Last month’s themes continue.
Adrian is often angry and wants to decide everything, not only about his own life but about others as well. Who sits where, who is allowed to eat what breakfast, etc.
He has a firm idea about how life should be, and if the world doesn’t conform, he has a hard time dealing with it. Man får inte göra så, “this is not allowed”, is a frequent comment. He says this about real life situations, and in that case “not allowed” is a synonym for “I don’t want you to do this” – and I suspect he says it this way because that is the way he hears adults express their wishes.
But he is also quick to point out things that are done wrong outside of his own life. If book has a funny drawing of a lemon in a shoe, he tells me man får inte göra så!. But because it’s not for real, he’s a bit more relaxed about this and doesn’t actually get angry, and when I tell him that in books anything is allowed, he’s OK with that.
He contains an endless stream of why’s. Why is there a tree here? Why do we live in Spånga? Why is he standing there? Why are you walking so fast? Why do I need to go to nursery?
With most of these I can understand or at least imagine his interest. But then sometimes his questions come from some part of his brain that I really cannot relate to.
He asks if we can buy blueberries. I say yes, and put a carton of blueberries in our shopping basket. “Why are we buying those?” he asks.
Adrian is still very interested in letters (especially) and numbers (a little bit less). He reads out letters he sees. He picks out the first letters of words, and sometimes the next one, too. He wants to know how words are spelled.
He wants to write but he cannot draw any letters himself because his hands are not steady enough.
He draws more than he used to, but mostly just susapusa, a circular tangle. His hand is not steady enough, and maybe his fingers are not strong enough, to control a finer movement. One day at the Estonian playgroup the kids were all going to draw snow men. I held my hand around his just to steady it but didn’t guide it at all, and he drew a beautiful snow man, but with very faint lines.
I wondered how much of it was my doing and how much he did. But then I realised that when we drew the little round buttons he drew some of them clockwise and some anti-clockwise, which I would never have done if it was my hand doing the drawing, so it must have been mostly him.
Many of his drawings represent slides (of the playground kind), or roller coasters, according to his own descriptions. He often cuts them out. When he cuts, he likes to crop tightly: he is more bothered by excess paper that’s left around his drawing than by the occasional clipped edge.
So he cannot write any letters by hand, but sometimes he types on my computer, with me spelling out the words for him. At this age Ingrid liked to just make lots of letters on the screen. Adrian wants to write words.
When he types numbers, he wants them to be in the right order, and just one of each: if he by accident gets two of the number 4, he makes sure to erase one.
6 and 9 are tricky to tell apart.
He is learning the mapping of number words between Swedish and Estonian. Kas kolm on tre? he asks me. Due to the wonderful world of YouTube, he is actually learning number words in English, too, all the way up to seven. But while he can actually understand the meaning of number words in Swedish, and the first few in Estonian too, in English I think it’s just a pretty sequence of sounds for him.
A crispbread sandwich with tomato soup
He is just about understood the concept of days of week. We’ve talked about how it is Monday in the morning and Monday at lunchtime and Monday in the afternoon and Monday at night too. And it’s Monday at school and Monday at nursery. And then comes Tuesday. And then other days, and then Monday again. And I think he knows that certain activities always come on certain days of the week.
This is mostly due to Ingrid’s influence. If it wasn’t for Ingrid, most of our weekdays would look very similar. But now we have to pick up Ingrid at the other school on Tuesdays because of her Estonian lesson; riding lessons on Thursdays; swimming on Fridays; scout meetings on Sundays.
Adrian comes along to both Ingrid’s riding and swimming lessons. Sometimes I feel sorry for him: he has to trail Ingrid and gets no activity that is really his own. But he doesn’t mind. Especially with the swimming, when given a choice he always wants to come along rather than stay at home with the other parent.
He hasn’t been that happy about the riding lessons, because he’s been afraid of animals for a long time. The first couple of times he hung on hard to me and I could hardly put him down in the stable. But he’s now getting used to it. He no longer holds on to my leg all the time. (There’s also a pillar in the middle of the stable that was a sort of a safe place where he was at a safe distance from all the horses and not at risk of being stepped on.) He doesn’t quite wander off (which is good) but last time I actually had to look for him because he’d gone around a corner to look at some thing, which was definitely a first. And he’s started talking about riding a pony himself. The smallest one, about as tall as he is, and only if it doesn’t walk, just stands still.
Inspired by Ingrid, Adrian also wants pocket money. He’s not getting any, though.
- Adrian can turn his tongue to the side.
- He had a haircut. Not his first, I think, but the first in a very long time. There are recurring problems with lice at the nursery, and his hair was hard to comb through, so we chopped much of it off. He looks more boyish way, so when he wears a dress (which he does quite regularly) the contrast is now even stronger.
- Favourite books: Liten skär, especially the one about letters. Ahmed Anka och Ödlan Örjan.
- Favourite foods: few, as ever. Fruit, porridge, cereal, bread, potatoes, pasta, meatballs, fish fingers, a few select vegetables. But now he also eats tomato soup, and the last one I made had lentils in it and he ate it without blinking. And the other day he drank some of my fruit smoothie, on his own initiative. But then at dinner he refused to eat a piece of potato that had some infinitesimal orange spots on it because it had been in contact with a piece of sweet potato.