A new kind of independence is developing in Ingrid: she has started experimenting with being completely on her own. It began with an afternoon at the playground, after school. Adrian wanted to stay; Ingrid wanted to go home. I handed my keys to Ingrid and she went on home on her own.
This took me by surprise, because when she last tried being home alone, she didn’t hold out many minutes. Now she was totally cool with it.
So we did it a couple more times. Sometimes she’s gone home from the playground to pick up some stuff. Once I did the opposite and left her at the playground with Adrian while I went back home to pick up something. Sometimes she’s gone to a friend’s place to ask if they can play. A few times she has just gone out to ride her kickbike or skateboard on her own for a while.
She likes staying up late, usually reading. She can usually still get up the next morning, but by the afternoon the lack of sleep catches up with her and she is tired and whiny. So now I try to send her off to bed by 9 at the latest. But sometimes no arguments work, not even the threat of missing the bedtime story (because after 9 we are usually both so tired that I don’t want to tell a story).
When we do have time for a story, she often asks for something that has things (inanimate objects) that come to life and can talk: toys, or the inhabitants of the kitchen, or the numbers one to nine. And preferrably their talking should be arguments about which one of them is the best. A reflection of her daily reality at school perhaps.
Sleeping is just so utterly boring, it seems. “Who came up with the idea of sleeping, anyway?” she asked today. “And why do we have to eat? And poop?” Not really wondering, but just expressing her frustration with these stupid wastes of time.
At mealtimes, too, it is clear that she would rather not have to eat. Whenever she is snacking, she will bring some Bamse magazines to read. At the dinner table she often forgets that she is supposed to be eating, and plays or talks instead, and we remind her to eat. Sometimes she gets bored with eating and leaves the table before she is full, and then realizes an hour later that she is actually still hungry.
At home this isn’t much of an issue, but at school it causes more problems. Their lunch break is short, and she is basically so distracted at mealtimes that she doesn’t have time to eat. And then the break ends and she wolfs down the food that is still on her plate.
For a long time Ingrid had been complaining of stomach aches, off and on, especially after school lunches. But she wasn’t very consistent in reporting them, so it took months for us to figure out the pattern. Finally we realized that the aches usually came when she had had to eat too fast. Now she moved to another table at school, closer to the teachers who can remind her to actually eat. And I don’t think she’s had any stomach aches since then.
- She is letting her hair grow long and it is now often in her face. This seems to bother her more than me. She doesn’t like hair clips, but will accept soft hair bands.
- She likes playing with words, especially names, and turning them backwards.
- Favourite game: vändtia (which seems to correspond to the English Shithead – I’m glad it’s not called that in Swedish!)