Another year has passed and that means another torrid and spicy family drama wrapped in the infamous Owl Family Christmas Letter. Maybe not torrid, and perhaps not entirely spicy, but certainly without the more earthy odours familiar to any parent who's kid has switched to solid food.
Owl Jr. is now almost two. TWO! His soberness and infinite sadness continue unabated. I do so hope he doesn't reserve that look just for me (however well-founded it may be). He's starting to speak. Not in any way or form that might be recognizable as such, and not in any way that might be measured in relation to others of his age, unless others of his age call everything 'Ma-Ma', 'Da-Da', or “CHOO CHOO”; especially “Choo Choo”. He's very much into locomotives and rail centered conveyances. I suspect it's because we're not allowed to expose them to more interesting and edifying things, like ninjas, robots, ninja robots, and perhaps vikings. He's a happy camper, more or less, going from Eeyore to Tigger in about the space it takes you to go for his armpits. He looks somewhat like I did when I was his age: morose, serious, and entirely Japanese.
He's not a picky eater. He'll eat anything that has fallen from the tree or bush (veggies or fruits), or, paradoxically, lunchmeats (that unholy alliance of stomach lining, advanced food preservation chemistry, and cow lips). He's an enigma, a mystery.
He's very mobile now, going up and down stairs like handrails are a luxury (in our case, non-existent) and gravity not quite the enemy. But generally he's to be found under some table or chair, quiet, playing with one of his many trains, or pretending whatever he has in hand is a train (books, teddy-bears, day-old macaroni).
There's not much more to say about him, except that he's developed this nearly Woody The Woodpecker type laugh, except quieter, and perhaps slightly less maniacal.
Owlet is a whole four years and change now. Her favourite punctuation is the question mark, her favourite things in life being TV or bargaining. Usually the bargaining to get more TV, so perhaps we should just say her favourite thing is TV but then we might appear even more remiss as parents. She has a bright future as a SWAT negotiator or TV critic, perhaps some sort of amalgam of the two.
She's still firey, perhaps more so. She has an expressiveness that easily matches Owl Jr.' lack thereof, and several pretty hilarious misconceptions about pretty much anything. As a pre-schooler, that's her right. As her parents, it's our right to listen to her and not correct her. Mind you, it might be because some of these misconceptions were planted in there by us (chocolate makes you shrink) and are useful to keeping her healthy; if it happens to be entertaining as well, so be it.
When not asking questions and being just generally very firey, she'll attempt to start talking about something. She's incredibly adept at starting to talk about something. “Dadda, when I was a.. when I was... Dadda, when I was a... when... I.. a little gi... Dadda, dadda, I have to tell you something, when I was a little girl”. It's funny, written down like this. But at the end of a long day, it's like Chinese water torture if the water was replaced with mercury and the torture was forever.
She's discovered the joys of drawing sea monsters, robots, and aliens, curious how she got to drawing those. I certainly had nothing to do with it.
Knock-knock jokes are a huge favourite for her. And for us, because rarely does she actually understand how the first bit and the second bit come together and you end up with a masterpiece of absurdist humour, “Knock knock,.Who's there? Banana. Banana who? Aren't you glad I didn't say orange?” I choose to believe she's doing this on purpose. She does, however, know how to do the 'interrupting cow' knock knock joke to perfection, and well, her parents are cheap laughs.
She's noticing Molly a lot more now, trying to give her commands, making note that she's the “cutest dog in the whole wide world”. Molly continues to base her affection in direct proportion to how much meat Owlet has on her plate at the moment.
This is her last year of pre-school. Next term (2011 September) she starts 5 days a week kindergarten. I assume they need more time to get into the trickery fingerpainting, the lesser used crayons, and perhaps some neon Play-Doh™, I'm not sure.
Owl Jr. and Owlet continue to get along famously. When not ignoring each other or making each other laugh they are making each other scream (sometimes out of fun (I'm not sure how screaming has been associated with fun, for them, but there it is), mostly out of frustration). They do seem to care about each other a whole lot. Most disagreements arise because Owl Jr. can't see why he has to wait to play with something just because Owlet happens to be holding it. Owlet is invariably the put-upon party, since she's learned such things as 'sharing' and 'mine', while Owl Jr., noble savage that he is, is blissfully unfettered by such ideas.
They like making forts together, and sometimes just taking turns screaming and laughing at each other which is something that goes quickly from adorable to 'how can I cover my ears inconspicuously'.
Molly is still going to work. She's far too friendly to new people who come into our office but that keeps me from having to do small talk, which is a relief to all parties, let me tell you.
I'm still where I was last year. My rut is extraordinarily homey, thanks for asking.
At some point during the summer I took a weekend and went to NYC to see some friends. It was hot, it was fun, and I wasn't mugged above seven times. I'm told it's because I kept to all the touristy areas. The Chrysler Center, Central Park, and other land marks are just as you imagined them, as long as you add about thirty times more tourists and ensure it's hotter than a malfunctioning bathhouse in the third circle of Hell.
Mrs. Owl is still working part time at a long term care facility. The old people are still old, I'm told, the pleasantly confused are still both, as well. During the summer she took a weekend to go to Vegas with her friends. She's since asked me what a 'lien' is, and I don't know, and I assume it's not related to the Vegas trip. Or choose to believe.
And that's all the news that's fit to cram into a Christmas letter, in all its torrid, spicy glory.
Best wishes for you and yours, and may the new year find you as this year has hopefully found you: healthy and wealthy and wise.
Owl Family (Mrs. Owllle, Niteowl, Owlet, Owl Jr. & Molly) Christmas 2010