Little Girl went back to kindergarten today after three weeks off. As always at the beginning of time off from school/preschool, I wondered how we would all keep busy at home without school. And as always at the end of time off from school/preschool, I wondered how we would keep busy at home without her.
During fall semester, Little Girl was at school all morning, and then Baby Brother napped when she got home, and then she would have a playdate or an activity, and/or we would talk the dogs, and then it would be dinner, and then it would be bathtime, and it seems the two kids never got much time to learn how to play together. Little Girl would do her own projects and complain when her brother tried to join in.
These weeks having them both home have been so great, though: they are now buddies! Baby Brother doesn’t totally understand the games they play, but they are very exciting for him nonetheless. She’ll push him around in a laundry basket and say it’s a boat, or she’ll rearrange all the baby toys and have her baby dolls join him in “baby dagis” (daycare) and she’ll be the fröken (“miss,” or lady in charge). They chase each other and play hide and seek and pretend to be kitties and look at books and knock down block towers and play in the tub/shower together and sit together on the couch and watch TV to chill out for a little bit when everybody is getting out of hand. There’s five years between the two but they’ve found ways to enjoy each other.
Baby Brother is fully a toddler now, and very verbal, which, unfortunately, does not mean he doesn’t also express his frustrations, sometimes, through hitting and biting. And he gets into all kinds of Toddler Trouble now (e.g. drawing on my sheets in lipstick; dumping food from boxes in the pantry onto the floor; removing keyboard keys; throwing things down the stairs.) It’s a good thing that little boy sleeps pretty solidly so I get a break from attempting to civilize him.
And after weeks of, to be honest, straight-up bribing Little Girl with candy to just try sounding out words, she finally got the idea behind reading! And she can read things like, “The cat sat on the sand” and is self-motivated about the whole thing now! I’m just delighted. It will hopefully make learning to read Swedish in school next year at age seven easier if she knows a thing or two about reading already.