Here are a collection of anecdotes about the breakdown of communication where I misunderstood the desired outcome which resulted in upset feelings:
Fleur handed me a banana saying, “do this.” When I started to peel it, she wailed.
She asked me for strawberry oatmeal. Like the dozens of times before I poured pecans into it. She howled about them.
She asked to watch Frozen. So, I clicked on Frozen. The screaming was because she wanted Christmas Frozen. (aka Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.)
The past three times she has had a particular food, it has resulted in her needing to be held because her tummy hurts. But, it is sweet, so she wants it. When I say no, she throws herself on the floor with intense crying and tears and hurt.
The prize for potty training is candy which often gets dropped on the ground, making it inedible but that doesn’t mesh with the prize loss. Inconsolable. Until I replace or wash it, nothing else can be done.
Fleur is the adventurous type. She enjoys climbing, jumping, and scary situations.
For the most part, I have always encouraged her to push her boundaries within what I consider acceptable. Climb higher. Climb the arch ladder while holding her hips the first time but let her do it on her own subsequent ones. Jump off the 5 foot wall the 5 foot distance to catch her a couple feet off the ground. Throw her up into the air.
Momma cannot watch some of these antics. Mostly because her baby is in danger.
If I thought Fleur was really in danger, then I would encourage her to do something else. There is a risk. Throwing her up into the air means I could miss the catch. I am cognizant of the risk, but I accept it on our behalf.
The smile she has when successful is infectious. I hope evolutionary biology isn’t tricking me into letting her into unnecessary danger. It is a reward for me to see her happiness about having done the dangerous thing.
On the other hand, this confidence building feels very necessary. At the park, she was hesitant about the arch ladder. Protecting her the first time let her see it was possible. It expanded her worldview. She did it a dozen more climbs on her own. Because… she knew she could. I want her to feel like she can do anything.
Another thing is my language has changed over the past month or so. Instead of saying “be careful” so much, I am trying to get better about specifics. When she is walking on a curb, I will ask, “Do you feel stable?” Or when she is running, “Are you going the speed where you tend to trip?” or “Are there [roots or mud] for you to fall on?” The idea is to get her to consider the situation.
I stumbled across the cutest of scenes. I went looking for Fleur because it was too quiet.
She was in her room with the Olivia book between her and Cora the doll. While not yet able to read, she does have it mostly memorized and was telling it to Cora.
She also will offer to read to us. Usually they are her favorites, so she basically memorized the story.
What amuses me most about her play reading is the made up parts. There is a slight pause where she realizes she doesn’t know and composes something to go with the picture. I can see why she picked it.
It reminds me of how the brain fills in the gaps for memory retrieval. If the actual memory has pieces missing, it finds relevant information and inserts it into the recall. The problem is that is what gets remembered in future retrieval instances. This is what distorts recall such that eyewitness testimony can be manipulated by police or lawyers.
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.
When Fleur breaks something, she probably exclaims, “Humpty Dumpty!” Thankfully, most of the time it is easy to put back together again. So, she uses it wrong. Plus, neither she nor her family are horses or kingsmen.
Also, where did the anthropomorphic egg originate? Maybe because eggs cannot be put back together once you break them. Still, kind of odd. Like the English. Especially if it is true the song really is a pun of identical slang terms for a clumsy drunk and a drink.
Nursery rhymes are dark!
Of course, I am pretty good at fixing some things, for which I get her momentary adoration. For the things I cannot, I get her long last complaint. I guess really that means I need to work on my DIY fixing skills.
An unexpected example of entropy is doll clothes. We have a number of nudist dolls.
It seems the dolls tend to lose their clothes. Fleur takes off their clothes. At times, she will ask us to dress them. I think because the motor skills for dressing them have not yet manifested, she needs help. But, she doesn’t often.
So, the dolls go without clothes most of the time. As I write this, I think the doll named Emma has been wearing one of Fleur’s newborn dresses for a while now. She did say Emma was pretty in the dress. Maybe I need to track which dolls go with or without clothes and for how long to determine if there is a pattern. Perhaps, displeasure with the clothes is why all these dolls are going nude.
“54% inspire confidence in their kids by allowing them to do things themselves”… CHECK… It takes longer, but I like Fleur doing it herself and getting the practice, chance to problem solve, and muscle memory. As she develops the skill, the muscle memory takes over and there is more consistency and less issues. Of course, she demands doing more things herself. The challenge is the balance between taking the time and being on time. (Well, the challenge is abandoning MY need to be on time all the time.)
“78% of parents make an effort to celebrate all those little ‘firsts.'” … CHECK… We celebrated many firsts and continue to cheer when she does inconsistent things we want her to do. Right now, that is potty training. When she does it, we celebrate it. The beaming smile she has when we do, suggests to me it is effective as a positive reinforcement, so I think it works in her case. If she didn’t react this way, then I would find something else.
“79% of those surveyed said they encourage their child to think critically and use logic on a daily basis.”… CHECK… Probably jumping the gun on this, but I am already asking questions about how something is similar or different to others to think about categorizations. Last night, we cooked pasta and I cut and scooped a spaghetti squash. Fleur mentioned it, so I asked her what have we recently scooped that looks similar. I answered the Halloween pumpkin and asked why they might have similar seeds and insides: because they are both kinds of winter squash.