It is not a drumkit but piano’s can produce nice sounds too

The month began with a birthday party for a friend’s son: Sebastiaan’s fourth birthday. The drumkit that he received from his grandparents drew Matthijs like a magnet and as soon as an opening appeared he climbed on the chair and started laying down rhythms on the snare, the cymbal and a pedal drum as if he had been doing it for years. To top it all he started singing “Appy Bird-day Sebasiaan” in time to the beat. Naturally we gloated: overly-proud parent disease has no known cure. As soon as Matthijs moved on baby Daniel snuk in at a fast crawl and started whacking away with less skill but equal enthusiasm.

The next Friday was a very dark day for me. While I was dressing a rather sleepy Matthijs on the changing table he dived into my arms just at the moment my back was turned. He cracked his head on the edge of the bath and was soon screaming in pain and absolutely covered in blood. I yelled for Marjolein (who was still asleep). Marjolein’s head was cooler than mine and and we managed to get Matthijs calmed down and the wound cleaned up. Fortunately the damage was limited to a bad bump and a deep cut and he remained alert and competent at all times, though not very happy. For my part I was horrified and can still see him falling past me, just out of reach. There is nothing quite as horrible as failing to protect your child. The doctor stuck the wound together with a some kind of superglue, not inspiring confidence by getting it out of a brand new box that also contained the training video… All went well though and the wound has healed nicely, but Matthijs will always bear a scar. Matthijs quite liked the doctor (who supplied him with a plastic whistle) but insisted to all and sundry that daddy had “thrown me off the changing table”. Aaargh.

Matthijs’ playschool is having a membership drive and threw a party with lots of lemonade, sticky paper and a clown with very wide trousers that you could try to throw balls into. Matthijs however chose this one moment in his life to adhere to our rule that you should not throw balls in the house and had to be encouraged to take part. Having assured himself that the clown did not mind by presenting him with the sweeties he got from the “lucky dip” he let fly with great accuracy.

Unfortunately we spent that afternoon at the memorial service of the husband of Marjolein’s oldest friend. They met at her 17th birthday party and had three wonderful children. He finally lost the fight with Hodgkin’s and Marjolein was very cast down. Matthijs and Daniel seemed to pick up a sense of solemninty and behaved very well at the service and the funeral some days later.

Daniel is almost 11 months and at his appointment at the childcare center he weighed 9380 gram en was 75 cm long. Just like Matthijs, the heavy baby is turning into an average-sized child. He got his DKTP shot (Diptheria, Hooping-cough, Tetanus, Polio) which bothered him quite a bit and he was not himself until he had a paracetemol and a good long sleep. Daniel is standing on his own now for longer and longer periods, but still prefers to speed-crawl to whatever interests him and then go vertical. He is starting to make sounds that a very charitable parent could interprete as “eiloo” and wave in a purposeful manner.

Matthijs has gone lion-crazy. The brutes are everywhere (bath, bed, dining table) and a standard game is for him to shout (loudly) “Heeeeelp a feeerce LIIION” and run away as fast as he can, using the rocking horse to keep his distance from the pursuing lions. He is pretty fast these days and dog-walking with Matthijs often involves rushing up to the next corner just as he careens round it on his tricycle.

Daniel is eating very heartily these days and has become addicted to hard biscuits, presumably because his teeth are maybe finally thinking about coming through. Perhaps. Matthijs has regular attempts at feeding Daniel, rather in the manner of a French farmer fattening a goose. Daniel is surprisingly cheerful under this treatment. Matthijs is starting to be difficult about healthy green vegetables and makes regular attempts at securing two desserts. He has also become adept at charming, cheating, browbeating and sneaking sweeties off people. He still sleeps curled up with a book and has no favourite cuddly toy at all. Strange child…

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