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
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
communication

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Ada tried to call me. Fleur burst into song over our conversation. Her clarity and confidence melted my heart. Her brazen defiance of asking her to allow us to talk made me almost fall out of my office chair in laughter.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com
Categories
cousins Parenting

Toy trading

The cousins, Fleur and Jasmine, have a tendency to intentionally or accidentally leave things the other enjoyed. Most of the time it is a accidental situation. I failed to ensure everything that was brought is accounted for before walking out the door.

The intentional happened often enough the girls started rationalizing the other intended it to be left. Which is maybe for the best.

It usually makes it home the next week. And both have enough one thing is probably not missed too much. And if that one thing is a favorite they move on to a new one in the week.

Just a year ago, Fleur would meltdown over leaving something somewhere. She has quadruplet cheap dolls because of leaving the first somewhere. Often enough in the past year she would get upset over forgetting to bring a toy.

Categories
Games

Dino Rawr!

Another pretend game we play is “Dinosaur.” Basically, I am big terrible lizard chasing her.

Rules:

  • I am constrained to the hallway and bedrooms.
  • I roar. She screams.
  • Lots of running.
  • Me hiding to jump out.
  • Sometimes something is a sword for defeating me.

Often the game morphs into sick dino.

This is a good activity for rainy or very cold weather .

Outside, the same game is Big, Bad Wolf where I howl and chase.

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.