conuly: (Default)
“These Programs Were Never About Terrorism: They’re About Economic Spying, Social Control, and Diplomatic Manipulation. They’re About Power”

http://bit.ly/JEchpJ

It’s Conservatives Who Really Want Christ Out of Christmas

They’re terrified America’s tiny number of atheists will change the meaning of the holiday. But conservatives are the ones who are really at war with its message.

http://thebea.st/1bOLyk1

Outagamie County judge rejects equal protection motion in prostitution case

His argument is that it's plenty fair that prostitutes get charged 40x more frequently than johns, especially in this case because she did it more than once but they were probably first timers. Load of bull if you ask me.

http://post.cr/1gIvJQr

Scientists 'print' new eye cells

http://bbc.in/19wGh0O

The Government Is Quietly Giving Way More Housing Aid To Rich People Than Poor People

So? What else is new?

http://read.bi/JLoN7r

Toddlers and preschoolers appear to understand abstract concepts better if you have them show you their understanding rather than asking them to explain it.

http://on.wsj.com/19Arl1M

5 CIA operations that went south -- spectacularly.

http://atfp.co/JsQ1Px

Poor People Deserve Digital Privacy, Too

http://slate.me/1cqjUqZ

The Trees That Miss The Mammoths

http://bit.ly/1cLmCef

7 New Yorkers About to Lose Their Unemployment Benefits Tell Their Stories

http://nym.ag/1dRJgAf

Articles!

Oct. 8th, 2010 10:12 am
conuly: (Default)
In Fierce Opposition to a Muslim Center, Echoes of an Old Fight

The comments are absolutely worthless, but get a load of this gem:

"How true. We all remember Catholic suicide bombers and how they wanted to replace the US constitution by biblical law (is there such a thing?) and how they chanted "My Catholic God is Great" after cutting the heads of innocent Protestants"

1. No, honey, that's the largely Protestant fundies you're talking about.
2. I guess nobody remembers the Spanish Inquisition anymore?


Read more... )

Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children
A woman misquoted in the article has her comment here.

My view is that if picture books aren't selling, it's because they only come in hardcover! I don't want to spend $16 on a new picture book when I can spend half that price on a longer chapter book! Sure, I can buy used, but that doesn't help the new books get printed, does it?


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Some states may be drugging incarcerated kids to control their behavior. Well, no shit.

Here's a quote from a brilliant guy who thinks the government is going to force people to eat their veggies. LOL!

Children need more play

Not enough PWDs on TV, again I say "well, no shit"

Let's not forget the extrasolar earthlike planet

An article on renegade female Catholic priests.

Migrant ‘Villages’ Within Beijing Ignite Debate


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An article on Romansh

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One on dishes LIKE ratatouille

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We may have found the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder!

Read more... )
conuly: image of a rubber ducky - "Somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you" (ducky predicate)
Last week one of the people waiting to pick up their kidlet from school noticed that said kid (in Ana's class, so first grade) had both shoelaces untied. "Didn't the teacher tie them for you???" "No." (Well, duh.) "Unbelievable!"

Unbelievable? UNBELIEVABLE?

Dude, they spent the greater part of last year learning to tie their shoes. (Except Ana, who already knew. She spent the greater part of the year conniving her teacher into tying them for her. "She can tie her shoes? But I've been doing it for her all this time!" "Well, don't.") There are 23 other students in that class besides your kid, and the teacher has a hundred better things to do every minute than tie their shoes. If she spent her day doing that, I'd like to know when she'd teach!

Now, I didn't learn to tie my shoes until late in my childhood. And nobody, but nobody expected my teachers to tie them for me!

If your kid can't tie their shoes in the first grade, well, it happens, but unlike when *I* was young *you* have the option of getting velcro for kids that big. Or springy laces that don't need tying. I just had to take the laces out of my shoes and go like that. (Or you could invest some serious time in trying to teach this, whatever.) But getting upset that the teacher isn't tying your kid's shoes? At the age of six or seven? That's what's unbelievable.

Heck, earlier this year Ana was late coming out the door because she'd tied her shoes together. The teacher tried to say sorry, but I was too busy laughing to hear her, really, and I didn't think it was her fault anyway. She's got a lot of kids to watch.

And when after getting safely down the stairs Ana took a step a little too big and fell I'm not ashamed to say I pointed out that if she'd spent her time doing something a little more profitable than tying her shoes together, this would never have happened. (Funnily enough, she actually did this again a week or so later, but this time she took smaller steps. Not the lesson *I* would have taken from this experience, but so long as she doesn't hurt herself, I guess.)
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
As we were walking home from school:

Evangeline: Billy in my class thought I was going to be picked up by my dad, and I said no, I know you're not my dad because my dad... it's a boy, not a girl!
Me: HE's a boy, honey.
Evangeline: Who's a boy?
Me: Your fa- I mean, you should say he's a boy, not it's a boy, we don't usually say "it" when talking about people.
Evangeline: No, if I said he's a boy they'd know he's a he. So I have to say it's a boy.

Can't argue with that logic, I suppose!
conuly: (Default)
We were walking, and I bumped her. As I bumped her, I said "Excuse me", to which she replied "You're welcome". Well, she said more like "Do welcome", which she doesn't do anymore :( I tried asking her today so I could get the pronunciation just right, but now she says it right, like a big girl. (That was the only place she didn't say "your" the way she was supposed to.)

Me: I'm welcome? Huh? I said Excuse Me!
Evangeline: *giggles* I'm sorry.
Me: It's all right. I'm sorry, I bumped into you!
Evangeline: I said you're welcome. I say that when you say... when you say...
Me: Thank you?
Evangeline: Thank you. I say you're welcome when you say thank you. Thank you! You're welcome!
Evangeline: Thank you, you're welcome, thank you, you're welcome.
Me: Yep.
Evangeline: You said sorry. Say sorry, Connie.
Me: Sorry?
Evangeline: It's okay. Sorry, it's okay, sorry, it's okay, sorry, it's okay.

I'm glad she has a grasp of the basic manners she's been learning for the past 4 years.

Today, she was speaking and I noticed that she said "nothing" like "nussing". Intrigued, I started bombarding her with say-this, coming up with all the words with th- in them I could (and making a few up). I alternated between voiced and unvoiced, but the pattern I eventually heard (before she got bored) was consistent... so if the unvoiced becomes -s, the voiced becomes -z and so on.

Th at the start of a word (this, then) becomes a stop (dis, den). Th between vowels becomes an alveolar fricative (nothing becomes nussing, mouthing with a voiced th becomes mouzing) unless it's before -er (or probably -ar, I have try that out!) (and she still turns -er into -or most of the time, which yes, does problems with the word "her"!) in which case it becomes a stop (mother becomes mudder). Th at the end of the word is a bilabial fricative (teeth becomes teef, bathe becomes bave). There's a few exceptions (anything becomes anyting... though it's possible she's thinking of it as any + thing, two words, which makes sense because thing is usually ting, that's why nussing caught my ear), but it seems pretty consistent, although I really have to start listening better instead of waiting for a quiet moment and pouncing.

As near as I can tell, she's essentially covered all her bases with regard to this weird th thing, except for the correct one! She knows how to make a th, I explicitly taught her one day when I was bored, she just doesn't unless I sit her down and exaggeratedly do it first and ask her to copy me. And I don't expect her to do it when talking either, it's one of the lastest sounds kids learn, isn't it?

Ana now has all her cursive lowercase letters down. I really didn't want to tackle z, it being a difficult and uncommon letter that looks nothing like its print form (apparently, it comes from the medieval form of the letter), but I built it up to her by saying that it's worth learning because it's fun to do, so she took to it relatively well. Today we wrote the week's sight words in cursive, and I wrote out a sentence for her to read. I think we'll just try for a word a day for next week, and then I'll teach her capitals.
conuly: image of Elisa Mazda (Gargoyles) - "Watcher of the City" (watcher of the city)
Clicky

In the comments, the very first comment is of the sort that really gets me - somebody implying that the only learning that counts as "learning" is the sort you do sitting in a chair that you can be tested on. Tying your shoes isn't learning, I suppose. Dealing with complex social situations isn't learning. Only math and reading are learning - and probably only if taught the way she thinks of as appropriate. Bah.

Read more... )

Incidentally, on the subject of homework - Ten minutes, per grade, per night. The National PTA and the National Education Association can be assumed to know something on this subject.
conuly: Quote from Heroes by Claire - "Maybe being different isn't the end of the world, it's just who I am" (being different)
They're all here, I'll just pick and choose

Not much snark this time )

I want to end with the closing paragraphs of the actual article:

Recently, Amy Utzinger, a mother of four in Tucson, Ariz., let her daughter, 7, walk down the block to play with a friend. Five houses. Same side of the street.

Afterward, the friend’s mother drove Mrs. Utzinger’s daughter home. “She said, ‘I just drove her back, just in case ... you know,’ ” recalled Mrs. Utzinger. “What was I supposed to say? How can you argue against ‘just in case’?”


I'll tell you how you argue against 'just in case'. You point out that the risk of dying in a fatal crash is so insanely high that you never let your child enter a car without your permission and stare at this woman as though she's deluded - which she is if she has to drive your kid five houses instead of, you know, walking her... or watching from the porch.
conuly: (ducky)
Here's one on the school whose kids had an amazing Lego city
And a reaction to said article, which I've never seen before.

And one, two, three articles I just got from FreeRangeKids. I'll crosspost that last article and then take on some of the comments in a bit. The comments are mostly decent, but that's because the NYTimes requires comments to be approved first.

Read more... )
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
Swing becomes fing. Sweep becomes feep. Switzerland becomes Fitzeryan.

Yesterday, she asked me if I could "s'ing" her. After I confirmed that she meant swing I asked, in dismay, if she could say sweep, could say swallow, could say Switzerland. "S'eep, s'a-yo, S'itzeryan."

I suppose this is a step forward, but I didn't want her to step forward! I wanted her to keep being the cute little kid who cutely asked me to fing her!

I've lately heard her saying "lollipop" instead of "yayipop" and "byoo" or "blue" instead of "b'ue", and - tragedy of tragedies! - "beyieve" instead of "abeev".

She clearly hasn't read and understood the memo: SHE IS NOT ALLOWED TO GET ANY OLDER. I tell her that, every day, but she laughs! She seems to think - and has even said as much! - that just because she "can't help it" that's an excuse for growing up! Not on my watch.
conuly: (Default)
One on a personal experience of Forest Kindergartens, a must-read

One on racism and anger and "Not Being a Racist".

Hey, I'm not a racist* but I think that I don't need to use profanity and petty indignation to express that fact. (This may be the only way to end "I'm not a racist" without sounding like a twit, come to think....)




*At least I don't think I am, and consciously figure the whole thing makes no sense. And I do hope people will smack me (metaphorically) should I ever need it.
conuly: (Default)
An article on psychological problems faced by Chinese-American children coming "home" to their parents after being sent to live with their grandparents. Interestingly, it seems the worst of these problems are caused by what ought to be a good thing - due to the proliferation of preschool, parents are calling their kids home at younger ages than they used to, at 2 instead of 6. Of course, two year olds are less likely to understand that these strangers are their *families*, you know?

Read more... )

An article on changing ways of life in the Amazon

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An article on Sephardic Jews on the Jersey Shore

Read more... )
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
I'm reading through the comments now.

It's a pity some of the examples chosen are so... weird, like the kid who peed in the friend's yard and whose mother was surprised he wasn't invited back.

Read more... )

There's a wide range of comments, but there are a few that keep coming up that I wanna reply to. (Alas, comments appear to be closed now, so I can't do so there.)

1. There's the "I don't want to sit where your kid's (potty-trained) naked butt has been" argument. This makes a lot of sense as a personal squick, but as a rational "because of germs" argument it fails. If your pants and underpants can't prevent the terrible germs from eating you from the bottom, why would the kid's pants and underpants have prevented the germs from getting on the seat in the first place??? Unless you're both naked on the same seat, in which case you're being a little hypocritical. (And it's not like kids are bastions of hygiene anyway. I'm more worried about sitting where their hands have been than their butts!)

I can only assume these are the people who, uh, sprinkle when they tinkle.

2. There's the "OMG! Pedophile! They'll hurt your kids!" argument which makes some more sense... except where it doesn't.

For most people, nudity is less alluring than a certain type of clothing. I don't know, I guess pedophiles could be different, but I suspect that most of them would also be more attracted to clothed kids (especially in, say, "grown-up" outfits that are vaguely sexualized) than naked ones.

2a. There's also the "I don't want pedophiles seeing my kids and not going near them!" argument, which is another one that works as a personal squick (and one I wouldn't argue with) but that probably doesn't harm the kid at all. I can only repeat my earlier argument and say that if they're getting off watching your kid, they're probably doing it no matter what your child is wearing. (Best not to think about it too much.)

3. There's the "If you don't clothe them fully from the time they're born, they'll never learn social norms!" argument, which is just nonsensical. We all learn things as we get older. (And just because somebody allows their child more freedom in this area does not mean that they never discipline their child. Logic, plz.)

4. And there's one more pedophile argument (we sure do have a lot of them) which runs "If you don't make them wear clothes, they'll have no idea something is wrong if an adult tries to harm them!"

That also makes no sense. Surely you can teach a kid about not touching private parts without making them wear clothes inside your own home? Or teach them that it's okay for KIDS to be naked but not grown-ups? Or, if you're a naturalist, teach them that some types of behavior are okay when naked, but not others?
conuly: image of Elisa Mazda (Gargoyles) - "Watcher of the City" (watcher of the city)
One on adding two Muslim holidays to the school calendar.

I understand the reasoning that you can't reasonably add EVERY possible holiday to the calendar, but it occurs to me that they get off all of July and August, plus part of June and September. They don't *actually* have to be off until the Tuesday after Labor Day, they really can start school the Thursday before if necessary to fit these extra holidays in.


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An article on laws requiring electronics companies to safely dispose of electronics

Read more... )

An article on how some societies have children who don't crawl. They're calling this research *new*, but as I've been referring people to these *very same studies* for years I wonder how new it can be.
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
I let her because, woo-hoo, I could nap until 9:30!

I forgot that this would mean she wouldn't take a nap later in the day. Well, shoot.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


She left her dolls on a porch for a minute, then panicked.

Evangeline: CONNIE! I have to get them, they'll be COLD and CRY.
Me: Um, you know they're just dolls, right?
Evangeline: They're babies!

She saw a bug today.

Evangeline: I'm scared of bugs, and Baby Jill is too!
Me: No she isn't, you know, she's a doll.
Evangeline: Well, she's still scared!

One of her dolls has closing eyes.

Evangeline: Sleeping Doll had a dream last night about....
Me: Did she? How do you know?
Evangeline: Because her eyes open and close. Duh.

Duh, Connie!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The other day, Ana and Evangeline had cookies. Cookies are cookies and I try not to give one a treat that's obviously bigger than the other. That's really not fair.

Ana broke her cookie in two pieces.

Evangeline: That's not fair! Now you have two, and I have one! YOU HAVE MORE THAN ME!
Me and Ana: No, it's the same amount, it's just that this cookie is broken.
Evangeline: NO! Connie, look how much she has! Look how much cookies are on her plate!

We eventually convinced her to just break her own cookie. It's a sign of the times, though - she's hit three with a vengeance. During her time-out yesterday (she refused to clear her fork off the table and I refused to let her up until she did) she said, with great emotion, "I'm NEVER gonna be your niece again!" Ye gods.

She's very honest, though. Before she gets up, I ask her if she's going to behave. "I don't know!!!!!"

Eva says:

eva i luv my sistr!
conuly: (Default)
So you don't want DW accounts, I can see that, but you could've entertained me anyway. I leave the house bored, I come home and it's still boring here!

2. Evangeline is in that age - hold on, let me interrupt you for an Important Bulletin:

Evangeline: Girls go to dance class, boys go to... work. I don't want to be a boy!

This has been an up-to-the-second update on what Evangeline is thinking! Stay tuned for more quotes

-back to what I was saying, she's at that age where every verb, every noun is regularized. One foot, two foots. I do, I doed. I bring, I bringed. Perfectly normal - and it's a step *up* from rote memorization, no matter how it sounds.

Lately, instead of saying "I b'inged this" like she had been, she's started saying "I b'ung it". So she's caught on to the fact that it's a weird formation, but she's still using a more regular form instead of the standard brought (or b'ought, I guess). And yes, I know brung is normal in some dialects.

3. She has some trouble with prepositions. Not literal ones like "Go up" and "Fall down" and "Put in" but the more metaphorical ones - "Is that cooled up yet?", "Slow up!" (I know some people say that. Nobody I know IRL), that sort of thing.

4. In the past few days she has finally - finally - begun making her s-blends. Sometimes. So sometimes it's swim instead of fim, and sting instead of ting. Not all the time, though, and it's clear she's working on it - she'll go ssssss - ting! very carefully.

Gah!

May. 30th, 2009 06:26 pm
conuly: (Default)
Those of you with kids, or who teach kids, or who have ever been around kids, or who have ever even been kids may know that children like to imitate adults. It's a big part of childhood, and an important part of the learning process.

Evangeline likes to pick up discarded Metrocards and "swipe" them before ducking the turnstile. She'll even do it on the bus (putting the card at the dispenser, beeping, and then going to sit down) if there's no line and I let her. Ana used to do that too. The nieces both enjoy putting things in containers and declaring that it's soup, or cake.

This desire to imitate grown-ups and bigger children permeates everything. Evangeline is desperate to read why? Because Ana reads, and I read, and her parents and Nanen read. Ana likes to flip pancakes and head to the corner store by herself why? Because these are GROWN-UP tasks.

And of course, as they're young children, one important part of being grown-up, from their perspective, is taking care of young children. They ask me to put their dolls and stuffed animals "up" in various carriers. They buckle them into the toy carseat. They give them time-outs, and naps, and meals. They catch adults and ask *them* to play the baby as well if they can! And of course, they breastfeed their toys. Sometimes they bottlefeed, and sometimes they clarify that they're using cups, but quite often they put the doll to the chest and make lipsmacking noises to indicate that the baby is having milk.

It's really cute, too.

A breastfeeding-friendly hospital in England put up a poster that features, among other things, a toddler pretending to nurse her doll. Well, why not? It's cute! Awwwww! Who could possibly object to a picture of a kid pretending to be a mom like her own Mommy?

Why I even ask that question, I don't know.

It's offensive. It's unnecessary. It's wrong, disgusting, not normal. NOT NORMAL??? What could be more normal than a kid acting like a kid? What could be more normal than babies nursing - the same way the vast majority of babies that have ever lived have been fed? What could be more normal than any of this?

To my knowledge, breastfeeders don't go en masse to the toystore and take all the dolls with all their toy bottles and then throw hissy fits about how "disgusting" it is. So can the rest of you show them a little... if not respect, at least common sense?

So if you happen to think that the subject matter of the poster is totally okay (for crying out loud, the shirt isn't even lifted!), there's information on how you can write to the hospital to lend your support here.
conuly: image of a rubber ducky - "Somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you" (ducky predicate)
(I finally set up my wireless again, so I'm totally upstairs while typing. This either rocks or sucks depending on how much computer time you figure I'll have...!)

Their mother hadn't sent Ana's vacation homework up with her, which meant I got stuck with it. That's all right, she just kinda plowed through it. (And yes, I *do* think vacation homework for kindergarten is silly, but I'm told that the other kids in her class have parents who want MORE homework. The mind boggles, let me tell you.)

One of Ana's homeworks (she only has three left for the weekend - the daily "what the weather is" picture, her "my favorite thing I did this week" picture and two sentences, and a math set (they're working with coins) that she didn't want to finish) involved rhyming words. There were four words in each row (in four different rows), three of which rhymed. This was pretty badly done as the non-rhyming word always made a minimal pair with a rhyming word - bug, rug, and rag, for example. It would've been more challenging if they hadn't. But I digress.

The final row had these four words: pin, pen, ten, hen.

Can you see the problem with that? Say the list aloud. If you automatically figure out the problem, gold star! If not, go here. As it happens, I have the pin-pen merger. I think I must have gotten it from my dad, as neither my mother nor sister has it and they used to tease me about it. (Because I didn't get enough of that at school, guys?) I remember sitting in speech (therapy) lessons as a kid, the only year I had actual instruction in those, working it out in my head how weird it was that there was no short-e before n, even when it's written in that way! I literally don't hear it when other people say it unless I'm listening for it, and I feel as though I'm twisting my mouth unnaturally to produce it myself.

So when I saw this I listened with great interest to see what Ana would do.

She carefully read the words (didn't have to sound them out!), and as soon as she got to pin and pen she stopped. Read them again, the whole list. Frowned. Sounded each word out carefully. "Connie, they all rhyme!"

So what do I do? Do I tell her to ignore her instincts and fill out the words that look like they rhyme? That's what she used to do when she was three. Do I let her fill out all of them and look like she didn't get it at all? I compromised by telling her that there's a good reason they put four rhyming words there, telling her to fill them all in, and writing a note to her teacher explaining this. Then, she she was done, I explained the pin-pen merger and talked her through the steps of a simple linguistic survey. We're totally stopping family members to see who has it and who doesn't today!

[Poll #1385210]

This isn't the first time I've had a language quibble with Ana's homework. Once she had to do "initial sounds that match" and one of the examples was a P word with a "pan". Except that I generally say skillet, and she generally says skillet, and when we don't say skillet we say frying pan. But she breezed right through that without a thought, proving that she understands very well how to do worksheets.
conuly: (Default)
Today I came out with "You Take The High Road" and "Bonnie George Campbell" and... oh, some other songs which, in retrospect, were all Scottish.

She's been paying attention recently, and now she asks me questions about them. Like "So, the low road is shorter, that's why you'll get there before me, right?" and "But WHY did he never return? Did he get lost? He DIED? WHY DID HE DIE? How do you know he died?" and... oh, the other day she asked a very interesting one about "Who is it that is happy?" and I said it was me, and she wanted to know who it was in the song. She'd caught on to the idea that the person singing the song isn't necessarily the speaker in the song, which is a sophisticated idea, isn't it? It's disconcerting. Ana certainly never asked, and it took her until she was five to suddenly realize that Barbara Allen isn't exactly a laugh-a-minute. (Well, it is, but only once you realize how impossibly maudlin and absurd the whole scenario is.)

Here's a question for you. A lot of songs I sing aren't in exactly in the language I speak, either because they're old, or because they're from another part of the more-or-less-English-speaking world. Like Scotland. This leads to two problems:

1. Words that don't have meaning to me, or that have the *wrong* meaning to me, such as "resigned we may be to our greetin'", to me "greeting" doesn't in any way mean "weeping", even though I know that's what the song means.

2. Rhymes that don't. This is worse than the first category!

How does one deal with that? As I see it, I have a few options.

A. I can ignore it and sing it the way I'd say those words. This option hurts my ears.

B. I can fake the appropriate accent. This is not possible, and is patently absurd.

C. I can sing it the way I'd sing it, but say those words the way the rhyme and meter demand. This just sounds silly.

D. I can try for an appropriate (and poetic!) translation into my own dialect and sing that. This is what I generally do (folk process and all), but I get this vague feeling like it's wrong and if people heard me who knew the original they'd be shocked and horrified. And then my mind throws up phrases like "cultural appropriation" and, honestly, I feel ashamed to even say this, but I was happier when I didn't know what that meant (although I *still* had those guilty feelings about changing the words).

So mostly I go with E. which is "Do option D, but don't sing the songs where anybody can really hear you other than your family", which is unsatisfying.

What do you think?
conuly: (Default)
And after she broke it she came running up and said "Connie! I broke my stick with using my hand!"

This might be a simple error like people make all the time - starting to say "with my hand" but deciding mid-word to go with "using my hand" instead - except that I feel certain I've heard her use the "with verbing" construction before, if not very recently.

I like it a lot, actually :)
conuly: (Default)
She does. Evangeline is a very fluent speaker, moreso for her age than her sister, I think, but Ana communicates better, when she has a mind to. And she's better with conflicts than I think I've ever been, certainly when I was five!

A few weeks ago, for example, she was frustrated with her sister poking over her shoulder as she worked with her paper dolls - a toy that's largely off-limits to Evangeline because she's only three and might reasonably rip them (and anyway, they're Ana's). Instead of doing what I expected from her (and from any five year old, really), which is some combination of whining, screaming, tattling, and pushing, she did something innovative and very effective:

Evangeline: *shoveshovegrab*
Ana: *moving away slightly and turning her body*
Evangeline: ANA! YOU'RE BEING MEAN TO ME!
Ana: I'm sorry, but you can't just do that, I don't want to play with you when you do.
Evangeline: YOU'RE BEING MEAN TO ME!!!
Ana: *workworkwork*
Evangeline: You're being mean to me!
Ana: *workworkityworkwork*
Evangeline: You're being mean.
Ana: *workworkwork*
Evangeline: Can I see that? It's pretty.
Ana: Sure! Here, why don't you help me? You can't do *this*, but you can do *that*.
Evangeline: Okay.
Me: Uh....

I listened to it, and I've thought it over, and for the life of me I can't figure out why it worked. Some of it is Evangeline's more-or-less easygoing personality, but... I don't get it. And yet, it did work, and very well.

Yesterday, she was being chased at the playground by another girl, and she came up to me to tattle and get... I don't know, a hug? Advice? Me yelling at this child? Apparently the girl was chasing her and saying "mean things", but what mean things, I don't know. So we cycled through the options of "Don't chase me" and "I'll tell your mom" and "I don't like that", and finally I grit my teeth and suggested that if all else failed, she could pull a line like "I don't want to chase. That's silly" combined with turning her back on the girl and standing absolutely still. (They can't chase you if you're not running.)

As she was talking to me, the little girl came up, and, in fact - before I gave her that last bit of advice - Ana was already using it. The girl opened her mouth, and Ana turned around and didn't look at her. I *know* I didn't grasp that sort of body language subtlety at her age. There's no way. How does she know these things?

At any rate, some time later the girl came up to her again, and Ana turned to walk away without so much as deigning to reply to her, but the girl said "Wait" and started a civil conversation, something about if Ana could go down the bar slide or not. I was trying desperately to eavesdrop, but I just couldn't get a good spot, and when I did, Evangeline called for me. Grrr.

(Incidentally, I'm very firm with Ana that she mustn't tell lies unless she can tell good lies, which is apparently the same line my father gave me. "You always say that!" she says, and she's right, I *do* always say that. Why? Because it's damn good advice, that's why. If I say I bought something, and Ana says no, Daddy did and he plans to use it for dinner, I know one of us has to be lying and for sure it isn't me. The problem is that she *is* good at lying, she's very convincing. Fortunately, her lies are so a. predictable and b. over-the-top that she's still easily caught in them. She's bound to smarten up sooner or later, though.)
conuly: (Default)
It reveals so much, not just about how she speaks, but about how she *thinks* she speaks.

Like this word: Tiyrd. What is that? Tired, of course. I heard her sound it out - the y is consonantal, the r is... syllabic? Is that the word? Whatever, it's off making its own r sound. Because that's how she says the word, of course. (It's roughly how I say the word too, but I'd never write the y in there, even in a word I'd never seen spelled. Why? Because I know that ys don't just pop up in the middle of words, even if you say them.)

Button becomes btn. But apple becomes apul. Same vowel, but sometimes she writes it and sometimes she doesn't. I'm not sure of the logic. I *think* it has to do with the fact that in button that "u" sound (as she'd write it) is at the end of the vowel, but in apple it's more or less at the beginning, and she's been carefully taught that when she says the sound a consonant makes she shouldn't add a gratuitous "uh" at the end. B makes the b sound, not the BUH sound. (This ended one bit of confusion, but - if I'm right - has clearly started a whole OTHER bit of confusion instead.)

Pancake - the word of much pride - is inevitably "pancaek". She knows about silent e, and wants to cram it in there as soon as possible.

She puts a lot of ds and bs where I'd put ts and ps (and she reverses d and b a lot too, just to add to the fun!) because I guess she hears them as voiced when they're between vowels. I don't, and I don't think I say them that way either, but she does.

Edit: She still gets caught up on words like train and tree, by the way. I noticed it well before she started writing and reading, that she processed those words the way they're said - chrain, chree. But she doesn't know how to *write* the ch sound, and it annoys her. I keep telling her it's a t when you write it, but....
conuly: (Default)
Not very often - I strive to dress her warmly enough that it doesn't come up. (Which reminds me, I wanted to get both of them some nice thermals.) But it has happened.

Today it was cold. It was very cold. And when we all came inside from picking up Ana, they started to play with their dolls. Their dolls... were cold. (Apparently. How they could be cold staying home with the heaters on and tucked under blankets I just don't know. I didn't ask.) They were so cold that, as Evangeline said, her doll, Baby Jill, was "frigering". She said it several times, I didn't mishear it.

And do you know what? From a girl who rarely has cute and unusual utterances, who speaks very clearly and correctly but not, I think, as imaginatively as some other children*, this is beyond adorable. And I can work out exactly how she came up with that translation of "shivering", too!

*Not that I'm complaining. But it's fun sometimes listening to children come up with new ways to express themselves to make up for the fact that they just don't speak that well yet (like the boy I saw who wanted to explain that penguins slide on the ice and, lacking the vocabulary, jumped off a chair and bellyflopped on the floor to make his point), and Evangeline... well, she speaks very well indeed. That's all.)
conuly: (Default)
In which Ana and Evangeline are total BFFs! )

In which Evangeline is some sort of anti-procrastination superhero! )

So, Ana used to call her sister Eva-banana. This makes a lot of sense to a four year old, because people often call her Ana-banana. Recently she's started to realize why it doesn't make perfect sense, so now she's trying out combinations like "Eva-baneva" and "Connie-banonnie". I suppose this makes perfect sense to her as a five year old :)
conuly: (Default)
She says "cairon" for crayon. I got bored and quizzed her yesterday:

Me: Can you say "crane"?
Her: C'ane.
Me: Can you say "cradle"?
Her: C'ado
Me: Can you say "crayon"?
Her: Cairon.
Me: Can you say "crazy"?
Her: C'azy.
Me: Can you say... uh...
Ana: Ask her if she can say rock and roll!
Me: *sigh* Can you say rock and roll?
Her: Wock an woll.

So, yes. But crayon, despite all expectations, is consistently cairon.
conuly: (Default)
She, like her sister before her, has spontaneously formed the word "amn't". It's a useful word. Pity it doesn't exist in our dialect. Like, not even remotely. I wish it did.
conuly: (Default)
Where did Ana learn to say "Have you" instead of "Do you have"? I can only think of one situation where I'd say "have you", and that's while singing Baa Baa Black Sheep.

Incidentally, why is it that every time people mention "songs that all have the same melody" they're sure to use Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as their demonstration (indeed, that's the demonstration tune for every concept ever, doubly for children) with the alphabet song as another with that tune, but never mention Baa, Baa Black Sheep, which uses the same tune as the first two?

Evangeline now uses one contraction that I've heard. Didn't.

She also says "her" for "she", and probably "him" for "he" as well. Ana had a friend who did that until she was five or so. Her kindergarten teacher wasn't worried, but other people noticed it all the time, not just because she was five but, more importantly, because she looked like a seven or eight year old. *sighs* It's tough being tall sometimes.
conuly: (Default)
Warning - this is a horrific story of child neglect. Read at your own risk, and respect the bold lettering

A follow-up is here

Discussion of the above article )

So, you know, in the morning I'm going to wake up, and I'm going to go upstairs, and I'll boil the oatmeal, and I'll poke my sister until she wakes up, and I'll hug Ana, and I'll hug Evangeline, and I don't know what we're doing but I know two little girls who spend their days being hugged and tickled and cuddled and kissed and (mostly) spoken to nicely by their family. I'm even still upset about Tuesday, but we've been spending their grounding with a lot of attention. (And, you know, you limit their toys to one at a time and take some away - and I do believe they've had the most fun, creative play they've had in *months*. Which just goes to show that there is such a thing as toy overload. Of course, I'm always going "Wow, cool thing, I so want to play with that the nieces must have that! BUY!" and not being sensible. I tell you, it's a good thing Haba is so expensive or their kitchen would be stocked and then some...!)
conuly: (Default)
(He'll literally buy more milk or eggs than he can hope to drink (there are six cartons of milks in the fridge right now) and then toss them the day before the sell-by date because "they go bad".)

We walked in the house when we came here, and there are bags of avocados. Guess they're cheaper in California than back home, right? Home, they're a dollar apiece - when they're in season, and if they're on sale. I think I'll buy a few bags to bring home with me when I leave, and I'm asking my mom to do the same. I love me some guacamole, but it's a treat, because avocados are just so expensive!

'cdotes )
conuly: (Default)
She was thinking about climbing up on a wall. Above the wall is a chain-link fence. Part of the fence was bent and pushing out onto the top of the wall, which would make it difficult to walk on that section of wall.

To explain why she wasn't climbing up there, she said "I can't, because of that's falling down" (emphasis mine).

Now - what does "that's" mean? Is it an accusative (can I say that in English? You know, most of what I know about grammar, which is already precious little, is in Latin... and a lot of that is wrong, WHICH IS WHY I AM CONFUSING ALL MY LITTLE DECLINING WORDS), like she'd say "because of him falling down"? (This seems most likely) Is it trying to be a possessive, is "falling down" some sort of quality you can own? (Probably not, but who knows?) Is it a mistake, one that everybody makes, where she was trying to run with "because of that" and "because that is" at the same time? (She didn't hesitate or stutter, so that seems slightly less likely.) Does she just not understand the rules governing "of"? (Doubtful - I'd've noticed before, wouldn't I?)

I've been thinking about this all day now, and I don't know any way to find out!
conuly: (Default)
I don't think Ana will do soccer this year - soccer for fives conflicts with gardening, and she alternates between loving and hating it. We'll do something more informally.

But she is still four until next Thursday, so we tried it one more time to see if she'd gotten over her issues with the coaches (she's holding a grudge because one of them corrected her once, which is why she doesn't like soccer all the time. This was nine months ago, and the program only runs May through October anyway), and she hadn't. I was with a friend of mine whom I *really wish* hadn't come, because her children are not old enough for the program, named "soccer for fours". Yes, last year they said her little ones could join in, but they should not have said that. This woman had to hover over her two and chase them around the whole time, and it just got in the way of the four year olds - the program is for kids who can more or less do what the coach tells them while their adults sit on the side and provide water.

Another woman was there with her two year old, and I was playing the silly game with Evangeline, and Evangeline said, finally, that my name is not Eva. Who am I, I asked? "You are Connie!"

Other woman thought that saying "are" is adorable, instead of just saying "you Connie" or even "Connie" - I totally didn't get this because, of course, are has been in her vocabulary almost since she started using sentences. She's a very verbal child.

Doesn't use contractions, though. Oh, she did - for about three weeks, when she started using sentences. Then she realized that contractions are, well, contractions, and since then she hasn't used a one. It's always "That is FUNNY" and "You are being SI-YEE!" and "I can not, Connie!" (her whine every time she's frustrated before even trying to do something) and even sometimes "I did verb" in situations where normally we would not say "I did" but just "I verbed".

Nary a contraction in the lot, ever.

Just call her Data. I do... or I would if calling her Evangelooney weren't more fun.

(Oh, and another example of not using contractions? We were playing Sleeping Queens today (it's a fun game, even for adults, and Evangeline can REALLY PLAY IT if we keep her from bending the cards and help her distinguish some of the power cards. She's even won a few times), and at one point Evangeline had a chance to take a queen from another player, and she decided to take one of MY queens, even though Ana had more cards and was therefore closer to winning. (Ana also had a dragon, which would have prevented the queen from being stolen, so she got irritated by this, but I'm the one with a view of her cards, not Evangeline.) When asked why she did this, Evangeline answered (sensibly, I think, although it does indicate very clearly the need for good sportsmanship!) that she didn't take Ana's card because "Then she will cry if I take her card, Nanen. My sister will cry." I don't cry, of course - I'm a grown-up, and am expected to Set a Good Example... even if I'm losing to a two-year-old, and if you can't reasonably cry then, when can you cry?)
conuly: (Default)
"I only like it when it's been cutten."

That's really a somewhat unusual construction, been verb-en, and of course it doesn't even apply for the word cut, so I'm thrilled as punch that she came up with it on her own. A few months ago she spontaneously came up with the word thunk, which wasn't so thrilling since other people use that word.

It's strange, though. I thought the tendency was for kids to make words with less common forms into words with more common forms - not the other way around!
conuly: (Default)
One about a woman who GASP! let her 9-year-old take the train home. (I don't think that's a very big deal, although I do think that nine may be a year young for a ride with a transfer).

Naturally, (some) people talk about this like the woman was feeding her child to rabid bunnies or something.

"It's a different world from when we grew up!!!!"

That's what I hear all the time. And I'm sick of it, I really am. You know why?

Because it is a different world. It's a safer world, for one. You want to go and google the violent crime rates in 1998, and 1988, and 1978, and then 2007 (or whenever the most recent year is), you go do that. I'll wait. I'm not even going to bother confirming the number because I do that every time I hear that line, and every time I find out that, wow, the violent crime rates dropped an insane amount over the past few decades.

"Oh, but what about stranger danger?????"

What about it? Yes, I know stranger abductions do happen, somewhat less than 13000 a year (in the entire country!)... but most abductions are family affairs. As for rape and murder, the vast majority of that also happens within a family, or a group of trusted friends, or other people the child knows and trusts. Strangers... not so much. And everything I'm reading right now tells me that stranger abductions have also been decreasing in prevalence... not that they ever were common, you understand.

But you try to tell people this, and they insist you're wrong. And they won't check their facts even in the slightest.

We've been reading a lot of "classic kids books" lately. Ramona. The books by Ezra Keats. Pippi Longstocking. Ramona walks to kindergarten alone. Peter, at no older than six, goes out to do some shopping for his mother and plays in the snow all day. And Pippi, of course, lives alone... but even her parented friends have a lot more freedom than you'd expect!

It's scary stuff, really.
conuly: (Default)
Children running outside in the snow. Nearly naked.

Not that surprising when you consider that I know several very young children who would jump at the chance to do just that. What is it with kids and taking off all their clothes the second they can? They can practically see their breath some days, and what do they do? Run around naked!

Welcome to my life, where it's all naked, all the time. *sighs* But at least I can say that I hardly ever splash them with cold water.
conuly: (Default)
I'd taken down their hammocks (that's not why they got to bed late, it just explains why they were overhyper) and when I put them back I put them on the wrong hooks.

Evangeline walked in, stared at it a minute, and then her jaw literally dropped. "CONNIE! Das not right! Das SI-YEE! Dat MAH hammak, na Ana's! Dis mine? NO! You put hammaks BACKWARDS!"

Of course, when it came time to go to bed, she flipped out, so we had to switch the hammocks back anyway.

Between seeing the hammocks and flipping out, we played catch. I threw her little squishy ball and said "catch", and she got kinda upset. "Cana! Dis na a 'cash'. It a BALL!"

"Uh, no. I mean, yes, it *is* a ball, but catch doesn't mean the ball, it means what you do. You throw the ball, and then I catch the ball. Now I throw the ball, and you catch it." (She didn't, but that's not the point.)

So she caught on to that idea, and said "catch" every time she threw the ball, and even tried to work it into some sentences there. I actually think this is the first time she's learned a word through being explicitly taught rather than just threw osmosis.

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