Parenting & Husbandry

Little Girls are Odd

My two-year-old thinks that when she is sitting in her high chair with colored pencils and a coloring book that her job is to move all of the colored pencils to the floor. She will sit and actively pick up pencils, and drop them past her feet. Sometimes she places a pencil in between her toes, and lowers it nearer to the floor before dropping it.

Once all of the pencils are gone, she says “All Done!” in her little-girl speech (which is slightly below average enunciation for her age). I pick her up and put her on the floor, hand her the pencil bag, and she proceeds to put each pencil away in its bag.

Overall, the process takes at least half an hour, and she is relatively quiet. I am very confused as to why she feels the pencils should be scattered on the floor. But how can I complain when she cleans up her own mess?

I don’t think there is a conclusion here to draw. Little girls are just silly and that is that.


My family has just returned from our pediatrician’s office. Today we went to have my daughter’s cough checked on, for the third time. The first visit she was dismissed with a cold. Second time, given antibiotics for an ear infection. Today, a real diagnoses: Asthma.

I was diagnosed with several allergies and asthma only weeks before my second birthday. Kayleigh is almost the exact same age, she will be two in September.

When I was young, an upset about various pieces of my life, I used asthma as an excuse. It kept me from having to work in gym class, but I also let myself believe that it hindered me from other things. I blamed my poor social skills on asthma, and actually preferred to think of myself as a nerd and an outcast. I let it be a part of how I defined myself.

One of my largest fears in being a father has been that my daughter will have asthma and allergies similar to what I have had. While the severity is obviously unknown at this point, I realize this is a fear that has began to, and will likely continue to, manifest. I am scared, but, I know that I cannot let my fear for my daughter impact the way I help her.

I know what went wrong with my asthma. I used it, and let it define me. The healthier thing to do, both mentally and physically, is to exercise and take care to suppress the asthmatic symptoms. An asthmatic person will typically have flare-ups through-out their life. However, when the state of a person’s respiratory system is healthy, the flare-ups will be much less severe and much more rare.

So I know what I have to do: Teach my daughter how to keep her body health, particularly her respiratory system and lungs. Health is not my strong-suit, so to do this effectively I will have to learn, myself, how to stay healthy.

Fortunately I have a have a few years before Kayleigh is of age to need an exercise regiment. Children, generally, get plenty of exercise voluntarily, running in circles, dancing, and riding bicycles.

My long term goal is to teach my daughter how to keep herself healthy. To do this, I must learn how to make myself healthy. This will be one of the greatest challenges in my life, and it is one that I must accept and put forth a full effort to accomplish.

Because I love my daughter.

Baby’s First Misdemeanor

My family is in Panama City, Florida, this week, on vacation. We’re staying in a condominium. On the door to the patio is this reasonable rule:

It is illegal in the state of Florida to drop anything from the balconies or walkways.

Well, I do not think she, or I, would be arrested for it, but Kayleigh chucked a teddy-gram (or a chip, or cookie, or something) off our balcony at the condo today. We’re 12 stories up (plus 3 parking levels, so 15, really).

I was watching the family through some cheap binoculars my dad bought, and Kayleigh snuck up carrying the item. As I pulled the binoculars away and looked down at her, her arm was just reeling back after tossing the snack.

Sometimes I forget that the child needs 24/7 monitoring.

The Abuse Begins

As you may have read, I recently purchased a Thinkpad T21 to replace my ~9 years old Thinkpad 600. The 600 gave out: the Hard Disk Drive broke, an audio wire disconnected somewhere inside the chassis, rendering the speakers useless, and a RAM stick died.

I suspect that the culprit for the demise of the 600 was, along with age, my daughter. I see a correlation between the gradual decay of the computer and her learning to walk, and occasionnly choosing to stand atop the computer when it was closed. I caught her twice, so I suspect I did not catch her at least a few more times.

It is not really her fault, being 18 months old. Such things happen. But still, I intend to be a little more protective of the T21. I do not want it being stepped upon.

But even though I am taking proactive defensive measures, this morning Kayleigh managed to drool on the screen. As we were watching Big Big World videos on the PBS Kids web site, she watching it upside down, standing over the screen, a single drop of drool emerged from her mouth and dropped onto the edge of the viewport below.

An immediate “uh-oh” from the child as she pointed to the drool.

At least she gets it. It is an honest mistake from an innocent. The drool was wiped away and no damage was done. Still, I see this as a sign of things to come.

And as I conclude this writing, I find myself telling my daughter not to sit on the keyboard as she tries to scoot into my lap while watching television.