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We have secretly replaced Mo's milk with Folger's crystals..

 
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 04:09 pm
Yeah. While we're on the subject of knowledge of irrationality not stopping one from being irrational, I chose sozlet's preschool rather than another one that was recommended in part because there were two registered sex offenders within a few blocks of that one.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 05:06 pm
You are not going to believe this!

I was doing the little paranoia thing -- thinking about saftey because I let Mo play in the backyard with interval supervision. Our yard is well fenced, we know all of the neighbors very well and I have two big, loud, protective dogs that think Mo is their (sometimes annoying) puppy. I really don't worry about him to much when he's out there and he plays so nice by himself and he chats with litttle "B" his partner in crime through the fence.

Mo and I get home this afternoon and my neighbor "Grandpa" comes over. He had recently been adopted by this cat and he was looking around the yard for "his" cat when he found two teenage girls in his yard shivering and crying!

They said they were being chased by three men in a silver car. Grandpa started to call 911 and they freaked out (they were probably truant). Since none of us neighborhood "girls" were there to help he put them in his car and drove them to their high school, alerting the secruity guard to their problems.

Honestly, in this neighborhood we hardly even lock our doors.

And now this.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 05:15 pm
Ay-yi-yi!!

That's good that you have neighborhood girls, though.

And that he was there, too.

Just having other people home during the day makes a huge difference -- those two people who SAW what happened in the scary story I told above, for example. I don't have that. :-?

(I'm having flashbacks to Jr. High or so when we would tell each other scary stories on sleepovers and get progressively more freaked out...)
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 05:38 pm
We got off on preschool and other things and I forgot to say thanks to makesmeshiver. You know, I wouldn't have it any other way either. Mo is indeed an "exciting" child.

As my parenting came about in such a surprise fashion I didn't really know what to expect. If I can survive these last two years of instant parenthood I can deal with whatever Mo is going to dish out in the future.

Of course, I'll probably continue to ask a million questions!

Soz, it is kind of that scare each other stuff going on, isn't it? It was just too weird that that happened today.

I lived in this house for 6 years without knowing "the girls", then Mo moved in and I found myself a bit more homebound. We threw a big block party and invited everyone on our street. The couple of hundred bucks we spent on food has been repaid in friendship and companionship and borrowed stuff ten times over.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 05:47 pm
Wow, great idea with the block party.

That kind of creativity is what's gonna see you through this par'lous journey.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Dec, 2004 06:01 pm
The block party was the best money I ever spent.

Most moms seem to develop a network when they're pregnant, or, they are at the age when a lot of their friends are having kids. I didn't have any of that stuff -- or, more importantly, any family nearby. I was really sinking.

Kudos to Mr. B for recognizing this and setting things up for me to get to know "the girls".

Mo might be the first child raised entirely on online and neighborly advice. While he is "exciting" (I love that!) he really is a good kid. He's dealt with a lot of stuff kids shouldn't have to deal with. And that ain't over yet.
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Vivien
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 04:06 am
the awful sadness of your friend's experience is bound to have a deep effect on your perception of preschool.

The thing is Mo will meet these infections when he reaches school age and will still go through them - mine did get German Measles, Mumps, various sickness bugs and colds during their preschool years - but then they were immune and healthy from then on

- Mo will still meet these infections but without this immunity and will miss out on education. They link asthma with a lack of challenges to the immune system don't they? just one of the many reasons for its rise

You are certainly doing a lot to help him socialise and you are doing a fantastic job of loving and caring for him

Like Soz, I'd do some thorough research on a potential school but as a personal decision I would send him, the headmisstress at my daughters school said there was a great difference between children who did and didn't attend preschool - those who did settled much better and learnt quicker - though some of the learning side is being addressed by you anyway, so that may not be applicable. Preschool children understood story times and sat attentitively listening for instance (I know you read to Mo) and they understood toy-sharing etc (I'm talking age 3-4 here) - possibly the toy-sharing, waiting your turn side would be the part Mo may be missing out on if he doesn't attend?




what are Folgers crystals?
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Dec, 2004 11:12 pm
Vivien wrote:
what are Folgers crystals?


At last! One I can answer with confidence!

Folgers crystals is a brand of instant coffee.

There had an obnoxious ad campaign (is there any other kind?) where they would "replace" the coffee in a fancy restaurant with their nasty instant coffee and then interview the poor people who drank it.
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Vivien
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 10:01 am
thanks Very Happy we have plenty of those irritating kind of ads here Sad
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 12:56 pm
I understand that soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq do nibble on freeze-dried coffee crystals--I'm not sure which brands are preferred.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 01:41 pm
Vivian, you've made me think to round up some teachers and talk to them about the benefits of preschooling. I know a girl who is about to start her internship as a kindergarten teacher. I'm going to let her settle in and then quiz her and what she thinks.

I am a big believer in early education. I drives me insane when I hear about Headstart programs being cut. Still, in many ways, I feel that we've been sold a bill of goods about preschooling. I do believe it might make us better parents by relieving some of the stress involved with the constant vigilence required by child raising. That, in turn, might make for calmer children.

In America there is a real "build a better baby" mentality that bothers me a lot, too. I really enjoy the (mostly) relaxed pace of our lives and I think Mo and I both benefit from a (mostly) low-stress environment of doing what we want, when we want. He might not ever be the smartest boy in class or the best behaved boy in class but I will gladly pit his imagination against anyone and I will love him no matter what.

I think I'll sit here on the fence a while longer about preschool.

Thanks for explaining Folger's crystals, DrewDad!

And thank for the tip, Noddy. I might start snacking on instant coffee myself!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 02:09 pm
I do know what you mean about "build a better baby", and agree with that wholeheartedly. Slacker moms unite!

You might be interested in the "unschooling" movement -- I find it an interesting idea that is often poorly applied.

I went looking yesterday for an article about the importance of social skills as a predictor of future school performance, and found one, and then got distracted, will go look for it again just a sec...

Hmm, this refers to the earlier research, which is what I was going for, but I haven't found the earlier research.

So this is a bit of both -- GOOD preschool experience is important and positive, but not all preschool experience qua preschool experience.

http://oregonstate.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2003/Jul03/preschool.htm

Quote:
Previous research by McClelland and Morrison linked these social skills with early academic success once children make the transition to kindergarten. They also found that children who don't have strong learning-related social skills are at increased risk for academic difficulties throughout elementary school.

"What is exciting about tying social skills to academic success is that it may be possible to teach these learning-related social skills to children who are lagging behind academically," McClelland said. "It is a situation ripe for intervention."

Among the skills displayed by 3- and 4-year-olds that lead to early academic success are good listening skills, following directions, self-control, good attention skills, cooperation, and reasonable "task persistence."
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 03:37 pm
From Sozobe's Oregon State Quote:

Quote:
Among the skills displayed by 3- and 4-year-olds that lead to early academic success are good listening skills, following directions, self-control, good attention skills, cooperation, and reasonable "task persistence."


All of this can be accomplished at home on a one-to-one basis. Obviously a kid is better off with a lot of individual attention from a caring parent than attention as one of a group from an underpaid Early Childhood Aide.

Local Germs and Social Skills with Peers can be picked up in kindergarten.

Of course with an exceptionally inventive kid, a break of one or two afternoons a week might be a good idea--particularly during wet winter months.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 08:46 pm
That is exactly what I mean, Noddy! I think it is often better for parents and might even make for better parenting but it is not necessarily right for every kid.

That article was very interesting but it didn't say that preschool was important for gaining these skills.

Mo already deals with a lot of bizarre social situations. And, I have read that children that were neglected in their early years often develop "charismatic" personalities. Mo is a terrible flirt (especially with men) and goes out of his way to attract attention. Sometimes it really scares me.

I remember our conversation about slacker momhood, soz! I'm not sure what "unschooling" is but I will investigate. It sounds interesting.

To me, learning that is based on curiosity and fun is more lasting than schooling. The "teach the test" mentality of schools these days petrifies me (not to mention creation "science" and what they are teaching about sweat and tears transmitting AIDS. They don't have recess, much less gym, or music or art. Those are some of the reasons I will consider home schooling, which is huge and well organized here in Oregon.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 09:19 pm
I was never happy in large groups--unless I was performing for an audience. This prejudices me against shoving children in groups. Even four or five kids (of one age) to one adult is too large a group to suit me.

Parenthetical aside: If I were on advising terms with a family of quads or quints, I'd recommend calling the local university to find a sensitive soul who would be willing to do Live In research for a Ph.d.

Mo is obviously thriving with the one-on-one (two-on-one when Mr. B. is home) attention.

This may be a sexist comment, but all small boys seem to need to woo an charm older males. I don't think this is a biological manifestation of Greek Love--I think the damn Men's Lodge may have a certain amount of genetic basis.

Both my sons had a hierarchy of charm targets. Old women were least desirable--young women and then girls a little better. Old men were above average, young men well above average and teen aged boys provoked enormous charm.

Women coo and goo and woo babies--male and female. Men are harder to get and hence much more valuable conquests.

Since Mo had to charm to survive, he's undoubtedly skilled at charming--and this is no bad thing. Still, another year or so of one-on-one unconditional love will build the inner ego as well as the exterior charm.

Given his charm, I'd start explaining condems about the age of 10--and ten years from now start slipping them in his Christmas stocking.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Dec, 2004 09:51 pm
Condoms!

Yeah, okay, 10 years. I can do that.

Surely in 10 years there will be a vaccine against AIDS and birth control for boys.

Won't there?

When I said it scares me I mean that it scares me that he goes so far to attract attention. (If he ever does turns out to be gay, I'm Doris Day: Que sera sera.)

The other day we were at the park and another mother was there with her little boy. Mo crawled up in her lap for a little snuggle, much to her own child's chagrin (and, to be honest, her's). At the swimming pool, Mo seeks out this older Japanese man who speaks not a word of english -- he and Mo seem to understand each other though and they have a blast together (much to his own child's chagrin). He will ask people to smell his feet.

I have no genetic stake in pointing out that he is a beautiful child, too.

Condems.

<nodding>
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Dec, 2004 11:28 am
Hiya,

So I saw this thread just before I really, really had to go to bed last night, and posted something, but the site was down temporarily ("Internal Server Error" or something) and then I really, really, REALLY had to go to bed, but I was still thinking about this so I woke up at like 3:00 AM with an idea. As my 3:00 AM ideas are often quite bad, I wanted to give it some time after I woke up to see what I thought about it. Here's where I am now.

First, minor point -- you probably know this, but this

Quote:
I do believe it might make us better parents by relieving some of the stress involved with the constant vigilence required by child raising.


makes me wonder how much of a time commitment you think is involved. Sozlet goes to preschool 3 days a week, 2.5 hours per day. Surely you spend more than 7.5 hours a week away from Mo now, doing your work?

Anyway, I think you and I are very similar in a lot of our thought processes and parenting instincts, so I was wondering about the divergence here. I was coming up with different ways that preschool has been good for the kid, and had remembered how cool it was when during her first week, in response to my query about how school had been that day, she said with some wonderment, "It was great -- even without you!!"

This led me to, we're starting from a very different place in terms of attachment. Sozlet has been deeply attached to us from the beginning, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, whole shebang. I'm concerned with keeping that confidence and attachment while letting her branch out, letting her realize that there are ways to have fun without me.

You have a very different situation on your hands, though -- I'm not sure about fun, per se, but Mo has a surfeit of adults who have some kind of claim on him and attachment to him. For your situation, it makes sense to use this time to solidify your attachment to him rather than encouraging branching out.

Does that make sense?

Re: the article, it wasn't what I was looking for, though I thought it had some interesting points. I'll keep trying to find what I was looking for, as it was largely about social skills in the more kid-to-kid sense rather than learning skills. I have definitely noticed a major change in sozlet when it comes to social skills, for the better. Part of this is an only child thing (and another part of why I find preschool important, at least in our kid-deprived neighborhood -- another difference, from what you say.) Between when we moved and when she started preschool, she had a tough time at the playground. Too needy, just didn't have the signals down. She'd keep looking to me for support/ intervention. Now she just goes up to some kids and starts playing with them. (I can't see what she says, wish I knew.) She knows how it works.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Dec, 2004 01:36 pm
That makes a lot of sense, soz!

Right now I'm spending quite a bit of time at work but for the most part I leave things in the hands of my very capable staff (I'm planning on reorganizing and making two of them partners after the first of the year). I've taken over a bit majority of stuff that I can do from home (retouching, effects, that sort of thing - which also gives me time to A2K while photos crunch through my computer).

When Mo first moved in with us any kind of separation seemed to make him very nervous. "I want to stay with you" is something that he still says at least once a day, even when I'm not planning on going anywhere and he knows it. Most of the really nutty days we have are after a particularly busy work day or after he's spent a night with his mom.

Also, we had no idea that he was going to be here this long. When this whole thing started out it was "just for a few days". At that time I decided to make the most of whatever time we were going to have together. Plus, Mo was a mess and Mr. B and I weren't in much better shape. We all needed time to adjust to the new situation.

Only now, after nearly two years (two years next month) it is really starting to feel like real life to all of us.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Dec, 2004 03:59 pm
Sozobe, Boomerang--


Diversity in child rearing practices isn't just PC--it is common sense and absolutely necessary.

Right now Mo and the Sozelet are only children. If either of them had a brother or a sister, you'd find out that the second sibling is a completely different critter needing individual appreciation.

There is no such thing as an expert in motherhood.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 13 Dec, 2004 04:52 pm
Amen, Noddy.
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