Adrian and I went geocaching in Lövsta. It was a new area for us so we had lot of easy caches to find close to where we parked. We bagged a record six caches in under three hours.

The sun was warm but in shade the ice was still all properly icy. Adrian liked the icy spots best. Wherever there was an icy patch on the path, he chose that side of the path. This place will be very swampy in spring, but now it was a nice large expanse of firm ice.

We went and picked up the whiteboard we had ordered for Ingrid’s room already two weeks ago.

It feels like spring outside, sunny and warm. It definitely does not feel like February. Already the first Eranthis flowers can be seen in the neighbourhood’s gardens. I get a surprise whenever the temperature outside is below zero because it feels like it shouldn’t be that way.

Tail end of stomach flu, no appetite.

Breakfast: a clementine.
Lunch: four pieces of sushi.
Dinner: a tiny portion of ice cream.

Ingrid is making preparations for a space-themed dress-up disco with her scout club this coming Friday.

Adrian is very interested in numbers right now. The place-value system has just about clicked for him: that you need to start reading numbers from the left, and that 27 and 72 are not the same. First he got it with two-digit numbers; now I think he’s understood three-digit ones as well.

He likes adding numbers, just because he can, up to and past 10, without using his fingers. Sometimes he does basic multiplication as well (such as two times four or three times three).
“You have four potatoes and I have two. If you gave two to me then I would have four and you would have two. And if you gave one to me then we would have the same.”

Large numbers are interesting, and hard to grasp. He asked Ingrid to tell him the largest number she knew. She tried to make him happy and said something to the tune of three hundred and fifty-six million. Then he asked me, probably hoping that since I am older, I know larger numbers. I told him that I can’t answer that question, because whichever number I say, I can always add one to make an even larger number. Three hundred fifty-six million and one? he asked. Yes, and then three hundred fifty-six million and two.
How about hundred million hundred million hundred million? No, that’s not a number, you can’t mix number words any way you feel like.

He gets great numbers practice from his current favourite iPad game, Best fiends. Like most modern games, it has levels with goals and rewards, and various kinds of resources to amass and use for upgrading your troops. So the game is chock full of numbers. Collect this many of the red things, or kill that many of the monsters. Keep an eye of the number of moves left, consider the attack strength of your troops, check whether you have enough resources for buying upgrades, etc. There’s no advanced math here but it’s great daily practice of simply reading (relatively large) numbers and getting a feel for their size, all while having fun.

The name of the game refers to little critters that help you get through the levels. Those “fiends” are Adrian’s favourite part of the game. He even ordered a plush toy of one of them (but was disappointed by its small size) and has asked me to make drawings of his favourites fiends that he can hang on the wall.

This month’s major new thing is Adrian’s swim school. He was very sceptical at first and not at all excited. At first he didn’t even want to go into the water. But the teachers are great and take excellent care of him and other cautious kids, and while he’s not exactly diving in, he now feels quite OK about being in the water and putting at least a part of his face in the water as well.

One side benefit of swim school is that he’s getting used to showering. He used to hate the feeling of water hitting any part of his body – even just rain hitting his face made him cry. So he’s always being a tub bath person. He’s become less sensitive over time but kept the habit of bathing, which is of course nice for him but sometimes rather inconvenient because of the time it takes, compared to taking a shower. Now he’s learning that showers can be rather pleasant.

Odds and ends:

  • He likes glueing things to other things, such as little wooden sticks and knobs and buttons onto larger blocks and pieces of wood – sort of like his random little Lego constructions, I guess.
  • Pyjamas are still his favourite clothes, but now for some reason he wants to wear only pyjama shorts. Quite the opposite of the warm fleecy one-piece pyjamas he favoured just a few months ago.
  • He has a strong memory for odd details. The other day he told me he saw some movie the Friday when I was away skiing with Ingrid, which was a year ago.
  • He still thinks “thief” is a synonym for “generally evil person and rule-breaker”. For example, the other day when we were driving and found our normal route blocked by an accident, we instead took a road where through traffic was not allowed. I explained this to him, and the general idea of traffic rules, and what happens when you break them. “Like thieves do?” he asked. Today when Ingrid told him about Voldemort the evil wizard, Adrian referred to him as “the thief” afterwards.

We eat a lot of broccoli.

Broccoli is one of the few vegetables that Adrian truly likes. The rest of us are also favourably disposed towards it, so we eat it frequently. I believe in the benefits of eating veggies while Adrian, left to his own devices, mostly prefers pure carbs (pasta, potatoes, bread etc). So I try my best to make the vegetable part of each meal appealing to him. I can integrate broccoli into just about any meal.

When the broccoli is inside a dish such as a soup, casserole, pasta bake or muffins, I can use the entire broccoli, with stem and everything. But when it’s a side order for a quick dinner with potatoes and fish fingers for example, the stem often gets left over. So we have a permanent queue of leftover broccoli stems in the veggie drawer in the fridge, waiting to be snuck into some soup or other.