Weekly review: Week ending November 1, 2019

| review, weekly
  • Kaizen
    • At the end of the family math program we went to, the teacher pulled me aside to give me some tips. She said that A- reminded her of her son because A- is pretty quick and knows what she wants to do. She shared how her son had gotten bored in school, so she asked the teacher to engage him by asking him to help some of his classmates learn. She also asked the teacher to borrow interesting books from other classrooms, since he had read all the ones in their classroom already. She said that teachers sometimes have their hands full with the other students, so it may help to have specific ideas to try.
  • Us
    • I did some more Python modeling and explored a few different scenarios.
    • I managed to work one and a half hours while A- was at her kindergarten readiness program. It’s not quite enough time to get deeply into a program, but because it’s during the business day, I can coordinate with people and do some troubleshooting.
    • I gave away 700+ temporary tattoos for Halloween, 2-4 at a time. I hope they survived the rain! We also gave away some sweet treats.
    • It’s getting quite chilly. Definitely time for thermals!
    • We had the Emacs Conf 2019 conference, hooray! We survived the inevitable tech hiccups thanks to our preparations and a wonderful community of patient attendees and volunteers. Lots of good stuff to learn from, talk about, and build on. I’m looking forward to actually being able to watch the talks instead of running around like a headless chicken. =) Doing it as a virtual conference worked out really, really well, and I look forward to doing that again next year!
  • Fine motor
    • I was sick, so I catnapped on the couch. When I checked on A-, I found that she had scribbled fairly recognizable letters on pieces of paper: B, D, C, R.
  • Language
    • On eating salmon: “I officially like skin.” I wasn’t sure if A- intended the pun or not (o-FISH-ally?), but it made me smile.
    • The Esso family math program reminded me to help A- practise using comparison words like big, bigger, and biggest. So when A- wanted to pretend to throw snowballs at each other, I told her I was throwing a heavy snowball at her. She echoed it back, saying she threw a heavy snowball at me. I said I threw a heavier snowball at her, and she said she threw the heaviest snowball at me. I then pretended to fall down and get trapped under the snowball, which amused her greatly.
    • A- negotiated for one more video by saying, “One more. it was a very smooth bedtime routine.”
    • A- spelled her name out with stickers.
  • Self-care and independence
    • A- and I were handing out candy for Halloween. We included some that A- had sorted out of her trick-or-treating harvest. W- brought out a container of Rockets that A- had collected. A- said, “Let’s not give those away.”
    • A- was interested in taking a Thermos food container to school. She asked if J- had grown out of them, and if she was growing into them.
    • A- and I got our flu shots. She was definitely not keen on it going in, but I insisted. She was still upset afterwards, although she calmed down after getting a couple of stickers. I wonder if I can try other ways to help her cope.
    • W- reinstalled the lights in A-‘s room. They’re placed low enough for her to turn on and off by herself. A- had asked for them back a week or two ago, saying, “Now that I’m good at listening, can we reinstall my lights?” We had experimented with them when she was much younger, but we took them away because she kept flicking them on and off when it was bedtime. Now it seems to be okay.
  • Eating
    • A- ate a lot of salmon. I found that eating pomegranate together with pomelo was a nice combination.
  • Emotion
    • A- was a little stubborn after her kindergarten readiness program’s Halloween party. She insisted on going all the way up the stairs, and wouldn’t come back down so that I could get our things. I didn’t feel comfortable letting her wait there, since she might wander off or make people concerned that she’s unattended. Eventually she got tempted back down by circle time, and that gave me a opportunity to collect our stuff. I wonder if the party had been a little overstimulating, as the music was a bit loud.
  • Social
    • A- was not getting along with the babysitter. She had felt self-conscious earlier because the babysitter had asked if her eye was okay when A- was rubbing it. A- had tried to change the subject with, “Let’s go play,” but the babysitter had persisted. The babysitter also kept calling her by a nickname even when she asked to be called by her full name. As a result, A- kept wanting to go play with W- or me instead, and that wasn’t working out. I also didn’t like how the babysitter preferred to sit by herself and be on her phone whenever A- wandered downstairs to look for us, instead of accompanying A-, narrating what was going on, helping A- stay safe and out of the way, and looking for something to draw A- back. So I dismissed the babysitter a few hours early and spent the rest of the time playing with A-. I also talked to A- about more explicit requests like saying, “I don’t want to talk about it,” and I started thinking about what tips to give babysitters to help the two of them get along. I know it’s pretty challenging because we’re all home. She likes her favourite babysitters so much that she asks me why I’ve come upstairs, but new babysitters are hit-or-miss. We’ll try a few more, and if that doesn’t work, then I’ll probably shift to only having weekend sitters when A-‘s favourite ones are available, and having weekday sitters otherwise.
    • I was sick and sleepy, so W- played with A- a bit at bedtime. He was trying to get her to stay in the room so that he could go downstairs and bring up some Duplo, but she wanted to stay with him. He told her that he could go faster if he went by himself. She said, “Together we have four hands.”
    • We were on the subway train home. I told A-, “I love you.” A- loudly proclaimed, laughing, “I love ketchup more than I love Mama.” I laughed too. She followed up with, “I love fries more than I love Mama.” Someone in the seat across from us was laughing and laughing at the conversation.
    • The kindergarten readiness teacher said that the kids had a hard time listening that day. I asked A- about it later. She said, “I listened to the teacher. She gave me a thumbs up.” When I saw the teacher, she confirmed that A- did okay.
    • A- was eating dinner while on W-‘s lap, and her hands were messy. “These were clean pants, honey,” he remonstrated. She picked up a kitchen towel and proceeded to dab at his shirt.
    • A- played I Spy with her grandmother over video chat. That worked out pretty well.
  • Pretend
    • A- wanted to be a kitty firefighter for Halloween, so I opened the face paint kit and painted her face.
  • Cognition
    • A- helped me make Halloween loot bags for a few kids we know personally. She distributed one of each kind of candy into the bags.
  • World
    • W- took A- for her first hair cut at a salon. We decided to go with a grown-up salon instead of having to fight with all the toy purchase temptations at the kids’ salon near us. The hair stylist probably got the better end of the deal, since she just did maybe 10 minutes of trimming and still got her full fee. Still, it’s a good way to slowly get used to things like that!

Blog posts


Category The other week % Last week % Diff % h/wk Diff h/wk
Business 0.9 4.3 3.4 7.2 5.7
Personal 4.8 6.4 1.6 10.7 2.7
Discretionary – Play 1.5 2.4 0.9 4.1 1.5
Discretionary – Social 0.4 0.9 0.5 1.5 0.8
Sleep 33.2 33.5 0.3 56.3 0.5
Discretionary – Family 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Unpaid work 3.0 2.5 -0.6 4.2 -0.9
A- 43.8 42.7 -1.1 71.8 -1.8
Discretionary – Productive 12.3 7.3 -5.1 12.2 -8.5
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