This has been a difficult month. Ingrid has become immensely sensitive to time pressure (as in, strongly resistant to it) and at the same time discovered passive aggression. Any time I ask her to hurry up, I do so with trepidation, steeling myself for the resistance, and then the explosion. But sometimes I feel I have to. There are limits to how long I am willing to wait for her.
She wants me to wait for her to do stuff. She goes to the loo, and then to wash her hands. I make to leave the bathroom. She says “You will wait while I wash my hands”. I say OK, and wait.
Then she stops and does nothing.
I wait a while. I get bored and turn towards the door again. “No you must wait!” “OK, I can wait, but in that case you have to wash your hands. I have to go back and continue making dinner.”
She does nothing.
I wait. I leave the bathroom and go to the kitchen. She explodes in screaming and crying.
In the supermarket she wants to be the one to pick a loaf of bread. Sure, come here, I’ll lift you up. I lift her up, she stops.
On our way home from the supermarket, she runs too close to the road. I grab her hand to stop her. She is angry. I let go of her hand. She then refuses to move. Various (kind, then less kind, then kind of annoyed) ways of asking her to either walk or climb into the pushchair have no effect. She then sits down on the pavement in front of the pushchair so I can’t walk either.
I once tried waiting it out, but gave up after close to 10 minutes. (Literally. I timed it to over 8 minutes, and then waited some more.) So now I give her a couple of chances, then tell her that I will not ask her again. And then I walk away – or bundle her under my arm and carry her if she’s blocking my way. Both lead to screaming, and a negative spiral with angry scenes about the next thing that needs to be done, and the next.
As always, I’m sure it’s just a phase. And it will pass.
In the meantime, on a more positive note, there’s been a lot of talk about Christmas. We read Christmas-themed books in the library. Ingrid points out every new Christmas decoration she sees in the street – “för det är jul snart!”. We made gingerbread cookies and eat a few after dinner every day, and she opens a piece of her Advent calendar/puzzle every day. She talks often about how it will soon be Christmas, and then there will be presents. She got a Christmas card (addressed to herself!) today and was very happy about that.
She has become suddenly obsessed by drinking straws. She will not drink without one, and sometimes takes two or three. First she used up all the green ones (for green is her favourite colour, she’s told me), then the blue ones. Yesterday she got a fancy reusable straw as a gift from her friend Elin, and I’m sure she will be using it constantly from now on.
It’s interesting how some things become essential, cannot-live-without-it important. Her silver spoon that my father gave her at birth (an Estonian tradition) is one. For several months now she’s hardly used any other. We have a little bowl with a fish design that she’s loved, but we don’t usually serve food to her in it, because it has a very narrow base and is wont to topple. A few weeks ago I bought a different “fish bowl”, and she’s adopted it as her own now, and asks for it at every mealtime.
There was a month or two when Ingrid was slightly less insistent on visiting friends every afternoon. Now she’s in a social phase again, and would happily go play with someone almost every day. Which is hard, because she only has two best friends she wants to play with, and both families have more stuff scheduled in their life than we do. Since she doesn’t exactly lack company during the day, I haven’t gone out of my way to try to find other playmates for her.
Last month (and I now realize I forgot to write about it then) Ingrid had a period when words would get stuck, and she’d have difficulty getting them out. Not stuttering, but repeating an entire word or even two, before she got the rest of the sentence out. Sometimes she’d rephrase in order to get unstuck again: “jag vill… jag vill… jag vill… vi ska läsa bok nu”. Apparently a common phenomenon at her age, supposed to pass on its own, and indeed it did already.
Now she’s come up with new language games. The favourite by far is to give all words the same initial sound, preferably K or some combination of K and another sound. “Palun veel piima” becomes “kalun keel kiima”, “nummer ett, nummer två, nummer tre” becomes “klummer klett, klummer klå, klummer kle”.
Favourite movies: Wall-E, Kalles Klätterträd and Kung Fu Panda, among others.
Favourite books: various Petsson & Findus books, as well as various Mamma Mu books.
Favourite food: liver pâté.