The general tone of this month has been positive. The endless stream of NOs has abated, and she no longer feels that she has to decide everything. Eric described it like this: a few months ago she discovered the concept of deciding, and now she’s understood how it really works. She understands that in some cases adults will decide, and children can decide over some things but not everything. It’s made our everyday life a lot smoother.

There has been a lot of drawing and writing going on this month. Almost every day she has a few drawings to take home from nursery. Her drawings are very much based on schemas and symbols. She copies things that she sees the other kids draw. She tells me, “look, this is how you draw a hand”. She asks me, “how do you draw a tree”? (My first attempt at a simple tree was too complicated, with roots and branches. “I can’t draw that,” she said, so I simplified it to a green ball on a brown stick. Plus red blobs for cherries. That was accepted.) When the first attempt at copying is not close enough, she aborts and tries again.

She likes drawing the same things again and again: mostly people, but also cars, houses – and traffic lights. Often she draws them the same way, too, with just the most essential parts, but sometimes she adds details. The people sometimes get fingers, or hair, or bags, or glasses (in which case they are daddy), or eyelashes. I don’t think they ever have bodies, though – the arms and legs are attached directly to the head.

The drawings are often accompanied by writing. And whenever I write something (a note, a shopping list), she wants to join me. She asks me, “How do you write ’rubber boots’? flower? leek? milk? eggs? traffic lights?”

The letters are more and more letter-shaped, and almost always in a row. However the row can go either left or right or snake around in any other direction. Occasionally, they’re of reasonably equal size, but that seems to be a matter of chance.

Most recently she’s discovered the concept of the alphabet. She’s been singing snatches of the alphabet song (from nursery I guess), and found it at the back of an ABC book we’ve read.

Not all the stuff that she learns from the older kids at nursery is equally useful. She’s learned to whine: please, please! She’s learned to talk with a silly babyish lisp. She’s learned to mock others, ranging from the superior “ha ha!” to such mature terms as bajskorv, fisbajs, fegis and dumma dumma bajskorv (delivered to the tune of “na na na na naah na”). In english that would be “poop turd”, “fart poop”, “coward” and “stupid stupid poop turd”.

Pott, kann, pirn, kork, porrulauk

We’ve spoken a bit about not saying such things to others because it tends to make them upset. At some point I happened to tell her that it was OK to say “ha ha” to me, that I didn’t mind. She then generalized that to all the mocking, and I now get called “poop turd”. She says it with such joyful innocence that I really can’t get upset and have to laugh instead.

She remains an intensely social creature, and she is totally unwilling to do anything on her own. It’s not that she needs someone to entertain her – she just wants company. That someone no longer has to be me. But whatever she is doing, she wants to talk about it, share it, do it together. When she is with a friend, she is good at taking initiative to come up with activities: “Come, Majken, let’s paint! Majken, do you want to take a bath with me?” and they can entertain each other for a long time. But on her own, she’s lost.

As a result, she is quite good at social relationships and social language: taking turns, sharing, finding activities that both enjoy, resolving disagreements.

Last month it was very important for Ingrid to “win” at everything, i.e. be the first. First up the stairs when coming home, first to wash and dry her hands after going to the loo, first everything. That’s still there but less markedly.

The cycling and swinging continue. And it seems the cycling has generally made her more active. Some days she’s even run all the way to nursery. Even on the days when she wants to take the stroller to nursery, she’s likely to walk and run on the way home. (The latest game: running ahead of me and stopping, arms and legs wide apart, to make a “gate” to block my way. Initially the gates could be opened by a button on her nose. Then some required a coin, or a key. For some, just saying “please, gate, could you open” worked. Lately some gates were broken and had to be climbed over or around.)

Favourite books: the 1-2-3 series, and fairy tales.

Favourite item of clothing: her new brown Scooby Doo Crocs. Otherwise her taste in clothing is weird, tending towards a lot of layering. Shorts over trousers, tank top over dress, dress over skirt… you name it.