Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Three And A Half

Owen will be 3.5 in a couple of weeks, and I’ve decided that I really do like this age.  Three for Owen came in like a lion, and whereas we aren’t lambish, and nor would I really want to be, the roars have quietened a bit, and he is overall a very fun fellow. 

The main thing about Owen these days is that he wants to help.  No, he Wants. To. Help.  Now!  Sometimes his “help” is frustrating, but he is so excited to lend a hand and to experience new things, that I’ve learned to just let him join in, and then put things to rights later. 

Since it is January and cold and we are indoors a lot, we’ve been doing a lot of cooking.  Owen has developed fine whisking skills!  He always wants to make something that we can stir in a bowl, and as of this past weekend I let him stir onions, meat and beans that were cooking on the stove, although I did tell him about 1500 times that the pan was hot and not to touch it.  (He didn’t).

If you thought that he was eating what he makes, you’d be wrong.  He eats practically nothing variety-wise, unless it is a carb and a breakfast food to boot.  But he still likes to participate in the making!  Out of the blue last week, too, he asked for a bowl of cheerios with milk, a bowl of oatmeal, and a bagel with cream cheese.  I shouldn’t be too excited about any of these requests, because you know, CARBS, but still, variety is variety.  He’s also now started asking for “a plain cheese sandwich” by which he means a plain piece of whole wheat bread, sans cheese.  Sigh.

So the eating is not good and it stresses me out to dwell on it.  But the helping is fun!  And there are two other things I really like about three:  one is that he now will play by himself for long-ish stretches.  You can’t count on him doing so at any given time, or plan for it, but many times per day he will start playing with a toy and not look up for forty-five minutes or so.  I’ve learned to put those little bits of semi-freedom to good use.

The other thing I love about three is his imagination.  What he makes up is so funny and odd and entertaining.  Sean was starting a handyman project the other day and asked Owen if he would help, and Owen was so excited to be going downstairs to use Sean’s tools.  He did not want me to join them, and when he thought I was doing so (I wasn’t; I was just following them into the kitchen) he came up with this long explanation of why I couldn’t help them because I was so busy, and apparently what I was busy doing was looking for a snowman.  There were lots more details, trust me.  Meanwhile I was all, carry on little man, continue down the basement so Mommy can sneak her cookie in peace.

The dialogue he comes up with between his trains and cars and other toys is also hilarious, although he will get self-conscious if he thinks we are listening and will direct us back to more appropriate activities.  He’s bossy.

Hickory Dickory Dock: school artwoik

He seems pretty outgoing to me, which is a good trait for an only child to have.  We’ve taken him to the playground a few times recently (before it finally became cold), and he runs around for an hour or so and goes up to other kids and says, Hello! I’m OwenMartinGares! And tries to see if they are receptive to playing with him.  (He’ll also talk to other kids in stores, and will be perplexed if they don’t talk back to him.  Recently at Target he said hi to another boy his age, who just looked at him, and Owen then turned to me and said, “That boy won’t say hello!  That boy is mean!”  And when I suggested that maybe he was shy or grumpy, Owen replied that “Maybe his mommy or daddy could tell him a joke to make him laugh.”  Maybe.)  At stores in general (when he isn’t feeling grumpy himself), he’ll keep up a constant running commentary on what he sees, causing many a passer-by to break out into giggles.

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