My apologies for the internet hiatusses – hiati – hiatii…?

Potboiling

I have been hard at work on The Potboiler – the adventure novel that will earn us enough money to move out of the suburbs onto a 1 acre piece of land… 

Ph.D.

This sudden spurt of energy was released by my decision to quit my Ph.D. program. Yes, I did it! The decision was a long time coming. What a neat construction that is, I hope I got it right; but “quit” is such an ugly word…

In any case, I have known for a long time that I don’t want to be an academic. I don’t like the atmosphere (interpersonal, social, political), I don’t like the rules (I keep on imagining things, which is not allowed), and I just can’t compete (I admit that).

The reason I took so long was typical conservative thinking: I’ve put so much work into it, so many years of my life; I agonized so over all that classes, the endless papers, the back-breaking exams… I only have the dissertation to go, why can’t I just get on with it!

That was just it: my argument for getting on with it was solely the past. Once I realized that that dissertation and the piece of paper that would result from it did not figure into my future at all, that they were not instrumental to my “getting on with it”… it was easy.

(I was also galvanized by a post by Gina on Cauldron Ridge Farm, on which I commented at length and rather wildly!)

Amie

Amie is now asking for things with the formula: “Mama, please may I…” I love this charming behavior but am worried she may take too much upon herself. For instance, last night, her sippy cup spilled and soaked our mattress, and when we noticed she cried: “I made a mess!” so sadly, so disappointed in herself – while it was really my fault, because I hadn’t closed it properly, which of course I proceeded to explain to her.

I do hope to return to some more regular blogging soon, because it keeps me sane after a day of frenzied potboiling.

Amie’s crayon drawing 20 months old - 27 april 2007

Amie drew this yesterday. Look at those eye-catching lines, whorls and scribbles! The explosion of colors! The harmony between the minuscule and the grand!

What I want to do here

Aren’t I a proud Mama! I can’t believe I am posting my daughter’s drawings. But I am hoping that it is in keeping with the aims of this website, which is

  • to tell riveting stories (and isn’t this drawing just that!)
  • that are personal, ingenuous and fresh,
  • but also interesting and relevant to others because they are recognizable

and

  • to connect the generalizable to findings in scientific research and to general opinion.

Or, to put it the other way around, to give an example

  • of how (some/many/all) parents raise their children and
  • of how (some/many/all) children act, play, throw tantrums, talk, feel, and draw…

And what better example is available to me than my own child, my own parenting?

A child among many other children

Amie drawings, for instance. I sometimes find myself scouring the internet, looking for drawings by other 18/19/20-month-olds. I am a regular at Maisy’s Funclub Gallery, where I spend hours studying the colorings of other children Amie’s age.

It’s not because I feel that my child is in competition with other children, and I don’t even do (a lot of) comparing. I have always tried to keep considersations of whether she is “advanced” or “behind” at bay – what can it mean, anyway, to be advanced at 20 months of age?

But I do want to see my child as a child among many others. She has a place in a community of children. And I want to get to know that community. To that effect I “check them out”.

Digests

I’m an academic and the kind of person who seeks out research on whatever it is that I am doing, and on what Amie is doing. The fascinating development of Amie’s language(s), for instance, has prompted me to investigate language development in children generally. I am sure there are parents out there who would like to know what is going on when their kid’s vocabulary suddenly explodes, or when they start saying things like “I am clean up-ing!”

So to my anecdotal blog posts I am hoping to attach articles digesting

  • the latest findings by scientists, psycholigists, etc.,
  • as well as general/political opinion on current issues.

The way I see it, I have the time and the resources to investigate these issues, and I do so anyway, so why not share them likewise curious, but time-strapped parents?

Upcoming blog entries and articles

So, soon to come (in order of likely appearance - I sort of lied (to myself) about having the time):

  • a story about Amie’s language(s) and an article on the language development at the end of the second year (the so-called transition from speech to language)
  • an article on the need for child’s play and recess (there’s a lot of to-do about this at present)
  • an article on the development of children’s drawings (from tactile to visual, etc.)