Michael is a little OCD. For a long time I’d put the boys in corresponding outfits. Not matching, but similar. Then Wagner became a fashionista (fashionisto?) and I had to make sure that his day outfit was somehow superior to his pajamas and then that night, that his pajamas (new or worn) were somehow superior to what he was already wearing. And then I didn’t care what Michael wore because at least he was already dressed.
But Michael cared. And he knows that when Wagner wears his striped shirt, he wears his striped shirt. And when Wagner wears his dinosaur shirt, he wears his train shirt. And when Wagner wears his other dinosaur shirt, he wears his firetruck shirt. You get the idea. He has decided that some socks are Wagner socks and some socks are Michael socks.
This actually makes me proud because those are Wagner socks.
When he eats, food usually has to be segregated. Unless it’s Gorilla Munch, which has to be cut with Joe’s O’s (Trader Joe’s version of Cheerios). This makes me proud, too. Because Gorilla Munch by itself is too soggy and Joe’s O’s by itself is too plain. And everybody knows (or should know) that you can’t mix peas and carrots. In fact, the pile of peas shouldn’t even touch the pile of carrots—although insisting that they should be served in separate bowls is taking it a little too far.
Michael has a pretty good sense of direction. Even a year ago he knew when the stroller had missed the turn to go to the park. (I think Chiara barely knows how to get to the park.) And when we walk to the market, he gets very distressed if we don’t go back the way we came.
Michael has a sense of order. If we are getting ready to eat, we have to wash hands first. And if we are washing hands, we have to clean up first. He sings the ubiquitous “Clean up! Clean up!” song that is more prevalent in preschools than the Pledge of Allegiance. We also have to clean up before we leave the house or put on pajamas. It’s actually kind of handy that he is so quick to clean up and remind the rest of us to follow his lead. But it’s kind of funny. If you’ve ever been to our house, you know that tidiness is something that skips a generation.