Another trip to Malmö to spend a day in our Malmö office. Another too-early morning, another day of mostly waiting to be transported. A day of sitting in a narrow space, a space that is not mine. A day of following someone else’s schedule.

A day that was long and tiring but felt half-wasted.

So tiring that I went to bed at the same time as Ingrid, about two hours before my normal bedtime.


Ingrid flipping pancakes.


Bath.


The first one he had made at preschool. But when he got home he discovered that he had made a mistake – one of the bunny’s feet had one bead wrong. That was not acceptable so he had to make a new one.


Solar eclipse. The whole company (all eight of us who were in the office at the time) went out to St. Eriksbron to watch it.

It was all a bit underwhelming. The sky was overcast so the sun was barely visible. The eclipse was partial and honestly I didn’t think it got that much darker, even. So maybe it was like late afternoon instead of midday… Not at all as dark as in this photo; I had to underexpose this a lot to keep the sun from being a bright blob.

Another reason why I wasn’t too impressed was that I have actually seen a full eclipse, and that actually felt like a proper eclipse. Darkness in the middle of the day, stars visible in a clear sky, birds all falling quiet – the real deal. I remember watching the eclipse through sooted glass.

That was the eclipse of 1990. I lived in Estonia at the time, and the full eclipse was visible in just a tiny corner of Estonia. How lucky for us that this tiny bit of the eclipse touched the mainland! It doesn’t look like I will get another chance during my lifetime, unless we move, or travel somewhere to catch a future eclipse.




Another one of Ingrid’s favourite ponies. Lupin is gentle, friendly and curious.

He is also constantly looking for things to eat. Riding or leading him outdoors is a constant struggle because as soon as he sees anything edible, he will try to eat it. In the forest today he kept yanking the reins out of Ingrid’s hands so he could nibble at some branch of a fir tree, or moss on the ground, or leafless blueberry bushes.

I was trying to photograph Ingrid on horseback while waiting for the lesson to start. Instead I got several photos of Lupin’s face up close, because he kept following me as soon as I took a step away from him. He nibbled at my jacket, thoroughly investigated my hands with his nose, and tried to do the same with my camera.


Adrian in his cardboard box, hiding from the bright morning sun, at about 7am.


Adrian learned to read this month. Just like that he went from last month’s “AI!” and “PANG” to such words as “asteroider” and “mjölkfri” and “skogräns”. He reads letter by letter, pointing at each one with his finger. Naturally, long words are hard and compound words are harder still, but as you can see from the example words, he’s not letting that stop him.

He likes to read the chapter headings when I read a book for him.

Now he just needs to get his speed up so he can start reading sentences, which would unlock the treasure trove of Bamse magazines that we have and that he so loves looking at.

While we’re on the topic of learning, he likes adding numbers. Even without me prompting or doing anything in particular to encourage him, he tells me that three plus five is eight, etc.

Double-digit numbers are complicated. It doesn’t help that Swedish (just like English) has irregular names for the numbers between ten and twenty. He knows there is something there to be figured out, something he is close to figuring out, so he keeps asking questions like “what do one and six make” when he sees a pair of numbers somewhere. He hasn’t quite understood that the order matters, so his “one and six” might mean sixteen or it might mean sixty-one.

He has learned to do up buttons, and I don’t know where or how because he doesn’t have any clothes with buttons. But one day he told me “I will button your cardigan”, probably because the buttons happened to be right in front of him, and then he proceeded to do that. And then he unbuttoned it again. Just for fun.

Adrian likes watching TV. We’ve blocked YouTube so the endless mindless surfing of play-dough movies is off the table; he’s forced to watch Swedish children’s television on SVT Play instead.

His favourites nowadays tend to be documentaries and shows about people doing things. He watched all episodes of “Fixa rummet”, an interior decorating show for kids where they redecorate kids’ rooms; then “Bacillakuten” which teaches kids about the human body, and most recently “Alex hittar hobbyn” where Alex tries out various hobbies ranging from figure skating and street dance to making sushi.

I don’t think he plays much on the iPad. The one game I saw him play was Field Runners. He has watched Ingrid or me play a few times, and I explained a few concepts, and off he went. Positioning his units, upgrading, saving money for upgrades, etc.

He is often tired in the afternoon after preschool, and often asks to go to bed before our eight o’clock official bedtime. But then other days he shouts that he is “not tired at all!” and refuses.

The bedtime routine now includes some reading, often from a chapter book. Then I sing for him. Currently he has a fixed list of five favourites, after which I can sing whatever I like. The five are Sockerbagaren, Trollmor, Ekorrn satt i granen, Kalle Teodor and Tre gubbar – in that order. For “my songs” I usually pick some Estonian ones. The cardboard songbooks that were so important a few months ago are now not.

He likes talking like baby or otherwise distorting both his voice and the words to the point where I have no idea what he is saying. Then he translates for me.