I wanted emphasize “right” in the context of side and not correctness. Left/right and correct/wrong. I am perhaps a bit sensitive to how in technology we take existing words and re-use them for new meanings. For a time it creates confusion as people acclimate to the new meaning.
The usefulness of language is in how easily we communicate concepts to each other. This right shoe case is a niche where the same word with different meanings could cause confusion.
But, at the same time it makes me think harder before my morning coffee so it left an impression.
If as a side effect she becomes overly precise in her word choice too, it may drive Ada and Fleur’s teachers nuts, but I will adore it. Words have meanings.
We know the game about keeping the balloon off the ground as “Keepy Uppy” due to the show Bluey. The father’s name is Bandit.
Setup: The same as traditional games of this sort. Inflate a balloon.
Action: Someone puts the balloon into the air. Each person hits the balloon back up into the air to keep it from touching the ground. The more acrobatic the better. Easy mode: control the balloon with soft hits so the other person can also controlled hit it.
In the episode, Bluey complains about it being too easy, so Bandit makes it harder. Fleur likes to make it harder by hitting it where I am challenged to keep it from touching the ground. Sometimes she transitions to Hard Mode after half an hour where other times she gets there after a few minutes. Sometimes she announces the change with “I am Bandit” while other times I figure it out because she’s started making it hard.
Three years ago, it was easier as we could just give Fleur another thing we agree on her having to negate the loss aversion. Today, we have many conversations a day about why she cannot have something. The most difficult are the ones resulting in her not getting something she already decided she would get.
We want her to eat dinner before dessert, expecting her to fill up on the dessert.
There is a toy at the store she wants, but we don’t want.
The strategy is still to give her something that she wants. For meals, we strive to make sure it is something she likes plus is nutritious and are not hard-set on eating it all. Which, of course, means quite a bit of “just two more bites” and “that was a half-bite.”
I also find myself reconsidering how strict I want to be on a specific confrontation. Sometimes, in the evaluation, I realize that her having the thing is not so bad, so I let her keep or get it. But, I encourage her to explain why she should. I hope to foster a habit of argumentation.
Not argumentation as in constant confrontation, but using logic and persuasion to get her way instead of fussing. Negotiation also works in this space. The brain is built for this, so I want to foster her using it to the fullest. (More about Dunbar.)
Her Elementary School teachers are going to despise me as a parent as
Fleur prefers short sleeves and shorts. In the winter, the challenge has been to keep her warm enough. She probably sees me wear short-sleeves and a coat so she argues to do that as well. Acknowledging it, I do often let her wear short sleeves with a coat plus pants.
The spring adds another complication. It is cold in the morning, so she needs pants then. It warms up in the afternoon, so I send shorts to school she can change into after nap.
One morning, it was border-line. I did allow her to go to daycare in shorts but I sent along pants. I think she thought she was going to have to wear them. In an exasperated tone after taking much complaining, I said, “If… If… IF you want to wear pants because you are cold, you have them in your bag. It is your choice.”
At the end of the day, she didn’t wear them. That’s okay. As long as she made the choice. And didn’t avoid them because I offered.
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.
Almost a year later, I think things have improved somewhat.
Everything is now: Except now there is a bit of patience sometimes. I have to acknowledge having received the order and appear to make progress.
Everything has to be done in a very specific way: I get much more leeway sometimes, having developed trust in my capabilities.
And the visions are poorly explained, so meeting the expectation is difficult when the thing is something new: With better delivered specifications and my asking questions to fill in the gaps.
Much of this is my understanding the boss’ expectations and processes better. Much of this could be her appreciating my efforts to keep her world efficient and well run.
I still am working on how to address the things that still frustrate her. For instance, I need to improve acknowledgement instead of just trying to complete it. Many times the task takes longer than a few seconds, so she thinks I am not paying attention.