A happy month. The shouts of inte! are a thing of the past, and Adrian has generally been full of joy and positive energy. I’ve heard fewer min mamma! and he hasn’t been as clingy.

But he “compensated” for that by suddenly wanting to breastfeed all the time (it felt like). Especially when he is feeling insecure, he finds security in breastfeeding. But for several weeks he also used breastfeeding as a solution for pretty much every problem. Feel like cuddling? Have some boob. Hurt his knee? Ask for some boob. Upset because of some disagreement with Ingrid? Fix it with a boob. Disappointed? Bored? Tired? Boob!

He could literally ask to breastfeed at 15-minute intervals at times. And he had great difficulty accepting “no” or “later” as an answer, which hasn’t been a problem for us in the past. If I happened to be in the shower, or in the middle of some demanding step of dinner preparation, and asked him to wait, he screamed and tore at my clothes and tried to pull me down to the floor.

Just as this was getting to a point where it really couldn’t take it anymore, we turned a corner of some sort, and he calmed down again. Now we’re back to a normal state of affairs. I can tell him that I will just finish peeling those potatoes, or change out of my work clothes into something more comfortable, and he waits. Sen tissi, he tells me, in his Swedish-Estonian pidgin language.

One day he even made up a little song about breastfeeding. Tissi, tissi, tisse-tisse tissi, … Melody: “Midnatt råder” / “Haldjate jõuluöö”.

During the Christmas break Adrian took a big step forward in language development. The nursery staff all commented on how much he’d learned during just two weeks. Suddenly he went from mostly reusing phrases he’d learned from others, to freely constructing his own sentences as needed. He also simply speaks a lot more now. It makes a big difference to how I perceive him: it’s as if he’d aged several months in just a few weeks.

He talks the most when we’re on our way home from nursery, and every day the main topic is pretty much the same. He talks about who has been where, and who is going where. Nu köpa banan. Sen gå hem. Adrian gå hem. Ingrid gå hem. Alla gå hem. Lapsed gå hem. Adrian dagis. Ingrid på skolan. Pappa på jobbet. Emme på jobbet.

He often points out large vehicles (trucks, buses, tractors) but now he’s also started commenting on loud ones and saying that he doesn’t like them. Even just a snow plough can be too loud for comfort.

Once we’re home (and in fact as soon as we’ve picked up Ingrid from school) there are more important things to do than talk. Before dinner, he mostly plays with Ingrid. That doesn’t involve much talking beyond “me too!” and “let me” – it’s mostly squealing and giggling. I am amazed at how high my tolerance for loud, high squealing and screeching has become, as long as it’s happy squealing.

Sometimes their play is at a level that I as an adult cannot understand. They can, for example, have fun “falling” off the sledge on the way home, again and again. Or they just sort of tumble around and giggle and make silly noises. Other times Ingrid comes up with something and Adrian enthusiastically joins in: climbing into an empty laundry hamper; using a bath towel as a sleigh (Adrian sitting on it and Ingrid pulling it around); pulling blankets over their heads and pretending that they’re ghosts (and trying to scare me).

Their play is generally very simple, immediate and physical. Usually little or no equipment is involved, and it’s always simple things such as blankets or boxes, rather than toys. Toy food is the only exception, and when they play with that they always involve me: the kids both prepare food that they serve to me.

Ingrid has been trying to teach him hide-and-seek. He loves the seeking, and especially the finding – där var Ingrid!!!. – but needs a bit encouragement and prompting. Without that, he looks in the two closest places and then gives up. But he can keep going for a good while if I help him by suggesting places to look.

Ingrid hides in simple places such as under a table or behind a door, but even so, Adrian often needs help spotting her. He can stand right next to her but because Ingrid has never before hid in that place, he doesn’t understand that she can be there. Once he literally almost stumbled over her: not her feet but her entire body, curled up in a ball between two boxes on the floor. But he was instead looking in the distance (behind the drawer unit under my desk, where Ingrid had hid before) and did not notice her. Ingen Ingrid! he said, and turned to leave – and I had to point out to him that she was right in front of him.

The counting is also kind of fun but not for long, so I need to help him stay in one place long enough for Ingrid to hide. But he totally sucks at hiding. He does not understand the point, and as soon as Ingrid shouts “I’m coming!” he also comes out and starts looking for Ingrid, so the game is over very quickly.

Adrian adores Ingrid. Sometimes there is disagreement or competition, but he so loves being with her, doing what she does.

Left to his own devices, Adrian likes exploring the various board games we have (which mostly means spreading everything out on the floor). He also has a knob puzzle with a Pippi picture that he likes.

After dinner they’re both usually too tired to play more, so then it’s TV or iPad for both of them.

On the iPad he seems to have outgrown toddler apps like picture books. He now likes simple shape puzzles, knob-puzzle style. Lekplats is a favourite one, and Shape Builder. He also likes Beck and Bo, and Villa Villekulla of course.

Favourite songs: the Pippi theme song was first replaced by “Sjörövar-Fabbe”, and now I think “Mors lilla lathund” has taken over, with “Sommaren är min” as a close second. These three all originate from Pippi movies, too.

One day we were singing “Fader Abraham”, and he suddenly understood about left and right, which he found very exciting. Since then, putting on his clothes or boots instantly becomes much more fun if we guide him: “left foot… right foot…”.

On YouTube his favourites have been “Daddy finger” and the Örjan song from Fem myror och fyra elefanter. Both Ingrid and Adrian love that whole show and have been watching it a lot. Adrian calls it nonu tädi, meaning “man and woman”, or sometimes Magnus och Brasse.

Adrian is learning:

  • Grammar. He has been trying out different plural forms (bamsor, elefantor, bokor) and has just in the last few days understood vi/meie (“we”).
  • Letters. Last month he learned A; now he has added I for Ingrid, P for pappa and M for mamma/emme. The number four (4) is also an A for him. He likes typing them on my computer and pointing them out in all sorts of settings: magazines, signs, iPad apps etc.

We are cautiously experimenting with milk. It seems that I can add a bit of sour cream to my food occasionally, without any obvious ill effects. But it’s difficult to know. He has been quite gassy recently, which could be due to the sour cream, or maybe not. Who knows.