September 14, 2006

A parent is more busy before a child is two? Is that right?

Before Emma was two, I was constantly snapping pictures, doing mini-videos. I was constantly seeking milestone affirmations.

Does she smile by three weeks? Check.

Can she support her neck, raise her head by month 3? Check.
Can she roll over by month 4 or 5?
Can she sit up then?
Can she ba-ba-ba jabbering by 7 months?
Can she crawl by month 7? ...

The list just goes on and on. Of course, Emma reached all the milestones. She got bigger and more animated and active everyday.

However, after she became 2, now close to 3, I found I am more and more easing up, more and more enjoying that she is such a verbal, happy and healthy and good little girl. (Well, she is short compared to her peers, however, Leo and I are short, and we both hit puberty late and started growing late. )

I guess it is because little babies do so little, that I was a little impatient and under-confident, I was a little too eager to measure her development against textbooks.

Understandable, even doctors check on babies more than well-on-track little girls. They worry about little babies more.

But why we do not wield our camera everywhere? Maybe because I would rather spend time playing than take pictures. Ah, maybe it is easier to have babies strike a pose. You sit them on the grass, they smile, they look down at this strange slow moving ladybug. Click, one perfect picture. But with a three year old, you have to fight with them for cameras. So there, click, without even looking, Emma snapped of a picture of daddy's hand.

Busier then, easier now

Posted by Xun  |  3 comments

A parent is more busy before a child is two? Is that right?

Before Emma was two, I was constantly snapping pictures, doing mini-videos. I was constantly seeking milestone affirmations.

Does she smile by three weeks? Check.

Can she support her neck, raise her head by month 3? Check.
Can she roll over by month 4 or 5?
Can she sit up then?
Can she ba-ba-ba jabbering by 7 months?
Can she crawl by month 7? ...

The list just goes on and on. Of course, Emma reached all the milestones. She got bigger and more animated and active everyday.

However, after she became 2, now close to 3, I found I am more and more easing up, more and more enjoying that she is such a verbal, happy and healthy and good little girl. (Well, she is short compared to her peers, however, Leo and I are short, and we both hit puberty late and started growing late. )

I guess it is because little babies do so little, that I was a little impatient and under-confident, I was a little too eager to measure her development against textbooks.

Understandable, even doctors check on babies more than well-on-track little girls. They worry about little babies more.

But why we do not wield our camera everywhere? Maybe because I would rather spend time playing than take pictures. Ah, maybe it is easier to have babies strike a pose. You sit them on the grass, they smile, they look down at this strange slow moving ladybug. Click, one perfect picture. But with a three year old, you have to fight with them for cameras. So there, click, without even looking, Emma snapped of a picture of daddy's hand.

Thursday, September 14, 2006
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September 13, 2006

Whenever Emma thinks something is funny, she giggles and says: "It is so bunny (funny)". She also mispronounce sandbox as handbox.

When she needs some help, she says: "Mommy, can I help me?" I say: "Emma, you should say Can you help me". She makes a ha-ha.

Sunday, we were going out, Leo and I accidentally forgot our keys inside. We asked our neighbor for help. Our neighbor asked: "Can you climb through your window?" Leo said no, it was too dangerous. Emma volutunteered: "I can".

I am pregnant, my belly is getting rounder and bigger. I told Emma serveral times: "Emma, I am gonna to have a new baby. You are gonna to be a big sister". Emma looked at me and nodded. Then again, I told her: "Emma, look, there is a baby inside my tommy." She responded: "I have a baby in my tommy."

It is so bunny

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

Whenever Emma thinks something is funny, she giggles and says: "It is so bunny (funny)". She also mispronounce sandbox as handbox.

When she needs some help, she says: "Mommy, can I help me?" I say: "Emma, you should say Can you help me". She makes a ha-ha.

Sunday, we were going out, Leo and I accidentally forgot our keys inside. We asked our neighbor for help. Our neighbor asked: "Can you climb through your window?" Leo said no, it was too dangerous. Emma volutunteered: "I can".

I am pregnant, my belly is getting rounder and bigger. I told Emma serveral times: "Emma, I am gonna to have a new baby. You are gonna to be a big sister". Emma looked at me and nodded. Then again, I told her: "Emma, look, there is a baby inside my tommy." She responded: "I have a baby in my tommy."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006
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September 07, 2006

My brain is awash, even after ten hours of sleep. Ten hours! What a shame! Martha Stewart and this celebrity chef Rachel Ray sleep only four hours a day. Anyway, my brain is awash, my vocabulary remains at this rudimentary level: Good, Ok, Bad, Sorry ... Emma talks better than I do. I wonder if it is a brain malfunction due to aging or pregnancy.

Probably both.

But even before pregnancy, before aging (getting into mid thirties), I was not much a thinker, much less a talker. I was always an avid reader. Being young, I fed myself tear-inducing extra sappy romantic novel; Western culture worshipping, I devoured volumes of Balzac and Tolstoy, and I was dismayed that no one read them here. One thing exceptional, being in a country of socialism and dire poverty, I never caught any frivolous fever about celebrities.

Anyway, all the reading never made me a good thinker. Never could jump from A to B. Never could made any theories nor argue for any. Writing assays is mind-wringing pain. I once was Assyriology major. I was always amazed that my professors and all the experts could make grand conclusions about city, state, war, religion, culture, royal succession, etc., etc., just by looking at a small mound of mud and a dubious looking collection of fragments of cuneiform tablets. But they were always right and rightly acclaimed for their genius. I was always at loss trying to summon up how Assyrian empire collapsed. I dropped out.

The same thing with tracking babies’ eye movement or watching they grab a spoon, then writing volumes after volumes about children development. But that is what Jean Piaget did. He spent his life listening to and watching children, especially his own four children, and gently experimenting with them, and he became the most influential expert on children development.

So is this Howard cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Spelke. She set up a “National Sippy cup Research Center”, tracking babies’ eye movement using a methodology called “preferential looking”, and challenging Jean Piaget’s notion that knowledge are constructed their knowledge through experience and interactions. Instead, she claims that babies are born with a set of core knowledge and capacities, such as concepts of numbers, and object permanence …

I read all this in the article “The Baby Lab” published by The New Yoker. The article also writes that, “To the layperson, there’s something faintly comic about looking-time studies (eye tracking). So much strenuous effort is made to engage the attention and record the fleeting stares of bobbled-headed babies … and so many lofty claims about human nature about being based on these odd little encounters”.

That is exactly how I, a layperson, feel. I am forever a layperson to all scientific, social, historical research. And I am forever in awe and bewilderment and disbelief of a lot of grand theories claimed by a lot of scientists. Or I am forever a layperson in the kingdom of reasoning, deduction, grand thinking and theory making. Or talking. Especially talking in public, I stutter, I get impatient, timid, and silent, then I venture out, then I slip and become incoherent …

I despair.

I wonder how people differ so much. In appearance, capacity, confidence, personality, in fortune, fame and luck, in possible shapes and forms, in all things tangible and intangible. Jean Piaget wrote and published an essay when he was 9; Adora Svitak published a book at 8. My friend’s son is smart, inquisitive, aggressive, and sometimes a little mean; Emma is sweet, compassionate, articulated, nonphysical, and sometimes a little shy; the 2-year-old son of an acquaintance is burly, assertive, loud and strong …

“One of the most contentious elements of Spelke’s thinking is her firm conviction that boys and girls are born with essentially the same cognitive tools”. My reaction to it is also a big no, NOT Possible. Boys and girls differ at the moment they are able to pick their toys, boys love trains, cars, and guns, while girls love dolls, stuff animals. Boys and girls differ just like individuals differ.

Leap to theory

Posted by Xun  |  1 comment

My brain is awash, even after ten hours of sleep. Ten hours! What a shame! Martha Stewart and this celebrity chef Rachel Ray sleep only four hours a day. Anyway, my brain is awash, my vocabulary remains at this rudimentary level: Good, Ok, Bad, Sorry ... Emma talks better than I do. I wonder if it is a brain malfunction due to aging or pregnancy.

Probably both.

But even before pregnancy, before aging (getting into mid thirties), I was not much a thinker, much less a talker. I was always an avid reader. Being young, I fed myself tear-inducing extra sappy romantic novel; Western culture worshipping, I devoured volumes of Balzac and Tolstoy, and I was dismayed that no one read them here. One thing exceptional, being in a country of socialism and dire poverty, I never caught any frivolous fever about celebrities.

Anyway, all the reading never made me a good thinker. Never could jump from A to B. Never could made any theories nor argue for any. Writing assays is mind-wringing pain. I once was Assyriology major. I was always amazed that my professors and all the experts could make grand conclusions about city, state, war, religion, culture, royal succession, etc., etc., just by looking at a small mound of mud and a dubious looking collection of fragments of cuneiform tablets. But they were always right and rightly acclaimed for their genius. I was always at loss trying to summon up how Assyrian empire collapsed. I dropped out.

The same thing with tracking babies’ eye movement or watching they grab a spoon, then writing volumes after volumes about children development. But that is what Jean Piaget did. He spent his life listening to and watching children, especially his own four children, and gently experimenting with them, and he became the most influential expert on children development.

So is this Howard cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Spelke. She set up a “National Sippy cup Research Center”, tracking babies’ eye movement using a methodology called “preferential looking”, and challenging Jean Piaget’s notion that knowledge are constructed their knowledge through experience and interactions. Instead, she claims that babies are born with a set of core knowledge and capacities, such as concepts of numbers, and object permanence …

I read all this in the article “The Baby Lab” published by The New Yoker. The article also writes that, “To the layperson, there’s something faintly comic about looking-time studies (eye tracking). So much strenuous effort is made to engage the attention and record the fleeting stares of bobbled-headed babies … and so many lofty claims about human nature about being based on these odd little encounters”.

That is exactly how I, a layperson, feel. I am forever a layperson to all scientific, social, historical research. And I am forever in awe and bewilderment and disbelief of a lot of grand theories claimed by a lot of scientists. Or I am forever a layperson in the kingdom of reasoning, deduction, grand thinking and theory making. Or talking. Especially talking in public, I stutter, I get impatient, timid, and silent, then I venture out, then I slip and become incoherent …

I despair.

I wonder how people differ so much. In appearance, capacity, confidence, personality, in fortune, fame and luck, in possible shapes and forms, in all things tangible and intangible. Jean Piaget wrote and published an essay when he was 9; Adora Svitak published a book at 8. My friend’s son is smart, inquisitive, aggressive, and sometimes a little mean; Emma is sweet, compassionate, articulated, nonphysical, and sometimes a little shy; the 2-year-old son of an acquaintance is burly, assertive, loud and strong …

“One of the most contentious elements of Spelke’s thinking is her firm conviction that boys and girls are born with essentially the same cognitive tools”. My reaction to it is also a big no, NOT Possible. Boys and girls differ at the moment they are able to pick their toys, boys love trains, cars, and guns, while girls love dolls, stuff animals. Boys and girls differ just like individuals differ.

Thursday, September 07, 2006
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1 comments:

September 06, 2006

To have one child or two? I have been considering to have a second child for quite some time. However, never could make up my mind.

The plus and minus side weigh equally.

The plus side:

1. the image of a happy family of four is simply irresistable;

2. Emma can have a lifetime companion and friend;

3. It would be even better if she got a brother. I read that brothers and sisters are better equipped and more confident to take on the world, at least they would be more adept handling their oppsite sex; I heard a family consisting of a band of brothers soly, higher percentage of younger boys become gay ... Gay is not anything to feel bad about, still, a family of boys and girls sound more balanced.

4. More children means more grandchildren. How comforting it would be that when you get old, you can have more than one family to visit you ... I count on that all my children would love me dearly. Look at my parents, now they are the center of my two sisters.
...

The minus side:

1. Too big a financial burden. To have a larger family, I have get rid of my old car, old condo. Just thinking of selling and rebuying a place to live gives me headache, let alone that Leo and I have to come up with the money. Besides, I have to twice the tution, babysitting, college ...

2. It takes too much time, too much work. How am I to divide my sick days, vacation days, sick days, weekend, evening and morning hours among two kids, myself and Leo? Am I to go through the torture of sleep deprivation and the endless worries again?

3. Sibling rivalry. Will Emma get along with her little brother or sister? Will she feel that she is not as much loved as when she is the only child, only center of attention at home?

...

Well, no use thinking anymore now. I am pregnant. Like it or not. I will have two (beautiful) children.

To have one or two?

Posted by Xun  |  4 comments

To have one child or two? I have been considering to have a second child for quite some time. However, never could make up my mind.

The plus and minus side weigh equally.

The plus side:

1. the image of a happy family of four is simply irresistable;

2. Emma can have a lifetime companion and friend;

3. It would be even better if she got a brother. I read that brothers and sisters are better equipped and more confident to take on the world, at least they would be more adept handling their oppsite sex; I heard a family consisting of a band of brothers soly, higher percentage of younger boys become gay ... Gay is not anything to feel bad about, still, a family of boys and girls sound more balanced.

4. More children means more grandchildren. How comforting it would be that when you get old, you can have more than one family to visit you ... I count on that all my children would love me dearly. Look at my parents, now they are the center of my two sisters.
...

The minus side:

1. Too big a financial burden. To have a larger family, I have get rid of my old car, old condo. Just thinking of selling and rebuying a place to live gives me headache, let alone that Leo and I have to come up with the money. Besides, I have to twice the tution, babysitting, college ...

2. It takes too much time, too much work. How am I to divide my sick days, vacation days, sick days, weekend, evening and morning hours among two kids, myself and Leo? Am I to go through the torture of sleep deprivation and the endless worries again?

3. Sibling rivalry. Will Emma get along with her little brother or sister? Will she feel that she is not as much loved as when she is the only child, only center of attention at home?

...

Well, no use thinking anymore now. I am pregnant. Like it or not. I will have two (beautiful) children.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006
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4 comments:

September 05, 2006

My holidays, however long, however fun, are always forgettable.

Back to work, facing the bland, familiar, habitual questions like: "Hey, how was your holiday?", I always cheerfully reply "Good. How about yours?". Yet, after the moment, I would pause, think hard, and wonder: "What did I do in the last four days?"
...

Holidays, like all days passed, are like miles and miles of highway driven past. You fold them up and push them into somewhere in your memory drawer.

However, somewhere, sometimes, some memories, especially those from my college years or childhood, would unexpectedly bubbled up. Like the trips we took to a nearby mountain in the dark of a night, scared and cold; like a family picnic; or some arguments I had with my parents ...

Wierd.

As I write, now I remember how I spent my four-day weekend. Friday I went to see a doc and I was officially pregnant. More on that later;Saturday, a busy painting day with Emma, and other kids and parents and mb; Sunday, shopping, shopping, painting with Emma; Monday, downtown touring, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Jazz Festival...

Holiday weekend

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

My holidays, however long, however fun, are always forgettable.

Back to work, facing the bland, familiar, habitual questions like: "Hey, how was your holiday?", I always cheerfully reply "Good. How about yours?". Yet, after the moment, I would pause, think hard, and wonder: "What did I do in the last four days?"
...

Holidays, like all days passed, are like miles and miles of highway driven past. You fold them up and push them into somewhere in your memory drawer.

However, somewhere, sometimes, some memories, especially those from my college years or childhood, would unexpectedly bubbled up. Like the trips we took to a nearby mountain in the dark of a night, scared and cold; like a family picnic; or some arguments I had with my parents ...

Wierd.

As I write, now I remember how I spent my four-day weekend. Friday I went to see a doc and I was officially pregnant. More on that later;Saturday, a busy painting day with Emma, and other kids and parents and mb; Sunday, shopping, shopping, painting with Emma; Monday, downtown touring, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Jazz Festival...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006
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