One of the aspects of my visit that I was most interested in before my arrival was how my communication with the children would play out.
Of course, it seems as though Melker is the easiest to talk with, because since he is not yet speaking, he doesn’t really strive to understand me. It’s fun to see how he uses other methods of communicating. Most often his facial expressions are the effective window to figuring out how he feels. He has the most pleasant disposition; he is always smiling and giggling and laughing and putting up with all sorts of chaos around the house caused by the other children. He has these big blue eyes that are constantly taking in everything around him. He has a natural curiosity when it comes to keeping tabs on the other members of the family and what they’re doing. I think he’s got it pretty made overall; he is always sleeping or eating or just chilling and always doted on. 🙂 I’m told it wasn’t too long ago that he began crawling, and he’s got a funny little method worked out that is fun to watch.
Like all babies – even those who are the most pleasant – he is prone to random crying fits, but he is typically easily soothed. He is already trusting of me, and lets me pick him up, hold him and play with him, which I can hardly get enough of, since he is so insanely adorable. He is also standing now, if he has something to hold onto, so I enjoy watching him test his limits. Often times I will hold his hands and just watch as he teeters back and forth, attempting to find the perfect balance. Magnus tells me that I should not be surprised to see Melker make a lot of progress in the short time I am here, because he’s at the stage where he’s developing, learning, growing, so so so quickly.
Tilde is definitely the spitfire of the crew. She is so so smart, in a precocious sense of the word. Had I not known how sick she was just a few months ago, I wouldn’t have had a sense of it at all, because she is so vibrant and vivacious. She talks a ton, and always seems to have something to say. She is a little smart aleck as well, always teasing him and saying the funniest things to him, and to everyone really. She also has sporadic crying fits all throughout the day, where she gets mad at Filip for pushing her buttons or upset because she doesn’t get her way, and it reminds me a lot of how I was as a young child. Of the three, she is the least interested in me, because she is such a very independent and self-motivated child.
At one point yesterday, she picked up a book, opened it, handed it to me and instructed me to read it to her. Magnus had to remind her that I don’t understand or speak Swedish, and she frowned a bit and pulled the book away. Shortly after, the two of us went upstairs and found a book about animals in English, which she then demanded I read to her. So she sat down in my lap while I read animal names in English and Swedish (the ones I knew anyway, which were few and far-between) and made animal noises to accompany them. She also is quite funny because she is always singing songs – mostly songs about animals, but sometimes other ones as well. It’s amusing to listen to, in spite of the fact that I have no idea what she’s saying.
Filip is so playful and inquisitive when it comes to spending time with me. More often than not, the two words out of his mouth when addressing me are “Kom Natalye,” at which point he’ll beckon me to follow him. Sometimes we got upstairs and play with trains or jump on the trampoline. Other times he leads me into his room and sits down on the bed to show me his Bamse (världens starkaste björn) magazines. He has absolutely zero reluctance about talking on and on to me in Swedish, even though he knows I don’t really understand him. He is still so persistent when he talks to me though, challenging me with questions and questions and lots and lots of imaginative talk and play. Magnus says Filip is likely fond of me because I listen to him talk and don’t interrupt him.
And of course, I can’t forget to mention that he has an obsession with calendars (which I’m told has been ongoing for a few years), so already in one day, not only has he shown me three different calendars and gone over birthdays and special occasions with me, but he alos has made me make him calendars in Swedish, dictating what the days of the week are and how they should be numbered. As a result, I know all the days of the week, plus can understand numbers up to 20 (although I could count up to 10 before, but admittedly that isn’t much…). He is also left-handed, which makes me smile, just because I have a penchant for other southpaws.
Naturally, Mimi (the cat) is my new best friend, because I give her lots and lots of attention, and also because it’s the positive kind (pets, snacks, not pulling her tail or holding her against her will). She is always jumping on the counter to check out food, but she also listens quite well, and comes when she’s called. Impressive! And like any good cat, she seeks out the warm places in the house, sitting on top of the heater or napping on the heated floors (which I should mention as an aside, are SO nice). It’s nice to have a cat around, but not have to worry about being woken up by one in the middle of the night… but I still miss mine.