The Cutlery Prodigy

Just walked back up the hill on the 2nd school run of the day with Mini in the sling. I love carrying her on the front because we can gaze into each others’ eyes, kiss and chat about stuff that 22 month olds find interesting. Like birdies in the sky (“Buddees ina kye!”) and who she and her sisters are (“Pop-pop! Lalla! Woe!”).

This time of year always makes me reflect on how fast the minxes are growing up. Midi will be 4 in a few weeks, Mini’s nearly 2. I manage to stay in denial most of the year, but at the moment I’ve been confronted with some big advances.

Small examples first. I think I already mentioned that Mini spontaneously learned to say ‘blue’ when I dyed my hair 3 weeks ago. She can now repeat colours and sometimes gets a few right when you ask. She’s pretty excited about facing forward in her car seat now that she’s finally reached the max weight limit for rear-facing of 13kg. Within a day she was clambering deftly up and down (apart from the 5 days that the stupid car was stuck in the stupid garage, but that’s another rant entirely). She’s started biting in anger, albeit gently. (That’s one developmental stage that she will be ushered swiftly out of, believe you me!).

Bigger examples. The week before last I was teasing Mini and gave her a big handful of cutlery and told her to lay the table for dinner. She industriously shuffled to the table, swung the double-handful over her head and onto the table. I half-watched her pick up a piece, say, “Dada” and bustle off round the table to where The Boss usually sits. Then she raced back, grabbed another piece, said, “Pop-pop”, and trotted to Maxi Minx’s chair. Anyway, eventually she came over for a cuddle. As I swung her on my hip, I saw that she’d actually laid the table. OK, everyone’s knife, fork and spoon were plopped together, but to be fair Mini’s head barely reaches the tabletop. But the remarkable thing was that everyone had the right cutlery – the 3 minxes all have their own small metal sets that are subtly different from the other sets. Believing this to be a fluke (how can a one-year-old spot which cutlery her sisters use, for goodness’ sake?) I gave Mini the task of laying the table every night. She does. And she always gets it right. Frankly, I’m amazed.

Not to be outdone, Maxi Minx at 5 is flourishing in school. I caught her reading her books inwardly to herself. I thought she was just looking at the pictures, but no, it was the words. She’s also reading Harry Potter to herself. I’m not sure that’s what her teachers would say was age-appropriate, though…

child baking licking the bowl

Always the best bit of baking, no matter how old you are

Maxi and Midi are making an apple crumble by themselves on at least one night a week. All I do is peel the apples, though I’m sure Maxi could cope with that, now. Is it time to coax Mini away from munching the butter and flour, and get her to learn to stir in sugar and spices properly, so all 3 can make it entirely by themselves?

And I’ve been quizzing Midi what she’d like for her birthday: another dolly? Paint? Chalks? Toys? No. She wants a white camera, a blue headress so she can be Mary, another white headress so her favourite dolly can be Jesus, and a real boy. Crikey, Pinocchio meets The Nativity in the head of a 3 year old…

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