Climbing wall? Why bother when you can practise on the garden wall

Matthijs is very interested in letters and reading now. Since I started pointing to the words in his bedtime storybook he has cottoned on to the concept of written words having spoken equivalents. He now grabs anything with writing on it and moves his finger from word to word, “reading” whatever he guesses it says, or whatever takes his fancy. He has also started to do simple sums. This started when he got only one dessert because he did not finish his food, but Daniël got two. Matthijs then said that if Daniël did not want the desserts then Matthijs would have three. Since then he has been adding up fairly consistently.

We were waiting for a bus into town when Matthijs said he needed to poop. Since it was not handy to sit him in the nearest bush, we asked him to wait until we got to the shops. Naturally the bus was then half an hour late. Fortunately he managed to hold on until we were halfway into town and then said that he REALLY had to go. We jumped out of the bus as the railway station and I hared up two flights of stairs to a antique-looking toilet on one of the platforms. Marjolein struggled on behind with Daniël, the buggy and the belly. Fortunately we were on time and we were immensely proud of Matthijs: he held on like a hero for three quarter of an hour…

Daniël is a dancer: he dances whenever their is music and preferably on top of the highest object he can find. His favourite is coming up stairs with me when I come home from work, turning on the clock-radio and boogieing on down on the bed while I change my clothes.

Matthijs quote:”When I am a big grown up man I can drive a car, hey??” Marjo:”Certainly, but you will have to work to earn money to buy a car. What would you buy if you had money Matthijs? (consumerism for beginners). Matthijs:” A monster that says grrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! and a monster book for Daniël”.

Matthijs to the neighbours’ 13-year-old daughter Fiona (a very good friend); “When I grow up Daniël an I will marry you”. Marjolein was charmed that he wanted to marry but did not want to leave his brother behind….It turned out that he hoped that she would then take him skating. We assured him that skates before marriage is acceptable these days.

We celebrated Easter at Marjolein’s mother’s house this year. This worked particularly well for the egg hunt, which I regard as fundamental to Easter. It is amazing how quickly urban children turn into ruthless hunter-gatherers when there is chocolate to be gained. Matthijs held his own private egg hunt a few days earlier with some eggs that he brought home from school, hiding and of course finding them himself…. Proof positive that pragmatism (from Marjolein) and opportunism (from me) are genetically transmitted.

Daniël has discovered Jimmy they dog. He used to treat him as inconvenient furniture (can’t climb it, can’t eat it so no use) but now he has started cuddling and (sigh) kissing the dog. Perhaps he hoping that Jimmy will stand still long enough to be climbed and danced upon.

Daniël gets more and more charming. His range of facial expressions is growing by the day and he has discovered that even major acts of evil can be partially redeemed by his desperately mischievous grin. I get Matthijs to “grin” at me after he has cleaned his teeth so that I can check for gunge and Daniël copies this with a tremendous toothy, gappy grin that sends Pappa into fits…

Matthijs can go head head over heels…intentionally. Apparently this is an important developmental phase, one which I skipped as a child and do not intend to fill in now. I taught him to do it when I was putting him to bed, but my only intention was to tire the little tike out. The little toads are already more physically capable than suits me already: nothing is safe from creeping, climbing, door opening, key-turning, high speed minimonsters.

Daniël will soon have to move out of his old “baby room” entirely: he still naps in there in the afternoons. We want to get him used to sleeping elsewhere long before the baby comes. He has to sleep in a big bed anyway: he can climb out of his high-sided bed now… sigh.

Matthijs suddenly seems to be growing out of his clothes: his trousers are suddenly too short. If he is doing a growth spurt that might explain the aaaaaabysmal mood he was in for part of this month. I have come home a few times to be greeted with the words “congratulate me, your sons are still alive…”.

With Marjolein sparing her back and me being rather rushed at work we have taken to ordering our groceries on-line from Albert or Max. When Max foodmarket delievered last time Matthijs thanked the delivery man elaborately (in English) for bringing us the “nice food”.

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