Sharing is Caring II

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In the original post, Sharing is Caring, I wrote about how I got Fleur to try new things by imitation of my eating them then how it morphed into her feeding me when she didn’t want it.

Now, my wife is concerned about my loss of weight. It has been about eight pounds in the past two weeks. Since discovering it and given that so much is up in the air, I have become more cognizant about what may have changed.

  • The familial isolation: we are holed up at home and limiting our going out. One would think that would mean being more sedentary, but I found that I burned 1200 to 1600 more calories on days where I stayed home with Fleur than days where I went to work without going to the gym.
  • Fleur play: To help Fleur sleep, we need her to be as active as possible. That means going outside and getting her to run and jump and move.
  • Dietary habits: At work, I typically ate breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack. I might miss the morning snack if things got busy but that is because I had a 3 hour window between breakfast and lunch and really I needed more time between the two. I am finding I typically miss the snacks at home because I am juggling work and toddler.

But, then there is also the toddler. She wants my food. We endeavor to give her the same food we eat at dinner. However, the food on my plate is the BEST food. She always wants it over what is in front of her. She especially wants my portions of her favorites. Portion control goes out the window when the toddler is taking some random amount of them.

Toddlers are honey badgers

Yes, I previously wrote toddlers are cats. I may have changed my mind.

Videos of the tenacity of honey badgers fascinate me. The toddler makes me think maybe they are honey badgers.

  • Toddlers don’t care.
  • They have enough patience to wait for you to turn your back.
  • They will escape whatever you use to contain them.
  • They will get into whatever you hide from them or put out of their reach.

Executive Function

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Teenagers have an under developed prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that interrupts emotional responses and considers the potential effects before acting. Teenagers look enough adult-like we want to treat them as adults, but they also have yet to grow the brain into their bodies.

Toddlers DGAF. Stimulus-response. Galahad is having to deal with the consequences of lack of planning, thinking three moves ahead, and a toddler who makes him pay the consequences.

He was in a bad mood, but he came upstairs to make a showing of his displeasure. Fleur who adores him now has made him sit and watch the same annoying video (we all hate) over and over.

She sounds so happy.

He sounds grumpier. Well, until she has worn him down.

My hope is that experiences like this will help him grow into being more mindful.

Arbitration

As kids, my brother and I would get into disagreements over our understanding of some facts. We would explain over and over trying to persuade the other we were correct.

Mom bought some World Book encyclopedias. (Later, she would add Encyclopedia Britannica complete entries that become obvious why later.) They became our arbitrator. What they said settled many a dispute over what something was.

Often we both had some correct elements in our understanding. So the encyclopedia entry connected the two sides. Or we both were wrong.

One or the other was right enough to encourage us to continue consulting it. To continue trusting in it. To be willing to pause when Mom ordered us to stop the loud talking until we could check.

I think my introspection and need to fact check myself mentioned in Savage Little Students comes from this.

Head of household

As Fleur develops language skills, she puts them to very practical uses. She asks for snacks, articles of clothing, and people. Of late, though, that also entails directives. Orders.

Daddy, eat!
Daddy, sit!
Daddy, [throw this] away!

I fear our interactions with the ever listening Big Sister have encouraged this style of direction. The first directives were aimed at it. The “Meow” the cat. Then Galahad. Of late, that has included the parents.

Ah, well, at least she is getting me to eat my oatmeal in the morning.

Toddler linguistics

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Parents of toddlers master a patois spoken by a population of one. We come to understand the various mixtures of missing consonants or inappropriate vowels. Then repeat back to the one the correct pronunciation.

A section of the brain is devoted to tracking how they use the phonemes. Then mapping that to meaning. Basically it is like learning an almost foreign language. The usage is similar. The grammar is simpler though growing more complex over time.