Elias’ favorite thing to read is Bamse, a Swedish cartoon about a furry bear who becomes very strong when he eats special honey.

Bamse is a very likable hero — he never kills or hurts the bad guys, he is concerned about workers’ rights, (as any socialist Swedish bear should be) and he helps the elderly. The stories are full of little morals — how thieves get upset if people steal from them, and how all military captains should just pick blueberries instead.

Just this week I told Elias that three year olds do something that two year olds don’t. He was obviously very curious, so I told him that three year olds clean up their toys by themselves. It worked! Elias now only needs a few words of encouragement and then he puts his toys away. The other night, I came in to congratulate him while he was picking up the last toys, but he said, “It’s still messy! It’s still messy!” I am glad that he is also learning to be thorough.