Pre-Theory of Mind

Fleur picked up something off the floor, popped it in her mouth, stood up, and met my gaze. She spun around and took off. She knew I was coming for it without me having to say it.

She is about a year from having developed the Theory of Mind. With it, she is able to know what I am thinking about the situation. In the classic situation, a researcher shows putting something in a box. Another moves it while the first is not present. Then the child asked where the first thinks it is located.

The taking off means she knows something of what I am thinking. She just would think I know what she knows.

Ride FOMO

This past weekend on Saturday, we went to the mall where there is a place with bounce houses and a new marry go round with three horses. It has a warning that a parent needs to be present and not allow the child to be off the horses. Easier said than done when your child has ride fear of missing out.

Fleur wanted on any random one at first. I put her on the red one and started the ride. As she started to get off it, I stopped the ride. She got on the yellow one, the one in her eye sight. I started the ride and within a minute I had to stop it again as she transferred to the blue. Then she wanted on the red one then yellow then blue then red.

On Sunday, we went to the park she loves. This time the FOMO reared its head in getting upset about other children trying to use the same slide. And wanting to use the next swing over, even the one identical to the one she was in.

That said, once she found the right slides (one rated for 5-12 year olds), she wanted to do them over and over and over. The issue with the other children is they were preventing her from getting back on it fast enough.

Pink diaper bag

As a male, I am supposed to be emasculated by wearing pink or having such colored things. They signal my effeminate nature? Or homosexuality? Something like that. Of course, the same men upset about it wear the pink shirts their spouses make them wear.

Fleur has a couple diaper bags.

  • Justice League backpack with Batgirl, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl symbols. It is pink and blue.
  • Solid pink messenger bag.

Occasionally, people make comments about how much I must hate it being pink. Not at all.

First, we have them because they represent Fleur. We want to teach her to be a hero by standing up for truth and justice. The bag is sized for a child not much older than her. We carry it as a diaper bag until the time when she can wear it herself. (She has expressed interest in wearing.)

Second, the solid pink bag would be better if it were purple, but the loot crate service that sent it went with pink. It is a great bag outside the color. And, pink is a good clue to her being a girl. (A woman told me purple is not a girl’s color. Only pink is.) Her hair curls up on top, giving her a fauxhawk haircut. Plus, she is as tall as older boys.

Finally, in my archive of family photos is one of my uncle carrying his granddaughter’s pink diaper. This is from a dozen years ago. I don’t remember anyone commenting on this when it happened. It only stood out to me lately when looking through my photos. It seems like the most trivial of details that a male carried something of a singular unallowable specific color. And it only stood out because of late people seem to want to comment on it.

Apparently, there are men out there bothered to have a girly baby carrier or diaper bag. For them, there is tacticalbabygear.com so they can spend a $100 cajones tax.

Kindness over achievement

baby children cute dress

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This is another thing to add to tracking my responses to Fleur’s behavior. I know she monitors my behavior, so it is important to behave in the way I want her to model. But, also to what I respond matters. From an article:

Kids learn what’s important to adults not by listening to what we say, but by noticing what gets our attention. And in many developed societies, parents now pay more attention to individual achievement and happiness than anything else. However much we praise kindness and caring, we’re not actually showing our kids that we value these traits.

Well, that puts on the pressure. But, I already thought that I need to be the person I want her to emulate.

 

Raising a homebody

Fleur spoke her first sentence. She wanted to make sure that it was a day where we would all stay home. She has really been using “home” quite a bit whether we are there or not. Usually she will ask whether each person on the list of family members are going to be home. For the week that my mother stayed with us for Christmas, she was included in the list of people.

This repetition on “home” seems likely tied to the disruption daycare has played on her. She seems to have done well at daycare other than some frustration at dropoff and pickup. Her vocabulary has exploded. She has gone from being a passive listener of books to being an active participant wanting to turn the pages and point at interesting things on the pages. Still, she doesn’t like being left there.

I think home really means getting to stay with us. Even if it is just me. And she learned it from The Littlest Family’s Big Day where the big payoff page is a fold out with HOME on a banner. We read it loud and emphasize the word. And she loves it so much.

It seems like home is one of her first words because being there is so very important to her. She needs to hear that we are going there to be happy about being where we are. It has me thinking about language acquisition may be dependent on desire. The things that are most important to her are the words she is going to pick up earliest.

“Mah baby!”

My baby has a handful of baby dolls. She calls them her baby. They are all over the house. She wakes up asking for her baby. I try to make sure one is near her bed. Throughout the day she carries one like a running back seeking the end zone.

Often it will get left behind. So we get plaintive cries about “mah baby!” My hippocampus has become attuned to tracking them so that I know where my “grandchildren” are at all times for times like these.

Not even a month ago, I could satisfy her with any of them. Lately, it has to be one of the triplets. Likely, soon it will be a specific triplet that I will have to locate.

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.