Bedtime resistance

The New York Longitudinal Study, which lasted from 1956 to 1988, found that 26 percent of 2-year-olds exhibited bedtime resistance behaviors, and that figure rose to 50 percent by the time kids were 5. But kids whose behavior was documented in similar longitudinal research in Switzerland weren’t as rebellious. A 2005 study using that data found that, for them, bedtime resistance peaked between 2 and 4 years old, at around 18 percent. And rates of youthful rebellion changed as parental behavior changed. The 2005 study also found that bedtime resistance had been decreasing over time. The peak for kids born in 1974-78 was about 30 percent prevalence at age 5. Meanwhile, resistance among kids born in 1986-93 peaked at age 3, closer to 10 percent. Over that time period, the authors wrote, Swiss parents had shifted toward later and later bedtimes. In Switzerland, at least, putting kids to bed later meant less frustration for everyone.

Koerth, Maggie. “Don’t Tell The Kids, But Bedtime Is A Social Construct” fivethirtyeight.com
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Putting Fleur to bed later might also help with her 4 am waking. Of course, that takes away our adult winding down time to go to sleep ourselves. On the other hand, if we didn’t have to spend an hour getting her to sleep, then we could spend that winding down. (I wake up around 6:30 on my own with a good night’s sleep and have my best quality sleep shortly after falling asleep. My wife gets hers later, so these 4 am wakings are more disruptive to her than me.)

The next paragraph goes on to talk about the sleep need may vary by child and within themselves. For instance, Fleur sometimes sleeps more and sometimes less. We suspect the periods where she eats and sleeps more might be growth spurts.

Humpty Dumpty

When Fleur breaks something, she probably exclaims, “Humpty Dumpty!” Thankfully, most of the time it is easy to put back together again. So, she uses it wrong. Plus, neither she nor her family are horses or kingsmen.

Also, where did the anthropomorphic egg originate? Maybe because eggs cannot be put back together once you break them. Still, kind of odd. Like the English. Especially if it is true the song really is a pun of identical slang terms for a clumsy drunk and a drink.

Nursery rhymes are dark!

Of course, I am pretty good at fixing some things, for which I get her momentary adoration. For the things I cannot, I get her long last complaint. I guess really that means I need to work on my DIY fixing skills.

Daddy = personal handyman

Doll clothing entropy

An unexpected example of entropy is doll clothes. We have a number of nudist dolls.

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It seems the dolls tend to lose their clothes. Fleur takes off their clothes. At times, she will ask us to dress them. I think because the motor skills for dressing them have not yet manifested, she needs help. But, she doesn’t often.

So, the dolls go without clothes most of the time. As I write this, I think the doll named Emma has been wearing one of Fleur’s newborn dresses for a while now. She did say Emma was pretty in the dress. Maybe I need to track which dolls go with or without clothes and for how long to determine if there is a pattern. Perhaps, displeasure with the clothes is why all these dolls are going nude.

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…

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  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.

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
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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.

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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.

Help is a four letter word

I do it myself!

Fleur, just now and all the time

I am torn about this stage.

I love that she wants to develop these skills.

  • She perseveres.
  • She makes small tweaks to form to find the one that works if it doesn’t initially work.
  • She learns from the past mistakes.
  • She develops a preference.
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My hope is experiences like this will help her pass the marshmallow test.

I dislike having to wait. I am not good at padding the timeline to include how long it could take her. I hope to get better about accommodating this.

Thankfully, when I offer to help, she rebuffs me. This tends to be a bit more intense than my preference, but I respect that she wants to do it. Also, if we try to intervene by putting on her socks or shoes without permission, then she will get upset and remove it and get even more determined to do it herself.

Micromanager

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I have a few bosses. My work situation has been a little unclear who is really my boss, but my work has been mostly self-directed for a decade, so that is fine. Then there is my wife.

Now, I have the toddler. The others are far more lassez-faire. The toddler?

  • Everything is now.
  • Everything has to be done in a very specific way.
  • And the visions are poorly explained, so meeting the expectation is difficult when the thing is something new.

Thankfully, most of the time, I meet or exceed expectations.

I need to do some looking into the etymology of the term micromanager to see if the original description was of a boss who acts like a toddler.