Something happened. Sometime in the last few weeks Nathaniel really, completely abandoned little-kid status, and has become a Big Kid. His hands are, not making this up, almost as big as mine. He can read and write and explain concepts to his siblings, and he can be trusted to do tasks unseen, and to run and fetch and carry for us. He understands, a lot of the time, anyway, when we explain things logically to him.
It's so weird. I can say, for instance at dinner tonight, "I need the table cleared off and moved." and Nat and Thomas will get up and go and clear off and move the table, Nat especially. I can say, "The girls need some juice. Please get them some.", and Nathaniel will get up and do it. It's like magic. It's amazing. And it's also a little bit sad, because he is so very old and grown up now that he's not even a bit of the roly-poly cuddly toddler. He's a small (not really small) reasoning talking walking task-completing child who can perfectly well read a menu or tell you how many halves of something it takes to make two.