Diana – 17 Months 

Diana has started at a day-nursery (kindergarten) since August. First Alexander accompanied her there and was with her during several days.

The kindergarten turned to be a shocking experience for all of us. Her pedagogue is a young man, Claus, a "hippie" type in worn-out jeans, with piercing and tattoo. Besides, he has a very bad articulation, it is very difficult to understand what he says (although Diana got a so-called language place - with extra attention to her currently non-existing Danish).
First weeks we should bring our own food in a box, since their cook was on vacation. Dina eats as much as she can (in reality, she bites off couple of times), nobody will help. Besides, they eat for a very short time, and then everything is taken out (nobody cares that she played during this time).

They have a very relaxed approach to the hygiene - as soon they returned to the room from outside where they played in a sandbox, they start their meal without washing the hands. After the meal the kids are given single-use wet towels to clean their faces and hands. Since Dina likes to make clean, she - after her face and hands – continues to clear the floor, hand-wash, toilet etc. At home we'd stop her right away, but there they let her go on.

They don't have a room with beds like in Russian kindergartens, the kids are put to sleep or in wooden prams on veranda or all together at a mattress on the floor. This is probably why louse is a common phenomenon in the institutions. Also, they don't have to change shoes and the rooms and corridors are full with sand (which the kids however sweep away themselves with amusement).

The kindergarten costs a lot, at the same time, but it depends on the family income, for some people it is almost free.

All in all, we were almost shocked at the beginning, but little by little got used to everything, and now are trying to be open-mind: to accept more and judge less.

After 2 weeks in the day nursery we left Dina to sleep there for the 1st time. Claus put her into a wooden pram and fixed, she tried to get free. But after a few days she got used to it.

She dislikes her gummy-shoes and commands to take them off, but since they play outside at any weather,  gummy-shoes are a must.

Now she starts to speak her first words in Danish: Hej-hej (hi), tak (thanks), va si du? (What do you say?), ma(d)pakke (foodbox) - she controls if we have taken it with us.

After 3 weeks at daycare she got cold, but not too bad. We made an effort and after weekend she started in the kindergarten again.

She has had psychological problems as well at the beginning. Once she bit me badly while I was breast-feeding her before a night. I gave her a slap in the face and asked Alexander to take over. She was crying for more than 1 hour that night.
Next evening everything was very nice until  her bedtime. Then she got hysterical: “Dina is not bad, one should not bite, one should suck” and refuses to take the breast or bites again.
We tried to comfort her: “No, Dina is not bad, Dina is a good girl!” But the problem remained for several days. Now it is back to normal, but she still repeats: “One should not bite, one should suck”.

In middle of August we went to Dina's godmother's summerhouse by a seaside (NW of Zeeland) for a weekend. The sea there is shallow, calm and very clear, sands are fine and white. On the beach we undressed Dina and let her play with sand. First she sought cockle-shells and small polished stones in sand or ruined the sand-castles abandoned by other kids. Then she found out the sea... She got so amused! She stood with her ass up in the water and excavated small stones from the bottom. Only a 0.5 hour later she let us take her out and put into towel, when a wave caught her with her head. She was so excited!

Dina speaks a lot and she likes long words: Chemodan (suitcase), pelmeni (Rus.dish),shakalad (chocolate),karava(j) (type of bread), vinog(r)ad (grape),pisiba (thanks),himikaty (chemicals), disidaniya (bue-bue),she already says "avocado" instead of "akaka" as before. She also shut me up :"Tiho!" (Silence!).
She is very self-confident and independent. On my query: "Why something ..?", her answer is short and clear: "Because!" and she continues to do what she was doing.
She starts to speak with short sentences: mama spit(mummy sleeps),papa prishel ( papa has come), dyadya na velosipede (a man on a bike), tetya s kolyaskoj (a woman with a baby pram), poedem na mashine (will go by car), pishit v shafu (microwave makes a pip).
Now she call her brother Nikita, not "Nikki", and on Dennis' photo she says "Denisa".

If I say that we will eat now, she starts to bring plates -one by one-to the living room and put them on the table. At the same time she comments, that "Dina-molodchina (Dina is a good girl)" and "Dina bolshaya (Dina is a big girl)".

Recently, in the bed, she spat out her dummy, rub her lips and said "Volosina (a hair)".
At night she woke up and stood up in the crib:
D: To mummy.
m: Where is your dummy?
D: Lost.
m: Where is it lost?
D: Under the bed.

She likes a lot to watch her first album, S. asks her, who is who on the photos:
D: Dina.
S: Who else?
D: Mummy.
S: Who else?
D: Tits!

One morning I say to her: “Today Nikita will return” (he was on 1-week ice-breaking trip with his University), D. continues: ”I Andrysha p(r)iedet! (And Andrew will come)".  It took me a while to realise that she speaks about her cousin, who visited us for a few days recently.

By now she knows main animals - can recognise them on pictures and names them.
She understands and names common everyday food - berry, able, banana, fish, grapes, tea, milk, often asks for chocolate.
Alexander brings her home from the kindergarten, and they have a routine: they go to our garden and eat berries and fruits. Sasha feeds her with berries: “Yagi”, aples “yabi”, gives her grapes “yagi”, she looks up at him in surprise: “Papa, vinog(r)ad!”

She knows the name of clother - pants, shoes, sarafan (Russian folk-dress), dress, hat. In the morning she commands me: "odet' krasivo! (To dress handsome!)", she doesn't leave home without a hat, and at the kindergarten she likes to try hats. When we come in a shop, she shouts: "Naryady! (Smart clothes)". Sunglaces are also a hit.

She declares small parts from children poems, also she starts to understand and use: there/here, I/you etc.

Valentina sent us (on several occasions) musical cards, they play the music when one opens them. Dina likes them a lot, she takes one, opens, goes dancing and turning around, puts it back, takes another one etc.

For the first month in the kindergarten she starts to eat herself. It goes better and better now, but first it went not very efficient: she takes a spoon, scoops, brings it and empties it in front of her nose. At the same time she comments: "hama-hama (myself)!"

Now she plays with simplest wooden puzzles. The idea is to take a piece and to find a small hole that fits in shape and (even more tricky) to place it inside (by rotating the piece). 

So, all in all, our girl is growing and developing, is very self-confident and very sociable, and brings lots of joy to all of us.