Here’s the thing. I do a birthday blog for the boys every year, and the blog describes who they are at that point in time – on their birthdays. This year I’ve been a bit late with Milo’s blog. I wrote something shortly after his birthday but never put the blog together. I needed to edit the text and then get all the images together aswel, but time dragged on and I never got around to it. My first instinct when I read the words below today were to edit them a little. Milo isn’t quite like that so much anymore! His essential character is the same but he behaves differently now that he’s a whole 4 months older (he’s so old these days). But…. I’m not going to edit, because then the text isn’t true to the ‘just turned 4 years old’ Milo and the birthday blog I should have published in October. So… here is Milo, at the end of last year 🙂
Milo is in the frozen food section of the supermarket. He wants to put ice cream in the trolley and he isn’t allowed. “Mummy!” he roars. “I AM IN CHARGE IN THIS HOUSE AND YOU WILL BUY ME THIS ICE CREAM!!” It’s the kind of thing normal people hear and feel a sense of horror about kids-growing-up-today. But Milo isn’t serious. There is a glint in his eye because he knows this is pure entertainment, and worth it for the sheer joy of shouting something ridiculous to me across the aisle. He also kind of hopes I’ll make a rash decision and chuck the ice cream in the trolley anyway.
Because if there’s one thing Milo is really good at, it’s arguing his point at the Court Of Mum And Dad. If he really wants the ice cream, or the extra time before bed, or another go on the slide, he will ponder a little and then come up with what is often quite a decent point in his defense. “Mum, I can be really fast, I’ll run over and then I’ll run back. And we aren’t in a rush anyway, are we?” “But WHY Mummy? It’s only one minute, and that’s not so important is it?”
Elmer is my dreamer, so Milo is slowly taking the role of kid boss – he loves to make decisions and be in charge. The only trouble is, he is four. So it’s not working out quite as well as he’d hoped. Milo is determined and passionate, so when things don’t go his way his little body writhes and protests in anger. He lies in his bed throwing his little legs around, hitting the back of his head on his pillow. Elmer and I look on puzzled and irritated. What on earth is wrong with him? When Milo finally gathers enough composure to tell us of our crime, it turns out he wanted us all to *crawl* into the bedroom like cats. And we didn’t. We walked like humans.
Milo loves animals. He loves dogs and cats the most, and will often spend large parts of the day in character as his favourite canine or feline friend. He’ll often dictate to the rest of the family what our animal roles are to be, and then we must all try and remember to stay in character because Milo is a stickler for continuity and if anyone spoils the game we all have to start again at the beginning.
Like his canine alter ego Milo is fiercely loyal. He remembers his friends and looks after them. He always puts himself in the position of arbitrator if I am telling Elmer off. “Mummy, WHY are you making Elmer sad? He didn’t do ANYTHING wrong!” His face is thunderous. When he learns that Elmer has in fact been responsible for some kind of wrong-doing he will about turn and shout at Elmer, “Elmer! You need to say SORRY!” But mostly Elmer is simply his best friend, someone Milo finds hilarious, someone who can make Milo laugh until he is sore from all the laughing.
The laws of fairness must always be upheld in Milo’s world, and that extends to sharing food, taking turns on the swing, and everyone getting a cuddle for the right amount of seconds. He is happy to assert himself to make sure he gets what he wants, but he is equally indignant on someone else’s behalf, and will march up to the nearest adult to proclaim this latest injustice.
At home Milo will happily re-enact the scene from Pixar’s Planes when Dusty the plane flies through a tunnel and almost collides with a train. For Milo this scene represents cinematic perfection. There is no greater film, no greater scene within a film, and no greater character. The scene lasts for about 1 minute. Milo has seen this scene hundreds of times, and he is just as enthralled each time. We have made a multitude of tunnels together so that he can spend hours recreating this masterpiece with his toys. It brings him so much joy.
At night he needs his cat toy tucked in so that none of the legs are visible. Then he can sleep. He will turn over and within 2 minutes his breathing becomes rhythmic and slow and he won’t wake up until the morning. Milo doesn’t need to be reassured or have fears allayed like his older brother. Being four years old and fighting a world of perceived injustice is exhausting, but he is happy to fight that battle. As long as he gets his 15 kisses from Mummy before she leaves for work he can do anything out there. The world is his for the taking.