Thirty months, two and a half years. I know I keep saying that Ingrid is growing up, and of course it’s hardly news because that’s what all children do, but really I keep noticing how quickly she matures. The patterns of her movement, her facial expressions, all look more like those of an adult than those of a baby.

Life continues on a generally contented, positive path. No major upsets or mood swings. The only thing causing friction is boredom. It is becoming clearer all the time that Ingrid is a social creature, extroverted unlike both me and Eric, and loves to have people around her. She is happy at nursery, happy when we have guests or are visiting other people or at playgroup – and bored and clingy when it’s just the two of us at home.

When we spent the afternoon with Julia (her friend from nursery who lives across the street) and her sister, they played together with her toy kitchen and her balloons and the doll stroller, ran around, chased each other to the bedroom where they jumped up and down on the bed… full of energy.

On a normal weekday evening, on the other hand, Ingrid spends some time watching a movie, ideally with me keeping her company, then some time in the kitchen watching me prepare dinner or do the dishes, and then we read some. Perhaps we play a bit, together. She is totally not interested in playing with her toys on her own. For a while she enjoyed a computer game for small children, where she could make things happen by moving the mouse, but after a few weeks she lost interest, and the only thing she kept coming back to was a letter-matching game. She’s barely even interested in painting: several times now she’s told me she wants to paint, only to give up after a short while, and then spent more time washing up afterwards than she spent painting.

For doing “real” stuff is fun. Ingrid enjoyed planting bulbs and spreading fresh soil together with me. Now that it is warm outside, we go out to water the flowers, too. She’s getting good at pouring things: not just from the watering can (which doesn’t require much control, after all) but also pouring juice into her glass or cream into the saucepan. If the food is relatively solid, she’s sometimes served her own food, climbed down from the stepstool and carried her plate to the table, all on her own. With some guidance she can pour “one, two, three” measures of water into a pot, or a pinch of salt that I’ve poured onto her hand. And of course she can cut all sorts of bags and packaging, as well as herbs. Too bad all the veggies we eat tend to be crisp and crunchy and hard to cut, otherwise she could start practicing with a knife, too.

When we do play, our games tend to be small, random ones, things that we do on a whim, enjoy, and then occasionally come back to. Me pushing her over while she’s standing on the bed, which then evolves to her falling over when I barely poke her with a finger, and finally when I just point at her. Or word games: I say “ni ni ni… nina!” and she says “to to to… tool!” or “em em em… emme!”. Games with rules, where we are both supposed to do things a certain way, over and over again. But I’ve also noticed pretend play, when she picks up some invisible thing and tells me it’s peas or milk or some other thing I need to eat.

Rules are important. Rules are good, because it is easier for her to understand and accept a rule, than to accept daily negotiation. No shoes outside the hall. Teeth must be brushed every evening. Three small pieces or one large piece of candy in the afternoon when we get home, and then no more.

Speaking of candy, Ingrid has now learned to like ice cream, too. Until recently she’s enjoyed the taste but not the coldness. While we had to have rules about candy, we’ve never had to think about ice cream, because she just wasn’t interested. But now she takes tiny spoonfuls and actually eats them, and wants more. Other foods she likes just now: bell peppers, Kalles Kaviar (both long-time favourites), prunes, dates, peas, boiled eggs, bread dipped in soup.

She has learned about milk moustaches and found the concept so funny that she insists on drinking her yoghurt instead of eating it with a spoon, just so she can then show off her yoghurt moustache. Milk, by the way, becomes “coffee” when there is a spoon in the glass while she’s drinking from it.

Some practical stuff to finish this post off – less interesting to read now, but I think I will find this useful later on. Ingrid can now put on most clothes on her own, although trousers often end up backwards and shoes sometimes go on the wrong foot, and the sleeves on tight tops are difficult. On the other hand, she can manage gloves without any help at all.

Potty accidents still happen, but nowadays we almost always make it to the potty in time to catch the pee. With poo, unfortunately, making it to the potty is still the exception rather than the norm. But on the whole I have enough confidence in her potty skills to leave nappies off even when we’re going out on a longer trip, and just take the potty with us. (She doesn’t like big toilets.)

No change in sleeping habits since I reintroduced a fixed-ish bedtime. We start our evening routine around 8: brush the teeth, get a nappy on, choose a book, go to bed, maybe put the pyjamas on or maybe keep the t-shirt, read the book, fall asleep while I sit by the side of the bed. Asleep by 9, most days. Never wakes at night, now, but starts to get restless around 6 in the morning. At that point she sleepily rolls closer to me and puts a hand or a foot somewhere on my body, and goes back to sleep.