Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Bringing up baby: 27 August 2012 Part Deux

Once in his car seat, He became bored looking out the window stuck in traffic. He babbled to himself, practising his words, consonants and favourite sounds. "Bottle" frequented many times. And "moon".

Bored, he found another distraction - a free handout booklet from Drusilla's Park, replete with animals and Thomas the tank engine.

He continued to be fascinated by this as we flowed with the traffic, which today was extremely free-flowing; 10 minutes on the motorway only. He waited patiently for Daddy to finish work and come to the car. He greeted Daddy most charmingly.

It was a lovely warm early evening, the sun was still up, and it was still early. I talked Daddy into a diversion at the playground. A great time was had by all. 

Atilla prefers Daddy's swing-hefting instead of Mummy's swing-pushing. He enjoyed the twisty thing that's not a roundabout. 

We coaxed Atilla to go home. 

Once home, he was still pleasant and agreeable. We played for a while with the WiiFit Plus while Daddy cooked pasta dinner. And we played some more.

Just before dinner was plated, Atilla realised he urgently needed to poop. We swung into poop-mode. And a satisfactory time was had by all. Then he put on a training pant.

At dinner, Atilla truly enjoyed himself. On his plate he was served his preferred pasta - spaghetti. It was splendid. He used his hands to stuff the long strand into his mouth. He used his hands to whirl the spaghetti like a poi-string. He tasted Mummy's pasta. He tasted Daddy's pasta. He ate Daddy's pasta. And to Mummy's pleased astonishment, he finished off his own dinner! 

Then it was bath-time. He understood Mummy was going to do housework while Daddy looked after him. His training pant was dry, so he has some modicum of sphincter control. Yay!

At the bedtime routine, we read a few books, played with his puzzles, and undressed Caillou for bed. Atilla drank his milk bottle while cradled in my arms. He handed his empty bottle to me, and fell asleep.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Bringing up baby: 27 August 2012

Tonight we had one of our best nights.

Atilla decided he wanted to play a while at the big toddler play area, so we dawdled there a while. He perched happily on a high 'seat', gumming the teat of his bottle.

He spotted a ball, so I assisted in getting it - I walked to the ball, picked it up and walked back to give it to him. He continued to perch. He inspected the ball, then accidentally dropped it. He made to scramble down to retrieve it, so I assisted. I walked to the ball, picked it up and walked back to give it to him. He grinned. He dropped the ball again purposely. It became a game, as he asked me to retrieve it for him. We had 2-3 iterations.

I reminded him Daddy was waiting for us. Atilla dropped the ball, which now rolled into the covered sandpit. He scrambled down and wanted to retrieve the ball. Of course, I spoiled his fun by picking up the ball and placed it high from his reach.

By now Atilla's attention is on the family departing the daycare. Father, mother, baby and pram and daycare baggage. He rattles the child-proofed gate-door. He is very insistent. I congratulate myself on finding Atilla's motivation - seeing Daddy.

He had other ideas. He points past the family, and I see an abandoned stuffed bunny. Observant Atilla is doing one of his good deeds for the day. He picks up the bunny and toddles fairly quickly to the exit. He is stymied by the stranger at the gate and his shyness. I help him past the stranger, and we give the bunny to the mother. Atilla was thanked directly.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Thoughts on: Play and Pedagogy in Early Childhood 2

Play and Pedagogy in Early Childhood - Bending the Rules, by Sue Dockett & Marilyn Fleer (1999)

Section 1. Theories of Play.
Section 2. A New Look at Play?
Section 3. Analysing Play.
Section 4. Play in Action.
[thanks to google auto-save, my first draft was entirely deleted so this is just the highlights]

My take-away:  this section covered most of my experience with play and with toddlers.

I appreciate Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Ecological model of play.

Illustration from Child Psychology: The Modern Science, by R. Vasta, M. Haith and S. Miller (1999). []
The child's play is influenced by their environment and their knowledge of the world. 

The child's play is determined by their knowledge interacting with their personalities and preferences. 

Children playing creates a community: consensus on rules and behaviour, rewarded with more play.

One of my favourite memories of Atilla (18months 2weeks): he's in daycare school. I'm watching him unobserved through a window in the hallway. he's having fun twisting his body and flinging his arms around him (like a top-loading washing machine). he twists, flings so hard - he spins! Big big wide smile. He does it again and smiles with Marvin, who is also twisting and flinging.

Chapter 6: Confronting Assumptions About Play.

This contained one of the more powerful messages for me.

As I understand it, play is exercising a pleasurable skill set. So, soccer players play, musicians play, chefs also play.

Play is not without constraint; in fact humans are very good at creating constraints to play within.

Childhood may or may not be innocent, but it does contain ignorance.

Purposeful witholding of age-appropriate information is tantamount to bullying, I feel. 'Set up to fail' tactic of asserting dominance.

One of my aims with Atilla: support him in his quest to gain knowledge about the world. Share my skill set, help him to learn.

[the first version was entirely more poetic and rambling, with quotes, links, and director's cut. this is just the bits scrounged from the editing room floor.]

Google's auto-save sucks

I wrote a whole 2 hours work, and made one mistake which Google auto-saved. Now I've lost it all.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Bringing up baby: Mad

He was angry. He slapped Daddy. He wanted to slap me.

I explained to him he was angry, he was mad. He appeared to accept this label for his emotions, and became into a more manageable mood.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Bringing up baby: canines

Yup, his Dracula teeth coming through. It's a long time appearing.