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Journal Key:

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

7/17/14 (Thursday)

I don't really remember what happened on Thursday, so I will use this space to just mention one of Owen's current trends. We watch Batman: The Brave and the Bold on Netflix, and one of our more heavily-watched episodes is one where Plastic Man learns a lesson about patriotism from Uncle Sam and a team of other super heroes. In the course of the episode, Plastic Man sings a completely bizarre version of the "Yankee Doodle" song, on account of his not knowing the real words. Everyone is encouraged to sing along, so Owen and I have been doing it.

The upshot is that when Owen is going about his regular day, spouting nonsense words, they are often heavily flavored with shouts of "Yankee!" As you can see, it would take a bit of explaining to anyone who doesn't know him.

7/18/14 (Friday)

Friday is Family Fun Night, of course. We thought it might be difficult to convince Owen to go out for dinner, but the rest of us were in the mood. When Cara, Evelyn and myself all arrived at Yellow Brick Road to pick him up, we asked him what he wanted for dinner, and tried to convince him to give up his initial answer of Wendy's, he quickly became fed up and cried "Okay!" So we ended up at Chili's for the first time in a while.

What has changed at Chili's since the last time I went there is that every table is now equipped with a tiny device on which you can play games. Cara took advantage of this and played games through much of our visit; fortunately Owen did not seem all that interested in the thing.

7/19/14 (Saturday)

Today was Grandmama's birthday! In the morning, though, Evelyn took both kids out for a lot of errands. First came the dentist, where both kids did great. The exciting thing about the dentist is that, when you're a kid, you get a ton of stuff. Each child came home with a bag full of stickers, pencils, toothpaste, brushes, floss, rinse samples, little plastic treasure chests for lost teeth--and the most exciting thing: tattoos. When the kids came home, also laden with a new crop of library books and even some kinds of prizes they'd gotten at the library for doing summer reading, they both were excited to put on their tattoos. Owen had gotten a really great collection of what appear to be Mexican wrestlers, which he happily put on his hands. Later he put another pair on his legs.

After a quick lunch, we were all off to Middletown for the birthday celebration. The kids just wanted to watch Scooby-Doo inside, but there was one point when Owen went outside and I took out a little purple ball to throw around with him. We started with a normal game of catch, but eventually I gathered that what Owen was doing with the ball was beating it up: punching it and kicking it, complete with exciting side effects.

Ha also, after opening Grandmama's presents (which she had given him permission to do, thinking he would do it there at the table), fought with the wrapping paper. At the end, we had a room full of shreds.

We had some really excellent ice cream cake--which neither of the children appreciated fully--and afterwards got the kids over to the park. Owen was really quite exhausted by this time. He did manage to make and then destroy a sand castle at the playground, but then he was done. I had to pick him up and lug him back to the house.

7/20/14 (Sunday)

Twelve years ago today Evelyn and I got married. Forty-five years ago today man landed on the moon! And at some day three hundred and some years ago, apparently, New Jersey was founded. Anyway, today we took the kids to Grounds for Sculpture and met up with Aunt Claire and Casie for a fun expedition. Owen very quickly got the idea that we were "going on an adventure," and the kids took off around the place. Cara took pictures and Owen was happy to try to lead us wherever he wanted to go. It's always a fun place to explore, with little walkways and tunnels and paths. We stopped for a bit to have lunch, and again later on to have a little treat, but in between managed to thoroughly exhaust both children.

At some point while we were walking around, Owen explained to Casie that his teacher at Yellow Brick Road, Miss Sandi, is Wonder Woman.

Then, if you can believe it, we were off to Grandmama's house again, to drop off the kids so that we could have a grownup dinner outing to celebrate our anniversary.

7/21/14 (Monday)

Every day, we get to explain that, no, we are not going to Florida today. Every day, we explain how long it will be before we go to Florida.

Yesterday, Owen came up to Casie at Grounds for Sculpture. "Casie, guess what! My teacher, Miss Sandi, is Wonder Woman!" She may well be.

Today, Owen took Peasant Pig and the Terrible Dragon to school with him. It's a large book. Cara read to him on the way to Middlesex. We arrived and I parked, and then I sat there and waited as she read on. Eventually I suggested that we go in. Owen carried the (very large) book with him. He reminded me that some day he hopes we can get a snack from the vending machines and eat at the college, in the lobby.

He carried his book into YBR and, after he'd edged away from Sophia, settled happily with it in a corner. Miss Angela brought him back to read at the table.

Cara has Desserts this week. Today she brought home some brownies and Snickerdoodles. She was very invested in sharing them with Owen. I let them each have a cookie in the car.

Me: Aunt Claire likes Snickerdoodles.

Cara: We could make some for her!

Owen: For her birthday!

Cara: Snickerdoodles and cake.

Owen: And pizza!

Dinner had some surreal moments.

Owen: Daddy, you ate my broccoli!

(It was taco night.)

Steve: I did? Where?

Owen: In the library!!

7/22/14 (Tuesday)

Yesterday, Owen brought Peasant Pig with him and carried it everywhere. Today, he brought two books: one was a sticker book, and the other was a coloring book he'd been sticking stickers on. He did not carry them with him when we went to drop Cara off. He elected not to bring them in to school. I immediately became suspicious. I asked Miss Angela. Yes, today was Show and Tell. What, I asked Owen, did he plan on showing and telling? "Something from home," he said. Ummm, no. He agreed that I could get one of those books from the car.

He happily showed and told his coloring book.

No, we're not going to Florida today, and we're also not going tomorrow.

7/23/14 (Wednesday)

Tonight Grandpapa appeared in the evening at our house to watch Owen and retrieve Cara from her dance class. Then they went to a restaurant and met Grandmama. They were all having an evening together so that Evelyn and I could get out to a concert--which, after a very interesting delay, the details of which don't really belong in this journal, we finally did. We hear tell that the children did fine.

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