Weekly review: Week ending November 2, 2018

This week felt a little bit smoother. We’ve been working on making routines more consistent, and I’ve been using A-‘s nap time to tidy up and get things ready. I’ve even been able to play a bit, although I should shift some of that time towards more productive use. It’ll be fun to see how we can improve things.

  • Kaizen
    • W- and I discussed ideas for kitchen kaizen. We’ll try doubling recipes and either freezing right away or trading them with other families.
    • Some thoughts about getting ahead on house stuff: Move more cooking and cleaning to weekdays, double quantities for favourite recipes, prep ingredients (always need chopped onions, garlic, carrots)
    • I minced most of the garlic and stashed it in the freezer.
    • W- and I discussed other kaizen opportunities and how to make time to do things.
    • I put a book in my bathroom drawer so that I could read it while waiting for A-.
  • Us
    • A- has been very interested in folding things, so I learned how to fold an origami box.
  • Fine motor
    • A- was interested in imitating the pictures from the book “I Can Do It Myself.” She wanted me to cut various shapes so that she could arrange them, and she practised holding a pencil.
    • W- ordered origami paper from Amazon, but 6×6″ feels a bit too small for our fingers.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- walked on the wooden bench in the hall outside music class. She misstepped and fell maybe two feet onto the concrete floor. She was upset, but was okay enough to walk back to me. She told me that her elbow hurt, and she cried quietly for about twenty minutes. She could still move her fingers, hand, and arm, so I wasn’t too worried. When I offered to take her home, she said she really wanted to go to school, so we did. (“Especially pretend school.”) By the time we got to school, she was all sorted out again. She had fun playing with big foam blocks and listening to storytime.
  • Eating
    • There was a Halloween party at the drop-in centre. A- liked the chocolate cake, so she asked for another serving. She also ate lots of fruits and cheese.
    • A- liked the cheese and sausage stacker. She also told us she was a big kid and asked for Japanese curry sauce on her rice, which she pronounced yummy.
  • Sleep
    • A- usually settles into bed around 11:30 PM, maybe a little earlier or later. I wonder if I can start nudging wake up earlier, maybe with video calls to Lola?
    • A- slept late after much grumbling, possibly influenced by her pretending to be a baby.
  • Emotion
    • A- worked on testing my boundaries by pulling my hair and touching my face. She had a tantrum when I was firm about what I would not allow, but eventually subsided.
  • Household
    • A- was interested in spraying water and wiping spots, so we cleaned the kitchen floor.
  • Social
    • I asked A- what she wanted to wear for Halloween. She consistently said, “Zebra!” We painted black stripes on one of her old flat diapers and I made headgear with zebra ears out of a cereal box. She was pleased with her costume and asked me to help her wear it. She walked up and down stairs to go trick-or-treating – mostly silent and wide-eyed, but occasionally braying like a zebra when prompted. I went ahead and modeled language for her (“Trick or treat! Happy Halloween! Thank you!”) instead of prompting and waiting for her. I carried her basket when it got heavy (should’ve brought another bag to dump things into), and she clutched a red lollipop that had caught her fancy. She also helped me hand out treats. She was okay with putting the red lollipop and most of the treats back into the bowl for giving to other kids, although we kept a few treats for her to explore.
    • A- can independently sit in a circle during storytime and follow the teacher’s instructions while I clean nearby. Sometimes she still insists on being close to me, but it’s nice to see her growing independence. She’s also starting to want to interact with teachers, asking for a hug or standing by to show something to the teacher. I’d still rather take her to the drop-in centre instead of enrolling her in preschool, since I enjoy spending time with her and she’s more oriented towards grown-ups than other kids. Eventually her focus will shift, but in the meantime, there’s no rush.
    • As a reward for helping tidy up, A- received a magnifying glass and a color changing pencil from the Ontario Science Centre staff member.
  • Pretend
    • A- pretended to be Mr. Webb, her ocularist. She refers to herself in the third person and narrates her actions when she wants to make sure we know who she is, leading to statements like “Mr. Webb crawls around.”
  • Cognition
    • A- asked W- to reach for bubble solution on the top shelf. It was hidden behind something else, but she remembered that it was there.
    • At the Ontario Science Centre, A- was fascinated by the telephones that distorted voices or added echoes.
  • World
    • A- was fascinated by the clock, and wanted me to arrange magnetic numbers into a clock face on the freezer. We’ve been telling her that dinner is at 7:00 and snack time is at 9:00, and helping her read the time. We moved the hand on the magnetic clock face to 7:00 to reflect the current time. She moved it to 9:00 and said, “It’s snack time!”
  • Oops
    • I almost lost one of A-‘s gloves when I left it in the shopping cart. W- couldn’t find it when he circled around, but A- insisted that we look again. I found it trapped against the side that was pushed in by the cart behind it.
  • Thoughts
    • I thought a little bit more about making the most of scattered thoughts. I created a journal category for them and will think about how to tie ideas together.
    • After we went to music class and the drop-in centre, A- wanted to go to the library (where we borrowed two books), the organic grocery store (where we bought three apples), and the supermarket (where we bought a bunch of bananas). She’s got this neighbourhood circuit she loves doing, so I go to those places practically every weekday. I don’t mind. It gets us walking outside, we talk about stuff on the way, and she practises interacting with people too. If I let her take the lead, then she usually walks around until she’s tired enough to nap. She falls asleep when I carry her, and then I set her down for a nap while I tidy up at home. I wonder how I can tweak our routines to take advantage of this time. Maybe I can make a visual grocery list for us, so we can plan our purchases better. Maybe I can plan a simple meal to cook with her after she wakes up. Maybe I can line up things to write about if she’s still asleep. Hmm…
    • What do I want to do with fragmented thoughts? Observe, remember, synthesize, reflect, build up.
    • My mom told me about some of the challenges that are getting in the way of her writing. That reminded me that it’s important to write about things along the way instead of leaving it for later, because later might not work out.
    • I’ve been thinking about what I want to make time to learn. Some ideas: home economics, parenting, child development and psychology, decisions, Emacs (to tickle my brain), automation and other ways to make the most of snippets of time… I can make more time for reading by getting A- used to my reading grown-up books in front of her (one book for you, one book for me), I can listen to podcasts and videos while washing dishes or walking while she naps, and I can use her nap time and sleep time more effectively.
    • I wonder how I can get better at working with fragmented thoughts. Maybe outlines? Quick drawings?

Blog posts

Time

Category The other week Last week Diff h/wk Diff h/wk
Unpaid work 7.3 9.4 2.0 15.7 3.4
Discretionary – Play 2.8 4.3 1.4 7.1 2.4
Sleep 33.8 35.1 1.3 58.9 2.1
A- 42.8 43.4 0.6 72.9 1.0
Discretionary – Social 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Business 0.3 0.2 -0.1 0.3 -0.1
Discretionary – Family 1.3 1.1 -0.2 1.9 -0.3
Personal 8.2 5.7 -2.5 9.6 -4.2
Discretionary – Productive 3.4 0.9 -2.5 1.5 -4.3