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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fleur pretends children hide from their parents on the roof of the dollhouse. The big one up to her chest. The Little People one up to her knee.
Pretty consistently this is a piece of the pretend routine. I definitely need to keep the ladder locked up.
My mother has a story about me a younger age than her climbing the ladder on to the roof while my father wasn’t looking. He went inside for water for just a minute and found me almost up on the roof. He shouted for me, so I got all the way up it.
I wonder if that is something passed down in the epigenetics? Probably.
Working in information technology, I deal with contingency and complexity. Nested if conditionals and then outcomes.
In preschool play, things are far more fluid. The world building is intricately complex and mysterious. I ask a lot of questions meriting, “are you not paying attention,” responses. There seems to borrow from real life, fandoms, and random tangents.
For instance, the current game:
Fleur is Elsa. I am Anna. From Frozen.
Olaf and Sven are dead because a dinosaur stepped on them.
Various dolls are our kids. (A girl, a cow, a rabbit, and a lamb.)
We flew on a plane to Costa Rica. This came from asking if her teacher told her about her trip there.
From the outside, IT probably looks this arbitrary and eclectic. But, I promise we know what we are doing.
Ada tried to call me. Fleur burst into song over our conversation. Her clarity and confidence melted my heart. Her brazen defiance of asking her to allow us to talk made me almost fall out of my office chair in laughter.