About a year ago, someone summarised Ingrid’s personality as “strong, glad and active”. (It was the staff at her first nursery, the one at my workplace, where she spent her first month in daycare.) While we didn’t disagree with that summary, it wasn’t something we ourselves had particularly remarked on at that time.
Over time we have come to realise just how apt that description was. To an outside observer who sees lots of different babies, it may have been noticeable a year ago. Now it is obvious to anyone who spends a few hours with her.
Ingrid is physically very active, and needs movement. She can not sit still for long, and she gets bored very quickly when there isn’t enough activity. Something needs to be happening all the time. On the days we are at home, she is usually ready to go out within two hours of getting up. (Which means that when she wakes at 6.30, she may want to go for a walk already by 8.) She gets incredibly restless if she is forced to stay at home all day, so during our long weekends We now try to go out twice a day, or for a full-day outing. Ideally we go some place where she can run and climb, but even a trip to the supermarket is better than sitting at home.
I have no other toddlers close by to compare her two, but from what I have seen, not all of them are like this. I hear of children who are happy to sit still and listen to mum read a story. When Ingrid reads a book, she is always actively involved: holding the book, pointing at things, saying their names. I see children who lean back in their pushchairs and don’t mind being carted around like a sack of potatoes. When Ingrid is out in her pushchair, she sits straight up and takes in the world. When I go grocery shopping, she always wants to be involved, to hold a bag of carrots or a carton of juice.
Her favourite activities tend to involve big, heavy things. I don’t know if she is strong because she likes heavy things, or if she likes heavy things because she is strong… She likes to lift milk cartons, to carry around pots and pans and big rucksacks, to push chairs around and to climb stairs.
And Ingrid has fundamentally a very glad and sunny disposition. At the nursery she just left, the staff said that they couldn’t remember her ever being angry. At home she definitely can be unhappy or upset at times, but it’s always for a clear reason: hunger, boredom, tiredness, or having her nappy changed, or not being allowed to play with the computer. There is no pointless, aimless whining. She is a joy to be around.