tiger_spot: (glare)
2017-06-15 10:41 am
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Book Recommendation: How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen

I have a book recommendation, mostly for parents but also for people who like communicating with humans in general.

How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen is a really excellent update of the classic How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. It's streamlined to focus on younger kids, and it is chock full of detailed, specific examples of multiple approaches to solving common problems. It is made of humor and compassion and good ideas.

Little Kids is by the daughters of the authors of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, so they've got the kid's perspective as well as the parent's perspective for many techniques. The "what not to do" sections are much more relatable for the modern parent. How to Talk was so influential to current American parenting styles that a lot of what it's arguing against is foreign to me. The what to do advice is all still good -- if you haven't read the older book I recommend it too -- but the assumed mindset of the reader can be a little offputting and it's nice to have a version that feels more like it's talking to me.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2017-06-10 04:47 am
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Tori is One Year Old

Happy birthday, Tori!

Morgan spent a good chunk of yesterday afternoon making signs and banners to decorate the house for Tori's birthday. She is very excited, and keeps asking Tori if she's looking forward to opening her presents and eating cake and all that.

Tori is cheerfully oblivious.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2017-05-11 02:28 pm
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Tori at Eleven Months

(I skipped some. Sorry!)

Tori is eleven months old.

Movement
She walks about 75% of the time, occasionally crawling if she falls down partway to her destination. She can go up stairs very quickly, and loves to go down the slides at the park in somebody's lap. She also loves swings and wrestling and climbing anything that holds still long enough to be climbed. She's trying to figure out how to go down stairs and get off of couches and so forth. She does well sometimes, but also thinks that just rolling off sideways should be fine, so she does not in fact get to practice unassisted on things higher than a cushion yet.

Physical Development
She has eight teeth and eats everything you could possibly expect eight teeth to manage and lots of things you wouldn't. She's really thirsty -- I don't remember Morgan drinking anything near this much water, but I guess she was getting more calories from breastmilk so maybe she just didn't need as much.

Sleep has been a bit disordered lately. I sure hope she'll settle into just moving her nap to the afternoon rather than dropping it entirely, but I am having a hard time adapting to not having a nice predictable morning nap.

Tori is still enormous. She's in mostly 18-month clothing now. She can reach the tops of entirely too much of the furniture, and she's very strong. Unfortunately, this strength is not combined with a more-than-usually advanced knowledge of how not to kick Mama in the face while nursing, how not to yank sister's hair, how to pat gently rather than smack with all one's considerable might, etc.

She has very little hair of her own yet, but there is now enough that if it's wet it can be made to stick up.

Communication
Communication is interesting. Tori can pretty effectively answer yes/no questions by being enthusiastic or not, and clearly understands a lot of requests.

She knows the sign for 'milk', but usually only uses it when someone else has just shown it to her, or when she's nursing. She hasn't really used it independently as a request yet. She does use arms-up to request being picked up, and sort of whole-arm pointing to indicate things of interest she can't reach, usually when being carried. She claps and gives high fives. She miiiiiight have tried to use the signs for 'more', 'all done', and 'diaper', but not repeatably enough for me to be sure.

She's gradually developing more syllables and intonation. She'll babble back and forth with people, but doesn't seem interested in copying anything other than raspberries.

Interests
Tori loves the dog, her sister, the baby in the mirror, balls, the shape sorter, blocks, and anything that makes noise or has parts that can be moved. She has just recently discovered books as something more complicated than bricks that can be knocked off a shelf, although she's still not much interested in sitting and being read to. She likes to turn pages, she likes pages with close-ups of faces, and she likes when I do funny voices.

Tori likes to look at the baby in the mirror, and especially to go back and forth between the baby in the over-the-sink mirror and the baby in the bathroom door mirror, which are about a 90° angle apart. She has discovered that the mirror baby is bad at the pass-the-thing-back-and-forth game, but quite good at high fives.

She is fascinated by places she's not supposed to be, especially the pantry and Morgan's room, and remarkably quick to notice a door left ajar. She may have figured out how to defeat the babyproofing on the art supply cabinet; it might not have been latched properly but I'm suspicious.

She has just figured out that things can be put inside other things, not just taken out of them, so she has been experimenting with putting parts of different toys together to see what fits where.

She's hit a stage where she's very excited about new things to look at/manipulate/chew, so we should really get out more. Tomorrow we will try the parent/child class at the Little Gym.
tiger_spot: (sword)
2017-04-04 10:25 pm
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Moving Notice

All right, you bitter-end clingers-to-the-old. It looks like this may in fact be the point where the critical mass of folks I keep up with here have moved on and LJ is, in fact, dead. The consensus seems to be that it died a while ago, really, but as a dyed-in-the-wool clinger-to-the-old myself, well. I'm stubborn and set in my ways.

I'll switch over to Dreamwidth, for what good that does, and can also be found on G+. I'll leave this post up while I decide what if anything to do with the rest of the journal; if you'd like to leave contact information, this is the place. (Or of course over on Dreamwidth.) I suppose I'll screen comments in case anyone wants to leave me an email address or something of that nature -- I am happy to correspond individually although not always good at replying quickly. I do not have a Facebook account and do not intend to change that, so that's not a good way to keep up with me.
tiger_spot: (glare)
2017-02-28 05:54 pm
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How To Cook A Vegetable When You Don't Know What It Is

Ever so often, one is presented with a novel vegetable: a mystery item in one's Community Supported Agriculture box, an interesting-looking thing from a market catering to an unfamiliar ethnic group, something your friend handed you enthusiastically. Here is what you do with that vegetable:

1. Is it a leafy green? If so, wash, dry, and if it comes in pieces bigger than spinach, remove any tough ribs and cut or tear into pieces smaller than an index card. Saute some garlic or onion in olive oil or butter, then add your green and cook over medium-low heat until wilted and soft. Taste. If bitter, add lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and give it another few minutes. If bland, add salt and pepper.

Alternatively, wash, dry, remove ribs, slice leaves into ribbons, and add to a vegetable soup. For tender leaves, add close to the end of cooking time. For tougher leaves, add earlier.

2. Is it a hard thing, like a root vegetable or a winter squash or a brussel sprout? Peel it if it has a tough skin, wash it if it doesn't, and chop into vaguely cubical bits a little under an inch on each side. Put the bits in a baking pan with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper, and roast at about 400 degrees F until tender and/or brown in spots.

3. If it is neither of the above, peel it if it's got a tough peel, cut it into bite-size pieces, and try a piece. If it's good raw, put it in a salad. (If it is in fact a fruit, an excellent salad can be made with spinach, nuts, and perhaps some additional fruits if you feel like being fancy. Balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dress.) If it's not good raw, you can roast it like a root vegetable (if it's squishy turn the oven down to maybe 300) or saute it in olive oil over medium-high heat until it looks tasty. If it doesn't want to soften, toss in a quarter-cup of water and put a lid on the pan so it can steam for a while. Then proceed as if it were a leafy green.

This will not always work (What happens if you roast 1-inch cubes of ginger? I don't know! Maybe I will try it and report back!), and it's never the most exciting presentation of the vegetable in question, but most of the time this procedure will at least tell you whether you like the thing and want to follow up finding more recipes or figuring out how to incorporate it into more complicated dishes.

If you have any questions or need more detail, hit up the comment box below.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2017-02-11 10:07 pm
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Tori is Eight Months Old

She is a very zoomy active baby. She figured out crawling just after seven months, and has been charging around the house at high speed ever since, pulling up on everything and trying hard to get into any trouble there is to be found. She wants the vacuum robot to be her friend, and likes to go hug it into her lap. If a door to a room she is not normally allowed in, like the pantry, is opened, she makes an immediate stomping beeline to it. (Didn't know you could stomp while crawling? She is very determined.)

She has just grown her third tooth. It is not on the top forming a matching pair with either of her existing teeth, but rather is next to them on the bottom. She eats everything you could possibly imagine eating without opposed teeth, with great gusto.

She growls a lot. She doesn't make many standard vowel-type baby noises, but rather a lot of Gs and Rs like a movie pirate or a wolf cub. She has developed a very specific "thwarted" cry, which is ear-gratingly terrible, because being thwarted is obviously the most horrible thing that could possibly happen to her.

She's hit the first round of separation anxiety. She's still a very independent baby, happy to go explore the living room or play with toys in her room, but she really doesn't like having a closed door between her and me. She's interested in interacting with new people, but checks over her shoulder now and then to make sure I haven't gone anywhere while she does.

Tori and Morgan and Andres (and occasionally Cathy) have been attending a Music Together class which is apparently great fun for all. Tori does not clap along but she does clasp her hands and bounce them up and down in something vaguely approximating rhythm which is certainly adorable when Andres reproduces it for me. :)

She's really into the baby swings at the park. She likes crawling around on the rubber surfaces and pulling up on equipment but she is not into sand, slides, or rough pathway material. She is of the opinion that books are great for pulling off of shelves, and occasionally for chewing, but she's not interested in looking at the pictures or being read to.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2017-02-06 10:56 pm
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Morgan is Four and a Half

Four and a half! It is a different age than four, and a very different age than three and a half.

She's increasingly capable of remembering and reasoning about her own emotions. Her reports of her preschool mornings consist of who she played with, what they did, and whether anyone was mean or bossy to her. The common threat at this age is "If you don't [play what I want] I won't be your friend any more" and it is a very present and scary threat to Morgan. Even though she doesn't have independent contact with any of her friends they are very important to her and she thinks and talks about them when they're not around.

She's having a hard time dealing with Tori getting more attention, and spends a lot of time pretending to be a baby too, or wishing they were twins.

She still won't admit she can read, because it's hard and puzzling out words does not result in anything like the pleasant story flow of being read to. She can write, though. She usually wants the nearest grownup to spell out each word for her one letter at a time, hEr OrtHograPHy lOOkSSS LiKE thiS, and sometimes she takes several stabs at a particularly tricky letter or runs out of room left-to-right and takes off in a random direction or starts somewhere else entirely -- or all of those, which can lead to particularly inscrutable collections of letters if you weren't watching her write it down in the first place.

She's quite good at simple addition, and subtraction as well if she's got paper to jot hashmarks on for counting. She can write all the digits from 0-9. She still tends to skip 15 when she's counting.

She colors inside the lines; draws faces with eyes, noses, mouths, and sometimes hair; draws stick figures with arms, legs, and occasionally hands. She's gotten much more willing to just take a stab at something even if it doesn't come out exactly like she wanted.
tiger_spot: (glare)
2017-02-06 03:37 pm
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Gratitude Journal: Rainbows

This area gets lots of rainbows, on those occasions when it rains. Not only are they pleasant to look at, they are also fascinating scientific phenomena, and spark all kinds of interesting metaphorical thought trails.

Furthermore, my polarized sunglasses serve as rainbow enhancers. In my own personal visual field, rainbows are brighter and easier to spot than in boring ol' consensus reality! But they're still there.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2017-01-22 07:07 pm
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Tori's First Sign!

Tori signed to me today!

(It's 'milk'. Of course it's 'milk'.)
tiger_spot: (sword)
2017-01-08 09:01 pm
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Libriomancy

The instructions:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Turn to page 117.
3. The 2nd sentence is your life in 2017.

Turning to the nearest book that has a page 117 (I am sitting in the living room next to the shelf of children's books), I find:

"That's what I don't understand. It doesn't make any sense."

I laughed out loud.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2016-12-17 10:17 am
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Tori at Six Months

"I don't know what to tell you," said the pediatrician. "Usually at this point I'd tell you what to expect between now and the next visit, but she's met most of her nine-month milestones already."

Tori is still at the very top of the growth charts, very robust and healthy. She's got two teeth, can sit up as long as she cares to (although she needs help getting into a sitting position), and even pulled up from sitting to standing the other day. She can stay standing, leaning on something for balance, for a long time too. She hasn't quite started crawling, but she gets up on hands and knees and rocks back and forth like she is about to launch herself into orbit. Between rolling sideways and rotating in place, she can get pretty much anywhere. She does it sideways and backward, though, so sometimes she winds up stuck under the furniture.

Those teeth I mentioned caused some sleep disruptions for a while, but she is back to normal now -- 11 hours most nights, with maybe one night waking to nurse every other day or so. Two naps usually, sometimes just one, sometimes none at all (but she goes to bed a little earlier if she doesn't nap at all, so that evens out some). She still falls asleep on her own after fussing for a few minutes, because she is made of magic and stardust.

She's gotten a lot more social. She has a great big baby grin, and a delightful giggle. She likes peekaboo and tickles and basically anything her sister does.

We've started giving her some solids. She is VERY ENTHUSIASTIC about food. So far she's had carrot, potato, apple, banana, pear, tofu, a bit of carnitas, cheerios, rice crackers, plain ol' rice, bell pepper, fennel, grapefruit, squash.... It's hard to tell how much gets eaten as opposed to pulverized into a fine mist and spread on all nearby surfaces, or dropped and eaten by the dog, but she's having a fine time exploring textures and flavors.

She does not like baths.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2016-10-15 05:49 pm
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Tori at Four Months

Tori had her four-month checkup recently. She is very, very large and healthy. She's good-natured and cheerful -- she didn't even cry at the first shot, and calmed down quickly after the second. She still sleeps through the night reliably, and puts herself to sleep with a few minutes of fussing most of the time.

She's interested in toys and people, but not much in books yet. She drools a lot and chews on everything, so I think she might have teeth coming soon.

Just in the last few days she's figured out how to roll front-to-back and back-to-front (though she mostly does either when I've stepped out of the room for a moment).

She and Morgan are delighted by each other.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2016-09-24 05:58 pm
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Morgan's Last Adorable Mispronunciation

Morgan has one last consistent mispronunciation, which I should record before it goes away. It's an odd one -- every instance of the sound cluster "ula" becomes "lia". So "formlia", "ambliance", "Bunniclia". (She enjoyed the first Bunnicula book very much, and we started the second but she got distracted by other things. We'll get back to it eventually.)
tiger_spot: (foot)
2016-09-14 08:54 pm
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Three Month Victoria Update

Right! Time keeps passing!

Tori is doing wonderfully. She sleeps through the night most nights. Last night she fell asleep about 5:00 pm. I thought she was napping, but she just slept straight through to 7:00 am, then woke up and started squealing like she was tuning in Happiness Radio. (I would tell you how to get your baby to do this, but it isn't anything we did. She just came this way.)

She's figuring out how hands work. She's gotten good at stuffing them into her mouth, and she's working on using them to stuff other things into her mouth too. She's very close to rolling over. As soon as she figures out what to do with that bottom arm she's golden.

She has an amazing attention span and is totally happy to hang out in the activity gym or her little rocking chair and inspect the various objects on the toy bar for upwards of 45 minutes. She also likes to make faces and have little practice conversations with people, but not for as long. She is an introvert. I didn't know babies came in introvert flavor.

Morgan still thinks she is just the coolest thing, and looks forward to when she is more interactive. Tori finds Morgan very interesting but often a bit much. Galen really really wants to lick her face.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2016-06-30 10:00 am
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tiger_spot: (glare)
2016-03-24 04:32 pm
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Quotes from FOGcon 2016

I am cleaning off my desk here, and I figured I might as well type up my favorite quotes from this year's FOGcon panels.

The Developing Reality of Intelligent Machines

"Things break all the time, and we just throw more stuff at them." -- Steven Schwartz, on why he's not worried about a machine intelligence apocalypse

"We don't think like us!" -- Effie Seiberg

"Nigerian scams have nothing on what's coming for us." -- Daniel Starr

"The CEOs are getting smarter, and that's scarier!" -- Karen Brenchley

"There is no commercial application of a baby." -- S. B. Divya

"The software on my phone that navigates me from place to place fortunately did not learn by watching me do it." -- Daniel Starr

"And as for the collapse of human civilization -- I don't know, I've seen worse." -- Effie Seiberg

"I don't know what Google is going to do with what they've learned from [AlphaGo], but I'm sure it will be altruistic and not evil at all." -- Karen Brenchley

Donna Haraway's Honored Guest Presentation

"I'm not totally against babies, as long as they're rare and precious. I think a cap-and-trade system would be great." -- Donna Haraway

Sentience, Science Fiction, and Artificial Intelligence

"Play is that which produces something new." -- Donna Haraway

"[Cockroaches] may not be smarter than a Roomba, but they get a lot more done." -- Jim Lutz

"You don't like all your relatives, but you figure out ways not to kill most of them." -- Donna Haraway

Draconic Appreciation Society

"I read a lot of Victorian children's books when I was a Victorian child in the 1960s." -- Jo Walton

"I think that the dragon comes from the concept of snake translated into a culture that likes drawing swirly things." -- Jo Walton
tiger_spot: (sword)
2016-03-23 03:07 pm
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The letter T

From [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks, a meme! Various things beginning with the letter T:

Something I hate: Terror. I get very frustrated when the reaction to criminals attempting to sow chaos and foment hate is to ramp up airport security theater and bluster about some minority group or other and generally cooperate with the entire goal of the bad actors. No you are giving them what they want! Don't do that! Hug your family. Join hands and dance. Sing cheerful drinking songs and/or your national anthem loudly, at the top of your lungs. Make lewd gestures with your fingers and refuse to be intimidated.

Something I love: Tea. Lately I have been mostly on herbal tea, as I had gotten caffeine-dependent again and needed a reset. I do love a nice cup of Assam, with a bit of milk, and soon enough I will be in desperate enough sleep deprivation that I will have frequent excuses to have a good proper caffeinated cup of standard tea. In the meantime, mint is lovely, and so is Bengal Spice.

Somewhere I've been: Tied House. This is a sort of pub here in town, where they have many interesting beers (which I don't like), lots of burgers (which I am likewise not much interested in), and really good nachos (target acquired!). We used to eat here pretty frequently but we haven't been in a long time. I should suggest it next time we feel like going out.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Titan. I mean, probably not personally go as such, space exploration is exactly what robots are for, but it seems like a very interesting place worth quite a lot of detailed looks! Nitrogen atmosphere, largely composed of water ice, methane cycle quite similar to Earth's water cycle -- what's not to like?

A film I like: Toy Story 2. My first date with [livejournal.com profile] andres_s_p_b, we went out to watch Toy Story 2 and got ice cream. It was nice. And, you know, worked out pretty well as dates go. We still like kids' movies. Who's up for Zootopia?

Would you like a letter? Comment and I will lovingly hand-select one for you based on an arcane formula involving how puckish I feel at the time.
tiger_spot: (sword)
2016-02-20 12:27 pm
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Our Parking Adventure (also there was dancing)

Last night, my friend had ballet tickets for herself, [livejournal.com profile] suzanne, and me. The tickets had come with a parking pass for the garage across the street, so we didn't anticipate any trouble. But when we got there, the entrance we were at was closed for construction, so once this had been communicated to the cars that had pulled in behind us, we all gradually made our way back out and went around to the other entrance, where we joined a long line of waiting vehicles and eventually learned that our parking pass would do us no good because all the available spaces in the garage were full, and they hadn't issued this parking pass in the first place and they were very unhappy with whoever had, because there obviously weren't enough spaces because of the construction, and the nearest other parking the attendant knew of was ::vague wave:: over there.

So we went over there, where we paid $25 for parking (fortunately, one of us had cash), and hurried along to the theater. At this point we were about ten minutes past the start time. "I've never been late to live theater before!" I said. "I wonder what they do?" We were expecting to need to wait in the lobby for a bit, and then perhaps sneak in at intermission. But in fact enough people had been having this exact same problem that they had delayed the start of the show just long enough for us to zip in and find our seats before the house lights went down and the curtain went up. Hurrah!

And it was a lovely show. It started with a traditional pas de deux called "Diana and Acteon" which was very pretty and featured a lot of athletic capering about in the woodland and miming firing arrows, but inexplicably failed to contain any bathing, turning into a deer, or being torn to pieces by dogs. So I'm not sure what it had to do with the title.

The second and third pieces were interesting modern ensemble ballets with complicated lighting effects.

The last piece wins the coveted Creepiest Dance Award. It started before the intermission was properly over -- while the audience was still filing back in, the house lights were up, and the curtain was down, this fellow in a suit came moseying out on stage. "Perhaps this next one needs some explanation," we thought. "Or perhaps they're going to announce some kind of refund of the parking passes?" The guy continued to stand in front of the curtain, then wandered over to hide in the shadows at the corner of the stage, then eased on back out to the middle and started sort of bopping a little bit. House lights were still up, audience still coming back from intermission. We started speculating that he was lost. Eventually they put the curtain up, but left the house lights on and the audience kept chatting because, hey, house lights are up, but it gradually became apparent that Suit Guy was in fact the first dancer of the last piece.

Then about sixteen more dancers in suits joined him on stage. There were folding chairs, and chanting, and flinging of clothes on stage, and it all got more and more ominous and repetitive. Then there was a quiet bit with six dancers standing entirely still in their underwear while a metronome or something ticked creepily. Then later the suited dancers came out into the audience and collected audience members and took them back up on stage and had a loud techno rave with them and it was generally very interesting but not at all what I had been expecting from a night at the ballet.
tiger_spot: (sword)
2016-02-19 04:04 pm
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Aaron Burr's Parenting Advice for Three and a Half Year Olds

[livejournal.com profile] chinders has become completely obsessed with Hamilton. This seems to happen a lot. But if you don't understand the reference in the title and you would like to, look! The whole cast album's on YouTube! Here's the relevant song.

(Management is not responsible for resulting musical theater addictions. If your earworm lasts longer than 24 hours, seek medical treatment or listen to something else real loud.)

Anyway, this is really good advice for our current stage of parenting.

Talk less.
Especially when you're giving instructions. Yes, kids this age can understand and follow multi-step directions. But they need some processing time to do it.

Furthermore, when tantrums are happening, interaction prolongs them. As long as there's an argument to be had, the kid will reflexively continue having the argument. Make your point concisely once, then stop. Eventually the flailing will burn itself out. But every time you say something (or, in M's case, try to touch her -- I hear some kids like being held when they're upset, but NOT THIS ONE) you reset the clock.

Example from this morning: Morgan is chewing on the edge of a box of Go Fish cards.
Aaron Burr: If you put cardboard in your mouth it will get wet and the box won't hold the cards anymore. ::waits for child to process information and come to conclusion that she should probably take the box out of her mouth; or not, honestly, no particular skin off my nose either way::
Alexander Hamilton: Morgan! Stop chewing on the box! It'll get all wet and the cardboard will fall apart and then it won't hold the cards in! Then you won't have a box and the cards will get lost! So you should stop chewing on that right now! Or the box will break! Morgan! Stop chewing!

Smile more.
Two points: One, if you can think of a way to make it a game, make it a game.

Example from yesterday: Morgan is scared of the doctor and doesn't want to lie down so he can check her tummy. She has brought a stuffed animal along to keep her company.
Aaron Burr: Do you want Figment?
Morgan: Yeah.
Aaron Burr: Here he comes! Oh no! He's jumped on you and knocked you over! ::gently tilts M backwards onto the exam table::

Two, praise is magic. Catching kids being good and thanking them for behaving nicely or being considerate or doing their chores promptly makes everybody happy.

Don't let them know what you're against or what you're for.
Okay, for this to be parenting advice you have to interpret it a bit differently than it's meant in the song. But I find it helpful to keep in mind during tantrums that I don't need to argue her into my position. As the parent I have all the power; I have already made the decision; I am waiting for her to accept it or emotionally process the disappointment or whatever, but I don't need her to agree with me. (I am in fact totally happy to have discussions about what the rules ought to be at some other time, when everyone is calm and capable of discussing them and bringing up relevant points, but not when there is already upset happening.)

Also, it helps a lot to be able to present choices you are more or less indifferent between. Either you get your shoes on and your dishes put away by X time and we'll go do Y fun thing, or you don't and we'll stay home. If your room is picked up you can have iPad time, otherwise find something else to do. It's much easier on me having a plan for either way things could go; otherwise I am standing there banging my head against a brick wall trying to figure out why the child does not want to do some ridiculously simple thing and is blocking the whole rest of the day. Obviously I usually have a preference here, and I don't generally mind telling her that I am sad that, say, she wouldn't get dressed so we have run out of time to go to the zoo this morning, but the more I practice non-attachment to my vision of how the day will go, the better the day in fact usually goes.

Furthermore, kids this age are practicing differentiating themselves from their parents. That means that they have fairly recently realized that they are independent entities, and just because you told them to do something doesn't mean they have to do it. So direct instructions will tend to invite "No!" or ignoring you or otherwise experimenting with Not Doing What Parents Say, while information that reminds them what they're supposed to be doing without actually being an instruction doesn't trigger that reflex.

Example from this morning: Morgan requests help picking up a pile of stuff on the kitchen counter.
Alexander Hamilton: Okay, start with these hair clips. Your hair stuff box is over on the table by the comfy chair, so go put the clips in there and then put the box away where it goes, then come back and get the next thing.
Morgan plays with the clips while Alexander Hamilton puts away the bag they were in.
Alexander Hamilton: Morgan, are you going to put the clips away? Put the clips in the box and put the box away, it'll just take a minute.
Morgan: You do it!

Later, Morgan again requests help picking up.
Aaron Burr: Okay... I see some shoes and a pair of pajamas in the bathroom.
Morgan picks up the pajamas and puts them in the hamper, then returns for the shoes.
tiger_spot: (foot)
2015-12-22 06:34 pm
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Well, this is an interesting phase

Morgan has been experimenting lately with concepts of privacy, control of space, and locks. She's locked herself in various bathrooms and bedrooms (fine if it's her bedroom, not allowed if it's ours; fortunately, our interior locks are very easy to overrule so there is no arguing necessary to fetch her out of unauthorized locked locations), announced that she needs "alone time" in a variety of situations, and tried locking various adults out of the house (come down on like a ton of bricks).

She has apparently just realized that different people are aware of different events based on where they are looking, and has been manipulating that hard to get at things she isn't normally allowed. Monday, she got into (1) some cookies, above her reach on the counter, (2) the medicine cabinet, by climbing into the sink, and (3) the dog-walking bags, kept on a high shelf in the pantry. Later, I saw her dragging the wooden stool across the kitchen to the pantry again, intent on another high-shelf raid, and raised my eyebrows at her. "You keep doing what you're doing!" she said cheerfully. "Don't look over here!"

This morning I recounted that event to [livejournal.com profile] suzanne while Morgan was getting her shoes on. Morgan wanted to know why I had not, as instructed, kept doing what I was doing and not looked over there. "Because," I told her, "I have been on this Earth for 33 years and I know what Up To Something looks like."

"Not if I close the door!" she chirped.