Monday, August 27, 2012

She's Still Got Ears

This morning, Andrew took Inara in to be with her at preschool for a couple of hours before taking her home, but they sent him on his way twenty minutes later, saying she needed to practice napping there. When Andrew told Inara he was leaving, she just waved, blew him some kisses and continued what she was doing. If things went way south they were supposed to call me, so I kept a steady eye on my cellphone for the four hours she was there, but nothing. It was very strange to be home without her. I kept thinking that I needed to be quiet, since she must obviously be sleeping in the other room. Although I couldn't stop wondering what she might be doing, I think I can get used to having a few hours to myself to get things done each week. 

When I went to pick her up she was happy as a clam, although she made very sure that I was bringing her with me when I was leaving. I guess she had been able to fall asleep for her nap without a problem by sitting in one of the teacher's lap at first. This particular teacher has long hair like me, so Inara was able to twirl it the way she likes doing when she's with me. Guess it's a good thing that not everybody there keeps their hair short. 

When she got home, she was totally wired for the rest of the day and already seemed to have picked up a few new skills and habits. Some interesting, such as growling; others not so nice, such as pinching. I guess it's all a package deal. To try to calm her down, I let her use watercolors, but she acted perhaps even more crazed. She tore the bricks of color out, flung paint around the room, pored the water on herself (and I think drank some of it), and ultimately tore her creations to pieces. I was surprised both her ears were intact at the end.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Every morning Inara gets up, has her breakfast and then insists on sitting on daddy's lap to help him eat his.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Last week it was time to pack up some of Inara's essentials and head to preschool. In Sweden, it's common for children starting preschool to have one parent with them for the first week, so that they can get into the swing of things before being left there. She seems to have had a good time, although she got a bad cold (go figure) the second day and actually missed the last two days of the week.

I'm amazed at what an independent and outgoing little person she is. The first day she spent mostly scouting the place out, examining the contents of all cupboards, drawers and boxes. She had no issue going from room to room doing this while I sat in the main area with the teachers and the rest of the kids. She made everybody smile by laughing loud and often and got along well with the other kids. The only thing she didn't like was having to sit still for "fruit time" and singing. The other kids actually seemed a little startled by her behavior. Another thing that really hit me was how she's able to do so many things by herself now. When she's there she eats sitting on a regular (but smaller) chair at a regular table, using a fork and a regular glass. 

She's only going to be there for fifteen hours per week until (insert if) we get jobs, which seems perfect. Enough time for us to get some stuff done and enough time for her to make some friends and learn a bunch of new stuff. Since we missed a couple of days last week, we're going in with her again on Monday and Tuesday will be the big day when she'll be alone for a couple of hours for the first time. Even though I think it's a good thing, I'm pretty sure I'll cry. Just a head's up. 

I snapped this picture of Inara and Andrew heading to preschool on Wednesday:

Thursday, August 16, 2012


My guess is that a lot of first time parents underestimate their kid's ability to reason at a young age. At least that's my experience. I think we're still stuck thinking that Inara is a baby when she has actually figured a lot of stuff out. This really hit me today. She has a little push cart that she likes climbing into and standing up in. Last time she did, it tipped over and her hands got mashed by the handle. Today, she had climbed back into it and I went up to her and reminded her of the last incident, using my hands to imitate the loud sound it made when it hit the floor and pointing at her hands, saying that there had been a big "owie" on them. She gave her hands a concerned look, then slowly stepped out of the cart and hasn't been back in since. And it makes total sense! She can remember so many other things, so why wouldn't she remember her accidents? What's more, she understands all the basic (not talking complex philosophical concepts here) things that we tell her, so why shouldn't she understand when we explain consequences and remind her of past experiences? Maybe it's just me, thinking this is so great, but I am looking forward to trying this again. 

Note the ponytail.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I read somewhere that everyone judges everyone else to some extent; it's just our way to categorize people and make sense of life. Still, I feel that there is a point to making a conscious effort not to do this, especially as a parent. Interestingly, it seems to me that parents are some of the harshest judges -and harshest judged- out there. Maybe it has to do with how public the way that we choose to raise our children is. People just need to take one look at what your kids are wearing, what they're eating, and how you talk to them to compile several Encyclopedia Britannica volumes worth of recommendations for how you could be a better parent. Sadly, I am just as guilty of doing this as anyone else, even though I realize that what I am basing my judgement on is often just a small snapshot from someone's life and not at all representative of the rest. 

This winter, Inara refused to wear anything on her feet. It didn't matter how cold it was outside, or how many layers of socks and blankets I put on her, she treated them all the way I might treat flesh eating parasites. So, there I would be, walking down the street with her little, pale feet sticking out of the stroller, half covered in snow. I remember worrying almost as much about what people would think, than about Inara's impending frost burn. I decided to try to think of those little cold piggies every time I judge someone prematurely, at least giving them the benefit of the doubt. Even though I'll ever be able to stop completely, I am giving it my best to set an example for my daughter.


Friday, August 10, 2012


Two days ago the rain started pouring down here and it's pretty much kept doing that since. Yesterday, Inara and I put our rain boots on and ventured outside, but after playing in the water spouts at my mom's house for a little while she was ready to come inside. The forecast says sun tomorrow, so we're keeping our fingers crossed. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012


There are always so many things to get done and so many things to do, that I sometimes forget to stop and just spend time with you. To stop and lay beside you in the grass, looking up at the clear evening skies. To stop and smell the dandelions together. To stop and play a game of tag; soaking up that loud, bubbly laughter of yours. To stop and notice the ladybug you see crawling on my arm. To stop and hear you say "mamma," as you throw your little, round arms around my neck. To stop in wonder at what an amazing little person you are. To stop and look forward to all the moments we have yet to share. To stop and realize that you are my daughter.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Animal Farm

A couple of days ago we went to visit a farm. Inara seemed to enjoy the animals and the farming equipment.

Note the identical expression.
Also, an update on Inara's vocabulary. These are recurring at the moment:

- Mama
- Pappa / Dada
- Titta (look)
- Där / there
- Borta (gone)
- Ja / yeah
- Nej (no)
- Tickle tickle
- Jag vill ha (I want)
- Woof woof

The other day I told Inara to stop messing with her grandma's plants. I stooped down and said "aj, aj" (something we say for lesser offenses) while shaking my finger at her. I've only done so a couple of times before, but she turned and shook her finger right back at me, saying "no".  I had to try very hard not to laugh. Since then, she shakes her finger at us frequently. Often completely without cause, always while telling us "no" in a firm voice. Guess she's just making sure we know who's in charge around here.