Like his big brother, Michael was two on the 27th of September (he was born 25 minutes after Daniel). He is a Mummy’s boy. He loves his Mama. He will always give a (generally snotty) kiss when asked. He also loves his doudous and now will only go to bed if he has his doudou (t-shirt belonging to his father), his nounours (a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the logo of the Brussels police service – it is difficult to imagine a less cuddly body of men and women though my husband points out that some of them are round and others are furry) and a bottle clutched between his teeth.
He is a slight wiry little fellow and has the most hair of any of my children. Of all of them, I feel that he is the one who looks most like me though they all look very like their father.
Despite this apparent softness, he is as tough as nails and will never cry, if we are cross with him. He regards all efforts to criticise or amend his conduct with deep hostility. He loves sticking his finger up his nose, a habit as unsightly as it is unsanitary. The other day, I again remonstrated with him and removed the offending finger. He looked at me balefully, held up two fingers and stuck one up each nostril. Today I was absolutely furious with him because he would not keep on his t-shirt and went howling about the house saying “tummy, tummy”. I lost my temper and pulled off his t-shirt. I think that this is the first time I’ve lost my temper with him and he was shocked and appalled. He ran into the hall and found his father and grabbed him while pointing tearfully (unusual that) and furiously (much more common) at me. “Mama, méchante!” he said with considerable bitterness. Ah yes, a whole year of being 2, I can’t wait. I now have only one child with whom I have never lost my temper. No prizes for guessing who that might be.
When his brother or sister is sad then he will run to get a doudou to comfort him or her, unless he is the cause of the chagrin, in which case he will run around the room crowing with delight.
Michael is dangermouse. He likes to abandon his family and play with the big children. He likes to climb. He would run under cars, if he could. He thinks “careful” means please climb on the table and jump from it on to the couch.
He is immensely sociable and from when he was very young would smile ingratiatingly at strangers. In the park he likes to run off and play with other children and never gives a backward glance to his family. This is good practice for when he is a teenager, I suppose.
His vocabulary is unsophisticated but not ineffective. “Sleep, asleep” he says hopping into our bed pulling the covers around him and clutching his array of doudous. This is a boy who would love to get out of his sleeping bag and cot and into his own bed. Unfortunately, since his father and I place no dependence of his staying quietly in bed the way his sister did when she transferred out of her cot, this is a desire that is unlikely to be fulfilled for some time yet. When his nose runs, he says imperiously to his parents “nose, nose!”.
He is very polite and as he sits down for dinner he will say, before chucking it around the room “thank you, Mummy, thank you Daddy”.
He adores talking on the phone and will say to my mother “Hello Nana” which they both seem to enjoy. He often picks up the phone and has imaginary conversations with his grandfather.
Leisure and Culture
He loves to run and to walk on the street, a pleasure he rarely enjoys as trying to stop him and his brother tossing themselves under a bus is a task that requires two parents and a well behaved sister.
He loves balls. He once caught sight of a ball on the street and wept for absolutely ages when he was not allowed to play with it. He loves kicking balls and is quite good at it. He knows no greater pleasure than trying to tackle me while with deft and fancy footwork I pass him.
He likes to be read to and is particularly fond of “Slinky Malinki” by Lynley Dodd (whom my genius husband guessed might be from New Zealand by looking at the illustrations in her books). He is also taken with the tale of “PJ Funnybunny” who having considered a number of options (spoiler alert) decides he wants to be a bunny after all. As we turn each page he identifies all the animals PJ tries becoming. Since it’s an American book, the animals PJ goes to live with are not very familiar to me and it is mildly amusing to see my small son pointing at a picture of a very odd looking animal which I have never seen before saying authoritatively “possum!”.
He eats most foods but doesn’t like sweet things. We think he may be the reincarnation of a 50 year old man who died of a heart attack. He once insisted on tasting his father’s wine. We allowed him to, sure that he would spit it out. He loved it and demanded more. Actually there is form for this in my family. My brother who was four at the time got drunk by finishing off the sherry (it was the 1970s) that guests had left in their glasses at my sister’s christening. My parents were actively concerned about him as he rolled on the floor giggling helplessly until they caught a whiff of his boozy breath. I digress. One day we were having mustard with our sausages. Michael demanded some and when we watched to see how he would react, we were amazed to see him cast aside the sausage and start tucking into the mustard with his spoon. He also eats pesto by the spoonful. If he were allowed, he would eat mountains of salt.
Michael is Thursday’s child – he has far to go. Assuming that he makes it to three. He is extremely charming, yet lethal, particularly, if crossed. Maybe he will grow up to be a spy.
And to celebrate his survival of another year, here is a slideshow covering 12 months of my darling, daring boy.