This month seems to have passed without me noticing. I’m sure Ingrid has changed and grown, but somehow I haven’t had time to pay much attention to it. (Exactly the sort of thing that these blog posts were supposed to help avoid…)
There were a few hard weeks when Ingrid seemed moody and unhappy. Nothing was fun, for anyone. But that now seems to have passed and we’re back to the normal flow of things.
We also had a few weeks when all her potty skills had disappeared, and she went through three changes of clothing every day. Puddles after puddles after puddles. Some days she didn’t even notice what was going on. Other days I could see her getting restless, ask her if she needed to pee. She’d reply NO, very emphatically, and then 10 seconds later pee all over the floor. After a while we started insisting that she go to the potty when we saw that she needed it, and that worked marginally better. And just as we were giving up hope of improvement, and almost starting to think of nappies again, the tide seems to have turned. Today she managed to get through all day in one pair of trousers (until the very last moment, when we were preparing for the night).
Toys are of less interest than ever. The only thing that she has actually played with is the toy stove, with its pots and pans and plates and plastic food. Some other toys get the occasional 5-10 minutes, but that’s it. I am no longer buying her any new toys; it’s a waste of money and effort. We read books instead, cook food together, or go to playgrounds.
Books and movies. Those are the two things she loves. Weekday evenings she gets about an hour’s worth of movie-watching, sometimes one and a half. I generally don’t limit it much because I can see that she’s tired and wouldn’t do anything more active even if I turned the movie off. Weekends we work harder at finding alternative activities: we try to leave the house so the temptation is completely removed. And when we go to Estonia this summer, I’ll be buying lots and lots of new books for her.
She used to be so active as a baby. I wonder where that energy went? In part I think the change appears bigger than it is, because I see a more limited part of her life: tired evenings, and weekends. Still, she has definitely changed. Looking back to last summer, I remember us running in the garden, kicking the big beach ball up and down the slopes. Now when I invite her to kick the ball around together, she is usually not interested. I would like her to be more active, but there’s not much I can do. I can’t exactly force her to enjoy running around.
I do try to find physical activities for weekends – playgrounds, swimming pools, etc. Those still work: last time we went swimming, we spent two hours in the pool and only left because they were about to close. And she was working hard and actually swimming much of the time, with her little red armbands. We’ve spent two Sunday afternoons at the Mulle Meck playground in Järvastaden. (Speaking of playgrounds, Ingrid seems to have mastered the art of swinging when standing up, without me pushing her.) We’ve also bought a little Puky balance bike for her. It remains to be seen whether she enjoys that.
Letters and numbers are fun. She can count to 20 in both Estonian and Swedish (although she tends to lose track somewhere around 16, so we often get fourteen, fifteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, done! I think she knows some of the number symbols, too: the other day she pointed at a number two and said “two!” without any hints. She knows all the common letters, and likes to point them out. Recently she’s started to pretend that she reads: drags her finger across a chapter heading in a book and slowly says what it says. Or rather, she says the title she remembers, which is sometimes not the same thing. She goes by memory only, and doesn’t seem to look at any of the letters, even the capital letters at the beginning of names. But she is clearly intrigued by the concept of reading.
Favourite books: Sipsik, Mattias ja mamma, Sina ja mina, mu väike karuke, and Kuula, kuula!. With both Sipsik and Mattias ja mamma she can sit through entire chapters that are several pages long, with hardly any pictures. When the pictures are too few and far between, I hold the pages so that she can see one side, where the picture is, and I can read the other side, where the story is.
Favourite movies: Kung Fu Panda, various old Mickey Mouse episodes from the 1930s and 1940s, and A Bug’s Life. All in English, so she cannot understand much, except Mickey, where the story is often very visual and quite straightforward. Karu aabits used to be interesting but gets less love now. Teletubbies are pretty much out.
Teeth: 16; no new teeth for almost a year now, I think.
Clothes size: 98, except for tight-fitting stuff where I buy 104 instead.
Shoe size: 23.