He’s Back! Owen’s Quarterly Update {2 and 1/4}

Boy is my boy getting big! It’s been over three months since the last time I posted about Owen. I’ve missed writing about him and I bet you’ve missed reading about him (or maybe it’s just me and Richard that find him to be endlessly entertaining?).

There’s so much to say about the past three months with Owen. Where to begin? I think I’m going to have to break out the use of bullet points. Sorry, readers…this is going to be a long one. Kudos to you if you can make it to the end.

Immediately after turning two, Owen figured out how to escape from his crib. I cried. No more safe place to leave him. No more putting him to bed and letting him cry it out for a bit. At first, he found great joy and pride in jumping out of his crib. We’d put him in and he’d jump right out while gleefully giggling. The more dismay we expressed, the more Owen enjoyed his crib gymnastics. A few weeks of pure frustration went by. But overtime the novelty wore off for Owen. And now he seems to actually be listening to us when we tell him to stay in his crib. He usually only jumps out once – when he wakes up. He stands at the gate in his bedroom doorway and yells. Or sometimes he starts playing with his books and toys. Many times, I don’t even know he’s up and out of his crib because he’s gotten so good at getting out; our stealthy Little O can climb out without making a sound. Occasionally, I walk in and find him listening to classical music on his white noise sound machine.

Over the past few months, Owen has really taken to reading. My boy is finally a bookworm! He becomes obsessed with one or two books at a time and he demands that we read them to him over and over and over again. He has a remarkable memory; after only reading a book to him once, he can memorize sentences from particular pages. The better Owen gets at memorization, the worse I become. I can’t even remember what I did an hour ago. But Owen will happily remind me that I promised him he could have a piece of candy corn two weeks ago.

In addition to reading, Owen’s favorite things are vacuuming (the obsession has not died yet, only grown), playing with running water in the sink or bathtub (just like a cat…who says children aren’t like pets?), watching videos of himself (in typical narcissistic toddler fashion), and poop. Yes, that’s right – poop. Owen loves to talk about poop. When I change Carmendy’s dirty diapers, he demands that I show him her poop yelling “I wanna see it!” And he takes potatoes from his toy groceries and pretends to squeeze them out of his butt (while making farting sounds). Then he fetches a plastic bag and picks up “poop” potatoes, just like Daddy cleaning up after Walter doing pooper scooper duty outside. Since he’s a boy, I’m guessing this fascination with poop isn’t going to subside. Guess I better get used to it.

Despite his interest in poop, Owen has regressed with his potty training. A couple months ago, he was doing really well and excited about his achievements on the porcelain throne, happy to poop on the potty in exchange for a candy corn or an M&M. But then our training went to crap, no pun intended. Every time I see him squeezing, I ask “Do you need to poop? Do you want to go on the potty?” Owen angrily replies, “NO! I’m NOT pooping. I’m just farting.” Then he promptly runs away and finishes pooping in his diaper while hiding behind a chair.

Another favorite activity of Owen’s is playing with his doll babies. Along with baths and diaper changes, he also likes to breastfeed his babies. He lifts his shirt and holds his baby to his chest, speaking to it in a high-pitched voice and patting its back. Yes, he’s become quite comfortable with the whole breastfeeding thing. Sometimes he lifts his shirt and pulls Richard’s head to his chest, saying “suck my boobies!” And when Carmendy whimpers while grocery shopping, Owen shouts at me “She wants boobie! Feed her!”

Owen has absolutely no regard for personal space. Over the course of the past few months he has:

  • Smacked a little girl’s butt on the beach (the girl was a complete stranger)
  • Grabbed a man’s crotch at the library in an effort to remove a small piece of lint from his pants (the man was a complete stranger)
  • Repeatedly smacked the elderly man who sits in front of us at church
  • Stuck his finger in a goat’s butthole at the county fair (thank god for hand sanitizer)
  • Regularly smeared his boogers on me (or, even worse, tried to shove them up my nose)

Although he’s shy in large crowds, Owen seems to have no problem accosting strangers. He says “Hi People!” in the grocery store line or “Hi Man!” to the neighbor’s landscaper.

Which brings us to the biggest change since Owen has turned two – his speech. He talks nonstop now and seems to understand everything perfectly. He uses complete sentences constantly, and not just simple sentence like “I want milk”; Owen speaks in sentences with multiple clauses. He’s mastered pronouns and adjectives, past and present tense. He even makes associations and comparisons all on his own. And now he sings too. He doesn’t exactly have the voice of an angel, but you don’t need to be a songbird to belt out the tunes Owen likes. Owen is proof that anyone can sing Old MacDonald, Rock-A-Bye Baby, and Happy Birthday.

While mastering his language skills, Owen figured out that Daddy and Mommy are also Richard and Louisa. He does, however, reserve using our real names for times when he wants to demand our attention. Although I prefer him to call me Mommy, it makes me smile every time he yells Louisa at me.

The words that come out of Owen’s mouth can be annoying, inappropriate, baffling, or sweet. And they are almost always hilarious. Here’s a sampling of his verbal mischief:

  • While suffering from allergies, Grammie told Owen, “I’m tired of blowing my nose.” Owen quickly snipped back, “Then go to sleep.” Touché, Owen, touché.
  • All breastfeeding moms suffer from some leakage. I’m no exception. During one leaky moment, Owen (who notices everything) called me out and loudly announced, “Your boob is peeing, Mommy!”
  • Sometimes Owen likes to spin around and around with me. One time, I became too dizzy and had to stop spinning. I explained to Owen that “I need to recover.” He said “Okay, Mommy” and ran out of the room. He appeared a moment later with a large blanket, handed it to me and said “Here’s a cover.”
  • Owen has a wild imagination. He loves to tell crazy stories. His favorite tall tale: Monkeys in the basement. Yep, according to Owen, we’ve got monkeys living in our basement.
  • Not everything that comes out of Owen’s mouth is innocent and cute. He’s recently learned some really bad words, including goddammit and s**t.  You know it’s really bad when your child not only says these words, but also says them in the right context. Oy.  I blame Richard.
  • Some members of our household intentionally teach Owen inappropriate things. And when I say “some members” I mean Richard. I leave Owen alone with his dad for a short time and the next thing I know, Owen is running around informing me that “boys have penises and girls have vaginas.” Recently after showering with Richard, Owen excitedly told me “I cleaned me nuts, Mommy!” and grabbed his crotch. Charming.
  • If I say something Owen doesn’t like, he’s quick to reprimand me. I’ll suggest getting ready for naptime and Owen will shush me, saying “Stop it, Mommy. Don’t say that. I don’t like that.” He sounds so serious; it’s hard not to laugh.

Of course, Owen is two and there are many moments when he tries my patience. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word “hurry.” Listening is a challenge for him. He loves The Opposite Game – doing exactly what I say not to do. He likes to play this game all the time; he always wins and I always lose. He also loves to shriek and yell when Carmendy is sleeping. I often ask him “Are you trying to drive me nuts?” He always says, “YES.” And then he usually laughs like a maniac and jumps on the coffee table. Reasoning, logic and bribery are futile with this kid.

People frequently say to me “Boy, you’ve got your hands full” or “Is he like this all the time?” Which makes me wonder if all toddlers are like this or just mine…

Owen does have moments of incredible sweetness. Sometimes he randomly says “Come here, Mommy” and pulls me in for a big hug and pets my head. He likes when I call him nicknames and asks me to say “Come on, Little Buddy.” If I rub my eyes or look upset for even a second, Owen immediately asks “Are you sad, Mommy?” He’ll look concerned and give me a kiss and then he’ll throw a bag of blocks at me. Yep, that’s life with a two-year-old…an emotional roller coaster ride along with physical abuse.

You made it to the end! Finally here are the pictures of my crazy boy.

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And he wouldn’t agree to stand still for the photos unless his doll could also take part in the photo shoot. I have to say his doll was a much more cooperative model:

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We also had to take a break for a bike ride while taking his photos. Everything takes forever with a toddler.
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