A description of Michael at 5 and a little bit.
He is very relaxed about school work. He is brilliant at cards and inclined to let his siblings win, if they seem cranky. He has an excellent memory and will, disconcertingly, bring up things you have said many months ago and demand that they be delivered now. He has a will of iron and he never lets anything go. He has, alas, started to bite his nails.
If you empty a box of lego on the table and ask Michael to find the one millimetre piece you need which is the only one in the box, he will find it in seconds.
His father sometimes calls him “bat boy” as when he gets upset or indignant his voice rises several octaves and his words are on a frequency too high for human ears. He is the smallest of the children and it sometimes feels that he acts as a punch bag for his heftier siblings, so he has much to complain about. But he doesn’t stint. He almost never resorts to physical violence but whether that is due to virtue or naked self-interest is unclear.
The other night he asked me who he could marry and whether it would be a boy or a girl. He then decided that he would marry a boy in his class and instantly began to worry that this 6 year old might choose someone else. A modern twist on a classic dilemma.
Michael demands instant resolution of all of his problems. This can be tiresome as when he grabs your chin, twists your face around and says sternly, “Listen to me.” When he puts something down, he frowns ferociously at the people in the room and says, “Nobody touch this.” Fortunately this hectoring is offset by considerable charm. He loves to chat to new people and will always be the first to volunteer when volunteers are sought from a room full of people – even if everyone else is an adult. Shyness seems unknown to him. However, for all his love of new people, he is not at all keen on new places and, when away, he pines for home. He is ferociously attached to things and watches me like a hawk to make sure I throw nothing out. The other day he said to me, “STOP, don’t throw that out!” “Michael, it’s the paper bag that your lunchtime sandwich was in.” He replied coldly, “Get it out of the bin, I could use it.”
Michael eats nothing other than fish fingers; yorkshire pudding; pasta with spinach and ricotta inside; breakfast cereal; bread and jam; porridge, Knorr chicken noodle soup and crisps. He does not like sweets or chocolate. Which is odd, surely.
And we love him.