This month was the last month of real summer – the summer break is almost at its end and school starts on Wednesday.
Swimming is by far Ingrid’s favourite summer activity. We’ve been to numerous beaches: the Trepimäe and Saadjärve beaches in Estonia, the small bathing spots at the seaside near Ljusterö, several beaches near lake Mälaren relatively close to home.
A new addition to our repertoire this summer was Kyrksjön (“the church lake”) near Bromma church. It has no actual beach – the banks are muddy and the only way in is from a pier straight into deep water. But it’s small and thus warm, and it’s the one closest to our home so we can go for a quick swim even quite late in the evening.
The last week of summer Ingrid went to swim camp. Not “proper” camp really I guess, just during the day at the local swimming pool. They had two hour-long swimming sessions (morning and afternoon) and games and other activities during the rest of the day.
Ingrid was most proud that she learned to dive in head first from the starting blocks. She’d been trying to learn diving during the summer but not really succeeding. Eric and I demonstrated but couldn’t really teach her, and she sort of half jumped, half dived, landing chest first. And now during camp she got it – she says diving didn’t hurt her chest any more.
One of the non-swimming activities was dodgeball/scatterball. (They’ve played them in gym class at school as well.) Just like me, Ingrid doesn’t have very good ball sense. And just like me as a kid, she reacts to this not by practising catching and throwing but by playing an entirely defensive game – optimising her strategy to fit her skill level. She can be among the last few kids standing even though she can rarely catch a ball.
Speaking of optimising, one day she complained about having to carry her laundry up to her room and put it away. I pointed out to her that she gets a lot of laundry to put away because she goes through a lot of clothes, and that I get less because I wear most dresses several times before I wash them. She gave this some thought and then completely changed her habits. She used to throw all her clothes in the laundry hamper at the end of each day – now her clothes almost always last several days before they need washing.
Another kind of optimising she does is leaving the best until last, in all kinds of situation. Eating pizza with ham and pineapple: pick out all the pineapple, eat the rest, and then the pineapple pieces, from smallest to largest. She’s also realised that Adrian does NOT think this way and in fact almost does the opposite. So when they both want X (for any value of X) Ingrid lets Adrian go first and both are happy.
Summer is over and our ordinary activities are starting up again. First out was riding where the autumn term started this week already. The horses need their exercise I guess. Now that we know that Ingrid intends to continue riding we invested in some gear, instead of making do with any old trousers and borrowing a helmet at the stable. She now has a helmet, riding pants and gloves, and a fleecy jacket. Everything except the helmet follows a lilac and purple colour theme.
With summer and especially our Estonia trip behind us, Ingrid apparently needed something else to look forward to and plan for. The next thing coming up is Adrian’s birthday so Ingrid took that up as a project. She’s saving up money and they’ve been browsing old toy store catalogues together, because Ingrid wants to buy him a present.
She’s also sewing a little plush monster for him. That project is actually quite challenging because it needs to be kept secret from Adrian. She can only work on it late at night when she’s often quite tired. But with a month to go, I think she’ll get it done.
Despite our two weeks in Estonia, it’s a struggle for Ingrid to speak Estonian now that we’re back home. She can’t find the words she wants and can’t express herself as well as she does in Swedish. I’ve started pushing Estonian more and she is starting to push back because it’s too much work and she cannot see the point. “Why can’t I speak Estonian in Estonia only?” she asks, and she doesn’t believe me when I tell her that without practising she won’t be able to speak it at all soon.
Favourite book: Viktiga kartor för äventyrare och dagdrömmare, “Important maps for adventurers and daydreamers”. Each spread has a theme, such as “volcanoes and earthquakes”, “mysterious places”, “gold and jewels”, etc. We’ve been reading it at bedtime. She is totally absorbed and makes sure I read every little sidebar and fact box. The Bermuda triangle is her particular favourite.