Categories
Games

Game: Cricket rainbow

The toys, Elsa and Minnie Mouse, are crickets. They chase the rolly polly, TikTuk .

Categories
Parenting

Waking up

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.

Photo by Georgia Maciel on Pexels.com

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.

Categories
genetics Parenting

Roof

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.

Categories
toys

Dopamine is a helluva drug

As Christmas becomes more tangible, Fleur has gotten more excited. Like 12 dimension strings, she was vibrating with excitement.

The neurotransmitter for anticipation was clearly in effect. The clockwork of her mind churned over what she will get from this.

The first Christmas was her trying to crawl to the tree. And playing with wrapping paper. The second was playing at tearing open gifts.

This one she understands the concept. And is all in.

Categories
play

Pretend mental gymnastics

Playing pretend is so convoluted.

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.

Categories
learning

Deep conversations

I love this preschooler age.

Galahad works for a package delivery company. I drop him off at work most mornings while taking Fleur to daycare. I encourage her to help him get to work by moving faster. So, naturally, she views this drop-off as her taking him to work. And, she points out every truck with their logo.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Today, we had a conversation about supply chain logistics. She was asking about a semi-trailer headed leaving town from the local warehouse. So I explained Galahad works for the depot taking things to people’s houses. The semis we see at the depot brought there the things he takes. Others take things from the airport to the warehouse.

THAT got her attention. Her teacher showed the class pictures of a trip, which connected her to the planes often flying over our house. The signs for the airport are commented upon every time she sees them. Ada took her to the airport a couple weeks ago to see the planes. Connecting the truck to the airport was ah-MAZE-ing.

When I recall things, I go through a series of how it is connected to other things. This scaffolding of information is the basis of how I explain things. And how I am building up understanding in my prodigy.

Categories
Comedy

Silent ROFLMAO

When Fleur does something hilarious but don’t want to encourage, it is impossible not to laugh. The best we have is to turn away and silently laugh.

I have seen parents do this forever. I just didn’t realize how often it would be the case.

Categories
neurotransmitter

Tamagotchi game

Fleur has a tablet which I let her use under supervision. Instead of just watching movies or shows, I introduced her to a couple games.

One, My Baby Unicorn, has the use care for a unicorn. Basically a graphically intense Tamagotchi. At this age, Fleur doesn’t understand the need to keep each of the needs from reaching empty.

Still, the dopamine rush gets her excited to do the various things. I can see supervision is going to be important for decades to come. Without it, she may become as addicted as I am. So, I will try to set limits that will help her learn discipline.

Categories
sleep

Brain Fog

Yeah, the sleep deprivation as a parent is impressive. Before parenthood, I assumed it would end after the late night feedings. I saw the stuff about it lasting years. I didn’t grasp that it remained as strong for years and then maybe taper off.

But, yeah, Mondays are like walking into a wall.

My approaches are:

  • Coffee doesn’t help so much as mask the tiredness. I use it anyway.
  • Sleep when I can. (For me, I fall out hard early in the night which matches the kid’s usual pattern.)
  • Leverage the external brain (calendar, reminders)

My wife does similar, but her sleep cycle wants the hardest sleep starting after 4 am, so the kid waking up around then hits her harder than it does me. I try my best to get the kid quiet in another part of the house. But, still, the brain fog is hindering her more.

Categories
happiness

Flow

Flow happens when you do something that completely captures your attention. A lot of people would call this “being in the zone,” in other words: full absorption in something and complete happiness while you’re doing it.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

For me, this has always occurred while writing / editing, playing video games, or solving a computer problem. I also find it while driving, which is why I always enjoyed going places far away. A crutch I use is familiar music to drown out sounds that might distract me.

But, yeah, achieving the happiness of being in Flow is as worthy as the product that might be produced. I can say that I work in IT in part because I enjoy the feeling of being in Flow and having some skill in the work allows me opportunities for doing work that gets me there.

Working from the office has numerous distractions from flow because of emails, instant messages, people stopping by, phone calls. They all interrupt flow and it takes around 15 minutes to get back into it. People try to be respectful of others.

Working from home is worse:

Flow, unfortunately, is rare in family life. The father of flow research, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, told me so point-blank when I wrote my book. (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood) When kids are small, their developing brains actually conspire against flow, because they’re wired to sweep in as much stimuli as possible, rather than to focus; even when they’re older, they’re still churning windmills of need.

Camp Is Canceled. Three More Months of Family Time. Help. Jennifer Senior. NY Times

The toddler needs what she needs RIGHT NOW! Some times it is funny. Like, there is an obsession with trucks, especially the garbage trucks. (One comes through the neighborhood every week day. She comes flying to a window to see it stop or pass by.) Other times she is just cranky and infecting the rest of us with it.