This month’s big news: Adrian speaks Estonian! Half of this past month we spent in Estonia, and it made a huge difference for him.
For the first few days he only spoke to us, in Swedish, and effectively didn’t open his mouth in the company of strangers. Slowly he began to find his words, and then gradually he became more and more comfortable with speaking Estonian. By the end of our two-week stay he had no trouble at all, playing with the other kids in Estonian without me participating at all.
Much of that remained after we got home. He speaks more Estonian than he has ever done. Often he reminds me, cheerfully: Räägin sinuga eesti keelt! – “I’m speaking Estonian with you!” In fact he speaks more Estonian than Ingrid does, and more freely. He doesn’t yet worry about not getting it completely right, unlike Ingrid.
Somehow I was expecting him to begin at zero, as if he was a baby learning Estonian from scratch, speaking in simple sentences of a few words. But of course it was nothing like that – his Estonian is at the same level of maturity as his Swedish. It was all in there and he just needed to let it out.
His Estonian vocabulary is a bit more limited than Swedish, and he struggles with some of the idiosyncrasies of Estonian grammar. But he uses words and grammatical forms that I had no idea he knew. He translated “favorit” (Swedish) to “lemmik” (Estonian) without batting an eye; he is familiar with both the -ma and -da infinitive forms, etc.
During our stay in Estonia Adrian also learned something completely different: to love playing in water. He’s been to the beach with us, and to the paddling pool at our local playground, but always been cautious, always at a distance from the water, never really enjoying the splashing much.
Now he was in there, running around, sitting in the water, digging holes in the sand and mud, carrying water in buckets and pouring it around – you name it. And happy about it!
In other news, Adrian has tried eating new things. Vegetables, even! He has eaten bell peppers, when Ingrid offers them to him, and carrots, too (both raw) and once some string beans. Progress.
I have also started to insist that he tastes the cooked food that the rest of us eat, at least one proper bite. To my surprise he has accepted this and not protested much at all. Afterwards he politely says Det var jättegott, “it was really good”, but he almost never asks for a second piece. The string beans were an exception.
Meanwhile I have cut down a lot on breastfeeding. Once just after he wakes, and once before he falls asleep – and once at 5:30 or 6:00 so we can all sleep another hour or two. He doesn’t like this and tells me almost every day that he would really like to nurse more, but usually he is not too upset about it either.
He has rediscovered the iPad, after losing interest in it for a while. He explores new apps, games that Ingrid played years ago, pokes around, investigates. But unlike Ingrid he doesn’t get absorbed for hours, neither in iPad games nor in movies. After a short while he usually wanders off and does something else instead, preferably in the company of other people.
He has lost some of his interest in Pippi and Bamse and doesn’t always go straight for the Pippi shirt when choosing clothes in the morning.
He likes shopping. The best thing each afternoon is our trip to the supermarket and the veggie stand at Spånga torg.
He hates it when somebody gets ahead of him, outruns him, goes up or down the stairs ahead of him. He absolutely needs to be first.
Du får inte prata med mig!, “you mustn’t talk to me!” is still his usual way of telling us that he is angry with us.