conuly: (Default)
Fun and Play Are Key to Survival for Bears, Dogs, Humans, Birds and Maybe Even Ants

New Playgrounds Are Safe—and That's Why Nobody Uses The

I've said it before and I'll say it again: playgrounds are designed differently than they were when we were young, and some of that is safety but a lot of it is a totally different idea of how the space should be used. Everybody always mentions "No more seesaws!" as their big bugaboo, but I'm not convinced that seesaws are less common simply for safety reasons. Rather, I suspect they're less common because they take up a lot of space, can really only be used in one or two ways (which don't as easily lend themselves to imaginative play as some newer concepts do, although kids always find a way), and can only be used by a very few children at a time. Safety is probably part of it, but I doubt it's all of it. (Of course, that doesn't mean that boring, uninspiring but "safe" playgrounds using older concepts of isolated structures don't exist. Of course they do. But there were boring playgrounds 50 years ago as well. And the children walked uphill in the snow both ways to play there, in the boring playgrounds, and they liked them anyway, right?)

And finally, a nice long clip about an outdoor "kindergarten" (in the more European sense of "preschool through age 5" rather than in the more American sense of "five year olds' class") in Norway. Many of the comments are in reply to some inane woman who is just terrified at seeing a knife in a 5 year old's hand or watching a small child light a match with guidance and a grown-up right there supervising.

"What could have happened!" Well, I suppose the match could have dropped into the child's clothing and he'd've had to stop drop and roll, as we tell them in America. But nothing did happen, and it's far better to teach a child how to light a fire safely than to risk that they'll get into the matches one day and NOT light a fire safely. "It's so scary seeing a five year old holding a knife!" It's so scary seeing a five year old who is unable to cut her own food at lunchtime. Hell, Ana went to open a can of tuna the other day and, as she didn't immediately see the can opener, hacked at it with a very dull kitchen knife (thank god, because when I heard this I panicked that she'd ruined one of my newly-bought ceramic ones!) until it was open. No, I'm not joking. It was a little frightening to see the can carnage after the fact. (She's very self-sufficient. Of course, she could've saved a lot of effort by simply asking where we'd put the can opener....)

(Also, yes, I know that for most cutting needs sharp knives are much safer than dull ones. I sometimes see people online saying they let their small children cut things "with butter knives". Please don't do this. If your child is old enough to cut anything harder than play-dough, give them a real knife. They're less likely to cut themselves, and if they DO cut themselves they'll do a lot less damage. Trust me. As a clumsy person, I know!
conuly: image of a rubber ducky - "Somewhere, somehow, a duck is watching you" (ducky predicate)
Could Conjoined Twins Share a Mind?
There are pictures here
And a little blog post on how raising children with special needs can be so damaging to their typical sibllings.

The comments to the article are *mostly* okay, but there are several that are just as bad as you expect. My replies to these, in order are:

1. Four year old children are not inspirational simply because they exist
2. You are in no place to judge the quality of their life
3. Human lives are not valued according to how costly they are
4. It's not morally wrong to have an abortion, but it's ALSO not morally wrong to NOT have an abortion, have you ever heard of "choice"? Either of you?
4a. Yes, even if you're poor!
5. Yes, given the dentist's concerns, the juice in the sippy at bedtime is a bit distressing. Not actually abusive, but probably not the wisest decision. I'm glad to know that there's always a chance to rag on people who give their kids juice. Keeps my world steady!

Comments aren't closed, so you can still get in there and make a general comment to the point that disability and difference don't make your life not worth living!

Read more... )
conuly: Good Omens quote: "Kids! Bringing about Armageddon can be dangerous!" (armageddon)
Specifically, the AAA is considering changing their recommendation to encourage parents to rear-face their kids until the age of two.

They're about a decade behind the times here (although apparently they're still just ahead of the AAP on this), but you know, it's something.

However, you'll note that over at Pat's Papers he's going "I'm doubtful it'd work for two year olds, they'll complain about what they can't see".

OMG, did that ever set my internet argument senses tingling! Fortunately, armed with years of experience on LJ I was able, within minutes, to find a video showing the view from a rear-facing carseat. Wow, look - the baby can see things! I also can find videos showing older children in RF-carseats interacting with other family members, sitting comfortably or sleeping even though their legs are crossed or tucked up or kicked up on the seat back (including one where the poster specifically commented that now that her child is bigger he complains about his feet dangling, and he never complained before!), and generally being happy.

Which wipes out most of the common arguments. NOT the one about space in the car (there probably are ways to make your rear-facing carseat take up less space, or more compact ones, but I don't know) and NOT the one about what to do if your child really DOES scream all the time in the carseat, but not when forward-facing. (In real life, I understand that this can be a problem. However, I do not think it is responsible to mention it as a HUGE problem when you haven't tried it and you're talking to other people who haven't tried it. Don't discourage them first! Not unless you're selling condoms, in which case the cost of carseats can be a selling point.)

The thing is, when it comes to really fast really heavy vehicles? Safety actually comes first. This is not a "OMG, if I let my kid play outside she'll be kidnapped and killed!!!!" issue because that actually doesn't happen very often. And it's not a "OMG, there's no WAY I can let my 10 year old stay in the house alone, she'll burn the house down!!!" because if that's actually likely to happen then you and your kid probably need help. Car crashes, by contrast, are actually THE number one killer of children under the age of 15 (that is, non-drivers), killing about 2,000 kids yearly. And they seriously injure or permanently disable countless others.

Proper car seat safety doesn't unreasonably limit your child (I mean, they're in a CAR, it's not like they could move that much anyway) and it could save your kid's life. Maybe not in the worst, most epic disaster ever... but certainly in many more garden-variety crashes. (And yeah - sure, all us people posting online today survived bad carseats and no carseats. However (and I hate to use this argument, but I'm going to!), plenty of other children didn't. Unless you expect them to post from beyond the grave or something...?)
conuly: Picture taken on the SI Ferry - "the soul of a journey is liberty" (boat)
I put the nieces to bed by 8:30 - Jenn and 'dul are out partying.

At 11:00 they came downstairs saying they couldn't sleep. I spent 20 minutes putting them back to sleep before thinking the following:

1. This is ridiculous
2. It's almost midnight
3. I can not beLIEve how hard it is to make them sleep!
4. You know, their parents will want to sleep late tomorrow
5. Might as well let them stay up another half hour to see the ball drop

So I dragged them downstairs to my grandmother's TV, and we watched Word World until 11:57, when we watched the ball drop. I dragged them out to the porch to bang pots and pans half-heartedly (might as well do this right, right?) and then brought them back to bed.

And spent the next hour and ten minutes of my life trying to make them sleep. D'oh! I guess you could say that I really dropped the ball when it came to bedtime! (Yes, yes, I have been trying to make that joke several times all day.)

It was fun watching them be excited about the new year. Me, I found it much more interesting back when I didn't routinely stay up past midnight.... Of course, that's always the way, isn't it? When you're a child, you promise yourself that when you're a grown up you'll stay up late just because you want to and you'll buy those temporary tattoos and tubs of "slime" and choking-sized jawbreakers at the supermarket every day or even more often with your own money, and you'll eat cake whenever you please.

And then you grow up, and you can do all these things, and - cruel trick of time! - you find out that you just don't care anymore and you were a fool as a child to spurn naps in favor of being "grown up". Oh, it's disheartening to be a grown-up sometimes.
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: (Default)
The other day she was very cranky, so I gave her her nap late - like, at 4:50 PM! Her sister was very upset that I woke her up at 6. "She hasn't napped long enough! She'll be cranky!" and was very solicitous of her for the rest of the evening - cleaning up for her, that sort of thing, and glaring reproachfully at me if I said anything even remotely stern or strict to Evangeline. "Connie, you know she's just cranky because she hasn't had enough of a nap. You shouldn't've woken her!" Well, an hour long nap isn't very long, but it was that or let her be up all night, Ana...!

Evangeline is so cute lately. She talks about her "invibbible" friend, and about how there are no e-yephants/wermaids/p'incesses/d'agons in "this yand". Where does she even pick that up, in this land?

Spy camp?

Mar. 25th, 2009 11:05 pm
conuly: (Default)
SPY CAMP. Apparently, this is just one option at this (insane) summer camp, you can pick and choose what to do. Like SPY CAMP. And paintball camp, and circus camp, and did I mention SPY camp?

They take campers from first grade (entering second) through high school.

I am clearly much too old. This makes me a sad Connie :( *sigh* Another one of my dreams dashed with the cruel realities of time!
conuly: (Default)
I told it to Ana when she asked for yet another story about "you when you were a kid", but I don't think she got the point.

My first (and only) experience cheating )
conuly: (Default)
Not quoting any of them here.

One thing that really got me, as in it actually upsets me, is looking at picture books and seeing a review that the person in question didn't like it because although they found the book cute, funny, well-written, nicely illustrated, or this and that, they didn't like it because it's not up to their educational standards.

They say something along the lines of how books for their kids all have to have some sort of redeeming value - if they don't actively teach new vocabulary then they have to have a moral, if they don't teach geography than there should be some math in there.

I have two things to say here.

The first is that these people are often blind to the literacy-building potential of the books they're criticizing - they don't see the repetition, the clever wordplay, the onomatopoeia as helping language skills, which is entirely to their loss. (And they never, *ever* see use of non-standard language as a good thing, but that's beside the point.)

The second, more important point is this:

I don't think these people really enjoy reading.

Certainly, they can't see any point in reading for its own sake if they feel they have to choose books based on their dubious educational value.

Oh, I'm not saying that you shouldn't read books that have some form of lesson, or that it shouldn't be a factor in which books you pick out from the library. I just don't think it should be the defining factor.

It actually reminds me of a comment I got in the 8th grade. (That was with the English teacher who thought her interpretation of Julius Caesar was the only possible one, and didn't even realize "it was his destiny" was intended as a joke.)

I read all the time. She knew I read all the time. The whole class knew I read all the time. The whole *school* must have known, because random strangers sure kept asking me why I read all the time! I was easily identified by my nose in a book at all times.

If it weren't for my reluctance to do any work, I would clearly have had some of the best grades in her class. I certainly did well enough on the tests, with no effort or preparation whatsoever.

One day I'm entering or leaving class, and she noticed the book I was reading. Sixth Grade Secrets. I really liked that book. Still do, in fact. I mean, it's Louis Sacher, people!

And she stopped me and asked me why I was reading a book that was "too easy" for me.

I was confused and upset by the question then, but it took me a while to figure out why. Now I know, though.

I remember my IEP. By the 4th grade - four years before this incident - I tested as having a college reading level. While I doubt the woman knew exactly how well I read, she must have surely had some clue. It wasn't exactly a secret. And yet, she thought that I should treat reading as... as some kind of race, trying to improve myself. It wasn't enough to read well, or to enjoy reading. No, I had to read progressively harder books, simply because they're, what, difficult?

How stupid. How pointlessly, utterly absurd to say to a child!

This is why many children don't enjoy reading. It's not something they're naturally good at, they don't get that much practice at it either, and when they do read it's treated as a chore, something to do for its redeeming social value, not something to do because it's fun. Heaven forbid you buy a book for your child simply because you enjoy it - no, it has to do double duty and teach him something or it should just stay right there on the shelf!

And there's nothing wrong with learning from books. I read to learn easily as much as I read just for fun. It's just that, especially with children, the emphasis really ought to be on the fact that books are entertaining. Who cares if they educate? Your kids can spend their whole lives being educated, but that's not exactly going to make a lifelong reader out of them.

Now, I'm certain that the books these well-meaning adults ultimately choose for their children are also fun to read. At least I hope so. But I'm still irked at the suggestion that their priorities are superior because they only pick educational books for their kids. That's not a way to approach reading. Not a way to live your life. Just... not.
conuly: (Default)
Two or three episodes a day. Well, it won't kill them, and everybody in the house BUT them and me sleeps in, so they need to be contained.

In the past, I've watched Dora. God is that an obnoxious show. If you have to cajole children into participating, you're doing it wrong. It's insulting to everybody to be asked an already insultingly simple question, and then be nagged into giving the reply, or have to sit through several seconds of silence before the answer is given.

But you know what really annoys me about this show? What really, really annoys me?

Nobody on that show seems to understand that the possessive of Boots is not Boots, but Boots'. Maybe it's just me, but if I were refering to Boots' boots, or his books, or his birthday, I'd say "Boots-iz such-and-fuch" not merely "Boots such-and-fuch".

Drives me batty.
conuly: (Default)
A very tiny scar, and you'd only see it if you got up very close and searched for it.

I got it when I fell off the bunk bed as a kid and scratched my ear up on the card table chair. Had to have stitches. My nose bled several times in the hospital waiting room. Was quite adamant about not having the stitches taken out, but eventually my parents, and reason, prevailed.

I just now told my sister how I fell - see, I'd had it in my mind that I could get off the top bunk upside down, and sort of flip or something directly onto the bottom bunk.

Well, midway between up and down, it occurred to me that my plan was lacking in a certain amount of... well... common sense. It wouldn't work.

And now I was stuck. I couldn't get where I wanted to go, and I couldn't get back up, either. After trying for a few minutes to find another way, I finally decided that the only thing I could do was to drop. So I did.

It would have worked, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling chairs.

Well, of course, after my family found out I'd fallen, and after they worked out that I was *bleeding* (I was trying to hide the evidence - at this point, I was pretty upset, and a little scared), they rushed me to the hospital, where I was very bored for several hours, until, sometime past midnight, I got sewn up.

I told the part to my sister that she didn't know about (the stuff inside my head, that is), and she commented that I must have been "panicking, and really scared". This actually took me by surprise, because, in fact, I *wasn't* scared to be stuck upside down! Annoyed, and not exactly happy, but not scared. I was pretty calm about the whole thing, right up until the point where I got hurt.

It occurs to me as well that there was a third option I never considered until just a few minutes ago. I could have called for help. But for some reason, that option never entered my head in my childhood, not then, and not on other occasions as well. I don't know if my life would have been better or worse if it ever had.
conuly: (Default)
I've asked over in [ profile] parenting101 and I've asked over in TBW and the answers that I've gotten have mostly been... less than helpful*.

Angelique has been asking (again!) about how the baby is made. She still thinks that we're cooked to become alive, and she presumably still thinks we're eaten, too. Which makes a certain kind of sense, and is why I no longer say that a baby is in a tummy. It's always "womb", and often even "womb, which is near the tummy, but not, because the tummy is for food, right?"

Last time she asked, I told Jenn, and we agreed on getting a book, and... nothing ever came of that.

So today, I want book recommendations. Books that treat the subject simply and plainly and honestly, and that will make sense to a fairly bright four year old, or even a not so bright four year old who thinks, or wants to think, that we're baked like cookies.

And please - unless you have a copy in English that I can buy, no links to scans of that German book that actually shows what goes on prior to conception and says that people have sex because it feels nice. While that's the sort of attitude I appreciate (though I'd of course run it by Jenn and 'dul first!), I don't want it in German. This child is still learning to read, after all!

*How do you politely clarify your request without also telling the person who gave you totally the wrong type of advice that their advice is the prime example of the sort of stuff you don't want to say? Somehow, this nice woman managed to hit all three points of things that I did not want! And she meant well, and it would be good advice if I was coming at it from the same direction she is. I felt bad.

Edit: I've now gotten better advice elsewhere, so with that advice and your advice here, I should be set. I hope.
conuly: (Default)
Angelique, Evangeline, and two friends are hiding in the house, asking me to be Super-somebody to save them from the evil monster (also me) who is tickling them.

I cannot, as I wanted, be SuperGirl - I forgot, that's Angelique's job (with her sidekick, SuperDuck. They run around with hooded towels, and trust me, it's very adorable. Plus, if I need them to clean something up, I just declare that the superheroes can save the day by doing so, and this totally works) - so Angelique tells me, in a whisper, that I can be Superwhy.

And when I tell her no, I don't want to be Superwhy (who is a boy, by the way, which is very relevant here) she says... what do you think she says?

"That's okay, Connie. You can just pretend you have a... penis! *gigglegigglegiggle*"

I informed her that no, I was not pretending to be a boy, and left it at that. This is actually not why I didn't want to be SuperWhy - I just prefer, to be honest, the option of being SuperDuck and going Quack at people. (Or, occasionally, SuperElephant, SuperZebra, or SuperConnie, thus combining the power of Quack with the surrealness of not being a duck at all.)
conuly: (Default)
(And whoever else has a birthday today, of course)

She doesn't know it's her birthday yet, because her party isn't until next week, to make it close to Halloween. She got two presents from people who won't be at the party, but since she's too little to really understand, that's not a concern.

This is where she is right now.
Another link

Read more... )
conuly: (Default)
And there's so much to say, I don't think I will make one big post. Maybe several smaller posts, spread out, as I think of them.

Here's one, though, prompted by a comment I left in somebody else's journal (hi!).

Angelique, as you know, has a thing for gum. Well, we don't *give* her gum, so she really likes ABC gum. (Say it with me - EW!) And for ages, months and months, I'd see her with gum, I'd give her a time-out, and tell her that the next time was a quick trip home. And then often we'd have to go home, because she'd do it again. We talked, and talked, and talked about how disgusting it was and how dangerous. I even brought Deniz in to tell her it's gross. Read more... )
conuly: (Default)
One on expatriate Americans, and the diets of their children. A bit over-dramatic
One on that book teaching adults how to hide food so their kids will eat it.
One on the genetic basis of pickiness

Read more... )

My thoughts:

1. Some of the comments to the NYTimes article are really... ugh. Yes, if you never let your child eat a chicken nugget, they will not refuse to eat anything but. However, that doesn't mean that they won't, instead, fixate on some other food. (As my mother pointed out, they used to have to hide to eat blue cheese when we were kids!)

1b. Some of the *advice* in the comments to the NYTimes article are equally bad. I mean, I'm all for not cooking an extra meal (except when I've intentionally made something I know the kid dislikes, in which case that's common courtesy), and I'm about "none of an extra this unless you at least take a reasonable bite of that" (especially dessert)... but not allowing your kid any of their dinner until the salad is gone? Or they have it for breakfast? And you gloat about how disgusting it is? Not cool. As my mother said, I would never do that to a guest, no matter how obnoxious they were. (I wouldn't give a guest a separate meal, either, so that's consistent.)

2. That said, hiding food certainly doesn't keep kids from being picky. If you're lying to them, how are they going to know that whatever-it-is really tastes good?
conuly: (Default)
The big thing lately, apparently, is pretending to shoot and blow each other up. Yes, really. Michelle swears her kids got them from the kids upstairs, but honestly, Angelique is just as bad pretending she's eaten somebody (don't ask) or killed them. It's just a stage kids go through... though I don't think that the specific weapon used came from the ether. Eventually, when I told them that the imaginary war was getting too loud, they switched to poisoning each other.
conuly: (Default)
Angelique has an acquaintance (not a friend) in her toddler programs.

He's 2 and a half, and every time she sees him she shouts his name really loudly - and proceeds to totally ignore him. Well, he's not on her level at all, and, unlike her sister, he doesn't talk. (This makes it hard to speak to his parents, because all you can really politely talk about in these programs is your kids and theirs, and if I talk about how much she's talking now (which is all she's doing), it sounds like I'm boasting or judging.) He's in speech therapy.

But what I really want to say to his parents (but was not going to) is that I'd be much more concerned about the fact that, at two and a half, he doesn't play with the other kids. At all. I don't mean he doesn't play games with them, I mean he doesn't parallel play. I see this kid every week, several times a week, and he doesn't ever sit with another kid, or copy another child, or take somebody else's toy, or do the motions to any of the songs, nothing like that. He does what his mother tells him to do (come here, give me that, don't!) but he doesn't look to another kid if she goes "Hey, it's so-and-so!" or get a smock if she says "Do you want to paint?" or nod his head and sit down if she goes "Are you hungry? Let's eat". If he and his mom are doing play-dough together, and he decides to do something else, he doesn't look at Mommy before he gets up, he just moves (bolts) towards the other thing. My gut feeling is that all this combined is much more unusual than just not talking - I like kids, I pay attention to them. Evangeline plays with her sister, both in the parallel variety (Angelique is playing "eating dinner", so Evangeline does the same thing) and the social variety (Angelique says "Let's hide!" and Evangeline goes "Where Ana?" and 'finds' her to hide with her), and she's some 8 months younger than this boy, and she's just not that advanced.

Unfortunately, the only time I ever spoke to his mom about this, I was all reassuring "Yeah, it's just because you speak to him in Chinese, and you know boys are slower to talk, he's a bright kid, don't worry too much about it", but now I'm making this list of things and... I don't know.

Now, for those of you who might be new to my journal, I don't think that being unusual in this respect is a bad thing, per se - but his parents... I don't know if they see that he's different like this. I think they're focused on the language, and maybe not seeing the rest of it? Maybe they do, I don't know.

It's just hard to accept your kid if you don't know how they're different from other kids. Or to help him - he should be able to communicate with his parents, and now I'm thinking... well, you know what I'm thinking, I'm always thinking it :) I don't think it's just that he's slow to talk, is all.

Man, how do you say all this to somebody who it isn't their first language and you don't know them that well to begin with because all you do is make nice-talk about each other's kids (or some people gossip about other people's kids who aren't there)? Well, his mom is fluent, anyway, so language barriers should be minimal.
conuly: (Default)
(Except when it's horribly inconvenient to me, such as when we're all on the bus together. But I digress)

So yesterday, apparently, she sat herself down and wrote a note to her parents, saying "NO NAP". I mean, it actually said NO NAP and she spelled it correctly and everything without having to ask Nanen for help.

I've suspected for ages and ages that what she admits to knowing is well below what she actually knows, so the question here is...

When she saw somebody's LJ icon when looking over my shoulder when she was supposed to be napping anyway, and said "He can't escape!", was that actually because she figured it out from the picture (as I'd assumed), or did she read the writing on the icon that said "escape"? How much does she really know?
conuly: (Default)
One about the "Guide to Pirate Parenting"

"Cap'n Billy will help you turn your boring, lazy, disrespectful, disobedient
child into an exciting, disrespectful, disobedient plunderer of the high seas or suburbs!"

Then there's one on the pudding hat. Apparently, being scared of every bump and fall your kid might ever make is not a new phenomenon. But then, medicine was more hit-or-miss in those days, so avoiding concussions was probably a sensible safety precaution.

One on alumni from Soviet Youth Camps, and their nostalgia.

A heartfelt plea to put your kids to work

I'll just have to copy the article's title here: "Theme park to offer adult world to Chinese kids". Go read it.

An article on a village made to help foster kids

Text inside )

And an article on play

Text inside )
conuly: (Default)
And this, of course, is what upsets me about formula. It's not that using formula (yes, when you have a choice, though I really do not think this disclaimer is essential) does increase the chances of various medical conditions in later life. It's not that it's expensive, and that this cost is spread around the public as formula is paid for by public programs such as WIC (though I do of course support WIC in principle, I find the sheer amount of subsidizing going on to be absurd. Nobody needs as much milk as WIC dishes out, but the dairy industry is a big lobby, that sort of thing).

It's the dirty dealing here. Because despite all their pretty names ("Goodstart", anybody?) and their claims that "ofcoursebreastisbestbutUSEOURSTUFF!!!", they show that they don't really care about children as much as they care about their own pocketbooks.

First, they lobby and lobby to water down the ad campaign - and then they increase their own ad campaigns to compete with the watered down breastfeeding ones!

And that fucking pisses me off.
conuly: (Default)
(And here she's a month older already!)

19 - 21 months
20 months
20 months
21 months
21 months

What she's doing )

And, I'm saying this now to get it out in the open.

Evangeline likes to wheel cars and trucks around on the floor. She will crawl around for ages at a time doing this.

She actually didn't start doing this until *right* after several people commented that it was one "boy pastime" they never enjoyed, or that their boy did that but not their girl, or whatever. Or maybe I just didn't notice until then. At any rate, the timing was so weird, I didn't want to be argumentative by mentioning it then, but it's true.

Nowadays she'll also do similar things with toy animals or boats, but it's really all about the wheels for her. The other day, she was playing with both a stuffed kitten and a wooden firetruck, and you could literally see the wheels turning (no, really!) as she realized she could put the kitten in the firetruck and have double the fun!!!!!!!!
conuly: (Default)
One criticiziing kid's menus

Read more... )

And one criticizing television-for-toddlers

Read more... )

Today, Jenn was home, and she wanted to sleep in. This seriously messed with our morning routine, especially considering a huge portion of our morning is spent jumping on her bed. So, as a kindness to her, I trekked the kids downstairs for half an hour of TV. Right before, Ana explained to her mom that she wasn't playing the "silly game" (Your eyes are purple, Ana!) but the "No game". And then, because Jenn was confused, she elaborated - '"Do you want to help us?" "NO!" "Great!" "Oh, MAN!"'

I do so love the no game. It makes so many tedious activities less so.

Though I think that one of the reasons That Program is so objectionable is the simple length of the pauses. Forget the inanity of the questions, they don't need to wait 20 minutes before moving on. This is why I intend to NEVER SEE THAT SOUL SUCKING THING AGAIN UNLESS EVERY LAST ONE OF US IS PUKING UP BLOOD. Just so you know.
conuly: (Default)
Folks, let's just ask a simple question.

Let's say that there's someplace you really want to be - a dog park, a playground, a classroom, a bathroom, a fenced yard... whatever. Point is, in order to get inside, you have to open some sort of gate or door. So you open it, and you go inside. Or maybe you're leaving, so you open it and go outside.

When you've done this, do you...

[Poll #992256]

I'm hoping you all answer correctly! Now, let's say you're going in, and the place is just *full* of rambunctious critters who are liable to escape - and you have one too! Assuming you picked anything other than the correct answer before, can I assume that you at least care about your own critter's safety and will properly close the door/gate behind you?

[Poll #992257]

Because we all know that when doors and gates are left open, and dogs and children escape, it's never the fault of the people who kept walking in and out and in and out and re-opening that damn door or gate!!!!!

What should I do when I see this going on?

[Poll #992258]
conuly: (Default)
Let me first go on the record as saying that no, I do not think Evangeline is seriously disabledly bowlegged. I'll tentatively agree that she may be more bowlegged than many children her age, but I do not think she's out of the normal range for a group of people (toddlers) that tends towards bowleggedness already. And anyway, neither her parents nor her doctor nor my mother see a problem with this, and I assume the doctor, at least, has seen enough kids to know if there's a problem. Could be wrong there, could be wrong.

But for the curious, here's a list of possible causes for serious (not toddlerhood-induced) bowleggedness:

Genetics - some families tend towards bowed legs. This is mostly harmless and nothing to be done about it.

Rickets. Evangeline gets adaquate calcium and vitamin D. Additionally, she doesn't have any other symptoms.

Blount's disease. I do not believe that the baby suffers from this, but if she did, there presumably would have been nothing we could all have done to prevent it.

Fluoride intoxication (no link). Well, I guess that's possible, but it seems unlikely to me. None of the other symptoms, as near as I can tell from these unreadable sites.

Now you probably know more than you did. I know *I* certainly do!

I suspect that the only reason anybody has brought it up to me at all is because of the fact that Evangeline is up on my back/front/hip a lot. Except that, as I keep pointing out to people, people all over the world, throughout history, carry their babies like this. If being worn were a legitimate cause of bowleggedness, you'd see a heck of a lot more of it.

So, to sum up - I refuse to mention it to her parents until that second birthday. If the kidlet turns two, and she's still got this bowleggedness going on, I'll ask them to ask the doctor about it. Until then, I don't want to hear a word. From anybody.

(But before and after pictures of kids who were bowlegged between their first and second birthdays but aren't now? I'd love that. Just so I can go SEE! SEE! at folks.)
conuly: (Default)
"I amn't going! I... I... I'm not going!"

That's right. She spontaneously invented the word amn't. Definitely wasn't an ain't (don't bother me about ain't right now), and I know I'm the only one who'd be using a word like amn't around the kid, and I haven't.

Ana is so cool sometimes!

She also goes around insisting she can speak Spanish, and making up Spanish words to prove it. Funny thing is, if I didn't know those words weren't Spanish, they'd actually sound like authentic Spanish words. Somehow, she's managed to pick up on Spanish phonology after pretty limited exposure to the language. (Well, I *have* finally watched a few episodes of Diego with her. My God that show is irritating, and very condescending. But it's more tolerable now that Ana's caught on to my little game of deliberately giving very wrong answers to questions (Diego: Does this fish live in the ocean or the desert? Me and Ana: THE DESERT!!!!!!! Diego: That's right! The ocean! Me and Ana: Oh, man!), which alleviates the pain somewhat. And we *do* do Spanish once a week, but until recently she's refused to participate in anything that actually involved Spanish.)
conuly: (Default)
This post is just about her language, though, not her age :)

List of words )

I think that's it. Doubtless there'll be more soon. Might even be more now, but I don't hear them.

She's been experimenting with phrases lately. Every day now, instead of just "Hi!" it's specifically some form of "Hi, Connie! Bye! Hi, Connie!" over and over again. Very cute. Little less cute now that it's been going on a week and a half :) There was the "Look, star!" bit a while back, and I hear a few "Uh-oh, spoon" type things over the day. Sometimes uh-oh with words I don't get, or non-words - but it'll be clear eventually.

Edit: Oh, and mine. I'm so sick of "mine", especially when whatever it is is not hers by any sane definition. I blame Ana for this. But it's another word I hear in phrases sometimes, when she's not too busy trying to convince me how CRYINGLY SAD she is to speak. "Mine car!" or "Mine ba!" are heard several times a day. By me, of course. How do you explain to a 19 month old that if you look at it, then put it down and wander off for 20 minutes, it's not yours anymore?
conuly: (Default)
Before I tell you about the conversation, I must give the context.

On Friday, Ana met several of her friends at the museum. At one point, she was playing with Cailinn (no idea how to spell that girl's name, other than that there's no T) and Patrick on the little slide there. Caylin (whatever) was swinging from the bar... and the baby was at the bottom. As Cay****'s mom was busy with her baby, I went and told C, nicely, that she couldn't do that with the baby there, it's not safe. And then I got her to repeat it back to me, and she wasn't happy with it, but she understood it.

Later, I'm talking to somebody else, and the baby has moved on, and I hear Ana talking to Patrick. Loudly.

Ana (at the bottom of the slide): Patrick! What did Connie say?
Patrick: (swinging from the bar)
Ana: PATRICK! What did Connie say!
Patrick: (swinging from the bar)
Patrick: (swinging from the bar)

This is where she went to ask me for help. I contained my laughter and informed Patrick and Ana that they were both in the wrong - Patrick for swinging and Ana for hanging out at the bottom of the slide (not to mention for being really bossy, but it was funny, anyway). Patrick's mom concurred, and all the kids piled together trying to... I don't know, crush each other or something.
conuly: (Default)
Most notably, we have a confirmed two-word phrase.

See, the kids have these stars on their walls. Some of them are good-quality stars that shine reasonably brightly and stay up there. Some of them are cheap stars, dim and they fall off.

One of the cheap stars had fallen off and somehow been broken, but the baby wanted to have it. And she was going "Car, car" to convince me of this point. I took it away, sharp edges and all that.

After yelling half a second, she saw another fallen star. She was so surprised she stopped yelling, pointed, and said (very clearly) "Yook! Car!"

Definitely two words, unlike the other ones I thought I heard earlier but wasn't positive about.

This actually happened on the 23rd, so that's when I'm dating it as.
conuly: (Default)
Today, she told me that school and schoolbus match, because they sound alike! (Well, duh, but I wasn't about to tell her that!)

Then she tried another pair - syrup and service car! Unfortunately, I didn't understand the second word, so she sat there a minute trying the phrase out... "Servi... serva... car..." before coming up with car service!!!. And so, another cute phrase bites the dust, never to be seen again.

On a similar note, she's also been doing a bit of work with her workbooks lately. She thinks it's fun, and who am I to argue? Keeps her quiet while her sister is napping, anyway. One she likes now is on "beginning sounds", which is a great book, matching words that alliterate or rhyme or whatnot - but she cheats. She doesn't say the words and listen to the sounds, she's already figured out that she can look at the letters and guess!

On the one hand, this is reallycoolawesomeWOW!!!! but on the other hand, sooner or later the letters are going to lie to her. Cake and cede don't alliterate, bough and tough don't rhyme, and there are any number of poems to make this point.

But I guess she's figuring out that words are made of sounds without help from the books, so it's good.
conuly: (Default)
Are you scared? You should be.


Her favorite word right now is "Kack, kack, kack" (from a book, actually), which means duck. That's why the icon.

Read more... )


conuly: (Default)

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