Last month Adrian started drawing. This month he has done more of that, and added writing. He makes little books by stapling papers together and then draws and writes in them. He mostly draws people and T-rexes, but also ninjas, aliens and monsters.
As for writing, at first he was mostly writing things that had obviously been suggested by the staff at preschool: “til mama ok papa”. But also his own name, and our names, and the names of his friends. As he gained confidence, he broadened out: he’s written a Christmas wish list, added things to our shopping list, etc.
Of course you don’t need pen and paper to write. An iPad is a great tool for learning to write – not least because writing in an iPad makes things happen. Like magic. Almost as soon as Adrian started writing, he started using it to search for video clips on YouTube and Barnkanalen, images on Google, and music on our Sonos system.
Out of those tools, YouTube has the best UI for a 5-year-old – there is just one search box and no further choices. With Google, you need to know how to get from search results to images, but it’s not that hard. Sonos is more complicated – you need to click the right category of things to search, and then there are menus to navigate before the music plays. Obviously not developed with kids in mind. But even if Adrian cannot manage all of that on his own, with his developing reading skills he can at least skip between songs in a playlist and figure out which might be which.
I also wish these tools were more forgiving of spelling mistakes. Google and YouTube are pretty good. Sonos – not at all. Miss one letter and you won’t find anything. The fact that many of the things Adrian wants to search for are in English don’t make things any easier for him.
HVREJÅGUT BLÅBÄR (havreyogurt blåbär)
Many of the songs he searches for are Melodifestivalen favourites: Guld och gröna skogar, Groupie, Hello Hi, Popular. He likes tunes with a catchy melody, funny lyrics and a “bouncy” rhythm. When the song is in English, he sings along phonetically and it doesn’t bother him at all that he has no clue what they’re saying.
Funnily enough, the same happens with songs in Swedish that he learns at preschool. Sometimes hasn’t quite been able to hear or understand the lyrics, and just accepts that songs contain words that make no sense. Sometimes he asks me. Other times he insists that the nonsense version is the right one: “Ögon, öron, kinden klappefå”.
Legos of course continue to dominate. For the first time he has now actually encountered a Lego kit that was too tricky for him to build on his own, so we’re doing it together. Well, mostly I’m just picking out the right pieces for him, and very occasionally helping him notice when he’s made a mistake somewhere, so he doesn’t get stuck later.
When he turned five, we started giving him pocket money: 20 kr a week. He has spent all of it on Legos. Whenever he feels like he has some money, he wants to go to Toys’R’Us and buy stuff. He is unable/unwilling to save for a goal because his discount factor is just too high.
When he doesn’t have enough money to buy what he had planned, he’ll buy something else he can afford, rather than go home empty-handed. But not at any cost: once when he couldn’t afford anything else he bought a Lego mini figure and was really disappointed when he found out it was a duplicate of one he already had, so he’s not buying those any more.
- There’s been a new surge in perler beading. The most recent theme has been ninjas and Ninja Turtles. I guess someone at preschool has printed out new patterns.
- Balancing on sidewalk edges.
- Learning to make porridge on his own.
- Peeing standing up.
- Dialects. Skeånska.
Other random facts:
- Girl colours are totally out. Adrian will not wear anything violet, lilac or pink. It was jarring for him to discover that one of the Ninja Turtles wears a purple headband.
- We play Labyrinth occasionally. It’s a great game that all ages enjoy and can play together, with some adjustments. Just a few months ago Adrian was mostly just pushing the labyrinth pieces around randomly. Now all of a sudden he’s playing for real and making up plans for his moves. It’s amazing to “see” his brain develop.