Daily Archives: July 4, 2013

Owlet: Twenty-Three Months Old!

This is it. We are in less-than-a-month countdown mode to the second birthday, now.

Lots more talking (what, in this family?), lots more running. Climbing has been the big skill expansion this past month. Owlet nows goes up and down stairs by stepping on them instead of crawling. And she decided to climb up the inclined climbing wall on the play structure to get to the little fort and go down the slide all on her own last week.

Potty training is happening, and sometimes it’s going really well, and then sometimes there are days where she kicks and screams if you even mention the potty. And then kicks and screams if you change her diaper. So, you know. She’s just about two and perfectly normal.

Owlet is fighting a nasty cold, and today I finally took her temperature because she felt really hot to the touch when she woke up. Sure enough, she had a mid-grade fever, so I gave her some Tylenol, which mitigated a bit of the whingey whininess that’s been our near-constant companion these past few days. She’s off her feed, too, which tells us that’s she really feeling poorly more than anything else. (That and waking up crying, which she never does; she usually wakes up and talks to herself for about half an hour, playing with her blankets and stuffed animals, before cheerfully calling for company.)

This past month Owlet finally clicked into make-believe. She was on all fours one morning, reaching for some bulky yarn I’d cut lengths of so the kids could play with the cats. “Are you a kitten?” I said as I walked by. “Are you pretending you’re a cat?” “Maow, maow,” she said, delighted, and swiped at the yarn like she sees the cats do. Then later she was crouching down with her hands on the floor, being obdurate about something, and I said, “Are you a frog?” She looked at me for a moment, then beamed and said, “Fog! Reh… BEET!” And we hopped down the hall together, taking turns to jump and say “Reh… BEET!” (or, in my case, “ribbit”) when we landed. It was the only way I could get her into her room for her nap. (That’s how miserable this cold is making her. When I say it’s nap time, she usually shouts “NIGH-NIGH!” and runs for her room.) This is so much fun. I don’t remember having to teach Sparky how to play pretend. He just kind of did it on his own first.

In getting Owlet’s room ready for her nap another day, I discovered my niddy-noddy in her crib. This is:

(a) evidence that I don’t watch her closely enough while she plays;
(b) an example of how I leave potentially dangerous equipment lying around;
(c) proof that I’m indoctrinating my child into the love of fibre arts successfully.

(I should point out that I don’t actually consider the niddy to be dangerous equipment. I imagine that people unfamiliar with how my house runs might, though. It might be like seeing a toddler running around with a baseball bat, or some other kind of long piece of wood. But we don’t keep anything breakable down at Owlet-level, and even if she swings it she might knock a picture off the hall table, but that would be about the extent of the damage. I also imagine that she could theoretically ding herself in the face with one of the crosspieces, but she’d have to be moving really fast and swinging the niddy at the same time. I suppose it could be considered mildly dangerous when she pretends it’s a pony and tries to ride it around the house, and trips over the crosspiece between her feet. But that doesn’t fuss her, so it doesn’t fuss me, either.)

Owlet is now enthusiastically into reading along. Her favourite books at the moment are Mo Willem’s Pigeon books, Sandy Boynton’s Little Pookie books, and Ellen Walsh’s Mouse Paint. She provides Little Pookie’s lines of dialogue when we read those books, and it’s hilarious to hear her tiny voice say, “Um… a what?” in Let’s Dance, Little Pookie, or “No, no, nope, no THANK YOU!” in What’s Wrong, Little Pookie? While she gets the “silly!” part about the hippo borrowing the shoes, she just snores at the five lazy frogs instead of saying “silly, too!” And then she pretends to grab one of the cookies on the next page and runs off to feed it to HRH, Sparky, the cats, and whoever else she can think of. So the rest of that book doesn’t really happen for us yet.

This month she also learned how to blow bubbles with a bubble wand (or kind of; she does a short, sharp puff of air, which, if it’s directed correctly, produces one or two tiny bubbles). HRH built the kids a sandbox to stop her from digging in the vegetable garden, and Owlet supervised.

It’s a big hit. Owlet approved on the first day that there was sand in it and it was nice enough to play outdoors.

It’s summer hols now, and I am loving how the kids play together. They cook up games about playing with the cats by dragging yarn for them to chase, each of them going in opposite directions as they trot around the middle of the house. They make blanket forts downstairs on weekend or rainy mornings while they watch TV. They build block towers together, and roll balls to knock them down. There’s still frustration on Sparky’s part as Owlet jumps the gun and cuts short his planned outcome of whatever he’s doing, but that’s part of working things out between themselves.

She loved the daycare get-to-know-you picnic and played with all the things. (Chewing on the play kitchen food is probably what gave her this awful cold, but it has to happen at some point.) She enjoyed playing with the other kids, too (parallel play at this point, of course, but she was very cheerful about it), and singing songs, and doing the casual group activities. We’re in a countdown for that, too; she starts part-time daycare the week she turns two, though it will be a progressive entry and she probably won’t do full days till the following week. She’s such a big girl now, learning so much, and I know she’ll love the stimulation of daycare and socializing with other girls her age.