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Showing posts from October, 2016

Why More Parents Should Hunt and More Hunters Should Parent Part II

The one-year-olds I’ve known were able to join the hunt so-to-speak, walking half a mile unassisted after a few months of practice. Staying Wild: Your first steps to (parental) independence: patience, stamina, and orienteering As your first kid grows, well-meaning parents may try to convince you of the utility of a stroller.  “They’ll outgrow the wrap,” (wrap: attachment parenting for that strip of cloth you’ve been tying the kid to your chest with.).  “Once they’re out of the wrap, they won’t be able to keep pace with you on foot,” they’ll say.  “You’ll appreciate the mobility,” they’ll insist.  Do Not Cave.  Tap back into your hunting mindset, and tap in hard.  Patience is the key to nirvana here.  Of course a one-year-old won’t be able to keep pace with you, but remember, slow and steady gets the job done.  As you obstinately insist on letting nature take its course, your infant-cum-toddler will get faster and build endurance.  The one-year-olds I’ve known were able to join the

Why More Hunters should Parent, and More Parents should Hunt: Part I

Little if any mention is made of hunting in modern parenting literature, but it is, to put it simply, the fastest path to parental bliss.  Hunting teaches the patience, confidence, and self-sufficiency so critical to raising young ones in today’s urban wild.   My hunting buddy and I were moving at a classic stalking pace.  She’d take a. step, mirrored by mine; we’d pause for a few seconds surveying our surroundings; then, carefully placing our next step, we’d watch our quarry while again taking time to register changes in our environment.  Our prey, stock-still, never moved.  One would have expected, what with all the noise of passing cars and ambling passers-by, that it might have bolted.  It held steady though.  A few minute later, No. 3, my hunting companion and one-year-old daughter, gleefully giggled as we overtook our target: a young, at least judging by its short stature, set of stairs that led to a door stoop.  3 spent the next several minutes wobbling first up, and then do

The Power of Words

Number 3, our 1 year old, looked up at me, her eyebrows arched in shock and sadness, then she curled up into a ball and sobbed. We'd been joking around about the current political farce, excuse me, 'election season', and I'd said something to the effect of "...pssht kissing babies... No More Kissing Babies..."  Number 3 had been playing happily at my feet throughout the conversation, and also, unbeknownst to me: listening. I tried to tell her that I was talking about something else, and that I hadn't meant it with regard to her.  She was inconsolable.  Finally, I picked her up, and gave her a smooch, and said, "See babies still get smooches!"  She immediately calmed down, climbed off my lap, and went back to playing.   For months I've known she understands almost all of what we say on a day to day basis.  A few weeks after she started to walk, I handed her a piece of paper towel, and asked her to put it in the compost bag in the

Happiness Bucket Connoisseur Consumes Kindergarten Stockpile

Number 1, who is suspect of most things I say, (she thought the dollar coin the tooth fairy brought looked suspiciously like a dollar coin that had been on the counter earlier in the month), came home from her second day of Kindergarten brimming with excitement at the invisible buckets of happiness she'd learned about.  It turns out that we each have one of these buckets.  The theory goes that when someone is nice to you your bucket gets a little more full, and when you're mean to someone, their bucket gets a little more empty.  Of course if you're mean to someone, your bucket gets a little more empty also, because it doesn't feel good to be mean to people.  I told her that her new theory was awesome, and then told her I'd be right back.  I had come down with a serious case of the giggles, and had to flee the room so she wouldn't think I was laughing at her new theory instead of with it.  As I fled, my mind wandered through all the unintended consequences.  Co

Propagating Parenting Blogs

As I've been writing about our fun with unschooling, and parenting in general, I've also been reading a lot of excellent homeschooling, and parenting blogs.  If you to would like to "Read more about it," here's my reading list so far: Stories of an Unschooling Family This blog features the adventures, and thoughts of Sue Elvis and her family as they navigate Australian home schooling.  In addition to interesting posts, Sue has produced a series of videos where she lays out her thoughts on homeschooling with a mellow, happy tone.  Sue updates regularly, so the blog is a good source of both information, and support in our familiy’s endeavors. Mom of All Capes The educational adventures of a family with three daughters.  The posts here are about a conventionally schooled family.  They range from parenting, to schooling, to occasional thoughts on politics.  The posts are fun to read, just as long as they need to be, and raise interesting points!  T

Gentlemen, Know Your Nipple Shields

This is a nipple shield, and you just might need a few. As you’re expecting your first baby, you may think the feeding of said newborn is something you, as a dad, don’t have to worry about; perhaps the only thing you don’t have to worry about.  Well, I'm sorry, but... well... you do. As you may have heard, breastfeeding is a beautiful thing that strengthens the bond between mother and child; nourishes the kid like no other kind of food can; and helps to build their nascent immune system.  All of these thing are true. What you may not know however, is that the mother of your child has heard all of the above, over and over since way before she became pregnant.  She’s heard it on the evening news, the morning talk shows, twitter, just about everywhere.  And in the months running up to the blessed day of deliverance, excuse me, delivery she’ll hear it even more.  Doctor’s offices, midwive's offices, and every pregnancy book, and web site available are slathered with eve

We Made This! Smitten Kitchen Garlic Wine and Butter Steamed Clams

Yum!  These were super-easy, and tasty!  Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen fame, recently posted a recipe for steamed clams .  Given that our butcher/seafood shop—known to us as the redhat because of its red awning—always has a few pounds of clams on-hand at $5/lb, it seemed like a fun way to kill part of our afternoon.  We let the clams spit out all their sand, per the instructions. Clams Spitting out Their Sand Then, we minced and sauteed a bit of shallot and a bit of garlic.  There wasn't any parsley to be found on that particular day, so we skipped it.  We chucked out the chipped clams, and then dumped the rest into the pan.  A few minutes later we began to hear clicking sounds from under the lid.  Peaking in, we found that the clams were opening up, hence the popping.  We plopped the lid back on, and measured the rest of the cooking time using the microwave popcorn method:  when the popping sounds slowed way down, we turned off the flame.  Voila!

On Division and Balloons

Number 1 is learning division.  We're working on two different techniques.  I'm not sure which is working better, here they are. Method the first: When presented with the problem 12/4, we tell her to think about having twelve things she has to divide evenly between herself, her sibs, (Number 2, and Number 3), and a friend.  The downside of this version, is she has to guess.  The whole thing becomes experimental, (which has value in and of itself).  Number 1 draws twelve balloons, (she invented the technique), and then tries different groupings of the balloons until she finds one that's fair to all the sibs and their friend.  The upside is that there's a reason to want to divide in the first place; there's an application. Method the second: When presented with the same problem, we ask her how many groups of four she can make out of twelve things.  One of the upsides of this method is that it's mechanical.  No. 1 once again starts with a drawing of b