On the way home from school, K told me, "I have a lot of work to do with M. I have to teach him a lot of things and also train him."
When I asked what kind of training she had in mind, she mentioned the following:
not getting in puddles
throwing/catching a ball
talking with his mouth [not signs]
She was as good as her word: she guided him around the puddles (is it ridiculously rainy anywhere else right now?) and picked him up around the middle to make him jump.
She has also been trying to encourage him to talk. "M, say DINOSAUR. Say DISHWASHER. Go on, say DISHWASHER." She doesn't see the point in starting small.
We have been relying on the closed-door system (all inside doors closed so he can't get anywhere he's not allowed), but a few weeks ago I noticed an open door that had been closed... I mentioned it to the Slovak (I think M may have opened the door, watch out) and K said, "Oh, I taught him that." I asked, "WHY would you show him that?? Now he can get in our rooms!" She gave me a withering look and said, "He has to learn things. I wanted to teach him something new. You want him to LEARN, don't you?"
Now when she complains that he went in her room and played with her toys, I say, "That's so sad...too bad someone taught him how to open doors, huh?"
She says I didn't sufficiently warn her of the risks beforehand. I probably didn't. (And, of course, it was only a matter of time before he figured it out anyway.)
Last week while I was picking her up from school, a slightly smaller boy showed her his gap where he lost a tooth. K admired it and I could see the wheels in her brain turning, going "But I haven't lost a tooth yet..." (she has already voiced her dissatisfaction with this situation).
After a second she turned to her brother (standing next to them) and opened his mouth to display his teeth. "He's growing lots of teeth. Well, he doesn't have a lot. But more than he used to have." M is easy-going enough that he didn't resist.
He just wants to be helpful. I'm sure he was also trying to help when he broke about a dozen and a half eggs on the floor in front of the refrigerator last week. Right?