Finally, finally, after uncounted months of no progress, Adrian is now nappy free. He totally skipped the potty stage, and the accident-prone trying and practising stage, and went from nappies to full toilet use pretty much overnight.
He rarely has any accidents, not even at night. It’s as if a switch had been thrown. I guess there was some psychological threshold or resistance that needed to be conquered.
At home he often manages his toilet visits independently, without any help. He has a little step stool to help him, and a child-sized toilet seat ring. Outside the home the toilets are tall and the seats large, so he needs help getting up and down.
When we’re out and about, he prefers peeing in bushes to going to the toilet. One of the main reasons is his sensitivity to noise, especially rumbling, roaring sounds. He cannot stand the noise of hand dryers, and the Dyson Airblade is by far the worst. He is so distressed by them that he cannot think of anything except escaping the noise. I can sympathise with him. The Airblade is awfully noisy, and while I don’t quite feel the need to flee, I try to keep my distance and won’t normally use them.
To get away from the noise, we use the separate family/disabled toilet instead of the main ones whenever possible. Sometimes I carry a pair of kid-sized ear protectors with me for him. Those are also good for other kinds of noisy situations, such as roadside picnic areas, or the building works going on in our street in Tartu. I don’t know what they’re doing – it sounds like a jackhammer but I’ve never stopped to look; we all hurry past as fast as we can.
When we went shopping for underwear, Adrian picked a bunch with monsters on them, and a set of day-of-week briefs. He’s not too picky about wearing them on the right day; instead he picks a pair, puts them on, and then asks what day he’s wearing.
(Face painting by Ingrid)
Adrian is interested in numbers, sizes, measurements, metres and kilograms. He asks how large things are, or many meters of potatoes we bought and then guesses “fifty meters! no, six!”
He has become quite aware of his age, too. He knows that he is three, almost four, and that Ingrid is several years older. He knows his birthday is in autumn, which comes after summer, when the leaves turn yellow. He wants to be six so he can go to school like Ingrid, and watch big kid movies.
He likes joining in the games we play, and with some coaching and guidance manages some of them pretty well. We’ve played dominoes, “Försvunna diamanten” and Go fish.
He has his own score in “yellow car”, which by the way has mutated into “orange car” now because there were way too many yellow cars in the streets of Stockholm. Occasionally he notices Ingrid and me discussing our scores and asks what his score is. Then he shouts out “red car” or “black truck” or something and gets a point for that. Meanwhile, Ingrid has realised that I have no chance of catching up with her, but she wants the score to be more even to make the game more exciting for her. I now get two points for each car, and sometimes she points out orange cars for me to claim.
He still has his cow milk protein intolerance. One day when we were all having ice cream and he wasn’t happy with his, he asked to try ours. What the heck, we thought, let’s see what happens, and he got small spoonfuls from each of us. What happened was a night of constant waking because of nightmares, until four in the morning. Won’t be trying that again for some while.
Favourite food: French fries. Raspberries. Porridge. Potatoes. Broccoli and cauliflower.
Favourite story: Three little pigs.
Favourite movie: Despicable Me, 1 and 2.
Favourite YouTube clips: people demonstrating play-dough play sets.
Favourite toy: Lego.