Six likes puzzles, riddles, games and all things that are clever. Six asks unsuspecting guests "Do you like to play games? Do you like to play strategy games?" Anyone who says yes needs to be prepared for a serious challenge. Or several. Six likes constructing complicated marble runs, car levels, and other intricate routes for small things to navigate. Six is working on being a gracious winner, and also a gracious looser, although he has far more opportunities to practice the former than the latter. On the Ipad Monument Valley is a current favorite - he'd love to teach you how to play.
Six likes an adventure, a place to go, a thing to do, a new spot to explore. He shares our delight at sampling a new food or drink. He loves riding in the cargo bike, and likes it even better if he gets to navigate, either from memory, or using a GPS. There are places to go, and we should be out there going. He likes a hike, a creek, a river, a tree to climb, a wall to walk along, a place to ballance. He can walk a very long way. At the Terry Fox run at his school, they gave the children a popsicle stick for each lap they ran, and he ran until the sticks ran out and then three or four more. After school he likes a snack, and an activity. On Monday he adventures with Connor, on Tuesday it's piano, on Wednesday he studys Hebrew, on Thursday he has chess club, on Friday we celebrate shabbos (where he now knows the blessings and says them with us) and on Sunday we ski. On weekend mornings these days there can be video watching and Octonauts remains a favorite. I've asked him if he feels that is too much, and he replies that he thinks it is just right, and that he would like more. He would like more swimming lessons, and circus classes please if we could only figure out how and when to put them in.
Six is compassionate, cares about other children, people, animals, other mammals in general. He's generous. If he has a snack he likes, he almost always says "This is delicious, would you like a taste?" and offers some to whoever else is there. Six has swallowed our language, and offers it back up to us. He is "not particular", and has all manner of phrases and very sophisticated language that I recognise, and it startles me when it comes out of his mouth.
Six is a great big sibling. He's quite clear that The Baby is OUR baby, as much his as mine or Papa's. He is very willing to entertain the baby and excels at creating dances, and songs that make the baby laugh. He likes helping, picking out the baby's clothes, feeding the baby, generally offering nuggets of baby advice. Six still seems delighted to have a younger sibling and asked if we could make one more. Much to his dismay, Six does not get to make family planning decisions.
Six loves a choking hazard almost above all things, marbles, small rocks, little bits of things that a baby could easily swallow. Sure, he calls it his "Collection" and while it focuses on rocks, it includes bits of metal, bits of trees, dried seed pods, beads, random things he finds beautiful.
Six is right. It's very important to him that you know that, and acknowledge it. Even if he is only right on a technicality. Six shares the facts he knows. Six likes to remind you of the times you have been wrong, and point out it could happen again. Six is suspicious about whether "hangry" is a real word. Six can not imagine that there might be conversations that do not involve him. If his grown people are fighting, he would like to adjudicate, if a decision is being made, he wants to be part of it, he has told us to go to bed, and was annoyed that we did not go. He will stop asking if he is told that it is a grown-person conversation, but he does not like it.
Six loves an Adele spoof. Current favorites are Hello From the Dark Side and Shalom from the Kosher Aisle. If either link does not work, ask him, he can sing both from memory. Six loves Star Wars, despite having only seen the first two movies (first two by order of release). He's concerned that The Force Awakens might be too scary, and so we've not seen it. He likes a visual pun, like the day he wore his Guelph Storms hat and a storm trooper shirt, and if given a microphone will tell a joke. Before his school play, there was a gap between when the kindergarteners took the stage and the time the choir arrived. "Why did Adele cross the road?" he asked the room, and after a suitable pause, "To say hello from the other side."
Six tells me that he would like to grow his hair all the way down to the ground. Six finds the question of "are you a boy or a girl?" both infuriating and wrong. He reports that frustratingly some people just don't know that boths and neithers exist. He would like you to know that boths and neithers exists, and he would like you to make space for them. He is a kid, not a boy, a big sibling not a brother, and he finds other people's interest in his gender exhausting. That said, his gender is a shifting thing, some days he dresses femme, some days more butch, and while he lives and breaths that he can wear what he wants, he is clear it is one or the other, not a mix of the two.
Six loves numbers. Some times, time with Six is like being inside a math quiz. "How high can you count by 32s?" "Abba, add these numbers, 12, 5, 7, 9, 532." "Abba, what number is 5 ... 6... 32 ... plus twelve. He has become very interested in money, birthday money, money he finds on the street, frisking the couch for money, money-money-money. For that matter, he likes the Abba song Money-Money-Money just fine too. Six is interested in letters, writing them, sounding them out, but numbers are his greater love.
Six loves to be active. He loves skiing, and is already a faster and more confident skier than I am. He loves both climbing at Rock Oasis and racing around Pursuit. He likes a bouncy castle, a climbing structure, a patch of ice, you name it. He is fast. Six is regularly exhausting to his grown people, but we love him, and it's a happy exhaustion.
Six tells me that when he is grown, he will be a geologist like his Aunt Bron, so he is planning now for university and grad school.
I have read this to Six, and Six has approved of this message and instricted me to share it on the internet. Six adds that he likes to stay up late, the later the better. And likes screen time, especially when his parents are doing it in the living room and he's in a different room. And I come right over to the screen when it turns on. These are his only suggestions.
How has he changed? I did not look until after I had written this, but here are Five, Four, Three and One, he was delightful and different at each age, and I can see who he is now in each of them.