This has been a month of summer. School’s out, so Ingrid has been in fritids (after-school care) for two weeks and at home for two more.
Whenever the weather is good, she spends her day outside playing in water, as much as possible. She’s brown as a cookie (just have a look)! We have a small inflatable pool at home, and she also hangs out at a nearby playground with a nice large paddling pool. There she finds not just water but often also kids to play with as well.
Since that is much more fun for her than for anybody else in our family, she now often goes there on her own, or we go together and then I go home again with Adrian when he gets bored while Ingrid stays on. It’s a great independence exercise for her. Not just the being on her own, but also having to manage her things, packing them up and carrying them home afterwards, and so on.
She likes to bring a lot of stuff to the pool. Swimsuit, beach towel, bath robe, mask and snorkel, swim ring, maybe some water squirters, snacks, Bamse… We bought a snorkel and a mask for her for this summer and she loves them. Mostly when she is in the water she’s swimming with the snorkel and often the swim ring, too. I suppose she likes the sensation of just floating, without any effort or struggle to keep afloat, or keep the water out of her nose and mouth. She stays on the surface, with the snorkel clear all the time, and does not dive at all, but she will probably love snorkeling for real in a few years or so.
Because Ingrid loves playing in the water we’ve also been to local lakeside beaches several times this summer. A trip to the beach is a great combination of bathing (for Ingrid), a picnic (for both kids), and a cycle trip (fun exercise for me). Maltesholmsbadet is the beach we visit most often because it’s closest to us and never crowded. Last time we tried out Ängbybadet instead. The water turned out to be too cold even for Ingrid so we played miniature golf instead.
Most of her friends are out of town for the summer (although we’ve managed to organize some play dates for her) so she has been a bit lonely and bored. She’s made a new friend, a boy about a year younger than her, who recently moved in to a house across the street from us. I suspect his main appeal to Ingrid is his availability… but they also share an interested in things with wheels. Most of the time they’ve spent together, they’ve just been cycling around in the street. That’s usually how we notice that L and his family are at home: L is out cycling in the street.
Ingrid likes stuff with wheels. She saw a note about Lådbilslandet in a book and immediately asked if we could go there. It’s a small amusement park with mostly driving-oriented activities: three-wheel go-karts (severely limited in speed, which Ingrid found a bit frustrating), a traffic area with mini cars and trucks, a train track etc., but also rafts, a bouncy castle, an adventure trail etc. Ingrid drove for what felt like hours.
We’ve also been to Tom Tits Experiment, a hands-on science centre with all sorts of experiments and activities for kids and adults to try: everything from blowing giant soap bubbles to heat-sensitive cameras. During summer they also have lots of activities in their park: a labyrinth, various kinds of water play, a storm simulator, a “free fall” simulator/ride (which Ingrid did 9 times) etc. More than enough for a whole day, and had they not closed at 6pm, Ingrid would have stayed all night, too.
Another fun summer activity has been picking strawberries. She likes to pick and eat them, but also to pick for the rest of us, and then share them equally among us. We have quite a lot of strawberries, both wild ones in various places in the garden and cultivated ones. Often she invites Adrian along on her “strawberry hunts”, as she calls them. She is not very thorough in her picking, so once every few days I go through the raised beds and usually find a bunch of berries that are bordering on over-ripe that she has missed.
Summer and no school also means no early mornings. She often stays up past 10 o’clock, reading. I wake her in the morning at about 8:30 to keep her day roughly in sync with the rest of the family.
She now has 2 adult teeth halfway out at the bottom and 4 loose teeth at the top. The loose ones have been loose for what feels like forever but are not even close to coming out, but they are loose enough to make it hard for Ingrid to bite into an apple for example.
Ingrid has been much more agreeable to be around than last month. She doesn’t purposefully try to annoy us, and doesn’t whine or complain all the time. She tries to be polite when asking for things. She has decided that she wants to be helpful, too. Not generally helpful – she just wants to help me (and sometimes Adrian). She often asks me if there is anything she can help me with, and I try to think of activities that we can do together. That helpfulness appeared overnight, not gradually, and I’ve been trying in vain to recall what discussion or event caused it. Regardless of what triggered it, it’s pretty nice, although somewhat forced at times. It will become more natural with practice, I expect.