Categories
Parenting Physics

Entropic Infant

Fleur is crawling on the verge of walking. And, being my progeny is… Into. Every. Thing. Too early to diagnose ADHD, but if she hears something, then she “Speed Racer” crawls to investigate.

The triumphant look when she pulls down something makes me think of Godzilla. Often it causes a cackle. Destruction lies in her wake. Always.

Definitely, do not attempt to tidy a room in her presence. She tosses things back on the floor as though saying, “That is where I wanted it.”

Entropy is a law of the universe. Matter tends not to stay ordered unless energy is put towards it. Our civilization exists because of the massive amounts of energy exerted to create and maintain infrastructure and materialism. Forces acting against entropy are responsible for the creation of the Milky Way galaxy, our Solar System, and life. The beauty and miracle of all these processes resisting entropy are why we are special.

And at this stage, my child is bound and determined to bring it down.

P.S. It is ironic that she uses gravity to spread disorder while gravity was used to consolidate matter to create the stars and planets.

Categories
Parenting

Guilt over canceled shows

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Misty was a weird cat

Every time there is an announcement about a canceled show I “watch”, I feel guilty. Having a DVR, I know my watches are tracked. Also, streaming services are paying attention to my activity.

I know in theory that my one watch is not that important in the grand scheme of things, but I still feel that my lack of watching has killed them. Dating, marriage, and fatherhood all mean a lot more commitments to my time that I might otherwise spend on watching television. (And reading.)

But, the reality is that these commitments are more important. They consume quality time. I used to spend so much time watching television because I was filling empty time. Quality > empty.

My DVR is also filling up, so I have a temptation to try and find time to spend watching some stuff to delete some recordings. More often I decided to just purge to free up space without watching because really I am not going to get around to watching them.

Categories
Parenting

Grandmother Hypothesis

Researchers looked at preindustrial mortality records in Quebec and Finland and found that families with a grandmother in the household had more kids and kids who lived longer, aka the “grandmother hypothesis.” Up to a couple points:

  1. Just 1.75 more kids.
  2. Younger grandmothers increased survival between 2 to 5 by 30%. Grandmothers over 75 reduced survival probability to age 2 by 37%.

Also, this is fairly indirect data looking at old records. It would be more valuable with more direct evidence. Though, how one could do an experiment where some kids get to have a grandma where others don’t would likely be deemed unethical.

I wonder how much that means for today’s society. My cousins with the largest number of kids live closer to their mothers.

When I moved here for a job, it was when I was single and a pretty decently easy drive to get home to help out when needed. It doesn’t seem so easy anymore with a family.

Categories
Parenting

From minor celebrity to entourage

394802819_0365c3442f_oBefore Fleur, I was comfortable being Norm at a variety of places. People knew me, greeted me, asked how I was doing. When the wife and I started dating, a friend of hers instantly recognized my name and asked if my Facebook profile was me.

Now, places still know me and greet me, but I am now the, uh, chauffeur. I am a baby deliveryman. They want to see her and hold her and earn smiles. Some still ask about me when they realize how I am being ignored.

Somehow I thought my celebrity wasn’t that big and not that important to my identity. Now, I realize how much I miss it. Maybe it was more central to my being than I thought?

As a child, I dwelled in the shadow of my parents who knew everyone. My brother had to endure high school as comparisons of my little brother. People don’t believe that I am an introvert because I know so many people. (The secret is that I learned to tune out the certain backgrounds and direct interactions with one or two people is good. Things like house parties, clubs, concerts, football games are what drain my energy.)

Categories
Parenting

Overcompensation

Started reading some dad blogs and ran across something that felt pretty right on Biff the Runner:

At times I feel completely useless. With the baby as I don’t know why they are crying or what I’m supposed to do. At work I’m less productive as I’m tired and find it harder to motivate myself and focus.

This means I over compensate particularly at home trying to make myself useful cleaning, cooking, anything. This makes me more tired.

5937181617_3435b92539_zFor me it meant:

  • Managing the water bottles. We have 2 Brita filter containers that I try to keep full and a half dozen bottles. I end of tracking them down across the house & car and filling them.
  • Changing diapers.
  • Soothing Flower, especially when she was upset with gas between 4 and 8 am. Ant’s Go Marching and Dear Liza are my go-to songs.
  • Keeping supplies full & shopping. Diapers, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, snacks, cat food, cat litter. (Still pretty terrible at this. Writing this reminded me that I need to get litter despite going to the store before work to get toilet paper because I did not realize we were out when I went yesterday.)
  • Dealing with the teenager: cajoling to do chores, getting things needed, taking to places.

I have a much younger brother, so I wasn’t scared of changing a diaper, especially because she cannot shoot pee at my face. Other things new fathers are supposedly scared of like holding her, giving her a bottle, etc all are skills I’ve had for decades.

Well, maybe the first bath. She had a five wiper blowout where poo was still everywhere. I needed to give her a bath, but the wife had gone somewhere so I was on my own. I had to make all these choices on how to handle it on my own. So many potentially wrong choices, but we both survived it.

 

 

Categories
Parenting

Fathers are happier parents

From an interesting article, Fathers are happier parents: Study:

  1. “Fathers reported greater satisfaction with their lives and feelings of connectedness to others.”
  2. “They also reported greater positive emotions and fewer daily hassles than mothers, or relatives or peers without children.”
  3. “They even showed fewer depressive symptoms than men without children, whereas mothers reported more depressive symptoms than women who do not have children.”

Yeah, it is weird. It does seem like there is a brain change. Thinking about this reminded me that I read something years ago well before I became one saying there is a rewiring in the brain due to fatherhood. (paper) The new areas involve reward processing, which could be the greater satisfaction (dopamine) and connectedness (oxytocin); hormone control; emotional processing; memory; decision making. Yeah, I definitely find myself analyzing Fleur’s behavior looking at how she is problem-solving, learning, and adapting to her environment. For instance, now that she is crawling and exploring, she has learned we hover and watch what she tries to put in her mouth and tries to new tactics at getting things that are not toys into her mouth. (Of course, that means we have to adapt, so our Pre-Frontal Cortex [memory and decision making] has to learn her new tactics and try to new things to interrupt it.)

Categories
Parenting

The story so far

Fleur is ten months. She is crawling and standing. She has preferences and willing to enforce them.

Galahad is seventeen years. He has a year and a half of high school left. He wants to become an engineer. We get along okay for me being a recently a stepfather.

Ada, my wife, works full time in financials. She tolerates my constant need to improve processes. She loves the dad jokes and dad bod.

Categories
Parenting

Introduction

I intend to post about my kids, my experiences, my expectations, and interesting research.

My undergraduate degree was in psychology. I had an intention of going to get a master’s in library science, but I got sucked into information technology. I did government documents working in the library as a student, but I also had expertise in reference.

I am an avid reader without a real single genre. Popular science books are an area of passion. Psychology (of course), sociology, economics, behavioral economics, biology, and physics dominate my reading. I might pick up something in between as an article that seems interesting.

I am also an older new parent. I worry my child might get autism spectrum disorder as this was the big American risk factor until Wakefield’s bullshit. Older so slower. Older so more patient.