Ingrid has matured a lot recently. Life with Ingrid is surprisingly smooth now. She is content and co-operative. She listens and understands. Ingrid has even become polite – really polite. I am hearing “please” and “could you” and “thank you” all day long.

This is quite a change, and I think it is incredibly nice. I believe she notices and appreciates this.

One day I asked her to start helping out more at home. We talked about what chores she could do, and she chose to help with setting the table. Every day before dinner she now sets out plates and cups and cutlery, and brings out drinks etc from the fridge. On weekends she does it for breakfast and lunch as well. This has worked incredibly well; we’ve had no arguments about it at all. I hope she notices that I really appreciate it, and I believe it also helps her feel more grown.

Often she leaves it until the last minute. That’s her general tendency with all kinds of chores: unless she sees an obvious immediate payoff, she will choose to do it “later”. Clean laundry lies in a pile on her floor for days, despite gentle reminders, until we decide that enough is enough and make her do it then and there. When she runs out of clean clothes she fishes for a pair of leggings in the pile and then leaves the rest, rather than put it away.

But if there is a clear benefit, she will get things done fast and efficiently. Our mornings run like a pretty well-oiled machine now. She gets up with the alarm on her phone. She gets dressed, comes and helps wake Adrian, brushes her teeth, packs her bag, eats breakfast – and often even has a bit of time for some reading before it’s time to go.

It probably helps that she goes to bed a bit earlier now. (Most days she and Adrian go to bed at the same time, shortly before nine.) She wouldn’t wake this early on her own, but neither is she too tired in the mornings.

Ingrid is more interested in society and the wider world. Not hugely interested but at least some. Perhaps this is spillover from social studies at school.

She has been especially curious about money-related questions. She is interested in what different things cost. We talk about bank accounts, salaries, taxes, and saving. We talk about ways of paying for things. Do we pay the lady who cleans our house every other week? Do we give her cash? Why do we use money and not apples to pay for things? We talk about vacations costing a lot of money, and about saving some money every month. What are taxes for? What does it mean to be retired, and how can you live without a salary?

Another area of interest is… well, I don’t know how to summarise it. Crime and warfare? Danger, perhaps? When she builds Lego doll’s houses, there are both fire alarms and burglar alarms, and every room has an alarm button.

When we’re out in the garden, Ingrid and Adrian have been playing war recently. Luckily they have very non-violent wars. There is a fair amount of chasing each other and some waving of the sticks that Adrian has collected over time. But there is even more talking: about who is who (Ingrid is Estonia, and Adrian is a spanjol or maybe from Arablandet), and where their headquarters are, and which stick is the shooter and which stick is the fixer (that you fix a broken shooter with) or the carver (that you use to carve your name in the shooter). Ingrid brags about her shooter, which shoots laser and bullets and arrows and cannonballs and slime and glue as well – and it has a password, too. And the headquarters have an anti-alarm-system. Adrian’s does everything that Ingrid’s does.

She has learned her own phone number by heart, as well as mine. Very practical.

She has grown physically. All sorts of clothes have become too short, and we had to raise her bicycle seat recently.

She is actually choosing to walk quite often, rather than cycling everywhere.

As before, she likes to have things to look forward to. Currently she is looking forward to our trip to Estonia. She drew a countdown calendar with a square for every day, after some counting of weeks in our wall calendar. (It started out at 9 weeks and 3 days.) She is already talking about what clothes she will pack and in what bag, and what other things she will want to bring, and which of her favourite things we will be doing again this summer.


  • Movies: Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse. She has discovered Barnkanalen, the Children’s Channel, which you can watch live on an iPad. News and sports are dull. Room makeovers are fun.
  • Food: nectarines and apricots. Brämhults blueberry and blackcurrant juice. Cheese buns (ostfralla).
  • Books: the Lou! series.
  • Music: a tune called Hypnotize on her phone. It used to be her ringtone, but she liked it so much that when the phone rang she’d go “oh, listen, the phone is making music!” and totally forget about answering the phone. So now she has a new, less musical ringtone, and just listens to Hypnotize when she feels like it.