Words, words and more words – and bubbly happiness when he sees that we understand what he says. He can express his wishes and desires. He understands questions and can answer them: what, where, and yes/no. He understands explanations such as “nappy change first, then shoes”.

A very practical non-verbal word he has learned is a clear shake of the head to mean “no”. This really makes communication easier and is much preferable to screaming in protest. Clothes, for example: sometimes he wants socks and sometimes he doesn’t. Now we can ask him and he can shake his head if he doesn’t want them just then.

Among the odder words he knows are “oil” and “egg” (õli and muna) – not because he eats either of those but because he likes me to use them in cooking. He can reach the bottle of cooking oil and hand it to me, and I let him hand me eggs from the carton when I need those. He even knows the difference between cooking oil and olive oil (for drizzling on a salad or on pasta) and gives me the right one. Likewise he knows “microwave” (ikko) because he likes the way it goes “ding” when it’s done.

Nina (“nose”) must be said while simultaneously pinching his nose shut, so it sounds funny.

Istu (“sit down”) means nursing, because when I see that he wants to nurse I often tell him “let me sit down first”.

Almost all birds are anka (“duck”) – everything from flamingoes to eagles. The only bird that isn’t a duck is a rooster (which also includes hens).

He is also learning the names of his friends at nursery – and his own name, Aad-an.

I believe he may be beginning to realize that Eric and I have different words for the same thing. The only word I have heard him use in both languages is auto/bil for “car”.

He is much more willing to accept Eric than Ingrid was at this age. He now goes to sleep with Eric (because with me we often ended up in a struggle as he wanted to nurse forever instead of going to sleep) and does so without the least complaint. When I lift him down from my lap, he goes to Eric, whereas Ingrid would just stand and cry next to me.

Things he likes:

  • Books.
  • Songs and singing. Hearing us sing. He himself is also beginning to sing/hum a little.
  • Looking out through the window, especially when people pass by, ideally walking their dogs.
  • Waving good-bye or hello through the window when someone leaves home or comes back.
  • Going out.
  • Marbles and marble runs.
  • Phones, real and fake. He can take things that look nothing like a phone (such as a book, or a spoon) and pretend they’re phones – hold them to his ear and say halloo. I think it is pretty cool that he understands the concept of pretending and joking like this.
  • Putting on his shoes by himself, more or less – standing up and putting his foot in a shoe, with me holding the shoe open.
  • Hats and gloves. Putting on and taking off his jersey hat.
  • Flowers.
  • Sitting on Eric’s desk together with Ingrid while she watches a movie and he pokes at stuff.
  • Climbing or crawling into large boxes.

Things he does not like:

  • Leaving nursery. Quite often he runs to meet me, nurses, and then goes off to play again, and gets really angry when I try to make him go home. Sometimes it ends with me carrying a wriggling screaming baby towards the gate.
  • New food. He rejects pretty much anything and looks at us as if we were trying to poison him.