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

Worst:

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


Ingrid has suddenly started reading more actual books, not just Kalle Anka pocket. We went to a bookstore and bought a bunch of books together during Christmas break, and now she’s reading them and almost every one is “best book ever!”. The books she chose were all fantasy and (mild) horror stories. Current favourites: Rum 213 by Ingelin Angerborn, Stjärnstenen by Jo Salmson.

Normally I read for her at bedtime. Today for the first time ever Ingrid got so deep into a book in the evening that we missed our story time. She just couldn’t put the book down.

Otherwise it’s the usual digital entertainments: games, YouTube, etc. Current favourite game: The Sims 4.

She worries. She is more and more aware that she is growing up, and isn’t quite happy about it. She tells me she’d rather stay a child and relive her childhood years. She worries about ageing and dying, and about having to decide on a career, and having to choose a university, and getting into university, and having to move away from home. She sees adulthood at the horizon and is anxious about her ability to manage it. I guess it all looks like a burden from where she’s standing.

She is really sensitive to negative events and others’ negative opinions. They drag her down, and she has a hard time getting past them. A disappointment in the morning can set the tone and ruin a whole day. Even when it’s Adrian saying something slightly negative, she’s hurt – and he’s just a six-year-old. When he hugs her good-bye, for example, he finishes by pushing her off and saying “go now!” – and she takes that as rejection.

I guess she is unsure of her place in the world, and of her value. She doesn’t show it much of the time but that low self-esteem seems to be there under the surface.




A trilogy in red, and I took these photos on three different days…

Likes:

  • Christmas, and preparing for it. Ingrid’s mind is full of Christmas thoughts, and many days she wears a red top or a Santa hat. She makes Christmas gifts, counts days, opens her advent calendar package first thing every morning, makes plans for a Christmas dinner with her best friend, etc.
  • Online IQ tests, brain teasers and puzzle videos.
  • Computer games – Little things, Fireboy and Watergirl, Pokemon Go, slither.io
  • Macaroni and ketchup. Soft-boiled eggs. Yougurt and oat crisps. Clementines.
  • Bedtime stories. Currently Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with Eric, and I just finished reading Nõianeiu Nöbinina.
  • Long hot showers.

Does not like:

  • Picking up after her. Stuff accumulates on all surfaces in her room; she leaves a trail of stuff behind her in every room. Then suddenly she gets a burst of inspiration and spends half an hour putting her room in order and it looks immaculate.
  • Waiting. Which means that when given a choice, she’s always last minute to every activity and appointment, and everybody else has to wait for her.




Reading. Minecraft. Youtube.
Christmas. Hopes of upcoming vacations. Why are school breaks so short and why do we have so much homework.


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.



Likes:

  • Reading while eating, and reading while eating.
  • Non-academic subjects at school: art, music, crafts, sports.
  • Computer game day at “The Club”, the middle school equivalent of after school care.
  • Being responsible for cooking dinner
  • Long hot showers
  • Kellogg’s Special K Red Berries
  • Being read to
  • slither.io (a computer game sort of like Snake)
  • Sleepovers



Ingrid has had her first cavities. She said her teeth hurt. She’s very sensitive to pain and describes even the smallest thing as “hurts really bad” so it is always hard to judge any actual damage. But a dentist took a look and found two cavities – in permanent teeth unfortunately. The drilling and filling bothered her less than I had perhaps expected.

Today was the first day of school. Ingrid has been looking forward to it for a long time. Fourth grade is the first year of “the middle stage” of elementary school, so she gets a new teacher and a new classroom.

She also wanted a new backpack, and spent hours and hours looking for the right one. The old one was “not quite her style” anymore. It’s also a bit too small and not suited for carrying really heavy stuff, such as the loads of books from the school library that she sometimes brings home.

She’s signed up to Instagram. I don’t think she’s posted any photos yet but I’m sure they will come. She likes taking photos of her meals; I don’t know where she picked up that trend.