Categories
cousins

Family Fusion

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.

The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake. David Brooks @ the Atlantic

I love that Fleur gets to play with her cousin. But, I love that our families are close more. It isn’t just seeing each other on holidays.

When my brother and sister-in-law needed help a couple times in recent times, we stepped up to help them. Should we have a similar need, they would be the first we would turn to for help.

I would love that the family base were larger, but this parenting thing is rough. Having help is important.

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
Games

In character

The other day, Fleur told Ada and I that:

  • Fleur would only identify as Elsa
  • Ada asked to be Anna
  • She also asked for me to be Kristoff
  • And the Elsa doll is? Olaf!

So ever since, we have to maintain these roles within the home dynamic. If we slip up, Fleur gets upset that the game has stopped.

However, around others, the game is not in effect.

I think she is ready for the role-play aspect of Dungeons & Dragons.

Categories
music

Trees of green

Years of singing Louis Armstrong’s “What a wonderful world” has culminated in Fleur singing it herself. Love. It.

We have a book version which I use to sing and have read to her over a hundred times.

Huh, I only just noticed it was written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss. Going to have to look up that story.

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
memory Parenting

Study: Type of play affects learning

I remember when we were looking for toys for the 9 month age. We were good already with passive toys. So, we were more interested in in good active toys. Somehow, I had forgotten one of the basic concepts in psychology: the best way to study for a test is to replicate the conditions of the environment where the exam will be taken.

The best way to recall the test information is to create a study environment closely resembling the testing situation. The difference between an A and a B could be sitting in a desk in a quiet room over laying on a couch with Metallica pumping through headphones.

This study essentially confirms similar in infants. They cycle through calm attentiveness, wakeful activity, and crying. Recall is better if the state matches the state at encoding.

We cycle through these states, so I need to ensure multiple encoding opportunities to get maximum coverage. Don’t just wait for or try to achieve calm attentiveness for a learning opportunity. (I do talk about physics of the activity while Fleur is in physical play. Just need to mix it up a bit.)

Sabine Seehagen, Silvia Schneider, Katharina Sommer, Laura La Rocca, Carolin Konrad. (2020) State‐Dependent Memory in Infants. Child Development. doi:10.1111/cdev.13444

Categories
cousins Parenting

Imaginary sibling

Months ago, Fleur started talking about relationships. Namely she listed the labels we apply to who people are in our lives and who fit them. Galahad is her brother because they have the same parents. Her uncle is her parent’s sibling. Her cousin is her mother’s brother’s daughter. I loved this working on understanding the taxonomy for individuals.

She has an honorary sister. Abigail and Galahad grew up together. Through a twist of fate Abigail has similar skin coloring as Fleur and I, so people assume she is my kid at times.

For a while, Fleur talked about her sister Addie. Not Abigail. Not another kid at daycare. She doesn’t live with us. Still not sure when Fleur hangs out with her sister. It was super weird.

I can see why people think children tap into the paranormal with stuff like that.

The funny thing is this name is pretty popular. We keep finding kids in the periphery with it.