Placebo First Aid

Every incident requires a bandaid. A wipeout in the road causes a scrape. The fix is a bandaid. An imperceptible maybe jammed finger requires one too. It hurts. Therefore it needs a bandaid.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In this case, causation doesn’t matter. What matters is how to make it feel better. Early on, I found much success in kisses. They were an accepted method of restoring health for not serious wounds. The more real injuries Fleur obtained, the less acceptable kisses were to hurts.

Placebos are powerful tools for healing. The brain being suggestible can run with them and cause impressive healing. Medicine accounts for them in efficacy studies as any time the patient believes in the cure, they can heal.

Our placebo bandaid are a cheap box of 100 I found. They barely stick. And fall off after a few hours. Just after the toddler has forgotten about the injury. In fact, if the complaint persists past the placebo bandaid, then I misjudged the injury.

Tangible

Itsy Bitsy Spider is a favorite Fleur song. Sitting on the porch after a rain, I thought it would be good to connect it to tangible things. Rain drops still fell. The yard was bright with sunshine. And at the end of the porch was a gutter, aka water spout.

I sang the the song and pointed to the drain and explained it was a water spout and sang the song again. She looked at me and the gutter and did the hand motions for the song. The excitement just grew about there being a spider specifically in the water spout attached to the house.

She had to tell Mom all about it. And brother.

When do we get to the part of language where we explain the use of metaphors and simile as explanation tools?

People!

Ms. Fleur’s Neighborhood:

We go on a walk every day in the neighborhood. Well, less so now that summer has arrived. The available time will get earlier and earlier every day that we can without needing to take a shower right after it.

Fleur has gotten to know the neighbors. We are all starved for social interaction. She gets excited to see people. Familiar neighbors or strangers, it doesn’t matter they are people.

She is human. (More so than me.) So as a social creature, she craves social interaction.

How to Raise a Science Lover

The best place to begin would be trying to make science something that you discuss within you home on a regular basis. This will familiarize your child with the subject, making it feel less daunting, while also showing them how interesting it can be and how important it is in the real world. You should also try and encourage curiosity within your child, by answering any questions they have about the world around them to the best of your abilities. There may be times that you don’t know the answers, but rather than shrugging it off, it would be better to help your child do some research and figure it out together.

How to Raise a Science Lover. The Stevenson Life

We have a good start. We have a good library of baby books that tackle scientific subjects. And, I enjoy connecting those to real life. When there is a fall, after the crying, we talk about gravity or friction. The effect had a cause, so I am pointing the attention to the cause.

The issue I have is with the concept of science as answer regurgitation. The challenge will be developing the understanding the Scientific Method. Question, hypothesis, prediction, test, evaluate. Plus data recording, replication, peer review.

The really entertaining part is she has a focus on causation. Science methodically seeks to explain it.

Flower child

Fleur enjoys picking the wildflowers along our walks in the neighborhood. Most are coming to an end of the season. So I don’t know how excited she will be for the walks.

We try to limit her picking to one so some remain for the bees and the next walk. And to limit her to wildflowers. Clover, daisies, and dandelions.

The love of picking also extends to blueberries.

Nerd

My father told me a story that sounds exactly like me.

My parents were called to have a parent teacher conference over my refusal to accept I was wrong. Apparently, the teacher had asked a question and the answer I gave was not the one in the textbook. However, I insisted that I had the right answer because I had read in a science magazine not long before about a new discovery.

Fleur’s science books

My father said he counseled me to not challenge the teacher in front of the other kids. Thinking back, I really never took that lesson to heart.

One of my favorite high school stories is in science bowl answering that Saturn had more moons than Jupiter. The teacher (the superintendent a couple years later) was excited I got it wrong. I argued Jupiter had sixteen. But a few more were discovered for Saturn bringing it up to 18. To this day we are still still finding moons for these planets and who has more flip flops. The question depends on current knowledge.

Thankfully, the student teacher was aware and came to my defense. I got the question right.

Fleur has lots of science books already. I already explain science concepts. We will do many experiments together. And, she will be kept current on the state of knowledge because I get excited when I learn about a new discovery.

Garbage Truck!

Fleur loves trucks. Especially the garbage trucks. There are commercial trucks coming through the neighborhood Tuesday through Friday. I can yell “Garbage truck!” and she comes ru.n.n.ing to the living room window to watch them get a trash and put the contents in the truck.

I never see her run that fast. Not when she is hurt. Not when she is scared. Not when she is upset. Just when she is the most excited she can possibly be. About a garbage truck.

She also loves the package delivery vans (UPS, FedEx, Amazon) and mail trucks. One neighbor washes delivery vans in their yard. She can watch that for as long as that takes. Her week was made one day to be allowed NEXT to the delivery van.

This particular interest was unexpected. But, we did take her to see the firetrucks and other large vehicles at a park back when she was just walking. It was amusing to see her fascinated by these things both then and now.

Meander

Walking with a toddler is less exercise unless you mean in patience. There is constant stopping along the route.

I only just noticed the pauses are for very specific places. Fleur is really going to the places to:

  1. Get something (a flower, a rock, a stick)
  2. See if something changed (a sign)
  3. Play with a person or animal

Her purpose on the walks is not really to go do one of these. She goes to hit them ALL. So this go quickly to the end of the neighborhood and back is not in her purpose.

We ask if she wants to go see one of them and she probably says yes. But that doesn’t mean avoiding the rest. I need to try enticing her to the next stop.

Cargo shorts

Cargo shorts on a recent walk

Lately on walks Fleur insists on carrying stuff. I try to limit it. A few houses down she then wants to place the stuff in my pockets.

Good thing I wear cargo shorts. It makes it easier. Well, except when she decides she wants to run while I have a packet of pineapple chunks, a baby water bottle, and three rocks in one pocket with her water bottle in the other.

At times I wonder if this is about slowing me down. But, really, it is about freeing her hands so she can do stuff.

Repetition => Belief

The toddler and I often debate whether something is a whale or a shark. It makes people who know me well happy that I have a personality mini-me. Often, these descend into:

Fleur: shark
Me: whale
Fleur: shark!
Me: whale!
Fleur: shaaaaaaaark!
Me: whaaaaaaaale!

This got me thinking about persuasion and the effective use of repetition. We tend to overlook it because we think that simplistic things we know and understand are reasonable. And frankly, the only way it could be. They are facts. Objective. The way things are. However, repetition has a sneaky way of becoming things we know and establish in our heads as facts. This is the Illusory Truth Effect messing with us.