An ordinary month with mostly smooth sailing.

School fills most of Ingrid’s day, and still I don’t really know what they do all day. I know that in “language play” they have advanced from rhymes and rhyming to sentences, and in math play they now work with shapes.

In her Estonian lessons I know she is working on vocabulary (because I notice it improving), and writing and spelling. She gets actual homework from those lessons so I get to be a part of the process. We work especially on long and short sounds (which work differently in Estonian and Swedish) and on the O, U, Ü sounds where the spelling differs most from Swedish – those same three sounds would be spelt Å, O, U in Swedish. Her handwriting is also improving a lot, with the letters much more even in size.

After school she rarely wants to go home. School has friends. Home is boring. I pick her up at around 4:30 not because that’s the earliest I can get there, but because that’s the earliest I have a chance of getting her to come home with me. At home after school she often defaults to watching a movie or playing on the iPad, but recently I have asked her to wait with those activities after dinner so we get at least some time together. And once she starts playing, she happily goes on doing it, even after dinner – it’s just a matter of not taking the easy option when we first get home.

Before dinner she mostly plays with Adrian, which usually means some sort of general fooling around, often repeating old games, or trying to teach Adrian some silliness (silly noises, silly faces, crawling under my skirt, etc).

Ingrid enjoys Adrian’s company and told me that she’d like to marry him – “but I won’t because then we would have children who are not healthy”. She tells me she is in love with three people now: Anton who she will marry, Elin who is her best friend, and Adrian. She helps him with his clothes when we get home; she sings for him when he is upset; she keeps him company.

After dinner she likes to play games with me or Eric. Reversi, a simple version of war, Chinese checkers etc.

She also reads. Now it’s not only Bamse but also more and more actual books. While she prefers to listen to me read, she will read herself when I am busy with other things. I’ve been bringing home books from the library for her – Helena Bross’s books in the “easy to read” series seem to work quite well. Bamse might be losing some of its charm: she no longer spends all of her weekly allowance on old Bamse issues, within hours of getting the money.

She’s also played quite a lot with the Brio train set that she and Adrian got for her birthday. She builds long snaking tracks and usually wants to include all the special features: the bridge, the tunnel, the station, the ferry, the branchings and so on. She loves the battery-powered train engines, and especially the ambulance train. She also likes making the trains collide both heads-on and where two branches of the track come together.

She sings nonsense songs that she and her friends at school make up and then make more and more elaborate, with clapping, movements, variations etc. The songs usually consist of catchy-sounding snippets of other songs: “a rikki tikki taa taa” and then some “bom chicka bom chicka bom bom bom”, and then perhaps a snatch of “I’m singing in the rain”.

At the end of last month she stopped sucking her thumb at bedtime. And that was that. She still sleeps with a glove on her right hand, out of habit I think. In the middle of the night (when we take her to the toilet) I occasionally notice the thumb starting to move towards the mouth but it stops before it gets there.

She likes me to rub her back or her tummy at bedtime, because it helps her calm down and go to sleep.

Her favourite colours nowadays are pink and turquoise, not fuchsia (“lilarosa”) or purple.

She now sometimes wears skirts and tops again, after a long period of only wearing dresses almost all the time.