New gym clothes, new shoes, because Ingrid has outgrown the old ones. Size 35.5 in shoes, which I would never have expected! And everything has to be black and white, and she thinks the three stripes look pretty.

And off she rushes to her dance class.

School has started. Ingrid looked forward to it, but after about a week she was kind of tired of it already. Homework, sitting still in a classroom, listening to boring lessons… Luckily there’s sports class to look forward to, and music, art, and crafts.

School has also already had their “personal development meetings” where the kids think about what they need or want to focus on this term. Ingrid wanted to work on expanding her vocabulary in Swedish and English. She’s borrowed The Hunger Games from the school library, in English – because she wants to read it and not because it will help grow her vocabulary, but it should certainly do that as well.

After school, there’s scouting and dancing. She’s dropped street dance (it wasn’t her style at all) and focused her ambitions on disco. She continues with the disco class she’s been doing for some while now, and to that she added “preparatory competitive dance” at the same dance studio.

We sorted through her wardrobe and then went shopping for clothes because she had outgrown almost everything, and most of the (few) things that fit had too much colour or patterns or decorations. The clothes we bought were almost all plain skinny jeans and plain tops in discreet colours. Plus, interestingly, one or two tops in what I think of as “US sports sweater style”: a word or two, and some large digits.

  • Favourite songs: Symphony (by Clean Bandit w. Zara Larsson), Instructions (by Jax Jones), Look What You Made Me Do (Taylor Swift)
  • Favourite book series: Harry Potter and Warriors
  • Favourite snack: peanut butter, straight out of the jar
  • Other favourite things, according to herself: Overwatch (the game – which she has tried at a friend’s place and now has at the top of her birthday wish list) and sushi
  • A recent interest: IQ tests

Mysterium: our current favourite board game. I bought on recommendation of some random online source (like maybe Reddit) as it was supposed to be a good family game, and it was a bulls-eye hit. We all love it.

The rules seemed complicated when we first read through them, but turned out to be quite intuitive and simple once we got going. (That is my one quibble with this game: they really need to rewrite the rulebook and explain the rules more simply and clearly.) It requires no reading or counting or memorizing or strategizing, and there is very little time pressure, so Adrian can join in without any handicapping or special rules. It’s social and non-competitive and relaxed and fun. It’s akin to Dixit but even better. Plus it’s beautiful!

Every summer in Estonia we buy fresh peas in the pod and then stuff ourselves. I can buy a whole kilo, and when I put them in a bowl on the table, they’re gone in less than a half hour.

Here in Stockholm there aren’t many places that sell them. But the local produce stand at Spånga torg sells Finnish peas, among other exotic non-standard fruits and veggies that you cannot buy in normal supermarkets. (Such as persimmons and mangoes that are actually ripe, unlike the hard inedible things you get in supermarkets, and Swedish plums, and small Turkish apricots, and other such delicacies.) I bought peas today, and it was like a flashback to summer. Peas are like a concentrated essence of our summers in Estonia.

Ingrid’s latest selection from the school library nicely illustrate the in-betweenness of her age. On the one hand, a manga book with cute cats on its pink cover, titled Mjau – and on the other, The Hunger Games. In English, no less. She says her friends have been allowed to watch the movie as well. I’m of the opinion that both the book and the movie are too bloody and violent for her, but we’ll see. At least it’ll be easy for her to stop and put the book down if it turns too bloody – you can’t really do that easily with a movie, where you can find yourself in the middle of a murder scene without much advance warning, and by the time you want to get out it’s already too late.

Summer is over and the evenings are dark already.

At shared meals such as lunch and dinner, books and magazines and phones and other such entertainment are banned from the table. But our weekday breakfasts are more split-up. I normally eat at work, while Eric has a quick sandwich and is done well before the kids. So the kids eat mostly on their own. They don’t really enjoy each other’s company much, so each one sits with a comic book instead.

There probably won’t be many more summer-warm, sunny days this year. We grabbed this one like the last chance that it probably is, and cycled to the beach at Kanaanbadet. Well, I mostly thought we would cycle to the garden café and eat there, and only packed swimming clothes just in case. But the kids went straight into the water. Ingrid tried out the diving platform and later even convinced me to jump from it together with her. At about 3 metres it’s near the limit of what I’m comfortable with, but having just convinced her that she could do it, I couldn’t really say no.

Adrian meanwhile cannot really swim yet and doesn’t like even semi-deep water so he climbed around on the cliffs.

The lunch and cakes at the garden café were excellent but the wait for getting our food felt like an eternity.

Girly and tough.