Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Embracing your inner slob

I like a neat house. I am not the type of person who cannot sleep if the house is messy, but I will make sure to give it a thorough clean on the weekend when I can devote some real time to doing so. When my home is clean, I feel more calm and rested in it.
Look at all those shelves!

I have been in other people's homes where I have been uncomfortable with the amount of things around me. (Maybe I have "stuff claustrophobia.") I can vividly recall a bizarre episode of visiting a friend's home in college and being slightly lightheaded over the sheer amount of stuff on the floor (he acted like it was a really low shelf), and then going into shock when I learned he had free-range pet ferret. It was hairless. (Let's never talk about this again.)

But the point is that he was happy living like that. There are loads of television shows and books about de-cluttering your home and your life and teaching organization techniques. I know that I have spent a considerable amount of time brainwashing my son into my line of thinking so he now believes that shelves and drawers and order are the best things ever. 

Now I need to teach him that not everyone lives their life that way, and it's OK.

Because, sometimes "messy" is needed. And maybe it's good for us to remember that and let everyone find their own state of organization. I will make sure my son learns that day. For now, he still has to pick up the Legos from his floor.

Who does the majority of the picking up in your household? Tell me in the comments.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mom, can you read me a bedtime word problem?

I know we've talked about math before, but we are going to talk about it again.

When my son goes to bed at night, we read books together. We used to have this deal where he would read to me and then I would read to him, but he reads now as part of his homework time after school, so he gets to relax and listen to me read at bedtime.
I'll need my Texas Instruments graphing calculator for this.

So we go on book adventures, where we visit the past with time-traveling treehouses and learn snarky behavior from Tollins creatures and learn about magic from Hogwarts (yes, I know he was a bit too young for that one, but we stopped after the first book).

I love our story time.

And, once upon a time, I would get updates from this wonderful site called Bedtime Math, which would send me a math problem described as a story for my son to figure out the answer. I really meant to incorporate that into our bedtime routine, but I never got around to it.

Researchers, however, are starting to wonder: Why not do math at bedtime? Why not put the same focus on math as we have put onto reading? Why not do both?

I agree, it is a lovely thought, but after we are all snuggled together and get through our story, I can't see myself bringing pencil and paper into the equation.

Maybe I should try it before the story.

Do you incorporate math into your child's bedtime routine? Tell me how in the comments.

Monday, September 26, 2016

An update on those tracking devices

So two weeks ago, I wrote that I had stopped wearing my fitbit. My timing was interesting, as this week, I've read a long-term study showing that wearables that measure fitness don't actually help people lose weight.
Pictured: Not my feet

Admittedly, most people who buy their wearable understand that. Most people who buy the device are just hopeful that it will act like a reminder that they need to move more often or will help them track their movements throughout the day. But they may become (like me) discouraged when faced with the evidence of how little they actually move in their day.

So, what does work? The key is that you have to find your own motivation and use that. For one person, it might be so they are fit enough to play with their children, for another person, it might be to look great for a cruise, for another person, they may just want to look good for their partner again.

How you find your motivation, however, is a completely different story.

Do you wear a fitness device? How do you feel about it? Tell me in the comments.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Smart like Mom

My husband and I are smart about different areas of life. I've always been happy about that, because I think we round each other out nicely - I know stuff he doesn't know and vice versa. I remembered being elated about our intelligence balance when we had our son, because I imagined all the various ways we could teach him what we knew.

But that was before I learned that children don't listen to their parents. And that researchers now believe that children get their intelligence from their Mothers. (Sorry, Mom! and Thanks, Mom!)

As implausible as it sounds, science has been able to link intelligence to the X chromosome (of which women have two) and also been able to track the genes coming from the Mother as going to the cerebral cortex (Dad's genes go to the limbic system, so you can thank him for your hunger pangs and basic emotions.) 

Wait. So, I'm the responsible party for my son's intelligence? That's a lot of pressure. 

I guess it is good for me to remember that intelligence comes from both nature and nurture, so there will be plenty of opportunities for my husband to pass on his knowledge as well.

What area of life do you know more about than your spouse? Share your expertise in the comments.