Posts by sneezypb

Internet junkie. I still read blogs. Everywhere on the Internet.

Familial scatologist

From the first poop, we have paid attention to them. Are they too wet? Too dry? Right colors? Have undigested material?

The intensity waxes and wanes. At the moment, Fleur is fighting off a stomach bug, so we are at the zenith of scrutiny. Relief at a normal one amused me.

Twelve year old me laughs at my continued interest in poop.

Being in with the doctor, I was able to describe what we had seen. I need to learn the technical terms.

Battle cry of the Valkyrie

I knew about from my little brother the kids on the playground screaming while they played. But… I guess I forgot?

Well, my wife is running the Roomba in the living room. And Fleur is squeal screaming in and out of the room around it. On the else’s end she dives into the couch. On my end, end runs into my leg.

Girls are princesses… and Knights by Danielle Pioli is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

I lose this facing her fears. Running into danger. Using her battle cry to boost morale.

Though, I also caution her about reckless stuff like jumping in the bathroom with the tile.

The cry is so high pitched. She is starting to lose her voice.

I am hoping this means she takes a hard nap.

Rock A Bye Baby

This was never my go-to calming song. But, now that Fleur has her own babies (dolls), she sings this to them.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have taken of late to holding her and singing it to her. Naturally, as this is for fun, at fall, I drop fake her and catch her for the next line. The laughter is the full on belly ones from when she was a baby.

Today, she started singing to her doll and came to ask me to do it. I am so glad we have found this game.

The Feynman Technique

I learned about Feynman in my teens as my mother had a couple of his books. I enjoyed them and have read all the others.

This post reminded me that I’ve used the Feynman Technique since then. Part of why people think I should be a teacher and/or am so smart comes from leveraging it. In a nutshell, one…

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  1. Choose a Concept
  2. Teach it to a child
  3. Identify Gaps and Go Back to The Source Material
  4. Review and Simplify

For more details, read this Feynman Technique post.

Instead of a child and instead of writing it down, I simply explain concepts completely outside the expertise area of average people. It could be talking about computers, quantum mechanics, government, or in these days the immune system and vaccines and COVID. Putting myself in the context of someone else, what they might know, and especially getting the feedback of what they ask puts me in a better position of better understanding the topic. Especially, coming back and simplifying when I go to explain it again and again.

The iterative nature of the process is really scientific.

We can do it!

My wife mused about ordering some food for Thanksgiving. Galahad said not to. He has been helping with the cooking.

Having never cooked Thanksgiving, he had no idea this meant more than a meat and two sides. A typical meal might be chicken plus a green vegetable and a starchy one. These are typically an hour or so to prepare.

He objected to the broccoli casserole. So mac and cheese was added to compensate. (But that meant two different ones as some of us have special dietary needs.)

He called this a nine course meal. There were six things. We shared working on the various things, so while my wife took the brunt, we all helped. He felt this was all too much.

No worries. Sounds like he will remember for next year to let us order.

We also invited friends over for pie and hanging out on the patio. Fleur gets quiet around people she doesn’t know. Amazing not to hear her constant conversation for so long. Once she hit her playground, she was good.

Silence is acceptance

Project managers enjoy using this phrase. In a meeting, they will throw out what is the plan and seek anyone to challenge it. Hearing none, this phrase gets used to basically say, “Last chance.”

I find myself using this and similar tools on the toddler. When she dons a skeptical look as I try to put on her clothes, I outline the goal and how this less than desired step is part of getting to what she wants to do.

Role Models

The best thing about “The Biggest Fan” is the intersectional role models.

  • African-American
  • Female
  • in the “desired” work
Photo by Life of Wu on Pexels.com

I like that Fleur sees someone with similar traits doing the kind work she is playing at doing. This is about the age where kids start to collect patterns of groupings. Certain kinds of people being shut out of highly desired jobs makes impressions that last a lifetime.

I love that she is being afforded the opportunity to see someone like her doing the work that she pretends to do. And that she enjoys being around this role model so much. It makes me happy we lucked into having this person.

(I put desired in quotes at the start because really she is just role-playing. I dunno there is any real evidence she desires to become a doctor or medical professional. Or if there is any desire now that it will persist strongly enough over the next few decades to make it a reality.)

My wife’s quasi-adopted daughter is another role-model. This time for art. How Fleur lights up when she gets to be around this person is a sight. How I am just an afterthought.

The Biggest Fan

Fleur still loves her real and placebo bandaids. As she is back in daycare, she gets more and better opportunities to need real ones. Which is okay. Her motor skills are improving as she can now sprint the length of the house without bumping into anything. They call it the bleeding edge for a reason.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Doc McStuffins and other doctor-esque characters are ones she enjoys quite a bit. And the need for bandaids becomes more vocal after exposure. There is also a need to break out her toy doctor kit with stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, hammer, etc to give well-checks on all the family members.

Fleur also liked her pediatrician at the last well-check. This was after a year of being scared. A sudden reversal prompted by my wife digging into the connection and taking the toy kit for Fleur to practice the things on her doll before having them done to her. It worked like a charm.

Only with her own illness, she started talking about going to see her doctor. By name. We did book an appointment, but the one tasked with seeing sick patients was not the doctor Fleur wanted. She was in denial, telling over and over my wife and the nurse on the phone she was going to see her doctor.

She got to see another doctor, but she was emphatic that she will see her doctor. I think we have a fan.

Smelly poop

A friend complained about the smell of his kid’s poop and the lack of warning. It made me realize I have never really been bothered by poopy diapers from Fleur. But, I may have just gotten lucky.

I think there several factors at play.

  1. Epigenetics make parents sensitive to certain smells. Nausea defends against poison.
  2. The epigenetics play into his digestion by affecting the processes involved. This can make certain smells with various foods.
  3. As a child’s microbiome develops, the altering of the bacteria composition can affect smells.

Concrete

I operate in a world of abstractness.

  • The hundreds of machines I manage are virtual machines using logical storage volumes and allowed access to CPU & memory on hardware. I can do my job from anywhere because there is not anything physical for me to touch other than my laptop.
  • The fiction I read allows me to craft my own vision of events.
Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

When Fleur gets to see the things from stories in real life, there is a brightness to her expression of wonder.

My favorite is when she sees a school bus. She breaks out into her favorite song: The wheels on the bus go round-and-round, round-and-round, round-and-round. She does all the verses we know even though the bus is long gone from sight.

Another good one is the horses. They have most been silent and stamping when they want pets. When Molly neighed at her, Fleur was astounded because it was the first time she’d experienced the sound in person.

This process of attaching something concrete to an abstract concept makes me happy for her.

I’m thinking I need to take notes of these things from the books in her collection and brainstorm ways for her to experience them in person.