Categories
neurotransmitter

Tamagotchi game

Fleur has a tablet which I let her use under supervision. Instead of just watching movies or shows, I introduced her to a couple games.

One, My Baby Unicorn, has the use care for a unicorn. Basically a graphically intense Tamagotchi. At this age, Fleur doesn’t understand the need to keep each of the needs from reaching empty.

Still, the dopamine rush gets her excited to do the various things. I can see supervision is going to be important for decades to come. Without it, she may become as addicted as I am. So, I will try to set limits that will help her learn discipline.

Categories
mental Parenting

The Way of the Flowers

At the botanical garden, Fleur started singing, “the way of the flowers,” over and over. I think we gave her the correct name. She loves being at the gardens and looking at the flowers. And even just being in nature. We try to go to places where she can.

Photo by Creative Free Stock on Pexels.com

Thinking about the way of the flowers…

Living in sub-tropical zone, it really hurts to be outside right after school in July and August.

Categories
communication Parenting

Unreliable narrator

Occasionally, she will tell stories about an event that happened at daycare. Almost all of them are another kid pushed her or her BFF. That, of course, raises our alert. But, in asking follow up questions, I sometimes question whether it really happened at all.

  • The name of the perpetrator will change.
  • The teacher present will change.
  • What the individuals did will change.

I know her class has lots more boys than girls. I am fairly sure the boys are all the youngest with older brothers. On the other hand, I am pretty sure Fleur is as tall as any of them, though not has heavy. If the class were a baby fight club, then she would hold her own.

Usually she says the perpetrator said they were sorry.

Categories
Hygiene

Potty training in the pandemic

Having the toddler potty trained is a relief. It makes life at home so much easier. Fleur tells she has to go and does.

The trick was away from home January to April were during the pandemic. Stores generally had open restrooms. Some parks we frequented did as well, but most did not.

There was also the visiting the restrooms because they are there. She saw a place we know has one and tells us she needs to go. I started to think of it as Pavlovian: seeing a place with one was a reminder that maybe she needed to go.

The anxiety mainly manifested when she said she had to go, but we did not have a clear place to take her.

There are portable seats. Maybe that makes sense when often find ourselves in that situation and/or with multiple kids. For us, it was 4-5 times a week.

We seem past the trials part and into a groove. The next problem was false positive claims of needing to go. She claimed to need to go and didn’t. That seems to have ceased.

She also has started sometimes wanting privacy. Which makes sense. I waited outside the stall but in the bathroom.

Categories
Games

Pull-Up of Protection

After bath, Fleur wants to air dry by running away from us. We encourage her to put on the first step of getting dressed, the Pull-Up, by calling it the Pull- Up of Protection. I have not decided the bonus yet. Maybe +5 as it is powerful enough to stop us.

Of late, it has not worked so well. Maybe we need to put more effort into getting her. So she understands how powerful the bonus.

“Viking – Shield Maiden” by Danielle Pioli is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

She has gotten too comfortable hearing us encourage her. Time to restore the fear.

Categories
Daycare

Shy

Something I have seen with kids Fleur’s age is shyness around strangers. This morning I sort of exploited that. Her new classmate experienced a lot of anxiety about the dropoff at daycare.

He was in tears, so I asked him what is my name. (We had a conversation about how we had the same one a couple weeks prior.) This went on for five minutes of encouraging him to answer, but the shyness kept him from doing so.

He stopped crying. He looked to mom for reassurance that I am okay. And was able to go on without any further fuss.

Categories
Lil Miss Independent

Backwards day

When it comes to putting on clothes, EVERY DAY IS BACKWARDS DAY. There seems to be a preference for it. Shoes, pull-ups, pants, dresses, shirts, all go on backwards. We advise they are, which in the morning tends to result in correction. Just before bed, it tends to result in the declaration of Backwards Day.

Of course, being tired, we just allow it.

I started it by making the reference to a Daniel Tiger story where Ms Elena declared it Backwards Day. Daniel loved the game, but O the Owl resisted. I felt like O, but I just now roll with it. I used it as a critique of myself, but now Fleur loves the game.

Categories
sleep

Brain Fog

Yeah, the sleep deprivation as a parent is impressive. Before parenthood, I assumed it would end after the late night feedings. I saw the stuff about it lasting years. I didn’t grasp that it remained as strong for years and then maybe taper off.

But, yeah, Mondays are like walking into a wall.

My approaches are:

  • Coffee doesn’t help so much as mask the tiredness. I use it anyway.
  • Sleep when I can. (For me, I fall out hard early in the night which matches the kid’s usual pattern.)
  • Leverage the external brain (calendar, reminders)

My wife does similar, but her sleep cycle wants the hardest sleep starting after 4 am, so the kid waking up around then hits her harder than it does me. I try my best to get the kid quiet in another part of the house. But, still, the brain fog is hindering her more.

Categories
communication Evolution Parenting

Fairness

Fleur went through a fairness phase. It especially escalated around age two where she would express displeasure about unfair treatment. I have no doubt her like and dislike of daycare adults is based on her perception of their being fair. She is getting better about expressing that position. But, I would agree she has been evaluating this since around a year old.

The results suggest that toddlers reward those who are acting fairly, adding to the evidence that very young children have a strong sense of what is “right” or normative. But, interestingly, these kids don’t seem to punish those who have been unfair (in fact, the researchers suggest that the children instead tended to avoid making responses towards unfair distributors, as they touched the screen fewer times overall after seeing those who acted unfairly).

At Just 16 Months Old, Toddlers Will Reward Someone For Acting Fairly

Lots of ideas about evolution suggest the human brain is geared towards communication. However, I would suggest that brain power is about evaluating fairness. People suck at mathematics and logic until it deals with fairness for themselves. Communication is also about fairness in that we talk and write to establish common ideas upon which to make judgements.

Categories
Parenting work-life balance

Dad, interrupted

Being a parent is constant interruption. There are the things in my mental list I want to do. And the list of things everyone else in the household wants to ask me to do.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Kind of like being a database administrator. There is the operations list of maintenance work. Then management (the kid) throws in project work assuming your 40 hour work week is for that. Then things break.

And the 3 am alarms go off about either peeing in the bed or a server crashed. Who knows anymore?

The challenge to interruption is getting back on track. I tend to interrupt even myself.

Thankfully, I have had years of preparation as a DBA for this. The difference is that as a DBA, I was able to hand off on-call duty to someone else after a week or two and only came back into rotation after a couple weeks off.

My strategy?

  1. Prioritize the doable: they are quickly done and off the mental load.
  2. Prioritize the biggest impact: they ensure the greatest contentment.
  3. Rely on the external brain: tools that track things (lists, reminders) work better than my brain.