Adrian is now three years old. He is so big and so small at the same time.
It’s been a lively, changeable month. On some days Adrian is happy and active. On other days, mostly tired. On yet others he is angry and frustrated, yells and cries.
The anger and frustration mostly come out when he is tired. The trigger is often Ingrid getting something before him, or something better than him. I buy two new toothbrushes – and he wants the one that Ingrid got. Dinner is ready – and he is so angry that Ingrid got to the potatoes first.
The Estonian playgroup’s autumn season began this month. Adrian and Ingrid both came. It struck me how active he is and how intensely he participates compared to absolutely all the other kids. Most sit passively; some become restless and wander around or start fighting to get away. But only Adrian has always been fully present – and Ingrid was the same when she was there with me. (Now she’s in another group with older kids, without parents, so I don’t really know what she does.) He points out the pictures of the songs he knows; shouts out the name of the animal we’re about to sing about; cheers when we’re about to sing a riding song. Infectious joy!
Often the teachers at the nursery also tells me how much he loves taking part of all the activities. So much so that he gets stressed because he cannot be everywhere and do everything that the others are doing. By the time it’s time to go home, he is often quite tired.
At home he likes playing with the iPad. For several weeks he played Pettson’s Inventions all the time. I thought that the game would be way too hard for him, but he persevered. At first it was only guesswork and he asked for help a lot, but after a while he figured out some of the “rules” and managed to put the inventions together on his own.
He likes board games but doesn’t understand how to play them. When Ingrid and I play, he likes to join us and move the pieces around, or just play with them. Luckily most games have enough pieces that he can play with some of the pieces while we can play the game our way. Otherwise we take one game and he gets another, right next to us. Sometimes he does it on his own as well: takes a board game, spreads out all the parts, and then plays with them.
We’ve also been doing some jigsaw puzzles together, after a long time of no interest in puzzles. But already it looks like he’s lost interest.
Adrian has noticed that Ingrid brings home crafts projects from school and has now started doing the same. He has made two “surprises” out of small pieces of cardboard and colourful tissue paper, glued or taped together. He says Ingrid should “put them on her arm and then put water on them and then count”, as with fake tattoos.
We don’t have much time for art or crafts at home (which I think is really unfortunate but that’s another topic). He might do it if I suggested it, but left to his own devices it’s not something he asks for. But in the few drawings he has done, he’s moved on from susapusa (tangles) to individual roughly circle-shaped things, usually quite large.
He likes listening to music. For quite a while he mostly chose Sõit-sõit-sõit külla, a CD with Estonian folk musicians singing with and for their kids. Now it’s mostly Barnkammarboken CDs. He listens more to the lyrics than he used to, and joins in. He likes listening with Eric’s large headphones.
The songs he loves best are all by Astrid Lindgren. Which is quite fascinating: they are from different CDs and different movies, and I don’t think he knows that they “belong” together, but still there is something in them that speaks to him.
Those are also the songs he asks for when I sing for him at bedtime. Här kommer Pippi Långstrump, Pippis sommarvisa, Idas sommarvisa (aka den andra sommarvisan, “the other summer song”), Mors lilla lathund, Kalle Teodor… The iPad comes in handy: I can look up the lyrics in the dark bedroom. The lyrics for some of those songs are not easy to remember.
We also read a bedtime story every night. His current favourite bedtime books are Disney Princess: Pretty Please and Pippi Kurrunurruvuti saarel.
He’s been going to bed much earlier than he did a few months ago. Usually we brush his teeth and put on pyjamas at 8:15 and after that it’s bedtime, but sometimes he asks to go to bed even earlier.
Most mornings he still half-wakes around 5:15 or 5:30 and then has trouble falling asleep again. Sometimes it takes an hour before he is fully asleep again, rather than tossing and turning and whimpering. I actually think get fewer hours of good sleep now than when we nursed at night. (We now nurse a teeny-tiny bit at bedtime, and that’s it.)
Breakfast normally consists of porridge. Lots of it. On weekends he often asks for French toast instead, or sometimes ordinary toast. Sometimes he eats cereal as well (corn flakes and oat squares).
At lunch and dinner I have started insisting that he try some vegetables. He does not like the idea but almost always takes at least a little bite nevertheless. Very rarely he asks for another piece. I think he has only done that with raw carrots and bell peppers, and once with chickpeas.
He likes topping off his dinner with a piece of dark chocolate.
He uses the word “yesterday” to refer to any time in the past.
He mixes up ljud and ljus, “sound” and “light” in Swedish. In the dark bedroom he asks for more sound; when the iPad is too quiet he says he wants more light.
Favourite movie: Disney’s Funny Little Bunnies (a Silly Symphony from 1934).
At the three-year checkup today he was officially recorded at 15.2 kg and 94 cm. The nurse also evaluated his speech, his ability to understand and follow spoken instructions, and to draw scribbles. Then she mentioned child-proofing and I steered the conversation in another direction, keeping quiet about letting Adrian cut with a sharp knife.