Owen likes Woems. Yes, I know…woems is not a word, but for whatever reason that is what he has remembered as the word for poems. Night before last we read a book of poems at bedtime and he fell in love with them.
The book is called “Tomorrow is a Brand New Day” by Debbie Boone and illustrated by her husband Gabriel Ferrer. I’ve had this book since my college days when my dear friend Allison purchased it along with some other children’s books to aid me in my adventures in babysitting. I was working in daycare and love to read to kids.
In my mind this particular book was cute but never really grabbed me. I’ve even read it to Owen before, but this particular time he got it. It was one of those things where he was taken in by the rhythm of the writing which is somewhat “Shel Silverstein” in it’s approach, and is familiar with the subjects presented. He laughs and smiles and eagerly awaits more. Last night when I asked what he wanted to read he pulled it down again and said, can we read woems again? I agreed and corrected him but this morning he had the book first thing and wanted to read woems before breakfast. I agreed to read them to him while he ate his breakfast. I corrected him again as well, so we’ll see if tonight at bedtime he wants to read woems or poems.
Owen picked up a hymnal that I had lying on the credenza the other day. He opened it and examined the musical notation a little then held it up to me open and asked, “Mommy, is this a notebook?”
I tried not to laugh because it’s a logical question. It’s a book with notes in it. Why wouldn’t it be a notebook. I told him it’s a hymnal and since he’s never heard of a hymnal, he still refers to it as a notebook. Oh well.
Owen has become more serious about his prayers lately. He wants to “pray like an adult” more often and though he keeps them brief, he seems to sincerely ask for, or thank God for what is important to him. Usually at meal time it’s something like, “Dear God, we thank you for this food and for our family and for our blessings, in Jesus name, Amen.”
At bedtime it’s very similar but he thanks God for his favorite happening of the day, or his favorite new object of the day. I usually try to get him to pray for a good night’s rest but he is insistent on praying for what he wants or likes and rest isn’t usually at the top of his list.
The other day as we all sat down to eat dinner he volunteered to pray for our meal and I had to smile as he said, “Dear God, thanks for the food and for our family and thanks for your good wisdom and for the blessings. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
I don’t know if he knows what wisdom is but obviously he’s heard us use the term. I love to hear his prayers.
Yesterday, Owen did something he’s never done before and my shock and personal exhaustion combined with total embarrassment left me stripped of knowledge on what to do. He had asked so sweetly if we could go to the bookstore that has a “B” (Books A Million) and I needed to go to Target (in the same shopping center) that I said we would as long as he was good. I wasn’t real specific however, as to what good meant, so after constant reminders to get up off the floor and leave Ivan alone I told him that we probably wouldn’t be going to the bookstore.
I had not found what I wanted at Target, only what I didn’t know I wanted, so I decided to try JC Penney’s which was also in the shopping center. He didn’t want to go. I decided to give him another chance and said that if he could be “happy and keep Ivan happy” while we were in the store we could go to the bookstore. He obliged me beautifully. I need to learn to be so specific all the time.
After hunting fruitlessly in Penney’s we headed to the bookstore. He and Ivan played in the children’s book section for a good 30 minutes but when it was time to go something happened that I’ve never seen or heard from him before. He first began to cry and when I became a little more insistent about getting out of the little crowd that had accumulated in the area, he let out a horrifying scream. I was shocked. He wouldn’t stop. I cupped my hand over his mouth as quickly as possible and said “we don’t do that!” All I wanted to do was snap my fingers and disappear. He acted like I had mercilessly beat him or something, as if he were afraid of me. We got to the restroom as quickly as possible but with the two of them, the stroller and the belly it took us a while, and I didn’t feel like I could spank him in my shock and bewilderment. I probably should have…I know I should have. I can’t believe he did that. We talked and he was crying and upset and I was confused and Ivan was giggling at the funny room we were all having conference in. I got them home and he was fine the rest of the night. He didn’t have a nap yesterday and combined with an active morning with friends I guess he just lost it for a moment. I don’t want another moment like that. It’s one thing when a kid who is prone to outbursts has a little fit, but for Owen, it was weird. He just doesn’t react that way…he whines, but he doesn’t scream normally. I need to remember that between the two of us…we must recognize our limits.
I have often followed Owen’s little excuses and explanations with a tart “Whatever!” Only humoring myself in the process as he has little idea what I mean by this. Today I gave him a command and we both knew it was ridiculous, he paused though to process and make sure I wasn’t serious in what I was telling him to do and responded with “However!”
I paused to think what it was he was trying to express, and then laughed hysterically when I realized he had gained proper command of the term “whatever” but had mistakenly used the word “however” instead. The inflection was perfectly sarcastic but it didn’t match the word at all. He didn’t know why I was laughing and I had to explain it to him but I thought it was cute. As long as he doesn’t respond to my very serious commands this way, we’ll be OK.
Owen has been doing a lot for himself. In the past few days he has really taken an interest in buttoning his shirts. Yesterday he worked and worked at a new shirt we picked up at the mall on Sunday, but the fabric wouldn’t give enough to allow his unpracticed fingers to get the job done. Today, he is wearing an older shirt and nearly burst the finished product with pride as he stuck his chest out to show me that he had fastened all four buttons all by himself. It’s amazing how such a seemingly small thing can change the way the whole household does things. The more Owen can do for himself, the more time it allows me to take care of other things.
Owen is also showing a very strong interest in reading. More and more his familiarity with letters and their sounds impresses me. I believe that that reading “aha!” moment will hit him before too long. I wonder how that will change the household.
Owen is still asking why on a consistent and at times frustrating basis. Tonight, on the way home from leadership dinner he was tired and the questions were flying more freely because he just jabbers to fight fatigue.
“Why is grandpa your dad?”
“Because God gave me to him to be his daughter.”
“And God gave him to me!”
“And when I go to grandpa’s house, I can go under the fence with the cows and they run away from me.”
He went on from there telling me how it would be possible to get caught under the fence and his imagination took off for a while. I just liked his turn of logic in deciding that he wasn’t given to grandpa, grandpa was given to him. It’s probably true.
After seeing Owen and Ivan share a bowl of dry cereal by spreading most of it on the table top, I said “Boys, don’t make a mess!”
Owen’s response: “Especially around cats!”
After witnessing Owen throw a little stone toward the neighbor’s house (keep in mind his arm is not one to cause damage at this point) I felt it necessary to curb the behavior and called him to our back deck for a little chat.
Me: Did you just throw a stone at their house?
Owen: Yes, ma’am.
Me: Don’t ever throw stones at houses or people, it can be dangerous.
Owen: Okay…where should I throw them?
Me: You really shouldn’t throw them at all.
Owen: Well, David throwed some.
Me: David had a giant to kill. You don’t have any giants to kill so you don’t need to throw stones.