Weekly review: Week ending April 19, 2019

| review, weekly
  • Kaizen
    • I reverted to Disqus comments for spam filtering.
  • Us
    • Instead of sleeping or doing productive things, I decided to play Borderlands 2 a lot with W-. It was almost like old times!
    • I organized my travel clothes.
    • I checked out Emerald City since W- had watched a few episodes.
    • I thought about whether to find an independent babysitter or to continue with an agency. It’s actually kinda nifty getting such different babysitters each time, and it’s nice not having to mess around with screening or scheduling.
    • I made lasagna.
    • I hemmed my pajama pants and W-‘s sweatpants.
  • Gross motor
    • A- walked a lot. She wanted to go to Riverdale Farm, so she walked to the subway, from the bus to the farm, and from the farm to the playground.
  • Language
    • “Can you sing a French song? how about Frere Jacques?”
    • Me: “How about pancakes?”
      A-: “Christmas tree pancakes?”
      Me: “We can’t, we don’t have spinach. Plain?”
      A-: “Oh, but we have food coloring!”
      Me: “We try not to use it.”
      A-: “But it’s food!”
    • We were talking about her side and my side of the sungka board. She outlined her part with her hands and said, “My sungka moira, your sungka moira.”
    • A- wanted me to read “Ang Aking Paligid.” When we got to the page with the dress, she decided to change into her yellow dress. She asked me to bring the book upstairs and open it to the page. After she changed into her dress, she said, “Nasaan ang libro?” Her first Tagalog question!
    • “I call myself ‘girl’ and I call Daddy ‘de jongen.'” For the second time, I’ve had to explain to a somewhat bewildered grown-up that A- has picked up a Dutch word from my attempts to learn through Duolingo.
    • I had fun watching A- and the sitter walk to school. The sitter kept the conversation going by pointing out lots of interesting details.
    • “I’m just making up random words.”
    • A- turned to W- and asked, “Are you strong enough to carry a cantaloupe?”
  • Music
    • After a few days of asking me to sing the “eh” song (her name for Sitsiritsit, because of the line “ang babae sa lansangan”), she suddenly sang the whole first stanza pretty clearly.
    • Since A- could sing the first stanza of Sitsiritsit, I started singing Lupang Hinirang to her as well. She said, “I like listening to Tagalog songs.”
  • Self-care and independence
    • I asked A- if she wanted to have more babysitting time. She asked for more days, and she said, “I want to be more independent.”
    • A- drank so much water at bedtime. Still made it to the bathroom the next morning, whew!
    • A- got the hang of gargling, and did it half a dozen times.
    • A- wanted to try sleeping under blankets instead of in her sleep sack. She asked for all three blankets to be piled on top of her.
  • Eating
    • Carnitas: I tried the pre-marinated pulled pork from the supermarket deli. Success! Good in a burrito. A- even had some.
    • A- really liked fishballs.
    • A- asked for a watermelon. She really enjoyed eating it for evening snack.
  • Sleep
    • A- decided to sleep on the crib mattress in her small sleep sack. She chewed on her gum massager for a few minutes and then fell asleep.
    • A- resisted going to sleep. She eventually got upset enough to ask me to brush her teeth, carry her in the carrier, put her in sleep sack, and walk around.
  • Emotion
    • A- had a tantrum in the basement. She wanted to pick up more metal items with her magnet instead of coming upstairs with me. I was worried that she was starting to sound too tired, so I wanted to at least get her out of the workshop before she melted down. I counted, then carried her out. She cried and asked for W- instead, so he swapped in and I washed dishes upstairs. She eventually calmed down with him, and they went through the bedtime routine. She fell asleep in bed early, so yeah, she was pretty tired.

      A gentler approach might have been for me to ask her to set a limit (how many more games of pick it up?), because she tends to respond well to agreements. She was stonewalling a bit on going upstairs, though. Maybe I could have exaggerated the silliness by talking about bringing down pillows and blankets. I didn’t really need to herd her upstairs so that I could wash the dishes. If she spent another half an hour playing and then had a tantrum about that or something else, I could still offer comfort after washing hands. So yeah, room for improvement on my part too.

      Hmm… I don’t think counting is a technique that works well for us at the moment. Let’s see if there are other ways to defuse the situation next time she wants to keep playing…

    • Lots of shrieking – A- seemed to be frustrated about something.
    • I talked to A- about videos and compared it to being a visitor: enjoy, but always be ready to let go.
    • A- had a tantrum when I was too tired to carry her in the carrier, but she calmed down after I rested and then asked her how many times she wanted to go around in the carrier.
  • Social
    • We brought Melissa and H- some chicken pot pie and chocolate-zucchini muffins. A- practised being a visitor, following H-‘s suggestions for things to play with and letting her take things back as needed. Both of them did pretty well.
    • One trick to making morning brushing go more smoothly is to let her brush my teeth. While doing so, she said, “Open wide, my little dear.” A short while later, she said, “I want to take lots of care of you.”
    • J1 makes appreciative sounds while eating. A- started doing the same while eating next to her.
    • J1 and A- took turns very smoothly with J1’s rocking horse.
    • I asked A- if she wanted to go to school, visit a friend, or invite a friend over. She chose to invite J1 over, so Joy, J1, and J2 came. A- was a pretty good host, amiably sharing most of her toys, and mostly keeping her cool when she asked for a toy back. J1 was fascinated by the cats and by the piano. We all had a good time.
    • A- wanted to go to school (really a drop-in centre) with the babysitter. She asked me to come along and stay in the yard while she played inside with the sitter. I packed my laptop, RSA token, phone, Bluetooth keyboard, sketchbook, and book. I told A- that I’d stay there for as long as I could, and that I’d also come and pick them up once school was done. A- walked all the way to school holding the sitter’s hand while I followed them with the stroller. She went inside while I stayed in the yard, and then came out again for lunch break. I worked while my laptop battery lasted, then said goodbye and headed home. When I went back to pick them up, I offered A- a choice of staying for circle time and going home with me, or walking home with the sitter. She picked the sitter, and we made it home in time for the end of our babysitting session. Yay!
    • We chatted with Lola. A- liked interacting with her.
    • A- wanted to invite Melissa and H- over. A- and H- had fun blowing bubbles, jumping on the bed, playing with blocks and animals, eating muffins, and pretending H- was a baby.
    • We went to AO’s birthday party. A- was a good guest. She enjoyed the pizza, played with toys, shared her bubbles, and gave things back whenever AO wanted them again. We went to the park afterwards and spent some time on the swings.
  • World
    • At Riverdale Farm, we had fun watching the ducklings, chicks, and goats.
    • A- was very curious about her body, so we talked about her body for a bit.
  • Other
    • A- liked playing with a small doll at school, and she often pretended to take care of me or other people. I ordered a doll for her. I also bought the Playing Preschool PDF for theme and activity ideas.

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Discretionary – Social 0.6 4.2 3.6 7.0 6.0
Discretionary – Play 2.0 4.7 2.6 7.8 4.4
Unpaid work 6.6 6.8 0.2 11.5 0.3
Business 1.8 1.9 0.1 3.2 0.2
Discretionary – Family 0.6 0.1 -0.4 0.2 -0.8
Discretionary – Productive 3.6 2.8 -0.7 4.7 -1.2
Sleep 35.8 34.5 -1.3 58.0 -2.2
Personal 12.6 10.6 -1.9 17.9 -3.2
A- 36.4 34.3 -2.2 57.5 -3.6
You can comment with Disqus or you can e-mail me at sacha@sachachua.com.