More homework than ever. And tests to prepare for, which they haven’t had in the lower years. The time pressure of tests is stressful for her, especially the maths diagnostic tests that really have to go fast. She likes squeezing a stress ball or something similar to calm her nerves.

Loves reading Hunger Games (currently on book 3) and watching the movies. So much so that she reads until late evening and there’s little time left for me to read to her.

She still likes me to do that. I think it’s mostly because it’s a habit. Or you could call it tradition, perhaps. It’s something we’ve always done, so it makes her feel safe and secure. She is eleven and perfectly aware that there are no monsters but falling asleep alone in a dark room can still be scary.

Puberty is making its entry. Ingrid’s body is changing. She is starting to get breasts. She is tired in the mornings, which she never used to be. And – probably related to some hormonal changes – she is no longer always warm. Now it’s her complaining about the cold when I’m feeling fine, rather than the opposite.

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

  • The centrepiece and highlight of this month was scout camp. And it wasn’t just any old camp this time – this year’s camp was a giant week-long jamboree with scouts from all across the country, and even many groups from abroad. Eleven thousand scouts in total! Ingrid was, from what I can understand, totally unfazed by the crowds and the scale of the event.
  • She has a knife permit and was therefore allowed to take a knife to camp. She last used her knife in Cornwall to pry off seashells from a rock, and forgot to dry and clean it afterwards. So when she took it out after the Cornwall trip, the blade had dark marks from corrosion. That was unacceptable for Ingrid, so she hurried to do all kinds of chores to earn enough money for a new knife before leaving for camp.
  • Ingrid is enjoying Pokemon Go. She isn’t pokemon-obsessed like Adrian: she doesn’t walk around talking about what evolves to what and which one has which attack, but she does enjoy catching new ones and perfecting her throwing technique.
  • She is still reading and enjoying the Warriors books. It’s the first time in a long while that she has found books to really, really enjoy, books that she devours and can’t get enough of.
  • Last month’s Harry Potter posters are out; white walls and clutter-free surfaces are in. And a new charcoal carpet. Ingrid spent almost two full days sorting through all her stuff and packing away things and toys she no longer uses, so we could put them down in the basement.
  • She still eats like a little bird. It’s hard to believe that she can survive on the portions she’s eating. They’re like a third or a fourth of what the rest of us eat. In restaurants she is now occasionally more interested in the adult menu than the kids’ one, but whatever she orders from it, she’ll eat no more than half of it, and then feel bad about throwing so much food away.
  • This summer’s must-have clothing item is super short sorts.
  • During our very windy Cornwall stay she put up her hair in plaits or a ponytail every day, with my help. Back at home, it’s back to loose and lank. She likes the way she looks in plaits but probably just doesn’t remember to ask me. Or maybe it’s just not important enough for her.
  • She’s quite looking forward to going back to school and meeting all her friends again.

  • Summer homework: reading 200-ish pages in Estonian. She’s reading Roosi ja Liisu seiklused. Doing it on her own is boring, so she reads it out loud to me.
  • Favourite book: Ut i det vilda, from the “Warriors” series. Clans of warrior cats. I hardly believed my eyes when I saw the book and thought it must be a joke, but no, it’s for real, and Ingrid is mesmerized.
  • Favourite word: kummaline.
  • Favourite thing overall: Harry Potter. Suddenly she decided that she was super interested in everything Harry Potter. Now half her wall is plastered with Harry Potter posters, there is a wand and a set of “potion flasks” on the bookshelf, her birthday wishlist only contains one item – “Harry Potter things” – and she’s making plans for redoing her room with a Ravenclaw theme. Blue and gray curtains, that kind of thing.
  • Favourite new thing: her new Iphone. The old one was barely functional, so we bought a new (second hand) one. I was willing to pay for a model 5 but she wanted a 5S, so she is paying the difference out of her allowance. She’s paying down the debt by 10 kr each week.
  • Favourite toys: one little cuddly owl and one cuddly hedgehog. The hedgehog has sort of become her mascot. I’m not entirely sure how it got started, but it has to do with her nickname being Iggi/Iggy and hedgehogs being igelkott in Swedish.

It’s summer break and Ingrid is bored. The only parts of summer worth having are all the camps and trips. She knows exactly how many days between the first camp and the Estonia trip (eight), and she has precise plans for how much money she will save up for each trip for souvenirs and such.

The rest of summer sounded nice in theory – no homework! – but now that the freedom is here, she doesn’t know what to do with it. She needs people around her, but most of her friends are also at camp or such, and school doesn’t provide any kind of care during the summer for kids her age, so she doesn’t have anyone. She’s been home on her own a few days. The other days I’ve worked from home to keep her company.

  • Bedtime story: The Iron Trial
  • Favourite foods: drinking yoghurt, Rice Krispies, scrambled eggs, “flat” peaches, peanut butter sandwiches
  • A favourite moment: when we go to pick up Adrian at school or summer care. I stay on the sidelines; she goes and finds Adrian. Both like it best this way.
  • A favourite app: Draw Something, where you take turns drawing things and guessing what the other player has drawn
  • A memorable event: toning her hair pink-purple-blue, mermaid style

Much the same as last month.

This month’s highlights include scout hikes (one that has already taken place and one to look forward to). And of course Ingrid is already looking forward to the two scout camps she’s going to attend this summer. Plus summer in general – she’s growing tired of school and homework and all that.

Current favourites:

  • Super short jeans shorts
  • The Sims 4 and Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Katy Perry’s Bon Appetit

Recent official measurements by the school nurse: 136 cm, 31 kg. Unofficial current shoe size: 34-35.

Random facts:

  • Ingrid successfully manages and plans all of her school stuff herself. Homework, packed lunches for sports days, gym bag, and all other specials.
  • Ingrid uses her phone as a pocket computer. She plays games, posts on Instagram, etc. However she sort of forgets that it is a device meant for incoming communication as well. On the rare occasions when I actually try and reach her, after school while she is hanging out at “the club”, she almost never picks up and almost never notices my SMSs.
  • She likes fluffy, cool pillows – but when she goes to bed, she saves them “for later” and instead puts her head between the pillows so as to not squash them. Then of course she falls asleep there so the “later” never gets a chance to happen. Same with candy – she saves the best candy and eats the less good stuff first, so the best ones end up being thrown out because they are so old.
  • She likes looking at photos of herself, both baby photos and the things I post on the blog. She usually skips all photos and blog posts about other things.
  • We went through her wardrobe to sort out clothes she has outgrown or no longer likes. Almost everything went out, except blue jeans and a couple of tops and t-shirts. Almost everything was “too much colour”, “too many hearts”, etc. Skirts and tights are completely out. We will need to do a lot of shopping soon if she is to have anything to wear this spring and summer.

  • Favourite item of clothing: a lacy black dress
  • Favourite movie/video: The Amazing World of Gumball
  • Currently reading: Fröken Europa
  • Most recent movie: Boss Baby
  • Playing: Horizon: Zero Dawn, after seeing Eric play it, and Lego Harry Potter
  • Bedtime stories: Harry Potter book 5, and Howl’s Moving Castle (which I read to her in English, because she liked the movie)

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.

She’s growing up. Have I mentioned that yet? Topics like deodorants are coming up at home, and Ingrid’s class have had their first sex education lessons at school.

Best right now:

  • That the dentist’s appointment she had been dreading for many weeks is now behind her
  • Planning for and thinking about the ski trip we’ll be making in just a week
  • All the non-academic subjects at school, especially crafts (both wood and textile) but also art, music and sports. They’re doing viking-themed crafts at school now, ranging form casting tin to carving in wood and crocheting a coin purse.
  • Melodifestivalen and Sweden’s youngest master chef on TV
  • Sims 4
  • Zoomer the robot dog that she bought for her own money after saving for months
  • The bean bag she got for Christmas

Doing a lot of:

  • Dancing – street dance on Tuesdays and disco on Thursdays. The disco class is level 3, which is both faster and more complicated than the beginner and advanced beginner she’s done before, so it’s a proper challenging workout.
  • Reading jokes and puns from magazines etc out loud, and coming up with her own puns
  • Drawing cute things in the Draw So Cute style. Half the fridge door is populated by things with spookily large black eyes.
  • Thinking about cavities in her teeth, and eating less frequently to avoid these


  • Being forced to do chores such as picking up her stuff, putting away her laundry, unpacking her sports bag etc