Categories
Daycare Games

Game: Teacher

Setup: The dolls are the students. I am the current teacher. Fleur is the parent or school administrator.

Action: I am to perform the things Fleur’s teacher does: read, talk about things, supervise naptime, etc.

The real tricks are the interruptions. Fleur as parent drops off the kid. Fleur as the school administrator takes the kid potty, to the gym. My personal favorite: she relieved me to go get lunch at naptime.

Categories
Friendship

Dad ice breakers

Small talk with strangers can be difficult. I didn’t realize being a father opened huge amounts of conversation opportunities with other men in the same situation.

I took the car to get something looked at. I also know the service advisor from the pool. He explained a medium walk winded him. Having a sedentary computer job, I strongly related. And gave some advice about how I use Fleur to get me exercise. He picked up on how this it makes her use up energy so she sleeps better.

The other service advisors are friendly, but I do not find it so simple to latch onto something to talk about for more than a throwaway remark.

Other dads I meet at the playground are easy to talk to about how they approach dealing with their kids. Same at daycare, grocery stores, and anywhere I run into other parents.

Categories
Problem Solving

Coral pants

Apparently I am that point of being a girl dad where Ads asks about the pink pants. Fleur is mystified. I am mystified.

Then I notice the coral pants and, “you mean these?”

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.

Categories
Parenting Problem Solving

Illusion of choice

Human nature wants to feel in control. Lack of control creates stress and anxiety. Letting go of control is hard. Especially when you are three years old.

So we create acceptable choices and let Fleur make them. It seems to make it easier. It reduces the resistance as she gets a say, which is what she mainly wants. The options are acceptable, so we get what we want.

As she obtains more experience, I am sure crafting the options will get harder. She occasionally wants things we are not wanting her to have and redirect to acceptable things. She will get better at coming back to them. Or fighting harder for them.

I think of it like Ego Depletion. When you are 3, you have very little willpower. In fact, I am impressed at the moments where willpower manifests. They very much are easy to observe during well rested mornings after breakfast. Lacking those, the frameworks I deploy make it easier to run through the tasks to get out the door. Less pushback. Less frustration.

Categories
Engineering Parenting

Engineering project: Stairway to Heaven

Fleur wanted to make a set of stairs. She got frustrated with gravity. So I convinced her to let me help. And made a bracing column.

Stairway

She is happy with it.

Categories
Parenting science

Future meteorologist

Fleur saw the clouds in the sky and declared to me it would rain. I thought she was right.

The taking information of the clouds. The pattern matching for the types of clouds seen against rain vs not rain clouds. When did it rain vs not? Making a hypothesis. And having the confidence to declare it.

She just needs to start recording her hypothesis, data, and results. She will need to learn to write first. And that is in process.

Categories
cousins

Family Fusion

Extended families have two great strengths. The first is resilience. An extended family is one or more families in a supporting web. Your spouse and children come first, but there are also cousins, in-laws, grandparents—a complex web of relationships among, say, seven, 10, or 20 people. If a mother dies, siblings, uncles, aunts, and grandparents are there to step in. If a relationship between a father and a child ruptures, others can fill the breach. Extended families have more people to share the unexpected burdens—when a kid gets sick in the middle of the day or when an adult unexpectedly loses a job.

The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake. David Brooks @ the Atlantic

I love that Fleur gets to play with her cousin. But, I love that our families are close more. It isn’t just seeing each other on holidays.

When my brother and sister-in-law needed help a couple times in recent times, we stepped up to help them. Should we have a similar need, they would be the first we would turn to for help.

I would love that the family base were larger, but this parenting thing is rough. Having help is important.

Categories
Games

Game: Cricket rainbow

The toys, Elsa and Minnie Mouse, are crickets. They chase the rolly polly, TikTuk .

Categories
Parenting

Waking up

My wife and I completely differ in how we wake. I am more, “oh, I am awake. Let’s get up and do stuff.” She is more, “not yet!”

Fleur mostly takes after her mother in that initial wakefulness. After about half an hour she is more like me. The shift is sudden. One minute she is the world is ending, crying, grouchy, complaining about everything. The next she is fine.

Photo by Georgia Maciel on Pexels.com

This best of both worlds situation amuses me in hindsight.

She occasionally woke between 4 and 6 am, would come try and sleep with us, but after half an hour just be up. I would get up with her. I try to get her to eat something and go back to sleep.

Ideally she went back to sleep after a little bit. Too often she crashed just before wake up time.

Basically, that means I am up for the rest of the day.