Ingrid has spent the past month naming things, especially animals. Man gave name to all the animals / in the beginning… She has a favourite book: Djurlexikon. It is big and has lots of pictures of all kinds of animals, and Ingrid’s appetite for this book is unsatiable. She knows cats and lions and wolves and apes, but also bats and butterflies and owls and penguins and snails and sharks and skunks and ostriches and snakes. Her pronounciation of all these words is often very remote from the real thing, but it’s clear that she knows the word and knows what she wants to say.
|Ingrid and Eric reading about tigers
Some animals have Swedish names, some have Estonian ones. A moose is always põder, while an ostrich is a struts and nothing else. I think she goes for the language with the shorter, punchier word. And when the “wrong” parent “reads” the page about the ostrich, for example, she takes the book to the other parent because she wants to hear the “right” word. (The skunk is a good animal because it has the same funny-sounding name in both languages.)
And other animals she only calls by their sound. A lion is neither lejon nor lõvi but a roaaar, even though she understands both the real words as well. Mice, likewise, are called piip. Wolves are interesting because she uses both parts for them: they’re called uuuuu…. varg.
Lately she has been particularly fascinated by all the animals’ tails. She points out tails on all the animals, even those where she knows there should be one, but it isn’t visible.
Speaking of naming animals, Ingrid has finally also started saying emme (“mummy”). She started saying pappa months ago, but managed to get by without a name for me. Which is logical, I guess, since I was there with her. There was no need to talk about me, but there was need to say “go see if daddy is awake” or “look, daddy’s coming home”. Now that I am away during the day and Eric is at home, I am greeted by a loud happy “emmmeee!” when I get home from work in the evening, a sad “emme!” in the morning when I leave, and lots of “emme, emme, emme” while I am at home.
Just in the past week or so Ingrid has also started saying her own name. She pats Eric and says “pappa”, points at me and says “emme”, then pats her own chest and says “Ittii”, beaming with pride.
Her vocabulary is still almost all nouns. There are a few important action words like “go out” and “sleep”, and we have tried things like “stripes” and “spots”, “big” vs “small”, but I don’t think she’s really understood those.
She has also started mimicking the various small words that we say often without thinking much about them, with the very same tone that we use. The “jaa” where the tone goes down-down-down-up (“Do you think it will rain? Jaa, who knows…”). The confirmatory “neh” (“That wasn’t so good. Neh.”). And above all “oj” which for us means “oops” and for Ingrid means “look at this interesting thing that happened”. “Oj”, I poured water on myself. “Oj”, I threw food on the floor.
She wants to do like we do and be like we are. She wants to brush her own teeth, hold a phone to her ear and talk into it, splash with water in the kitchen sink while we are doing the dishes, and “help” us peel vegetables. She doesn’t get to play with phones very often (she won’t accept fakes, and we are not particularly willing to let her play with ours) but she did get a step stool and a waterproof smock so she can help in the kitchen. The stool was an instant hit and gets lots of use.
The best thing about the stool is that she can get up on it on her own. She likes climbing. She can climb into her (rather high) pushchair, and onto the sofa as well, and of course all sorts of climbing frames and other such things (including climbing up slides, from the wrong side). Either she has become taller or she’s developed better technique, because she didn’t manage the pushchair a month ago.
Odds and ends:
She enjoys lifts and escalators. She tends to walk up stairs with the right foot first, and down with the left foot first. She does not like having sand or dirt or other icky stuff on her hands or clothes, and makes great efforts to brush it off. She doesn’t like being dried after her bath, but she likes rubbing lotion on her tummy.
She likes beans but doesn’t like ice cream. She likes milk. We last tried offering her milk about half a year ago, and she rejected it very firmly. Now she loves it. She also loves yoghurt, juice, and pasta.
She is starting to look like a girl, so now maybe only half the strangers we meet refer to her as “him”. She sometimes lets us cut her fingernails while she’s awake and not even breastfeeding, without jerking the hand away. Her hair is still like a crow’s nest at the back of her head, with lots of broken hairs, because she tosses and turns so much in bed. She has 10 teeth (4 + 4 in the front plus 2 molars) and a hint of an eye tooth. She takes one nap during the day, preferably in the cycle trailer.