Adrian is continuing as he was last month, focusing on language development. He now does two-word sentences pretty regularly: “Ingrid shirt” (meaning “Ingrid’s shirt”), “Adrian chair” (meaning “Adrian wants to be on that chair”), “mummy shoes” (meaning “help me put on my shoes”).

“Mamma” does not necessarily mean “mummy”: he also uses it when he’s with Eric, and it seems to mean something like “big adult help me” – both broader and more specific than “mummy”.

When he needs help, he asks for it. He is confident in his ability to communicate and expects us to understand him.

In fact he now speaks clearly enough that others outside the family can understand much of what he says, after a very little bit of practice.

We spent much of this weekend with the extended Bergheden family, and Adrian (as well as Ingrid) was perfectly happy to be with them rather than hanging on our trouser legs at all times. This is something I haven’t seen at home because here Eric and I are available at all times. The nursery staff have told us that he is happy with other people, but that’s been hearsay, really. Now I’ve seen it with my own eyes. He’s not a little baby any more, totally dependent on me and Eric. He let others help him with food and drink, with his shoes and clothes, and also just enjoyed their company around the house and the yard.

The first signs of bilingualism are appearing. He knows that shoes are called both “kingad” and “skorna”, and a nose is both “nina” and “näsa”, and several other words as well.

Adrian is proactive. When he can manage something on his own, he does it: he goes gets a fork from the drawer when he wants one, and brings out his fleece when we’re getting ready to go out. He also understands sequences of actions. In the morning he can go to the bathroom, point at the toothbrush and say “teeth” – because he knows that tooth-brushing is a necessary step before we can do anything more exciting (such as going out).

On the other hand he has not yet learned that it is a good idea to get undressed before taking a bath or playing with water: he regularly gets his sleeves wet in the kitchen (and then complains about it: he does not like being wet) and often starts climbing into the bath tub with all his clothes on.

He has learned to manage stairs in both directions. Not entirely reliably yet, but he can do it. He can come down both standing up, if he has something to hold on to, or feet first on all fours.

One day when he was drawing scrawls on a sheet of paper, I drew an apple for him. He was astounded. “Äpple! Äpple!” Then some time later I drew something else (I can’t remember what – maybe a shoe, maybe a car, or something like that) and showed it to him. And he goes “Äpple! Äpple!” again – drawing an apple was such magic that he couldn’t even imagine that I could possibly draw other things as well.

Favourite song: “Tuleb, tuleb kitseke” (a song from the Estonian playgroup). Adrian likes singing as much as ever. Often he has definite opinions about what song he wants to hear, or what he doesn’t want to hear. Sometimes he starts singing the song he wants; sometimes he says “inte” to a song I begin, and I try another one and then another, until I hit one that works. He listens especially carefully when the song is a new one, except sometimes when he wants and old favourite and is not at all in the mood for anything new.

Favourite thing: his stripy jersey hat. I think it’s becoming sort of a comfort blanket for him. He also likes wearing mittens and shoes when going out. He does not like to go outside with his bare feet, and I think the mitten thing is the same: his soft little hands and feet are uncomfortable with meeting the outside world. He’s been wearing socks since he first started walking, after all, because the floors here have been cold.