back, they had finished dinner, were about to finish a Scooby, and were planning on walking up for ice cream. Cara and I joined them. There were some disputes, on the way up, about whether Owen was the leader or not. There were some interludes in which he walked on tippy-toe, his arms stiff at his sides, his hands sticking out strangely. There were also several pauses to examine ant hills.

Owen thoroughly finished the chocolate soft-serve that I had forgotten Dairy Queen gives him. Personally, I wouldn't like it. It's really perfect for him, though.

When he was done, he wanted to be picked up. He was tired. He was snuggly. He was sleepy. With a brief pause when he got down to look at an ant hill, I actually carried him all the way back to Maida Terrace. Two telephone poles from the house, he got down, revived. He ran the rest of the way, exhorting everyone else to join him.

6/30/14 (Monday)

Owen did a bunch of things today. I guess he was all cute and whatever. The only thing I remember being particularly impressed by was when he tried to divide his night-time reading between me and Steve. He gets three books. There are two of us. He was hoping we would split one book in half. In the end, he had me read one and Steve read two. I thought that was very mathematical of him.

He was also very post-modern earlier. He was playing with stickers in his Superman sticker book, and he was monologuing. A bad guy sticker had taken the Superman sticker's stickers. He wanted to get his stickers back.

7/1/14 (Tuesday)

Well, it was pretty hot in the house last night. Everyone had trouble getting to sleep. Owen was still awake at ten. At two, he was up again. It was hot in his room. That wasn't what he said; he said he needed a story read to him. I also got him some water with "icicles" in it and some Cheerios (what the heck, I figured). It was hot downstairs, too. I closed all of the windows and turned the air conditioner on. I closed the downstairs A/C vents. I fed the cats. I turned on the oven timer to start baking the bread pudding at quarter to six.

I also saw a dark shape on the lawn. It was moving. It was a skunk! It was eating something that was growing in the lawn. I got Owen to stand up on his bed and look out his window. He was not particularly impressed. I was.

I read him two books, made sure his fan was adjusted right, and was back in bed by three.

In the morning, I had to wake Owen up at quarter to eight. It took a while! When he eventually got out of bed, it was pretty late. Fortunately, he agreed to have a bagel for breakfast. While it was toasting, he got dressed. PJ and Casey and Cara were outside. With the bagel in a bowl, we joined them.

I realized at some point that Owen had forgotten to demand that we bring a random object for no reason. Lately, it's generally been a sticker book or a coloring book instead of guys. Today, all he had was his bagel in a bowl. At Middlesex, I carried the bowl and bagel with us. Whenever we drop Cara off or pick her up, we always carry our random object, as if there were a chance that we'd have time to play with it.

He was done when we got to YBR. I'd considered stopping at home to pick up a sticker book, but I thought it would send a bad message. Anyway, he hadn't asked. We walked into YBR with nothing but his lunch box. Upstairs, we put the lunch box into the fridge and bragged to Miss Angela about getting him there empty-handed.

"It's show and tell today," she said.

They would manage something, she told me. Then Owen asked whether he could wear my sunglasses. Sure, that would be fine. I gave him the sunglasses, and off I went.

After school we asked Owen how show and tell had gone. It went very well. He showed my sunglasses. He asked everyone, "what will I be when I put them on?" Then he put them on. "I am a sunglass guy!"

7/2/14 (Wednesday)

No playdate tonight, because Cara had a dance class. The day was very hot, turning to loud thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Cara decided today that she did want to be in her dance school's Independence Day parade, so she came back very quickly from her class, ate some dinner and then went out again with her mother for the late night session to prepare for the parade. Owen had a bath. He asked for colors, which hasn't happened in quite a while; and he asked for a different set of toys; and then he had to poop, so the bath ended.

Meanwhile, it was continuing to thunder and flash outside. Owen had already loudly advised Buster to run and hide. I had expected her to do just that, but Buster's reaction to the storm was to lay down near us, wherever we happened to be. I don't know that this really helped her much. When Owen got out of the bath, Buster chose to lay in the doorway of his room, where he could easily wander out and rub his head against her, or suddenly grab her with both hands--which is his way of showing affection.

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