Impressive language development continues. Day to day, I take it for given, but when I stop to think, it is an amazing miracle.
A most pleasant addition to Adrian’s vocabulary is jaa! to complement the inte! (“no”) that appeared some months ago.
To nouns and verbs he is now adding other kinds of words, and not just “yes” and “no” and “mine”. He talks about amounts stora (“large”) and mycket (“much”), and directions – pool, “way, direction”, as in inte pool!, “not way!” for “I do not want to go this way!”, mixing Swedish and Estonian. The most abstract concept I’ve heard him use is också, “also”.
It is interesting to hear him try to figure out what a word means. On some occasions I’ve said something about him getting the sun in his eyes, and specifically said it in the car while putting up a shade on his window. “Let me put up the shade so you don’t get the sun in your eyes”. Päike silma, “sun [in the] eye” are the two key words that he hears. He knows “eye” and now tries to figure out “sun”, and the phrase as a whole. At first he just repeated the phrase when I said it. Some time later he guessed that maybe “sun” was the shade I put up – pointed at it and said päike. Then he thought that perhaps “sun” was the window, and tested his hypothesis some time later by pointing at some other window and saying päike. No, this is aken, I said. Aken! he happily repeated. This all happened over several days, maybe even more than a week.
One word pair that gets a lot of use is sjunga/laul (“sing/song” in Swedish and Estonian respectively). He loves to hear us sing, and sometimes it feels like all we do is sing. Mera, mera! he keeps saying. Or sometimes mera! inte! which means “more singing but not this song”.
We have two song books that we use a lot, and he knows which pictures go with which song. He leafs through the book and stops at some specific picture and then asks for that song – Pippi! or kanin! and so on.
Because of songs, monkeys are called umpa – “Tänk om jag hade en liten liten apa, umpa umpa fallerallera…”.
Ingrid also loved and loves songs, but Adrian seems to be more musically inclined. He listens more attentively, and his attempts at singing have more melody in them. I also get the impression that he likes Eric’s singing better than mine – which makes a lot of sense since Eric sings much better than I do. Ingrid doesn’t hear a difference, I suspect.
Today we heard him use verb tense for the first time, “Adrian has pooped”. And he had. He talks a lot about peeing and pooing, and nappies and willies. He seems to think a lot about these things, and seems to be much more aware now that he is peeing and pooing. His urinary system seems to have matured, too: he now pees large amounts infrequently rather than small squirts all the time. One moment the nappy is dry, and five minutes later it is soaked.
Adrian has started talking about peeing/pooing before he actually does it. If we were at home I would let him run around with a bare bottom and see if he can go on the potty at least some of the time. But here in Estonia we have no potty, and he feels very insecure on the toilet seat even with me supporting him. For now, all we can do is be attentive and check his nappy as soon as he mentions these things.
He is very interested in penises. He plays with his dangly bits as soon as the nappy comes off. While we were travelling from Stockholm to Tartu, we used disposable nappies, to avoid having to manage dirty nappies en route. It turned out that with disposables he could actually squeeze his hand into his nappy and check that his willy was still there. Which would be sort of OK if the only effect was to embarrass passers-by… but since he also did it at the dinner table, it was a bit gross, and it meant that the nappies then leaked because they sat askew. I had to keep reminding him again and again to take his hand out of his nappy.
He pays attention to other people’s toilet visits, too. He watches Eric and points out the relevant parts. Then he sees me go to the toilet and asks, emme snoppen? – where is mommy’s willy? I tell him I don’t have one, and he says snoppen borta, “willy gone…”
One of the new developments this month is that Adrian has a favourite cuddly toy. We went to a toy shop, and he spent a long time in front of the various Pippi figures, ignoring the rest of the store. So we bought him a large Pippi doll. Stora Pippi, “large Pippi”, he calls it, because there were three sizes in the store and we bought the largest one. He likes to hug it when falling asleep, or sometimes in the car. In the evening he takes Pippi’s clothes off, and I keep wondering whether it’s because that’s what one does when going to bed, or because Pippi’s body is soft fleece and the clothes are cheap not-so-soft cotton. He also likes Pippi books and movies – not really reading or watching them, but just holding and handling them.
He still likes to play with water in all sorts of baths and pools. He has also learned to pour water from a jug into his glass. We have a small jug that is easy for him to hold and lift, and I put just enough water in there, so he can pour all of it. He loves it. Sometimes he reaches for the jug, then realizes that his glass still has water in it, and quickly drinks it all, so that he can pour again.
He likes to climb, and he likes slides. He can now climb up onto the large jungle gym at our local playground, above my head, and can slide down from there as well. When he feels sure about a slide he comes down seated; otherwise he slides flat on his tummy, feet first. He also likes to try and climb back up the slide.
He has understood how the iPad works and asks for it at times. At first it was called “ee-i”, as in “Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-i-ee-i-oh”, because that was the app he used most. Now he has branched out to other apps, mostly SoundTouch and PictureBook (both with lots of pictures of animals and other common objects) but also some others that he just looks and pokes at, without understanding what is going on. He understands how to unlock the iPad but usually doesn’t succeed. On the other hand he manages to swipe from page to page pretty well. What he doesn’t understand yet is that he cannot have the rest of his fingers, or his other hand, on the screen while trying to do something.
We’ve also looked at photos with him, both in my camera and on the computer. All he is interested in is photos of himself. “Adrian!” he says, and asks for more.
He likes drawing, more and more, and he likes me to draw things for him. He prefers felt tip pens to pencils and crayons, and for drawing material he prefers his own hands and arms to paper.
We have cut down on nursing some more; I say no more often than I used to, when I think he just asks to nurse because he is bored. Also I no longer let him nurse during meal times, because that led to too much climbing back and forth between my lap and his chair.
His dairy intolerance is still present. Yesterday he and I ate some pasties from the supermarket, and afterwards he was all hyperactive again, the way he’s been in the past when he gets small amounts of milk.