Back when before Fleur was born, Ada and I were shopping a store’s closing sale. Some of the toys were things she would not get until she was a year-ish.
A few things I resisted were noisy toys. My stance was: The adults in her life are going to get her those kinds of toys, so we don’t need to add to it. Aunts, uncles, and close friends will give her the unicorn that sings the most annoying song ever when you hit the button. Grandma will give her the karaoke Elsa. We won’t have to.
One thing to regret life because of others. Another because of ourselves.
That said, it hasn’t been too bad so far. Fleur plays with the thing hard for less than a week. She then returns to it for a small amount of time, diminishing over time.
From the stories my parents told and my vague recollections, I held on the noisy fire siren on a fireman’s hat my uncle gave me for weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeks. I even replaced the batteries, so my father glued that compartment shut. (I haven’t taught Fleur about batteries.)
The weirdest thing are that these toys wake up on their own. The karaoke Elsa, will ask if Fleur if wants to sing with her if the play stops. Putting the laundry basked on the couch squeezed the paw of Pandy, who started with the Gabby’s Dollhouse intro music. My home is a mine-field of things making noise.
Ada took Fleur to the animal shelter because they had an adoption event. She was specifically interested in one named Hawkeye.
Funnily enough, she ended up not being large enough to get spayed, so Ada opted to bring the whole litter home with us. So we had four kittens for a month.
Through that ordeal, Ada fell in love with one and Fleur with another. So, we gained two.
Hawkeye and Hulk went on to a new home.
During their time with us, the big cousin Sophie started calling Hawkeye: “Hawkboy”. Okaaaay. Fleur picked up on it too. I gave up trying to correct them when it became clearer she wasn’t going to stay with us. It was wrong for a couple reasons:
Wrong comic universe (Hawkeye is Marvel.† Hawkman is DC.)
Fatherly has a good post on scaffold parenting. I am by trade a fixer, so hanging back and letting something else do it takes all of my patience. At work, I am in a new role, so I have my replacements doing the work and advising when they need help. Basically, using my parenting at the office.
Scaffolding is a process where an adult helps a child manage a task that they couldn’t otherwise manage on their own. It requires situational wisdom about when to provide children with temporary support, when to allow them to make mistakes by doing things on their own, and helping them through the reflection process when things don’t work out how they would like.
Fleur craved physical independence, so I had to learn to let her do things. Right now she is also into social development. She loves her dolls, gave each a personality, and workshops her friendships. The challenge will be school and whether she approaches it like Ada or me. Hopefully Ada.