Monthly Archives: March 2012

super quick last trip blog

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Baby and dad are drawing/naming pictures by the window. Baby & I just had a bath. We had indian take-out for dinner. I feel I should be nursing/putting baby down for sleep. But I”m not. And that’s okay. And I”m blogging now so I don’t have to later and so I can continue to either surf Facebook (allowed on vacation? what do you think?) or read.

or nurse. She wants me now. Bye!

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Blip

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Our home internet is down. That, combined with a very busy day at work and packing to head on a trip means that I MISSED A DAY!!! No uninterrupted full year of blogging.

I’m okay with it.

We’re in Vancouver at a work conference for me. I won’t travel without baby yet, so husband and baby are with me. We had a very up and down day with lows (trying to get to the airport on time) and highs (taking baby on the hotel escalators; going out for delicious Indian food at Salim Bombay with baby; walking through town with baby; baby baby baby).

And now I’m exhausted, and my other two awesome people are sleeping. good night.

Self-care Sunday

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Husband is out with baby. I wanted a bit of time to myself. When asking for time yesterday (which husband was already planning to give me, of course) I thought I’d be productive (i.e., do writing and course prep). But Sunday’s here, and I say no. I’ve done some picking outfits for the week and cleaning out the filing cabinet – things I enjoy! And now I’m going to sort more files while watching a movie. Yes, I am. My idea of a good time, and I’m okay with it, and I’m embracing it for today.

Off to sort/view.

Observing kids and parenting

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On Friday I spent some time walking downtown with my girl and spent some time at the library. There I observed some interesting interactions between parents, kids and authority.

Baby was playing on the big pillows in the kids’ area with another, bigger boy. After his mother reminded him to be careful as he played, he jumped onto her pillow and shoved her off. She fell over and landed on her head. And started to cry. Not nice, but they’re kids – it happens. The mom reprimanded her son, was quite critical of him and told him to apologize. She didn’t focus on his attention on the impact of his actions on the baby – she focused on having him conform to a socially appropriate response.

I then happened into a preschool storytime (I thought it was the toddler age group). Again, fascinating. First off, it was loud. The librarian/story reader used a big, loud voice. The music was loud. I can see how loud seems right when working with kids – they’re loud, it gets their attention. At the same time, their ears are more sensitive than adults. If anything, they are fine with LESS volume. I know it was too much for me. I should add that I’m particularly sensitive to noise, and have been since I was a baby.

The children were expected to take a seat on the carpet and stay there, aside from the songs, when they were asked to move around in prescribed ways (dance in a circle, jiggle your hands, etc.). Both the parents and the librarian made repeated attempts to get non-conformers to sit in the “right” place and “right” way throughout the half-hour. One father whose daughter didn’t want to get on the carpet continued to encourage her to go there. He also, pleasantly, didn’t insist and remained there for her to return to and sit on when she needed.

The librarian brought out different stuffed toys to introduce the various stories. They then went onto the table beside her and, as she told the kids whenever one tried to go up and touch them, they could play with them once storytime was over. But not during. Parents called kids back who dared to go forward and touch. One girl in particular seemed to start it off, then others took courage or inspiration from her and followed. But no: the animals were for looking, not touching.

Overall: I don’t get it. There were maybe 12 – 15 kids, with an almost equal number of parents (plus an assortment of younger siblings). It wasn’t an out of control mob. They were kids! At a FUN storytime! Why was sitting in a certain place and manner required? Why should fun and sensory interaction be saved until the end of the event? How does restricting initiative and curiosity advance children’s development? And why is there such pressure on parents to have their children behave in socially acceptable ways?

I left the event somewhat sad to observe the omnipresence of the demands for what was, to me, mindless social conformity. It leaves me somewhat relieved that I haven’t done too many group activities with baby, as I can see how that pressure could have influenced my interactions with her over time to demand greater conformity rather than letting her be herself. I would love to see children given the space to BE, explore, learn, interact, and be guided rather than pushed into shape. From a more open environment I can imagine children growing up more true to themselves and better engaged with others and the world.

And of course, you are welcome to completely disagree with my analysis.

I believe in hockey sticks

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Second day of spring! So exciting! Woke up to snow!

The weather here is not what it was when I grew up. We used to have long, cold, snowy winters and long, hot summers. Lately, the seasons bleed into each other and it’s not predictable day to day what the weather will be.

Someone asked me once if I “believed in global warming.” I think I replied that I didn’t think it was a matter of belief. Now I would say that  I recognize that belief comes into any subject. I find it hard to evaluate the evidence on different sides of big debates: vaccines and diets come to mind. I know there are scientists and other people who have written contradictions to the global warming argument. In this case, knowing that the overwhelming body of evidence is on the global warming side, and having some awareness of the science-blind and manipulative politics behind climate denial, I would say that I believe in the existence of human-induced global warming and buy, 100%, the hockey stick graph (I never knew that name for it until a CBC interview on The Current last week).

Today was crazy for other reasons. Work was mad. So many projects, so many connections to make, not nearly enough time. I pushed through and, I believe, got done all I needed though Monday will bring more madness.

I also got to participate in some scintillating back and forth regarding an upcoming workshop I’m supposed to do. Numerous people approached me with support and/or concerns, by phone and in person. I had the bemused pleasure of being told in a group email that the proposed workshop was a “waste of time,” followed by the real pleasure of being defended by someone who was initially skeptical. All of this I took with the flow, pleased with my ability not to take personally what was not personal.

And the day ended in the best possible way: 2+ delightful hours hanging out with my daughter in bed as we moved slowly but surely towards bedtime. Stories, songs, cuddling, playing, kissing, “this little piggy”ing, nursing, bottling and sleep. Time to bond with my favourite little person ever, who delights me more and more each day (she says “apple” now! and ball! (bau). Love!!)