Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Angel-Human Continuum: The Nuvian Theory of Existential Continuity

Yes, this is a bit off-Montessori, but I couldn't resist posting--at the suggestion of one of our more dedicated lurkers--about Nuvy's Angel-Human life cycle theory, hereafter referred to as NTEC (the Nuvian Theory of Existential Continuity)

According to NTEC, human entities exist at all times as either Angel or Human.  Which form is the ground state has not, at the time of writing, been identified.  Angel-form populations and Human-form populations intersect at critical periods of life, called "birth" and "death". 

"Birth," according to NTEC, is defined as the transition from Angel form to Human form.  This transition occurs at a specific point in time (the time of birth), and space (the vagina--she is quite specific on the anatomical point-- of the human mother).  No mention has yet been made of Caesarian births, but these can be easily assumed.  All human beings are angels until they pass through the mother's body (at the specified point), and become human. 

"Death," similarly, is defined as the transtion from Human form to Angel form.   The leaving transition, viewed as it is from the human perspective, seems more variable than birth, but she readily allows that, on the angel side, the appearance may be similarly skewed to regular entry, followed by varied circumstances of exit.

Hazards to the family unit have been identified during transition, so that it is imperative that all angel-form family members remain in close contact post-death, to ensure that timely births maintain the family structure.  Provisions must also be made for the house and personal effects of the dead (angels), to ensure that those effects are not misappropriated to other living humans during the absence (angelhood) of the family.  This is of the utmost importance if family continuity is to be achieved.

It is of further interest that angels must be carefully differentiated from fairies (small, humanoid creatures that exist in the human geometry but just outside the spatial-temporal plane of humanity).  This is important to note as there may be, at times (often at the edges of sleep, or in shadowed doorways), angel-human or fairy-human proximity sufficient to produce sensory phenomena.   Angels and fairies are easily differentiated, even with relatively little training, by wing structure.  Angels are possessed of feathered wings, much like those of a bird, which are sufficiently sturdy to support flight in normal-human-sized organisms.  Fairies, on the other hand, have membranous wings more like those of an insect.  The obvious physical limitations of such wings may point us to reasons for their small stature.

The duration and experiential specifics of the angel-form phase remain opaque, and will perhaps be the subject of future discussions.  There was also something in there about diamonds, and a persistent interest in Van Eyck's depictions of angels.  Perhaps for another post.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mat Sat! Sam Sat!: What to do with Bob Books

Nuvy Sat.  Nuvy read Bob books.  Mom and Dad Sat And Tapped.
 Why are Bob books so awfully dull?
When the first Bob book came home, I was reminded of all the parents who didn't understand how we use Bob books at school.  They would say "why did you send this one home?  She can read this one already!  Please send home a new book for us to work on."
We didn't, and your child's teacher probably won't either, because that is not what Bob books are for.  If you want to read with your child at home, and I hope you do, pick a nice story you both enjoy and read it.  When the Bob books (or Mac and Tab) come home, they are for showing off mastered reading skills--not for homework, and parent, be glad!
See, Bob books are boring as hell to read, but they are an awesome reading diagnostic tool.  The teacher can tell if your child is associating the right sounds with letters, and can make other assessments about your child's reading by going through the bob books, but we don't use them to "teach" children to read.  The rest of the curriculum does that.  The books are just there to show us how we're doing, and help us find any problems. Bob books are designed to strip down narrative as much as possible, so that there is some sense to the sounds, but that's all.  The pictures help the child self-correct, but are not overly engaging, so as not to compete too much with the text for attention.  We send them home because your child is proud of her accomplishment, and wants to share it with you!
When a Bob book comes home, the thing to do is listen to your child as she reads it, and thank her for sharing the story with you.  She might make mistakes, but you needn't correct her.  She's learning to read!  Feel free to be amazed!!
In short, please do not, when "Mat" comes home for the first time, go out and buy all the Bob books and push your child to read them all through.  This is a recipe for frustration on all sides, and probably not a good way to encourage a love for reading.  She will read them all in time, and probably less time than you think.  Instead, read books you love together.  Read poetry!  Read comic books!  Let your child see how much fun written words can be. 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Pastries of Mass Destruction: the V-III

Van is three.  This is his red-eyed tree frog cake.  When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said "I want a frog cake", so that's what he had.

I gave up the fondant for buttercream, which is not as pretty, but much yummier.  For birthday cake bakers, I'll tell you.  It's one stick of butter for every cup of confectioner's sugar, blend it together (easy going--speed kills) and flavor it with whatever you like.  With this recipe, you can tell Duncan Hines to go to hell.

The frogs are marzipan, and he ate every one.  The boy does love marzipan. 

Monday, December 06, 2010

Slate on Tummy Time

The folks at Slate wrote an article on why babies need more tummy time. In short, they're missing milestones because they are placed on their backs to sleep and mothers don't put them on their tummies at all.

There are plenty of comments about evolution, chemicals in bedding made in china, how nature made us co-sleepers so we wouldn't facilitate dingoes eating babies, "This article is spot on!", "This article is crap!", "Doctors are idiots!", "Mothers are idiots!"

Pretty much exactly what you would expect.

I'm still waiting for someone to say what I always say...

Why don't you take him out of the automatic baby swing with the spinning toys hanging eight inches in front of his face, put him on the floor, back or tummy, whichever makes him happier (I have a guess!) for a few minutes at a time, and see if he doesn't start trying to check off the boxes on your milestone chart?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Elizabeth Grievium

"I have a very funny number I will tell you about. 'Elizabeth Grievium', that's the name of the number at the end of forever."
--Nuvy, at bedtime, December 1, 2010