Swallowing LEGOs

Pediatricians developed their own metrics: the Stool Hardness and Transit (Shat) score and the Found and Retrieved Time (Fart) score.

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From my 2005 trip to California

The Fart score – how many days it took the Lego to pass through the bowels – was between 1.1 days and three days, with an average of 1.7 days.

Using the Shat score, the researchers also found the consistency of their stools did not change. They compared Shat and Fart scores to see if looser stools caused quicker retrieval but found no correlation.

Saving this for later because given how many LEGO sets we have in the house, it seems a given Fleur is going to swallow some. Though, I have to admit my dubiousness to the study because it seems likely toddler and adult bowels might have differences such as size.

Five Books a Day

Young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to, a new study found.

This makes sense to me. Keep in mind this is a number over what kids whose parents do not regularly read to them. The more one reads the more exposure. More exposure improves vocabulary by tuning the brain in this critical period to the acquisition of it.

At these volumes, variety is needed to maintain novelty and stimulation. That means a personal library probably is not going to cut it unless you are wealthy. Fleur has a couple hundred books already. I expect her to have a healthy library. But, we will need to supplement with the library or hanging out in a bookstore.

Libraries also have programs for encouraging reading. A thousand books seem to be the target for the programs I see. But, I think that is the kid reading not being read to.

Exploration

Now that Fleur is super confident in crawling and standing and the law of gravity and navigation, she wants to explore. Well, to play with more causation. She is not satisfied with the rules she knows.

Like the scientist toddlers are, she has to try it again and again to see when and how the laws hold up. Will this thing behave the same? Will this person (me) allow her to taste the thing? Can she get to the thing and taste it before the parent stops her?

I didn’t realize how much of parenting is predicting what the child is going to do and shape the environment for a positive experience.

I don’t want to grow up…

Adam Grant has an interesting opinion piece on helping kids decide what they want to do when they grow up. His problems with asking what job a kid wants to have when they grow up are:

  1. Self-defining in terms of work. Parents tend to say they want their children to value caring about others. The question instead has kids valuing caring about success.
  2. Self-limiting. The question implies there is one soulmate job for the child. Not having a calling sows confusion and aimlessness. And a calling might not be better as a hobby or volunteer service instead of a viable career. (So the kid needs a career that allows them to pursue the calling.)
  3. False expectations. This one really resonated with me. I wanted to pursue engineering until I realized I hated doing all the math. I wanted to pursue educational psychology until I realized I would have to be a teacher for a few years. Librarian was more reasonable as I worked in a library assisting the degreed folks. I understood the academic librarian situation pretty well (but not public or other librarian types).

I’m all for encouraging youngsters to aim high and dream big. But take it from someone who studies work for a living: those aspirations should be bigger than work. Asking kids what they want to be leads them to claim a career identity they might never want to earn. Instead, invite them to think about what kind of person they want to be — and about all the different things they might want to do.

Provoking cognitive dissonance

Galahad takes music lessons which happen to be on the other side of town. I usually have the radio on and when something provocative is said, I turn it off to talk with him about it. I ask him questions to suss out what he thinks about it.

Somehow the topic for this drive home was pi. I explained that some mathematicians prefer tau instead and described what it is. He mentioned that the pi(e) meme-mification meant that it had staying power. However, I realized he was stuck on the concept of a pie as dessert.

So, to mess with his concept of pie, I asked what he thought was in shepherd’s pie. That frustrated him a little bit but not enough in my estimation, so I brought up a pizza pie. This deprived child. Had. No. Knowledge. Of. Dessert. Pizzas. He was stuck on the disgustingness of apples and marinara.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

12181634454_3fddcbb3c9_zFinally, he defended his concept of a pie as only pastries. So, I got him to look up just what is a pastry. He doesn’t look past the first one, which he read as:

a dough of flour and water, used as a base and covering in baked dishes [1]

He seizes on the lack of mentioning sweets in this to decide that many things are pastries that he never before considered:

  • calzones and strombolis
  • ravioli

He immediately texted his friends and was obsessed with this for the rest of the evening.

I am glad to help him work through trying to hold these conflicting thoughts at the same time and poke at him to think more deeply about them.

[1] The one I saw is:

a dough of flour, shortening, and water, used as a base and covering in baked dishes such as pies

I don’t remember him mentioning the shortening item. Or fats or anything similar that would indicate he knew what that is. I don’t think he knows enough about cooking to make the distinction. If he did, then he would know calzones and raviolis do not have a shortening ingredient in the dough. So, they are not actually pastries.

P.S. Next, I need to work on his research skills. He will love the Pop-Tarts are ravioli debate.

Passing notes in Google Docs

As more and more laptops find their way into middle and high schools, educators are using Google Docs to do collaborative exercises and help students follow along with the lesson plan. The students, however, are using it to organize running conversations behind teachers’ backs.

Meh. Actually, as more and more teachers disallow phones and school IT administrators block access to Snapchat, Instagram, Tiktok, and other popular social media, students are leveraging the tools at their disposal to not pay attention.

And bonus: it includes ways to hide the conversation by making it look legit!

They’ll clone a teacher’s shared Google document, then chat in the comments, so it appears to the casual viewer that they’re just making notes on the lesson plan. If a teacher approaches to take a closer look, they can click the Resolve button, and the entire thread will disappear.

It kind of reminds me of how the US general was using a free email service to converse with his reporter mistress by composing emails that were not sent.

Diaper math

white blue orange and yellow drawstring bag

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Pre-parent, I was aware of parents complaining about diapers. The complexity staggers the imagination.

Some brands work better than others, so one has to find the right balance of cost to failure rate. Get a bad model and one pays by having to get the poop out of clothes or even worse throwing away items.

Then there is the timing of switching the size. Each has a maximum weight limit, but I swear it seemed like when Fleur was close to the max size, there were more blowouts.

Comparison shopping even within a specific model is a pain because each store has different size boxes. So, you cannot just look at the price on the box. Instead, you have to try to calculate the cost per diaper to find the best deal.

To keep from going to brick and mortar stores, one might go online to get prices and do the math to save the amount of travel to just one store. One store’s website lists a 136, a 140, and a 144 count box of same brand, model, and size. $7 price difference between the largest box and the others which are the same price. Which comes out to about 4 cents per diaper difference.

The stores also know they overprice them and somehow when we need to buy again, they always have some kind of deal. The same store as above likes to offer a gift card if you purchase over a certain amount AT THE SAME TIME doing a multiple amounts off for buying them as a pickup.

So, the formula is: ([(list price – discount) x number boxes] – gift card) / (number of diapers per box x number of boxes)

Huggies, I think is trying to be as confusing as possible. They have three similar sounding models:

  • Snug & Dry
  • Little Snugglers
  • Little Movers

I think this is mainly due to the fact the size 3 hits all three models. Once we get to size 4, I think it goes back to just have to decide between a couple models again.