Flying a kite with daddy for the first time!

We have a rather nice, ornamental “clipper ship” shaped kite for some time now and I have always wondered whether it would fly well. So when Marjo was out for the day and I took the boys to the local sports field and we tried it out. Matthijs was utterly thrilled by the way the kite soared up into the air and we had a whale of a time. On the downside, he finally did it: Matthijs rode his bicycle straight into the duckpond. We were out for a family dog-walk and I was just picking up Daniel (who had decided to eat the pavement) when heard him calling me and turned round to see him standing in the water up to his neck… I dropped Daniël (thud, scream) and pelted over to drag him and the bicycle onto the bank. He was mainly upset about his bicycle getting wet, but by the time we got home (this involved by pushing a buggy with one hand, holding a bicycle in one hand and clamping Matthijs under my arm) none of us were very happy. Still, a hot shower sorted things out and he was none the worse for his adventure. The reassuring part was that he did stand up in the pond, rather than trying to breathe water…

Daniël is turning into a whirling Dervish. He climbs onto the highest and waggliest object he can find, turns round and round in little circles with a massive grin and sings “la la la”.

Daniël actually manages to be even more headstrong than his older brother. He has not developed much of a vocabulary yet (DaDa, MaMa and Byeeeee) and I attribute this to the fact that he can get pretty much anything he wants by a combination of pointing, nodding/shaking his head, pulling you along and screaming blue murder. He also has picked up the habit of “honking” peoples noses (with sound effects). He actually understands what we say (unless it happens to be “no Daniël”) perfectly well. Just the other day he asked Marjolein for a drink (shove cup in hand, point, scream) and she said that Pappa was in the kitchen and would give Daniël the drink. Toddle toddle to kitchen, grab daddy, point, scream…

There is nothing wrong with his ears or brains, but it is disconcerting that he is developing totally differently from Matthijs. All the books tell you to expect that but it is still wierd.

He and Matthijs get on better and better as Daniël becomes a more capable playmate and they regularly cuddle/wrestle.

Daniël is utterly pig-headed about what he will and will not do and learn. We spent some time trying to encourage him to go downstairs. This always ended in screaming-matches so we gave it a rest. Imagine our surprise when, on the boat over to England he suddenly trotted down the steps on his own. Curses.

We were on the boat because we all went on a little break in Cornwall. We were worried that it would turn out to be just as exhausting as France, but we discovered that having a proper house (doors, washing machine, microwave etc.) makes all the difference. We had a great time and even managed to go our with our friends and have a restful evening to ourselves as well. Wonders will never cease.

While we were there I took the boys up the hill to where my father is buried and we looked out over the village and the church. They rather enjoyed the graveyard and it made me think for the umpteenth time that their Granddad would have been delighted to see them.

The other picture is a statue of a entrepreneur being crushed by an inhuman european bureaucrat. This great work of art adorns the semi-legal local hypermarket, which is run like a feudal barony by a Cornish millionaire.

We also took the kiddos to a local playground and Daniël cheerfully trundled after Matthijs up the climbing frame and down the slides.

While we where driving back tot he boat Matthijs got very interested in lorries. He wanted us to tell him what they were all carrying and suddenly declared with inescapable logic that the if the cars ate lots they would grow up to be lorries. That kind of thing happens all the time now, he is starting to detect rules and systems and to formulate a few of his own. This leads also to him “regularizing” his verbs (didded, gaved).

He has also learned how to do up his own buttons quite efficiently and this is particularly useful, given that he also tends to strip himself down to the nappy whenever we leave him alone. Just another phase I suppose…

Nothing is safe in the kitchen since he mastered the kitchen steps and Marjolein ended up having to decide to teach him how to use scissors safely because it is so difficult to keep him away from them. Its the kind of thing that happens all the time with children: the cicumstances break any general rule you have. Even when they do something really wicked it is often hard to avoid laughing or admiring the cleverness.

An example is that we have a rule that Matthijs must not tear up books (bad habit of his). But Marjolein found him in his room with a teddy bear that had been neatly bandaged with fragments of his coulouring book. He proudly told her that he was a doctor and was making the bear better. Hard to be hard on that one.

I finally got round to pruning the big tree in our front garden this month and natrually as soon as they got the chance our own monkies were climbing the ladder as high as they could.

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