Adrian is very much in a deciding mood right now. It is important for him to decide about all kinds of things. Primarily he decides about his own life, of course, the small things that a child can decide. But he also wants to decide what other people should do, and how. Things should be done just so and not any other way!
I used my fingers to hold a potato I was cutting up for him, instead of holding it with a fork, and this was so totally wrong that he was in tears. Du ska göra så, inte så! And the corn flakes need to be poured in his bowl before the oat squares, not after. (Or was it the other way round? I’m not sure any more…) It is also important to him do do things on his own, nej inte du, bara jag! just like last month. So now I usually confirm with him before I do anything that I think might affect him.
This has led to him offering me choices about all sorts of things, too. It’s always either-or choices. “Do you like this stone or this one?” Vill du ha den eller den? Do I want a small piece of bread or a large one? Do I want a skirt or trousers?
Of course there are also the things that don’t really affect him, but that he cares strongly about nevertheless. I want to change out of my office clothes when I get home; Adrian doesn’t think I should. Adrian doesn’t think Ingrid should stand where she is standing. Adrian doesn’t think others should talk funny, only he is allowed to do that. Sometimes I humour him; sometimes I really want to make my own decisions. Lots of drama and tears.
When he wants to get me to do something, and the first attempt does not work, he tries different strategies. Sometimes he does it the Ingrid way and asks with exagerrated politeness: snälla kan du göra det. Sometimes he shouts orders: du SKA göra det! Sometimes he just yells: GÖR DET! Sometimes he simply screeches.
He likes talking funny and making funny noises. Also he likes talking like a baby. Jag är bäbis, he tells us. They play mum and dad and baby at nursery, and I guess he is usually the baby.
He seems to enjoy this kind of pretending, but mostly in company with other kids. Sometimes he is a baby. Other times he is a tiger that roars. Sometimes he is a pirate who says “hah-haa!” like Pippi Longstocking does in the movie. Then he asks me if it was too scary and if I say yes, he does it more quietly and gently the next time.
But these things should be done the right way. Only he talks funny; he doesn’t like us mimicking him. When he serves us toy food, we should pretend to eat it the right way, with the right pretend sounds. Not too realistically! “Only pretend” he admonishes when our mouth goes too near the toy corn cob.
He is interested in sizes. He talks about things being big or small, or medium (litemellan) or just right (lagom).
Adrian is also interested in names. Whenever he decides to talk to some stranger (such as the cashier at the supermarket, or some mom at the playground, or the man sitting next to us on the train) he asks for their name. Quite often they reply and then ask him the same. Usually he answers Adrian, but sometimes he also says he is lillebror, “little brother”.
He also asks me about others’ names: people we pass in the street, people in newspaper photos, in ads, and so on. And he often asks me about who lives in what house. Of course we pass a number of houses where we know the people: his friends, our neighbours, and so on. Some of them he knows perfectly well but he still likes to ask me. But he also asks me about strangers’ houses, and when I say I don’t know, he sometimes informs me that people live there, or a man, or a woman.
When someone asks him how old he is, he says he is two, and holds up two fingers. Now he has also sort of understood three: he knows that the older kids at nursery are now three years old, and he can hold up three fingers. Sometimes he can correctly say when there are three of something, such as potatoes on his plate, but sometimes he also says three when it’s really four.
On two occasions recently he has surprised me by trying new food. Once he ate sugar snap peas. And once he actually ate real cooked food with several ingredients: a tomato soup with macaroni and sweetcorn. Otherwise he still subsists on carbs (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereal), meatballs and fish fingers, fruit, and sweetcorn and peas.
- Face painting. Ingrid and Adrian have painted each other several times.
- Blowing dandelions with Ingrid. But he doesn’t like getting any of the seeds on him or his stroller. He is OK with having sand all over himself, but not “stuff”.
- His Lightning McQueen baseball cap.
- Ingrid’s hair clips with a picture of Tinkerbell.