Kindness over achievement

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This is another thing to add to tracking my responses to Fleur’s behavior. I know she monitors my behavior, so it is important to behave in the way I want her to model. But, also to what I respond matters. From an article:

Kids learn what’s important to adults not by listening to what we say, but by noticing what gets our attention. And in many developed societies, parents now pay more attention to individual achievement and happiness than anything else. However much we praise kindness and caring, we’re not actually showing our kids that we value these traits.

Well, that puts on the pressure. But, I already thought that I need to be the person I want her to emulate.

 

Raising a homebody

Fleur spoke her first sentence. She wanted to make sure that it was a day where we would all stay home. She has really been using “home” quite a bit whether we are there or not. Usually she will ask whether each person on the list of family members are going to be home. For the week that my mother stayed with us for Christmas, she was included in the list of people.

This repetition on “home” seems likely tied to the disruption daycare has played on her. She seems to have done well at daycare other than some frustration at dropoff and pickup. Her vocabulary has exploded. She has gone from being a passive listener of books to being an active participant wanting to turn the pages and point at interesting things on the pages. Still, she doesn’t like being left there.

I think home really means getting to stay with us. Even if it is just me. And she learned it from The Littlest Family’s Big Day where the big payoff page is a fold out with HOME on a banner. We read it loud and emphasize the word. And she loves it so much.

It seems like home is one of her first words because being there is so very important to her. She needs to hear that we are going there to be happy about being where we are. It has me thinking about language acquisition may be dependent on desire. The things that are most important to her are the words she is going to pick up earliest.

“Mah baby!”

My baby has a handful of baby dolls. She calls them her baby. They are all over the house. She wakes up asking for her baby. I try to make sure one is near her bed. Throughout the day she carries one like a running back seeking the end zone.

Often it will get left behind. So we get plaintive cries about “mah baby!” My hippocampus has become attuned to tracking them so that I know where my “grandchildren” are at all times for times like these.

Not even a month ago, I could satisfy her with any of them. Lately, it has to be one of the triplets. Likely, soon it will be a specific triplet that I will have to locate.

Boxing Day

photo of white and brown cardboard box toy figure

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This is a day traditionally for eating leftovers and giving to the poor. Supposedly the origin is possibly about the wealthy allowing their servants to take gifts to their family. Or churches collecting “alms boxes” during Christmas week. The day after Christmas is also the feast of St. Stephen who is known for his acts of charity.

It is British tradition, so growing up, I was not aware of it. I suspect bankers were too hungover from Christmas to want to return to work, so they created Boxing Day.

I guess it came about after the United States left, so it is not something in our consciousness. Canada and other parts of the Commonwealth have it.

Christmas Eve

brown bear plush toy

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My uncle shares a Christmas letter every year. About 20 years ago, it became a Christmas email. So, here is a Christmas blog roundup of the year for the kids.

Galahad

He has turned 18 and is now and adult. I think my wife is still in denial.

Fleur

Last Christmas saw the first serious attempt to crawl. My brother drove a BB-8 toy just within her reach and drove it outside the reach. We got a couple hand and knee placements. She basically stopped for a couple weeks, but recreating the situation got her seriously crawling. Today, she is a runner and navigates the baby gates better than the adults.

Also, she climbs, jumps, and routinely falls from getting out of her depth. She tries it again and again until she masters it.

Last Christmas she had a couple phonemes. Today, she has several words and applies them correctly to get the things she wants. My favorite is when she is hungry she yells, “Eat!”

She knows what belongs to which individuals. She will hand me my phone or bring my bottled tea. (One at a time until she brings me the entire 12 pack.) She also shares and wants others’ food.

Compressed sleep

As long as I can remember, going to sleep an hour or two later means waking up earlier than normal so I get 5-6 hours of sleep. I didn’t realize there was a pattern until almost 40. And even since it still boggles that it exists. It seems logical that going to sleep later should result in waking later. Maybe at the same time with aid of an alarm. But, for me, it means waking up before the alarm.

Going to sleep too early also means 5-6 hours of sleep. So, if I go to sleep at say 9pm, then I wake up between 2-3am. I probably am fully awake but tired for a few hours. I will crash hard and need another few hours of sleep to feel rested.

Let’s hope this is not genetic.

Protect your back

man holding kettlebells

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It is a good thing before having the toddler in my life, I spent time in the gym learning to squat. I find that I use the kettle bell squatting form in picking her up. Bend the knees down such my thighs are parallel to the ground, pull her into my chest, and push up with the legs. The goal is to keep the back straight and carry the load of the kid vertically along the spine as it was designed. Pulling the spine horizontally will cause back pain. Kettle bells do not squirm.

Of course, the day after Leg Day, it is silent pain to pick her up.

And, being older, I ought to make sure to protect my back.