Parenting Hack

Maybe everybody knows this already but I recently figured it out and it’s making me happy.

So you know when toddlers learn to ignore you? Like when you ask something and they pretend you are not there? And you say it 15 times more and they act like you don’t exist? And then you get angry and acquire an annoying didactic tone? Maybe you don’t but I’m a college professor. When I open my mouth, people shut up and start taking notes. I’m not mentally equipped for being ignored.

I went on the FB mom page, and everybody has this problem, but nobody offers a solution that doesn’t sound like it’s fit for military barracks. So I thought about it and realized: if she’s ignoring me, this means she doesn’t need me. And I’m free to do whatever I need while she concentrates on something other than me for a change while building a crucial life skill of being alone with herself and her thoughts. Why am I trying to be needed when I don’t even like it? So I stopped trying to get myself noticed, and it’s been a huge relief.

This is the best thing I’ve discovered since the life-changing idea to stop saying things like “Time to get dressed / brush teeth / put on shoes, etc”, which are invariably met with a firm “NO!!” and instead ask “which toothpaste do you prefer today, Elmo or Mickey Mouse?” Getting her up and out of the door in the mornings now takes exactly 10 minutes. (Another hack is never to let them sit down for any purpose on the way between bed and car seat in the morning. Once they sat down, you’re screwed for the morning.)

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The Origins of Populism

A great essay on the Russian intellectual parents of American academics:

Populism fed on guilt, and everything about Likharev, down to his very gestures, expressed a consciousness of guilt about something. The populist ideologists insisted that all high culture depends on wealth stolen from the common people and is therefore tainted by a sort of original sin. . . Not knowledge but pity became the moral touchstone.

We all know what kind of a political system came out of these ideas, don’t we?

Sleep Question

Folks, does anybody here have his issue where you wake up at night or early in the morning and can’t go back to sleep? What do you do about it? Has anybody found anything that helps?

This is for N who recently developed this issue. He’s the opposite of me because he always falls asleep easily but recently has had trouble staying asleep. I, on the other hand, always take forever to fall asleep but even though I wake up about 6 times a night (BP meds), I always go back to sleep easily and can sleep until 11 am, if I let myself. Which I obviously don’t because I have stuff to do.