Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I wanna be like you

Owen has recently started to try and clamber onto the toilet, like Matilda. He makes a psssswiiiish sound then helps himself to some toilet roll, roughly waggles it in the general down below area and chucks it in the toilet. Seeing this willingness to engage in the toilet training process I pointed him towards the potty. Matilda thought this was hilarious and wanted to get in on the act. Now, when O is around, she has been allowed to regress to the potty, in the interests of leading her brother towards a nappy-free bot. Yesterday, perched on the potty, she noisily grunted out a poo. When she had finished, O promptly took her seat and did some face straining and squeaky grunting of his own (with no actual results). He then delightedly waved his hand up and down in front of his nose shouting "Poo! Poo!" in imitation of his sister, who is often triumphant when she has accomplished a particularly stinky excretion. "Can you smell my poo mummy?", she will ask proudly.

Bathrooms seemed like such private, intimate places pre-minibeast...

Anything Matilda does, Owen has to do too. He is constantly watching her. He especially loves her imaginative games. And will act out little scenarios of his own with the Lego and the Playmobil when she is at school. Mostly the little people and animals just say "bye bye", go off somewhere, then come back again with a cheery "hello". Still, I don't think Matilda played make believe so early. She never had an elder sibling or access to toys for three-year-olds. Their favourite game at the moment is Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the flying bed has really caught their imagination. (Thinks. Can anyone recommend a good film for kids in which they do a lot of housework??) Although, any item of furniture can be turned into an object of locomotion, the settee is a bus or a plane, Walter the Dragon beanbag is a boat. Matilda always ensures everyone has their seatbelts on (O is very good at making the click noise of the buckle) and then they're off.

I am very happy to be sharing O's education with Matilda. She takes it quite seriously and he heeds her with great earnestness. She insists he say please and thank you for everything, that he apologise to her, or me, or Fanf, if he hurts us, that he not snatch, shout, push or slam doors and often repeats her mantra "Il faut sharer Owen". Of course these are all things that she is apt to forget herself from time to time but I think they both benefit from this sibling exchange; he glows in her attentions and she feels proud to be taking responsibility for him. They look out for each other, because that's what siblings do.

And sometimes it all goes feral, with much yelling and grabbing of vulnerable body parts. Because that's what siblings do too.

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