On this day...
5 years ago: Christmas baking
10 years ago: Orchids

Things one can do as an unemployed housewife:
Jigsaw puzzles.
Gym workouts.
Expensive lunches at nice restaurants.

Ingrid doing her homework. She is preparing for a big test in Social Studies, which will cover the basics of all three major Abrahamic religions. The teacher has handed out several pages of practice questions and Ingrid is now trying to find the answers in her book.

It’s not going very smoothly, and it’s a good thing I’m here to help – the textbook is actually not very good. I haven’t seen anything there that I know to be factually incorrect, but it doesn’t make the connections between facts clear at all. For example, sometimes the book states two pieces of information right next to each other, without explaining the relationship between them at all. Sometimes this makes it seem like A causes B, or like B is an example of A, etc, but in reality there is nothing of the kind. Etc. As an educated adult equipped with an above-average level of general knowledge, I can unpick this vagueness, but for a child, this must be really confusing. I guess they must have covered this material in class as well, but either Ingrid has forgotten the details, or the teacher skipped some of it.

Adrian is more and more interested in playing Minecraft. Ingrid is sharing her pro tips with him.

Swim school, which he used to love, turned into a struggle recently. He disliked the new pool, and the new teacher really isn’t particularly good with children. And, really, I think he was “promoted” to the next level too early, so every exercise was just a bit too hard.

I got him moved down to his previous level, so he’s back in the familiar pool and with a somewhat familiar teacher. Now he loves swim school again.

He loves it when I carry him, especially when I carry him up the stairs at bedtime, and when I pick him up at school. I used to lift him as he jumped, but now he’s decided he wants to climb up with no help from me. Well, I help passively, by standing strong and holding out my arms at waist level so he can hold on to them. He grabs hold and pulls and jumps and wiggles a bit, and then he’s up and clinging to me like a little monkey. It was an effort initially but now it often just takes him a few seconds.

Gamla stan, Stockholm’s Old Town, at midday. Even at noon, the streets here get no sunlight.

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.

Spiky needles of frost turned up overnight on everything in the garden.

We bought some jigsaw puzzles. Adrian’s favourite was the most garishly coloured one. He claims they’re teddy bears.