I made the mistake of taking Fleur to the store so now she wants to go there all the time. But, additionally, as soon as we walk in the door, she tells me, “I have to go potty.”
Without fail. Without remorse. Every time.
It feels like Classical Conditioning. Something about entering a store is like Pavlov’s bell. It triggers the need to go. So she tells me and we go. Thankfully in most cases we have been, the restrooms are close to the door. Stimulus is the entrance. Response is the need to urinate.
So far we are seven for seven. I need more data. But, I am not willing to get more exposure for the sake of science.
My wife mused about ordering some food for Thanksgiving. Galahad said not to. He has been helping with the cooking.
Having never cooked Thanksgiving, he had no idea this meant more than a meat and two sides. A typical meal might be chicken plus a green vegetable and a starchy one. These are typically an hour or so to prepare.
He objected to the broccoli casserole. So mac and cheese was added to compensate. (But that meant two different ones as some of us have special dietary needs.)
He called this a nine course meal. There were six things. We shared working on the various things, so while my wife took the brunt, we all helped. He felt this was all too much.
No worries. Sounds like he will remember for next year to let us order.
We also invited friends over for pie and hanging out on the patio. Fleur gets quiet around people she doesn’t know. Amazing not to hear her constant conversation for so long. Once she hit her playground, she was good.
She makes small tweaks to form to find the one that works if it doesn’t initially work.
She learns from the past mistakes.
She develops a preference.
My hope is experiences like this will help her pass the marshmallow test.
I dislike having to wait. I am not good at padding the timeline to include how long it could take her. I hope to get better about accommodating this.
Thankfully, when I offer to help, she rebuffs me. This tends to be a bit more intense than my preference, but I respect that she wants to do it. Also, if we try to intervene by putting on her socks or shoes without permission, then she will get upset and remove it and get even more determined to do it herself.
One of the family stories is my brother has this friend. They were in the same daycare class when they were months old through college with a brief hiatus where they still maintained the friendship. This was the best man at his wedding.
A former coworker of mine and a current one of my wife has a daughter about the same age as Fleur. They’ve had many a play date growing up. And ended up in the same daycare. COVID put a halt to that, but now they are around each other again.
Pre-COVID, they would play around each other. They acknowledged the existence of the other. They might allow the other to play with a toy that is theirs, but it wasn’t playing together. It saddens me that I cannot peek into the room to observe if this has changed.
This morning, I was informed that the crayons she was taking were:
Blue for friend
Red for self
Which makes me happy. Our child is growing up and making friends.
Something that irks me is the notion that the only science worthy of being conducted is that which has a direct practical application. I think if humans were omniscient enough to know what is useful, then we really would be past doing science.
The case which prompted this post: the reconstruction of a mummy larynx. True, it doesn’t directly help a living person. Plenty of people damage theirs in car accidents, falls, etc. By acquiring an 3D image of the person’s and building a replica, we could replace lost ones. And the person could have their same voice. Voice is part of identity given we recognize others by the sound of theirs. Mechanical replacements that sound inhuman are like wheelchairs: approximation, but the user still loses a lot.
Science and technology are collaborative endeavors. Others replicate a finding. They take an idea and do something similar but different to see if there were hidden variables that change the finding. Or, produce a product from the idea.
Too much focus on practical science is what led us to the Replication Crisis in psychology. People needing a useful result, meant not enough people replicating experiments to see if the results held. Mythical results went years without anyone publishing they were bunk.
Fleur calls me Honey. I am sure it started as parroting my wife. But, she does it now as a replacement for Dada. Well, when she wants my attention.
Fleur: Daddy. Hoooonnneeeeeeeeeeyy!
Actually, you know what? That latter is similar in approach to how the wife calls the teen. Booooboooooooooooo!
Fleur has taken to calling the male Little People toy in the toy house “Honey” too. I need to observe the name she has for the female. Curious if she has a name yet. I am also curious if she will call other adult males Honey. (And their reaction to it.)
The first toy I noticed she named was an annoying unicorn that makes noise. We never named it because, honestly, we hoped it would disappear (burn in a fire). Fleur named it Lady. Same as a dog down the street she loves to visit.
I ponder often the psychology of names.
They occupy space in our brains. And they seem important due to processes in the brain encoding and retrieving them.
Our language seems built around labeling things. English has a subject and an object, both of which are “things” and the verb saying what we are doing with the things. So we need nouns to identify and distinguish between the things with greater and greater accuracy.
I think what I like most about science is the precision I gained in thinking about what things are by developing ever increasing vocabulary about them.
We start with physical things and move into more abstract. I call myself a technologist which is not an actual object. It is a job title with a loose and very subjective sense of duties.
The pandemic has allowed us to have evening walks. We get to meet our neighbors.
The other day one of the neighbor children fell and was crying. Fleur was most distressed about the other child being in pain. It took quite a bit of reassurance and the other child no longer crying to pull Fleur on her way.
Humans are social creatures. We attend to even the distress of a stranger. It bodes well Fleur was distressed. Right about now is when we should be seeing signs of autism.
Autism more has issues with shallow empathy or reading the emotions on another’s face or tone. Once they cross the bridge keeping from the shallow empathy, they are able to feel deep empathy. This deep empathy is the ability to feel the emotions of others, a merging of identities.
As Fleur gets both taller and better at climbing, things seem to migrate to higher places on the shelves. This of course, makes them top heavy. Obey gravity: It’s the law!
The wife and I are not in total mutual understanding of what should be up there. For instance, I put the coffee creamer with fake sugars up there. The normal creamer I didn’t as there wasn’t room in the spot, so all five containers were opened as she didn’t find them in the lower spot.
Really, that just encourages her to try to climb to get things put out of reach. Better, is for things to disappear. Out of sight, out of mind, out of screaming at not being allowed to have it.
The same trick works with toys. Things she has not played with can disappear. When they reappear, they are new and fresh and must be constantly played with.