Categories
Parenting

Ambush predator

Domesticated cats are not great ambush predators anymore. Mama cats don’t teach their kittens the skills.

I knew a few great ones in my life. Winnie would hang out in the middle of the yard below a power line. Mockingbirds and Blue Jay’s would hang out and screech, “Cat!” Over and over and over. Then get brave enough to dive. She act intimidated, which encouraged them to get closer. And then when they got close enough, she attacked and knocked them out of the sky. We found a few at the door every year.

Booker T’s owner kept a kill spreadsheet for all the things he brought home. She locked the cat door to be able to determine what he brought as he came insude after the baby snake.

We had a mouse and our cat didn’t even play with it just watched. The same as she does with insects.

With the two new kittens, there is a lot more play. Mostly, they lay in wait for one of the other two and attack.

I like to pick them up when they are waiting on ambushing another one. That gets the loudest protests.

And, I am teaching Fleur to use ambush tactics to get ahold of her kitten. Cats weren’t apex predators, so they are skittish around things like children who are loud and scary. Anyway, my hope lies in giving her the tools to hunt him down instead of being upset he isn’t in her lap. As a result she will stop being loud about it.

Categories
Child Development Parenting

Social development

I love watching Fleur work through challenging behavior with others. It reminds me how much more I need to work on myself.

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com
  • Spending time with her older cousins, she doesn’t accept their unfair behavior.
  • She used to just cry. A year ago, she would tell me “no, sir!” Or sometimes just cry. Now often she has the vocabulary to tell me after getting over the crying. We have work to do getting to the point of expressing the need instead of crying. Baby steps.
  • There is also this sense of not wanting to disappoint us. So, when she does something wrong, she experiments with deceptions. Some of my favorites:
    • The stuffie did it.
    • The stuffie told me to do it.
    • It was her cousin.

There is also the good:

  • Organizing play dates. When Fleur and Lyra (the best friend from the Friendship post) get picked up at the same time, they emerge from the building, they tell both parents their plan. It might be dinner or the park.
Categories
Parenting pets

Hawkboy

Ada took Fleur to the animal shelter because they had an adoption event. She was specifically interested in one named Hawkeye.

Hawkeye

Funnily enough, she ended up not being large enough to get spayed, so Ada opted to bring the whole litter home with us. So we had four kittens for a month.

Through that ordeal, Ada fell in love with one and Fleur with another. So, we gained two.

Hawkeye and Hulk went on to a new home.

During their time with us, the big cousin Sophie started calling Hawkeye: “Hawkboy”. Okaaaay. Fleur picked up on it too. I gave up trying to correct them when it became clearer she wasn’t going to stay with us. It was wrong for a couple reasons:

  1. Wrong sex
  2. Wrong comic universe (Hawkeye is Marvel.† Hawkman is DC.)

† The Hawkeye television series passed the mantel from Clint Barton to Kate Bishop.

Categories
Parenting

Classical conditioned

We have kittens. A mistake I have noticed is how we fed them. By preparing their food at the same spot in the kitchen, they associate movement to that spot with feeding them. So come running. At least 10 tines a day.

The adult cat associates feeding with the sunroom where we have her stay overnight. Originally that was because we needed her not to wake us in the middle of the night. This was intentional behavior modification to make it easier to get her settled. She makes clear she wants food. I go to the sunroom.

Of late, she resists because she prefers the kitten food. So, I give her treats… in the sunroom.

Most people associate Pavlov and his dog with Classical Conditioning. The salivation is a great image and story.

Categories
Games Parenting

Game: Keepy Uppy Bandit

We know the game about keeping the balloon off the ground as “Keepy Uppy” due to the show Bluey. The father’s name is Bandit.

Photo by A.J. Spearman on Pexels.com

Setup: The same as traditional games of this sort. Inflate a balloon.

Action: Someone puts the balloon into the air. Each person hits the balloon back up into the air to keep it from touching the ground. The more acrobatic the better. Easy mode: control the balloon with soft hits so the other person can also controlled hit it.

In the episode, Bluey complains about it being too easy, so Bandit makes it harder. Fleur likes to make it harder by hitting it where I am challenged to keep it from touching the ground. Sometimes she transitions to Hard Mode after half an hour where other times she gets there after a few minutes. Sometimes she announces the change with “I am Bandit” while other times I figure it out because she’s started making it hard.

Anyway, she makes it more fun.

Categories
Linguistics Parenting

Baby is a four letter word

Fleur doesn’t like my pet name for her: Baby. It earns an instant protest about not being a baby.

My mother claims to Fleur that I am her baby. Taking in this information became a game changer. Until recently, Fleur rejected even that.

She slowly but surely has come around to accepting that she is and will always be my baby.

My other argument is when she asks me to carry her, I remind her that babies get carried. So as long as she wants to me to carry her, I get to call her my baby.

Baby steps.

See also: Help is a four letter word

Categories
Games Parenting

Game: stuntwoman

Setup: the bed is the landing zone.

Action: I started off throwing her Superwoman style. She told me to hold her upside down and throw her. We call that variant, “Stuntwoman Extreme.”

She also loves me to spin the merry-go-round or spinner seats so fast she gets dizzy.

Categories
Parenting

Perfect Date

Fleur hates heavy clothing. She tends to want to wear short sleeve dresses and shorts. Which is great in the spring to fall, but a challenge in the winter.

If is an enormous word” was about giving her the freedom to make the choice. In part because it was border-line cold. I was telling her I trusted her to make the decision.

Today, she put on shorts. I didn’t question it despite it being pretty cool. She recognized it and asked me, “Will it be warm today?” Which brings us to the Miss Congeniality scene…

Categories
Parenting

If is an enormous word

Fleur prefers short sleeves and shorts. In the winter, the challenge has been to keep her warm enough. She probably sees me wear short-sleeves and a coat so she argues to do that as well. Acknowledging it, I do often let her wear short sleeves with a coat plus pants.

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The spring adds another complication. It is cold in the morning, so she needs pants then. It warms up in the afternoon, so I send shorts to school she can change into after nap.

One morning, it was border-line. I did allow her to go to daycare in shorts but I sent along pants. I think she thought she was going to have to wear them. In an exasperated tone after taking much complaining, I said, “If… If… IF you want to wear pants because you are cold, you have them in your bag. It is your choice.”

At the end of the day, she didn’t wear them. That’s okay. As long as she made the choice. And didn’t avoid them because I offered.

Categories
Parenting

The story so far 3 year anniversary

Fleur is almost four. She is running, singing, playing, and helping. She has preferences and willing to enforce them.

Galahad is twenty years old. He loves his sister, but struggles to admit it.

Ada, my wife, works full time in financials. She tolerates my constant need to improve processes. She loves the dad jokes and dad bod.

I don’t read nearly as much. I miss it.

I hope people enjoy reading this blog.