Today is release day at work. The release responsibility rotates so most developers are reasonably proficient in pressing the right buttons, and it wasn’t my turn this time. I normally stay in the office for the release anyway, especially if the developer pressing the buttons is a junior one, because I feel ultimately responsible. Today I couldn’t stay late, so I logged in from home instead, after picking up the kids from school.

It turns out the kids are surprisingly good at entertaining themselves and doing things together if they really, really don’t have the alternative of hanging around an adult. They spent a good long while playing with kinetic sand, and they even cleaned it all up after themselves.

Ingrid is on a self-imposed entertainment fast for Lent, abstaining from YouTube and gaming. For a while she filled the extra time with tidying and organising her room, but then she sort of ran out of energy, and now she just reads more Kalle Anka. Occasionally she draws.

She just doesn’t seem interested in doing anything else at all. The Zoomer dog she bought after having saved for so long is languishing on a shelf, after just a few hours of play. So do her books.

When I buy a book for her, or even when she chooses a book, she reads a bit and then abandons it. And when school forces her to read that same book a few months later, it’s “the best book ever!” Crocheting for crafts class at school is great fun. And as soon as that project is finished, she puts away the yarn and the hook and never picks them up again.

She says she wants a pet, like a cat or a dog. Partly to cuddle with. But partly I think she needs someone to give her an impulse to do something, and she’s hoping that a cat or a dog would do that – would be a playmate.

She also wants to be a little kid again. I suspect she’s finding growing up somewhat stressful, and wishes for a simpler life, with fewer expectations and responsibilities. Perhaps she does so little because she doesn’t have the mental energy to do more.

Miscellaneous fact: She dreams incredibly fantastical, detailed dreams that she then recounts for us in the morning. I can’t remember any in detail but they generally seem to involve adventures such as hikes.

We went shopping for new shoes for the kids.

Adrian chose shoes in the coolest, brightest colours, with blinking lights in the soles.

Ingrid chose black with some white details.

She wanted to be on her own for a while.

At my brother-in-law’s birthday party. There were no other kids close to Ingrid’s and Adrian’s age, but Ingrid made friends with one of their cats.

She says she wishes we could have a cat. I am not entirely against it, I like cats (and dogs even more) – but no matter how much Ingrid assures me that she would take care of a pet, the ultimate responsibility would rest on me. I feel I’m just about coping with all my duties now, and adding another would probably be too much.

She’s already making plans for doing disco twice a week during the next school term, and talking about advancing to the level when she can join the competitive disco group.

Corn fritters. Mise en place like a pro.

Ready to go down the slope.

If you look carefully, you can see a glimpse of blue sky back there! We’re ending our ski trip on a high note, with the best skiing conditions thus far.

Adrian goes down the hill like a hay wagon. Plants his skis wide, aims them in the right direction and then heads straight down. Barely brakes, rarely turns.

Ingrid shows off her hockey stop skills.

It’s winter break in Sweden and we’re on a family ski trip to Stöten – with the whole family for the first time ever!

After the first half day, everybody is pretty tired. We don’t do this very often, so our bodies need some time to get used to this again. Eric had a ski trip with work recently, but it’s been a year since Ingrid and I last did any skiing, and it’s the very first time Adrian stands on a pair of skis.