On this day...
1 year ago: May self-portrait
5 years ago: Beijing, day 4

I’ve sewed fiddly dino toes this evening.

Ingrid’s bed curtains, messy bed, and favourite cuddly panda.

And the colourful dinosaurs I’ve drawing and cutting.

Adrian drawing a dinosaur.

We finally hung up Ingrid’s bed curtains last weekend. (It only took three months…) Now Adrian naturally wants a bed curtain, too. Today I started working on his.

Ingrid’s has stars and a full moon. Adrian wants dinosaurs on his. This morning we prepared a first draft of the design together: he told me what he wanted and I drew it. The curtain will have a red Tyrannosaurus, a yellow Stegosaurus, a purple Pterosaurus and a pink Diplodocus. Oh, and a volcano. With lava.

The slug season has begun. There are already dozens of those little devils in and around our garden. They ate most of the new growth of a hosta plant before I noticed them.

Ingrid and I go on regular slug hunts. The hunting is best in the evening or morning, after rain. The best hunting ground is the wasteland between the street and the root cellar, and onwards along the edge of the road. It looks like the ones that reached the hostas also started their invasion from that direction. I guess some of them wintered somewhere in that area, and now laid a batch of eggs.

I pay her a bounty: 1 krona per slug found, and another krona if she also disposes of it. One night she found 16 slugs and earned almost as much as a week’s pocket money in about a quarter of an hour.

They are easy to spot in low grass and on plants, but not so easy on bare soil. And they are especially not easy to spot when there is dead plant material on that soil. A wet old piece of wood, a curled-up dead leaf, a piece of pine bark mulch: there are surprisingly many finger-length brown objects in a garden.

Ingrid and I played “football”. I had an upside-down bucket and a watering can to mark my goal; Ingrid had two sticks on the ground. A piece of rope marked the halfway line.

Actually what we played was more like air hockey with a ball… each one stayed on their side of the halfway line and tried to kick the ball into the other’s goal. It felt like we spent most of our time fetching the ball, because the garden slopes downwards behind both my goal and hers.

On our way home from preschool.

If I stop by the supermarket on my way home, I often buy bananas even when we already have a bunch of them at home. Adrian is likely to be tired and hungry.

Ingrid is also often hungry after school. And yet both of them have had an afternoon snack less than two hours earlier. They tell me they don’t get enough to eat during that afternoon meal: there is not enough time, or they are only allowed to take one sandwich, etc. I wonder if there is some specific policy in place that leads the school and the preschool to keep the kids hungry in the afternoon. It doesn’t seem normal that both are so hungry that they need food right then and there: even waiting until we get home is a struggle.

Adrian is in a negative phase again, like he was around his birthday in September. It feels like he complains about everything all the time. It feels like I am always hearing “I don’t like doing this”, “I never get to” and “Why do I always have to”. He has no nice way of expressing dissatisfaction, he goes from zero straight to whining. It is tiring to be with him.

Maybe it is because he is tired. He has been saying that he wishes it was weekend all the time and he didn’t have to go to preschool. Perhaps his mood will improve with summer holidays.

And just like in September, he is quite clingy and does not want to be on his own at all. He wants to know what room I am in. When I go out, he must come; when I go in, he must go in. When we are out walking, he walks within two steps of me, ideally holding my hand all the time. When he does let go of my hand, he walks so close to me that I almost step on his feet.

Adrian has become interested in geography. We have been reading Världens djur, a book about animals, as our bedtime story. He likes the animals but also likes to hear about all the different places where they live. (The book is organised by habitat: the polar regions, desert, forest etc.) And while everything in that book is exciting, one of the most important facts about each animal is what part of the world it lives in. And for each place I mention, he asks if we could go there sometime. Can we go to Madagascar? And Antarctica? And the Middle East? And a desert? But maybe not a desert because there are scorpions there.

He also wants to go to a place where we can find dinosaur fossils. And to Japan, where there are ninjas! And robots! (Which we learned from the book of maps, Kartor.)

Pirates are also cool. He loved the pirate-themed sticker book I gave him and worked on it almost daily until it was all done.

He also likes reading about the Earth and its climate, things like earthquakes and tsunamis and hail.

He enjoys consciously breaking clothing rules. Mostly he is quite norm-conscious and usually wears jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt. (He doesn’t think twice about wearing a pink t-shirt, though, or wearing a dress to a party. Because dresses are pretty and comfortable.)

But now and again he comes up with something mildly crazy, such as going to preschool in pyjamas, or walking around at home with no trousers. He is very aware that what he is doing is slightly odd, and that’s what makes it fun.

He now likes baths, and has graduated from the small tub (which he barely fit into) to the large one that Ingrid uses. Well, what he likes is sitting in the bath. He is still not at all fond of actually washing himself. Washing hands is sort of OK, but not when I tell him he has to use soap as well. He also doesn’t like washing his neck and ears or wiping his nose, but he’d rather do it himself than let me scrub him. It’s a good thing he likes having his hair so short – I cannot imagine making him comb his hair every day.

Not much to say this month.

Sometimes she is so much a child, and other times I almost get tween vibes from her.
Sometimes she is so girly, and other times so tough.

She doesn’t play with toys much, of any kind. But sometimes she still plays with her old doll, changes it into a different outfit, brings it with her when we go out. For her pocket money she bought two Ever After High dolls (Apple White and Briar Beauty). The EAH dolls first talked fashion in very girly voices: “yellow doesn’t suit me at all, I will only wear pink and black”. And then the dolls got more assertive: “assume position 95, kung fu!”. That juxtaposition is very “her”.

Favourite skills: Recognising songs. Blowing bubbles with gum.
Favourite activities: Listening to ads on the radio. Being with friends.
Favourite games: Just Dance on Wii, and Machinarium that we play together.
Favourite expressions: “I’m allergic to” (…going to bed, Mondays etc). “You’re kidding!”

We went to the museum of natural history to see their revamped “Evolution and fossils” exhibition, a.k.a. “the dinosaur exhibition”.