At five Matthew is slowly learning to modulate his voice volume and showing some signs of becoming calmer. He's definitely our most exuberant child and can get very wound up. If he's wound up, it's hard for him to focus. He can be quite the terror.
He's still very sweet and cares about how other people are feeling. He will go out of his way to make others happy much of the time.
He's fallen in love with Lego and has quite the talent for following directions. He focusses for hours putting together very elaborate building sets all by himself. He has great attention to detail. He likes building things generally and bugs Brendan all the time to go out to the garage to work with his tools more.
Matthew has made quite a lot of friends at school now. His teachers say that he seeks them out to play and vice-versa. Most of his friends are a year ahead of him in school. This isn't new - he's always seemed to naturally gravitate towards slightly older kids, probably because he is slightly ahead of his age in many areas. Even his writing skills have improved a lot, though he definitely doesn't enjoy drawing and writing the way Elizabeth does.
His speech has improved dramatically but he still has a bit of a lisp. He can make all the sounds but needs to remember to do so. His French has made great progress. He is extremely proud of the words he knows and is very willing to repeat. He understands quite a lot now. Recently his teacher sent a note home congratulating him for correctly responding to a math question en français - huge progress for a kid that struggled to remember that "le soleil" was "the sun" in September.
Like all our kids Matthew has a serious sweet tooth, but otherwise eats well. Favourite foods include banana, raspberries, apple, pasta (no sauce), Cinnamon Chex and chocolate cake. He's not a big fan of ice cream though.
He still has a hard time calming down at bedtime, and consequently takes longer to fall asleep than the girls. Usually he stays awake until 8pm or 8:30pm and wakes up on his own just before seven.
He refuses to learn how to blow his nose, instead preferring to sniff. This means that he's had quite a few "owie" ears this year, though mostly we've gotten away without antibiotics.
He idolizes Elizabeth and especially goes out of his way to get in her good books. His relationship with Amelia is more complicated. About thirty percent of the time he is very good with her and they play nicely. The rest of the time he goes out of his way to push her buttons. He is extremely good at making her scream. He has taught her quite a few songs in french and Amelia absolutely adores him. He thinks Michael is very cute and would like to carry him around by himself. He wants to have a sleepover where he looks after the baby at night. He likes to sing to the baby and pat him on the head.
This year on Matthew's birthday, Elizabeth's tournament team was performing during intermission at the Ottawa 67s game. Elizabeth convinced Matthew he really wanted to go, so Brendan, Janice, Grandma J and the older three kids all went. Michael and I thought about coming but I was feeling achy and a bit under the weather and Brendan and I thought that baby probably wasn't quite ready for the cold / loud of the arena. I gather that Matthew and Amelia quite enjoyed the first period and after that they were done. We'd talked up the family skate afterwards though so they stuck with it. The 67s only had four shots in the first period but the third period was fantastic and they ended up winning. We didn't go to church because Elizabeth had to get to the rink a bit early and we didn't want to rush. Matthew had candles in his banana and opened a present or two - he was very keen to open a package that had arrived from Auntie Mary a couple days earlier! Then they went to the rink and didn't get home until 5:30pm I think Matthew kind of regretted having spent most of the day on hockey but Elizabeth loved it. After the game we all went to Swiss Chalet, including Uncle Chris and Angie who had just arrived. Then we went home for cake and more presents. Needless to say it was a rather late evening!