Ingrid is now 10 years. Double digits!

She is 135 cm tall – the shortest in her class. Shorter than many kids in the years below her, even. I’m glad her school focuses so much on the kids being nice and polite towards each other – there has no teasing at all. Still, she seems to think about this a lot. I don’t think it bothers her, quite, but few days go by without it coming up in conversation in some context.

The tallest girls in the class are approaching 160 cm. And growing breasts and having their first periods. At ten!

Ingrid has probably inherited my genes for late physical development. I was the next shortest girl in my class all the way up until my mid-teens, even though both my parents are average length or above. Then I caught up, and now I’m about average. And everybody had boobs and wore a bra while my chest was still completely flat. I remember being very self-conscious about it.

I am pleased that she can be so matter-of-fact about it. And I’m pleased that she feels she can talk about it with me. I don’t think I ever had such discussions with my parents.

She appears to be doing pretty well at balancing conformity against going her own way. She wants to wear bra tops because the other girls do. But she isn’t ashamed to tell her friends that she still gets a bedtime story almost every night, even though none of her friends do. I wonder what will happen to that confidence as puberty approaches.

Teenage fashion is creeping into her wardrobe. Tight jeans are gradually taking over, even some with worn patches and almost-rips. Tops with cute animals and black long cardigans.

Teenage habits are creeping into her daily life. Mornings sometimes start with chatting with her friends in some app or other, before she’s even come down for breakfast or gotten out of pyjamas and into clothes. After some pressure from parents, her class is not allowed to use their phones during breaks in the school day, but I suspect that they sit and twiddle with their phones much of the time at “the club”.

Youtube is a strong influence. Words like “frickin'” are turning up in her vocabulary.

She likes music, dancing, theatre and film. When the kids got to choose elective courses for this year, Ingrid chose drama. The best part of her social sciences class was making a movie about the Vikings. She’s often listening to music and singing along, and likes learning song lyrics by heart. In her dance club she’s in both a disco class (advanced beginner) and a beginners’ hip hop class this term. The disco moves and the whole disco style of moving her body definitely comes more easily and naturally to her than hip hop.