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.

Tryptophan, insulin, and melatonin

toddler lying on pink fleece pad

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A few times now, I have gotten Fleur to sleep right after eating lunch. I know the daycare times it this way. It seemed arbitrary until I tried it and found it easy to get her to sleep.

Then I remembered something I read a while ago: Meats contain tryptophan. Fruits and sweets contain carbohydrates. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, we eat feel drowsy because of eating both. The carbohydrates prompts the release of insulin to use the branched-chain amino acids in rebuilding muscle, but the tryptophan is left behind. The tryptophan is metabolized into serotonin which is metabolized into melatonin. The last is what gives us that drowsy feel.

So, I now suspect the trick to getting the little one to take that nap is to get her full and use the excess melatonin as another nudge to “Go the #$@! to sleep!” That may also mean supper needs to be right before the bath when the neurotransmitter is maxed out.