Ingrid has been ill twice this month, which is quite unusual for her. She is usually very healthy but this winter she’s clocked up 7 sick days. I don’t think she’s had this many ever before. Admittedly this is the first year for which we have official records (since all absence has to be reported to the school) so my recollections may be faulty for previous years.

The sick days also included her first ever ear infection.

Normally Ingrid’s most common health complaint is stomach ache. She complains about stomach aches in all sorts of situations, and for all sorts of causes, and she can generally not differentiate between them. It can be anything from feeling nervous, eating too much too fast, hunger, needing to go to the toilet, tiredness etc. Physical causes and psychosomatic causes all get lumped together.

I’ve long suspected that sometimes what she feels is not even a stomach ache, not even a psychosomatic one. For example, after she once complained about stomach aches after going on a merry-go-round, we figured out that she reports nausea as “stomach ache”. She truly doesn’t seem to be able to tell the difference.

Now I’ve started a project to try and train her to recognise the different kinds of stomach aches. Whenever we manage to identify the cause, she will try to remember what that kind of stomach ache feels like.

The other day she had a “stomach ache” after dinner. Where, I asked, and Ingrid pointed to the upper part of her chest. That’s not your stomach, I said, that’s your chest. Oh, I call everything “stomach” that’s not my arms or legs or head or back, she replied.

I tried to explain the benefits of using words within their generally accepted meanings rather than making up definitions of her own.

New interest: marbles. The kids at school were playing marbles this Friday. (It was “take a toy to school” day, which they have occasionally.) Ingrid loved the game but was still very sure that she would not bring any marbles to school to play, because she could lose some to the other kids in the game. This despite having about a hundred marbles, none of which she normally plays with.

She continues to enjoy the riding lessons and does pretty well at them. It’s just enough of a challenge for her. It is a good way of learning that others will not always do what she wants, and that some ways of trying to communicate with them will work better than others.

Favourite movie: a kids’ game show named Labyrint which involves green slime, puzzles, and robot-like monsters. Also Horseland and Frozen.

Favourite books: LasseMaja. Last time we visited the library we were lucky; someone must have just returned a pile of LasseMaja books. We borrowed six. Usually they’re all out, or maybe you can get one or two. Ingrid has been reading them back to back since we got home.

Favourite collection: bottles of Danonino strawberry yogurt, shaped like a little blue creature in various professions (doctor, firefighter, farmer etc).