Re: Play.

1

The parents playing with the kids thing is pretty new.


Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 8:21 AM
horizontal rule
2

Don't get me wrong, I avoid it at all costs. I kept throwing the bachelor uncles under the bus, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
3

My son turned ten just the other day. He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad. Come on, let's play. Can you teach me to throw?" I said, "Not today. I've got a lot to do." He said, "That's okay."


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 8:33 AM
horizontal rule
4

3 sounds like the opening of a sermon or country song.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
5

I hear the dire weed makes adults much more adept at playing with children.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
6

Oh I had a thing to send you. It will just have to wait!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 8:56 AM
horizontal rule
7

3: yep, just like a song of some sort. Someone get on it!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
8

1:Right, fuck that shit. Put 'em in a playpen and go smoke and drink in the other room.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
9

Sounds like someone didn't get the quadcopter she wanted from Santa.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
10

Christ, I must need some more sleep, because comment 3 is literally making me tear up while sitting here in my office.

(My oldest son has recently been saying, sadly, that he wishes I didn't have to work so much so that we could spend more time together. Which, Jesus, me too.)

I actually love playing with my kids. They're more fun than most adults.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
11

3: That's so weird. My boy came back from college just the other day, so much like a man I just had to say "Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while". He shook his head and said with a smile, "What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys--see you later, can I have them please?" The ungrateful fucker.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
12

Bon Voyage.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
13

I like playing with kids. I will usually abandon the adults at a party if there is a 3-year-old to hang out with instead.

Little kids, I like. 7-8 year olds are boring because they're so bossy and polluted by society.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
14

11: Tell me about it. I've long since retired, my son's moved away. I called him up just the other day. I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind." He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time. You see my new job's a hassle and the kids have the flu, but it's sure nice talking to you, Dad." Ungrateful wretch.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
15

I'm not saying you're a bad parent Heebie--just a bad human being--but don't you turn off the "is this fun? do I like this?" part of your brain when you're with your kids? Not doing that seems like it would make for some long days.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
16

13.1 is my way of dealing, too. 3-5 is the peak of kid coolness.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
17

15: If that part of my brain had an off-switch, the ages of 2 1/2 to 5 would have been much more bearable. (The kids' ages, not mine.) Now I can usually escape horrid tedium by asking them to read with me, or playing with legos. (But, dear god, if I have to play "school" one more time...)


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
18

They're really into "Where's Waldo" all of a sudden, and so last weekend they decided they wanted to draw a Where's Waldo picture, which consisted of them scribbling a stick figure Waldo, Wenda, Odlaw, and Wizard Whitebeard on a piece of paper, and then insisting that I cover the page in HUNDREDS OF OTHER FIGURES to hide them. While they critiqued my choices of placement, skin color, clothing, and perspective.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
19

18: Draw some tits in there because tradition.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:44 AM
horizontal rule
20

I like playing with my kid but I wish she wasn't so fricking bossy. OK, I've accepted that I will be playing the role of "evil witch" in this fantasy princess scenario but god damn it I get to decide myself which spells I'll be casting.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
21

20: Jeez, Halford! You just have to start crying and scream, "I'm the Princess! I'm the Princess!" and not give in. You can't let her get her way all the time. You need to show her who's the man.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
22

18: WHERE'S WALDO IS BUT THE FIRST STEP IN A LONG NSA FUTURE EMPLOYEE IDENTIFICATION PROCESS.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SNOWDEN | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 11:51 AM
horizontal rule
23

Hm. I think I tend to prefer hanging out with kids with a little more self-control -- as in ability to listen -- than age 5ish (that's the bossy age, no?). I can do the wandering around imagining things, la la la ... thing ... and I can do the Wow let's look at this awesome book about sorcerers and sailing and building magic house, but I have a tough spot in the middle there when the kid just doesn't seem to be aware that you are another, distinct person. What age is that?

I'm recalling a time some years ago when I gave a kid and his babysitter a ride to the ice-skating rink. The kid observed that my car sure was messy [VW bus, had some hippie-style decorations on the front dashboard, like dried flowers and a piece of driftwood and a staff and an old beehive]. The child noted that his father would never have had his car so messy. I told him that I was not the same person as his father, and I liked my messy car this way. He thought about that for a while.

So what age was that kid?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:10 PM
horizontal rule
24

I think he must have been 6. He was in kindergarten. That seems like a good age, enough to ask questions and think about the answers.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
25

23: I think this has to do with learning that some of the things that your parents teach you as "Rules" -- that seem as absolute and true as anything in this world, turn out to be merely their preferences.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
26

Hey I spent an hour stringing popcorn and cranberries with a 10-year-old so do I get some kid cred? Granted, she was raised in Manhattan so she acts like she's 35.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
27

I've been having fun with my girls as they explore their new presents. We got the younger one (6) the basic Goldie Blox set (yeah, Beastie Boys, wevs) and she absolutely loves it. The 9-year-old seemed to really dig the guide to the "Scratch" kid's programming language that MIT put out, but that may have just been hanging with Daddy time that she was loving. Either way, I'm cool with it.

These are fun ages--they're really starting to get beyond scripted play and much more into figuring things out as their play.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
28

The anti-highlight of my doing-stuff-together parenting this week was when trying to let Jane do a bit of the present wrapping. To my non credit, I concluded with a very adolescent "Fine! Do it your way!"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
29

Also, she's had back-to-back colds for a really long time now, and so I can't tell how much of her current phase of increased whining and bossing and general emotional lability is the phase she's in and how much is just the consequence of being under the weather. Either way, I hope she perks up soon.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
30

All my cousins have lots of kids now. I can't keep track of most of their names, and they don't seem very interested in talking to me. Except one of them who has discovered that I can tell him the names of all his toys, which apparently no one else can do. ("No, that's Leonardo, not Donatello. You can tell because of the blue mask.")


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
31

I've suffered from the same bored reaction around kids. I'm hoping that I'll get over it if I can focus on the fact that I don't understand child development so I get really startled by how kids can do things at earlier ages than I expected. One of my friends has a 14 month old that will tell you the noises all the farm animals make. I know nothing about kids, but that seems pretty fucking genius to me. Her mom's a doctor, though, so maybe she's extra precocious.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
32

Why are people giving him Ninja Turtle toys if he doesn't know which is which?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
33

He gets really excited about them, but doesn't seem to know the story. He's also really into Marvel and DC comics characters, but I think he only knows them from movies, and the extent of his playing with them seems to consist of running in circles shouting "CAPN MURKA!" or "GREEN LANNAN!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
34

I'm hoping that I'll get over it if I can focus on the fact that I don't understand child development

I know someone who tries to encourage all new parents he meets to raise their kids in a world with only projective geometry, i.e. to never use absolute distance measurements, only relative ones ("it's closer than the table but farther than the sofa"), in the hope of producing a mathematician with different kinds of intuition than everyone else. I'm sure there's a whole world of awesome experiments you could perform on children and their development if you put enough thought into it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
35

34: Then there are the linguists who want you to keep your kids in a sound-proof bubble, so we can determine if there is a Natural Language. Fun times!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
36

25: Right. Seems like a good thing to consider somewhere along the way.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
37

I continue to be amazed at the staying power of TMNTs. It must be one of those myths that really speak to our collective unconcious.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
38

34: I think there's some literature on children raised in different environments, eg. kids raised in cultures with round houses respond differently to optical illusions.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
39

Are the Ninja Turtles brothers? Are they related to the Peales? Or did they choose their names when they became superheroes?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
40

I'm pretty sure I stole 37 from a Steven Wright joke about Popeye, and then butchered it.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
41

There is a bit of family lore about my sister and me creating the most tedious, adult-crazy-making game imaginable. It was called the Meow Meow Game. We were two cats, see, and our very patient grandmother would sit there and we would say (I know it is hard to guess, so I will tell you) "meow meow!" and she would say "what does that mean?" and we would say, like, "I want some milk!" or something else cats would say, though entire realms of cat discourse along the lines of "I'm wondering what your flesh tastes like" never came up. And then the next step was we would say "meow meow!" again. THAT WAS THE WHOLE GAME, YEAH. Are not you glad that you were not our grandmother, Heebz?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:23 PM
horizontal rule
42

Did I tell you about the adorable game that my grandchildren made up? Oh, they are so brilliant and creative! One of them will say "Meow, meow!" and....


Posted by: Doting Grandma Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:29 PM
horizontal rule
43

41: Grandparents are super awesome at playing games like that. I recommend that they be recorded on tape on something, because everyone will appreciate it 30 years later.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:29 PM
horizontal rule
44

I know someone who looks exactly like Popeye. It's very disconcerting. I don't know about the collective unconscious, but my unconscious wants it to go away.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:35 PM
horizontal rule
45

I didn't know it was physically possible for a real person to look exactly like Popeye.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
46

But then I'm no physicist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
47

Smearcase has revealed that his hatred of children extends to a loathing of his younger self. At last we're getting somewhere.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
48

47: I'm sure he'a not judging you for still playing the Meow Meow Game.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
49

One has to be bald and perpetually squint with one eye and then do a kind of funny pseudo-smirk at all times in a way that sort of scrunches up the whole face. Definitely most easily accomplished by being a cartoon. And yet!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
50

http://www.kulfoto.com/funny-pictures/16914/popeye


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
51

48: I have a siamese. A good part of my home life is spent playing the Meow Meow Game. Mostly with me as the grandmother.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
52

51 is really cute.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
53

I've heard of wolves dressing as grandmothers but it does not seem to be a common cat fetish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:55 PM
horizontal rule
54

15: I turn off that part of my brain and play with them, and after it seems like it's been a really long time, I'll check the clock and discover that three minutes have elapsed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
55

5 has been affirmed by my friends (online, although I can't find it), not to mention the Grey Lady:

I swear I am a more loving, attentive and patient father when I take my medication as prescribed. Perhaps this isn't surprising. As anyone who inhaled during college can attest, cannabis enhances the ability to perceive beauty, complexity and novelty in otherwise mundane things (grout patterns in your bathroom floor, the Grateful Dead, Doritos), while simultaneously locking you into a prolonged state of rapt attention. You not only notice the subtle color variations in your cat's fur, you stare at them in loving awe for 20 solid minutes.
I submit that this can be enormously salutary to the parent-toddler relationship. Beyond food, shelter and clothing, what do small children need most from their parents? Sustained, loving, participatory attention. Thank you, Doctor.

Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:00 PM
horizontal rule
56

I'm not actually a cat, Moby, though with my skill at the game your mistake is understandable.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
57

Also we play kitty a lot. Similar to meow meow but maybe less prescribed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
58

I've thought that 5 might help.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
59

49: Pumped-up forearms are also a must.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
60

I have a short tolerance for any kind of game involving creativity or imagination, because I inevitably fail to meet my kid's expectations and then I get yelled at, and its not fun for either of us. Yesterday I got yelled at because the map of space that I drew for him was inaccurate.

When he wants to play, I insist that it be some kind of game that has some kind of structure or rules to it. He gets mad at me for not playing Minecraft with him (not real Minecraft, pretend Minecraft - he doesn't need me to play real Minecraft.)


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
61

//
I have a problem.

I lost my job.

My wife got a new job across the country.

I was ok with going to the new area. But now, my wife is acting weird about the shopping for the new house.

We went together to look at houses. She didn't like any of them and set up another trip to look at houses in another area I was not so happy about. I got a ticket to go with her and then she backed out of the trip at the last minute. We were in the air port parking lot.

She went back on another trip to look into a house in the area I liked but also without my knowledge looked at one house in the other area and now is making an offer on that house by herself. It turns out a single married spouse can buy property. We have a house in California that we were going to sell.

My marriage was always rocky, but We have 4 kids. I always thought that we would breakup but now I have no income and I will have to move cross county with no income in order to even be near my kids.

I could move into the house she likes. I guess. She is pretty cold blooded about things now.

I need some advice
>>


Posted by: Woodrow wilson | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
62

My son needs me to play Minecraft but he won't let me help. Good luck figuring out how to make a torch when you won't build a table because listening to your dad is wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:11 PM
horizontal rule
63

61: Uhh, Woodrow, first things first, have a conversation with your wife about what she's doing and why she's doing it?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:16 PM
horizontal rule
64

Ack, Woodrow, I'm sorry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
65

That bites, Woodrow. How does she justify obligating family money to pay for the new house without consulting you? That seems like a huge deal.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
66

61: That's really really awful, I'm so sorry. How are your job prospects in the new area vs. where you currently live?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
67

Good luck figuring out how to make a torch when you won't build a table because listening to your dad is wrong.

Been there. Eventually he figured out he was a lot happier in creative mode. He was even happier when he figured out how to turn on cheats.

Then that metastasized to the point where he's taken over my dual-screen PC so he can play Minecraft on one screen while watching YouTube videos of Minecraft on the other screen. There is YouTube channel out there by a guy named "Stampy Longnose", and well, I just never....

Anyway, now the kid is demanding that I set him up a multiplayer Minecraft server. I will, but only as an underhanded way of teaching him Linux.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
68

The current obsession is rainbow loom, and he won't do the stitching part himself, he'll just find a video for a really complicated one and lay down the bands and make me do all the hooking. I'm embarrassed to say how many videos of 10-13 year old girls I've been watching on Youtube. Our current project is an iphone case, which no one is actually going to use (it doesn't have holes for the camera/flash/buttons) but he wants to use up like 600 bands on it anyway.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
69

I envy you, Spike. I'm stuck wondering how much longer it will be before my two-year-old figures out how to steer her own Mario Kart.

(As you might guess unless you're Heebie, I don't actually have a ten-year-old son.)


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
70

Woodrow, it sounds like it's time to start talking to a divorce lawyer and getting some pro advice because from what you're describing I wouldn't be surprised if she's already seen one herself.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
71

70 may be right, but I would go for 63 first.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:45 PM
horizontal rule
72

61: Be a little cold blooded yourself. Move into her house so you can look for a job while still being in contact with the kids. Once you get a job, move somewhere you like and date a stripper. If your wife is a stripper, then date a sociologist.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:50 PM
horizontal rule
73

IMO "My marriage was always rocky...I always thought that we would breakup" plus the wife's current actions means it's probably a bit late for 63. She's already being deceptive and 63 type conversations are useless if you can't trust the other party. It's time for Woodrow to protect himself.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
74

I'm sorry that's happening to you, and it sounds awful. 71 is clearly the right advice -- you should confront her directly -- but 70 is also right. The move to purchase a home in her own name does sound like a calculated move (even if the calculation is wrong -- people often think they are being tricky about these things and fail) to keep property in a divorce and/or make it easier.

Note that if you are in California now, it is likely that the legal climate for a divorce, should it come to that, is more favorable towards you as the lower-earning spouse than it will be in whatever other state you will move to.

In any event if you think that an imminent divorce is really a realistic possibility after the move I do strongly encourage you to talk to a lawyer now -- actions during the move could have big consequences both for your finances and custody of your kids, and to get the right answers you'll both need to reveal more detail than you should be comfortable revealing here, and more expert advice than anyone here except Will, and even there not for California, can provide.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:55 PM
horizontal rule
75

And when I say it's time to talk to a lawyer now I mean right now, because the move could have some very big consequences for your future options. But of course you should still talk to her directly to try and figure out what's going on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 2:58 PM
horizontal rule
76

72 was me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 3:03 PM
horizontal rule
77

Halford clearly had forgotten about Moby, when he said that Woodrow might need more expert advice than we have here.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 3:06 PM
horizontal rule
78

I'm very sorry for you Woodrow. What you describe is eerily familiar to what happened to me almost exactly a decade ago (only without 4 kids in the mix). 75 is really right.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 3:12 PM
horizontal rule
79

Sorry, Woodrow. I don't know anything about this, but my instinct was to say that you need to go where the kids go, because no one can afford to fly four kids cross-country on a regular basis. But I'm sure the people with divorce attorney advice are more right.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 3:17 PM
horizontal rule
80

Sorry.

Lawyer first. You want to have a clear understanding of what the consequences are of a, b, and c before you start discussing these and other things with her, lest you inadvertently waive something.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
81

55/5: notes on a very recent experiment:

- ability to get absorbed in playing with the baby, slightly enhanced by direct effects; greatly enhanced by effect of saying "fuck it, I guess I'm not trying to get anything else done this afternoon"

- ability to run aground while trying to delete the necessary preferences to import "The Evolution of the Afro-Sound in Nigeria 1970-79" into iTunes, GREATLY enhanced

- ability to leave the baby with a water bottle while attempting the above and return to find her completely soaked through, perfected

- impact of sensory enhancement on changing a sogging wet poopy diaper, not positive.

All in all, recommended.


Posted by: President Clinton | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
82

80.last: A good reminder to check your zipper before court.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 3:59 PM
horizontal rule
83

I'm intrigued by the parenting-while-high discussion. I've noticed that a hit or two before doing mundane chores can remove their mundanity and turn them into exciting parts of my day. If I found parenting to be mundane, I could see the same thing working there. But I guess I would hope not to find parenting mundane in that way? Don't want to insult those who do though.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
84

81, 83: Just avoid the microwave.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
85

But I guess I would hope not to find parenting mundane in that way?

Do you know the kind of boring shit kids are into?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 4:55 PM
horizontal rule
86

Pooping shit, for instance.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
87

A freind of mine had a very close relationship with his older sister. She was about 16 when he was a toddler. Most siblings with that kind of age difference don't spend much time together, but when the older sibling likes to get high and have the younger sib provide entertainment, it seems to work.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 5:27 PM
horizontal rule
88

86: I mean the actual shit shit can be pretty intense, in a sensory-overload-I-don't-want-to-get-that-on-me-or-the-carpet kind of way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 5:35 PM
horizontal rule
89

||
Speaking of play, if you like to do it with maps this great digitization of a 1932 Historical Geographical Atlas of the US is just the thing.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 5:39 PM
horizontal rule
90

One of the best things about kids is that eventually, they stop pooping all over themselves.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
91

I see now how gullible 4 was. I plead commenting-while-parenting, the time-honored way to do both poorly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
92

We're back in Minneapolis, but only three hours this time. There is a playground in terminal C. What a godsend. The kids are running around so happily.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
93

It's a nice airport but Delta only uses 60 year old planes on the legs to Pittsburgh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 6:06 PM
horizontal rule
94

Also, it's hard to use the toilet because you have to hold your legs so close together to avoid being arrested.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
95

From 89: Map of congressional vote on annexation of Texas (quite regional and only passed 120 -98).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
96

Hanging out with my kids high is the best. Unfortunately Mrs. Chopper loses her shit.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
97

96: When she hangs out with them high, or when you do?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 7:04 PM
horizontal rule
98

Oh no, it ain't gonna be one a those threads, is it?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 7:34 PM
horizontal rule
99

95: I'm a big fan of that map. Less so that vote.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
100

99: I had no idea it was a contested issue.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
101

That, along with the run-up to the US-Mexican War -- ie. the votes on the Wilmot Proviso -- was when it became pretty clear that a realignment was underway. Lots of people voting section over party.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
102

That compromise of 1850 map is pretty good. http://dsl.richmond.edu/historicalatlas/114/h/


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 8:51 PM
horizontal rule
103

you can just say "heebiegeebie at gmail." the dot doesn't matter.


Posted by: mr. f | Link to this comment | 12-26-13 10:54 PM
horizontal rule
104

You know, I know gmail ignores dots and hyphens but I'm a creature of habit and I dunno.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 1:12 AM
horizontal rule
105

Does it? My wife receives occasional emails, like order confirmations, that some person with the same last name has signed up for (they're addressed to his first name lastn ame) because he used the email address initial.lastname@gmail.com and her email is initiallastname@gmail.com. He couldn't have signed up for initial.lastname@gmail.com unless gmail accepted that as a distinct username, right?
They don't appear to be spam either, they have links to the real company site and have a real address that google says matches person's name/address.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:36 AM
horizontal rule
106

I get this all the time, and it's really annoying. I don't know why google can't recognise punctuation in user names - it would make life a lot easier and I don't see how it would be at all hard. They just seem to be gratuitously pissing off their users for no good reason.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:14 AM
horizontal rule
107

He couldn't have signed up for initial.lastname@gmail.com unless gmail accepted that as a distinct username, right?

He didn't sign up for initial.lastname@gmail.com. He probably signed up for something like initial.lastname1@gmail.com or firstinitial.middleinitial.lastname@gmail.com, and every now and then he either forgets or just mistypes his email address on various websites.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:47 AM
horizontal rule
108

106: It's easier, if anything, than not distinguishing dots etc. ie simple string matching vs something slightly more complicated. Which means it is a deliberate design choice, almost certainly on usability grounds, even if that sounds ironic.

I would guess they are trying to make simple typos and social engineering impersonation slightly harder this way.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 7:01 AM
horizontal rule
109

The best phase of parenting is when the kid makes the transition from wanting to play to wanting to watch TV. Though we're visiting my brother now and he doesn't even have a TV, so we played a board game for a few hours and that was pretty good, too.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:02 AM
horizontal rule
110

One of the best things about kids is that eventually, they stop pooping all over themselves.

My parents still like to tell the story of how they'd come to get me from the crib to find that I'd engaged in some fingerpainting on the walls with that medium.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:10 AM
horizontal rule
111

Woodrow: Talk with a lawyer asap.

I think it is extremely difficult for someone to move away from California with the kids if the other spouse objects. Halford is correct that forum shopping is REALLY important right now. California might provide much better protection for you than some other state.

Talk with a lawyer today. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Better yet, do it yesterday.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
112

I was about to say that most lawyers are closed this week, but I bet divorce lawyers are open for the post-Holiday rush.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
113

Most lawyers are open this week, or at least have associates keeping the lights on. (Today is a bit livelier in the office than yesterday, I guess.)


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
114

Seeking the greatest Chicago Escorts? Look no further than CallChicagoEscorts.com .


Posted by: Chicago Escort | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
115

Some escorts are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
116

I just know this'll be like the time I found out I could get half-baked Chicago style pizza delivered to me, but then saw the prices.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
117

Busy time for lawyers. There are significant tax issues with making things happen either before or after January 1, so we do what we have to.

My favorite was the time a lawyer filed a pointless lawsuit after Christmas, disputing his share of a multi-million dollar attorney fee award. The suit tied up his share of the funds for a week or two, then he dropped it. If he had received the fee before December 31, his kids wouldn't have qualified for financial aid.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
118

115 and 116 were very good, even by the high standards of this blog.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
119

OT: Apparently all-terrain powered wheelchairs are a thing and people more ambitious than me can start companies making them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
120

The list of things people more ambitious than me can do is pretty damn long.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
121

Is 114 an announcement of ogged's new app?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
122

I just looked up some pizza delivery prices and they're not as high as I remembered. Thanks, Chicago Escorts! You really can make my fantasies into reality.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
123

120: Measuring the length of the list is on the list.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
124

I might have skipped breakfast today.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
125

The list of things people more ambitious than me can do is pretty damn long.

And mostly covered by the great staff at Call Chicago Escorts Dot Com!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
126

http://callchicagoescorts.com/chicago-escorts-gillian.php

I'd prefer if my Chicago Escort knew about a modern Perl, using syntactic changes from 5.12 or 5.14.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:38 PM
horizontal rule
127

126 was, of course, me.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
128

"She considers herself the Audrey Hepburn of Chicago escorts"

What?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
129

128: Intrigued? Only one way to find out!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 1:17 PM
horizontal rule
130

129: Yes, I got paid for that comment.

Don't judge me! Everybody needs to make a living!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 1:18 PM
horizontal rule
131

128: What, the rest of that line didn't make it clear to you? If you wait until dark, she'll be your fair lady. You might think it's all a charade, but when she moons your river you won't be unforgiving.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 1:21 PM
horizontal rule
132

He didn't sign up for initial.lastname@gmail.com. He probably signed up for something like initial.lastname1@gmail.com or firstinitial.middleinitial.lastname@gmail.com, and every now and then he either forgets or just mistypes his email address on various websites.

This is correct. Another possibility is that they signed up for some other address altogether and put in initial.lastname@gmail.com as a "secondary" address and believed that this meant that they were signing up for it in the process.

My gmail address is the first half of my username here and holy shit do a lot of people mistakenly believe it is their email address, or that it is their friend/lover/parent/whatever's address.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 1:23 PM
horizontal rule
133
. . . If you're looking for a fun Chicago escort, you don't need to look much further than Gillian. Even other Chicago escorts love spending time with her, and you will soon see why. Gillian is a fun girl who everybody likes and she is extremely proud of being such a well-liked Chicago escort.

I don't think that's how Search Engine Optimization works. At least I hope not.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
134

But usually when you create an account with an online store they send some confirmation. So if he activated the account at some point he received an email to that address, which the store now thinks is valid for sending confirmations etc.
Is there some way to spoof a mailer-daemon return to sender to alert the store that the email is bad, since we can't actually log in to the account? (Or maybe we can- I forgot my password, send it to my email address!) Obviously there's no way to contact the correct person since we don't have his email address.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
135

I consider myself the Audrey Hepburn of people who don't get out of bed until 11:30 many days and only then to go get a burrito somewhere.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
136

"My gmail address is the first half of my username here and holy shit do a lot of people mistakenly believe it is their email address, or that it is their friend/lover/parent/whatever's address."

"No, honey, that steamy email was definitely not intended for me. Someone just messed up the email."


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
137

President Wilson,

I am not a lawyer, but I want to echo the advice of all of the lawyers to get a lawyer now.

Re: forum shopping. My cousin has been trying to get divorced for at least a couple of years, initially in Colorado. No kids, no assets, only student loan debt. He took out extra loans when she wasn't working. She lives in New York and is trying to divorce him there, because she wants a cut of his lifetime earnings.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
138

15-day daycare vacation child-care marathon is on day 7 and we have become automata with carefully modulated voices. lk2 has been pulverized by the common cold. I only came close to losing it when the nth bedtime story requested was "Pat the Bunny," from a 2-year-old whose favorite books include one with a multi-page, detailed narrative of the Battle of Hastings.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
139

Zardoz has some kind of illness that makes her logy and crabby. On the other hand, had daycare been open they likely would have sent her home due to fever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 2:45 PM
horizontal rule
140

Thanks for the advice. I called a divorce attorney.

I would be moving from a community property state to a equitable division state. That has consequences but it isn't real clear what they are except that she would likely get more as the custodial parent if, as is likely, she gets custody of the kids in any divorce. The house on the east coast is cheaper than the one we are going to sell out here, but it still sucks that she will end up with it.

They also advised not to file any quitclaim to the new property and that the new property would be marital property since it was purchased with marital property.

I am starting to think my best move is just to move into the new house. Annoying since the new house is unwalkable and much further from the local city.

The whole thing is depressing.


Posted by: woodrow wilson | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
141

Also she has learned to crawl occasionally and make a bleating "aah! aah! aah! aah!" noise constantly while playing with toys.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:11 PM
horizontal rule
142

Yeah, we figured if our kid got sick this week it would be ideal, because we had no plans and weren't paying for care we'd have to forfeit anyway.

I guess I have somewhat mixed feelings about being her permanent playmate at home until the age of enchantment ends, vs. having another kid who would become a dedicated playmate -- not very mixed because I think I could not possibly, not even remotely possibly, go through all this again. I seem to be unusually ill-equipped for motherhood, which is not to say that I think I'm an awful mother, but that the costs to me of being what I consider adequate have been steep. I wish I had a little more optimism, but nothing else in my life has wrecked me like this. I have a formerly close and still cherished friend who feels more or less the same, but his wife is set on a second child (for all I know they've conceived one already), and I can't imagine. I wish we lived closer and could join forces.

To President Wilson: I'm so sorry that at a straitened time like this, you've got an unpredictable and untrustworthy person unilaterally deciding to impose the costs of a divorce on you. Lots of sympathy. My sister is going through a horrible long divorce as we speak, and the only silver lining (as always) is that she'll end up free to find someone else.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:14 PM
horizontal rule
143

My senior year in college some freshman started who had told his girlfriend would be abcsdef but that was mine so he took abczdef instead. She still sent me messages though, becoming increasingly more annoying, which I ignored until one time she wrote a flaming email about how he never responded to her, I finally told her she had the wrong address. I should find that guy and tell him how I saved him from her.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
144

140 -- you should ask carefully about the consequences of the move. For example, if you move to the new state and she files for divorce there, does the new state's divorce court treat the new home as community property, or is it subject to some kind of equitable division in which case she may keep it entirely? What happens to claims about your community property if all of the divorce proceedings are in a non-community state?

I am not a family lawyer and don't know the answer to those questions, but these kinds of things are really important if, as seems likely, her plan is to move to a new state and then divorce you. You may be better off preemptively filing for divorce in California before the move. That's not legal advice, just thoughts about some issues that you may want to consider very carefully. I'm sorry you're going through this.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:32 PM
horizontal rule
145

The Calabat is not crawling. He seems to have figured out all of it but the part where he moves forward. Not worried, but for a strong little kid he has tended to hit his movement milestones on the later end of normal.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
146

OT: Apparently all-terrain powered wheelchairs are a thing and people more ambitious than me can start companies making them.

Oh yeah. Tank Chair. It even has its treads in a triangle layout like the unit patches for US armored divisions.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
147

Not that it's wrong to feel it, but "my kid is a late walker" always seemed like the weirdest of parent worries. Unless people are severely disabled, they learn how to walk just fine.

The obsession with early milestones and the tyranny of precocity (hat tip to JP Stormcrow) is generally a completely insane American middle class obsession, but at least with something like reading there's maybe a semi-legitimate fear that the kid will get informally tracked in elementary school with the dumb kids or something. But basically everyone who can use their legs learns how to walk!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:41 PM
horizontal rule
148

if, as seems likely, her plan is to move to a new state and then divorce you

This seems like a worrisome possibility, for sure, but "likely" may be a bit presumptive.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:43 PM
horizontal rule
149

I imagine we will regret Zardoz's ability to locomote sooner rather than later.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
150

I wouldn't have used the "likely" except for the bizarre behavior with cancelling a trip to buy a house together at the last minute, and then semi-secretly going off to buy a house in her own name. It's not a certainty that a planned divorce is in the offing with those moves, for sure, but, combined with the general description of the marriage as "rocky" it sure seems like the simplest explanation is that she's organizing herself for life without him in a different State.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
151

A&E issues a statement saying it "has decided to resume filming 'Duck Dynasty' later this spring with the entire Robertson family."

FREEDOM IS RESTORED IN AMERICA!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:50 PM
horizontal rule
152

Hey, I've received a fantastic bunch of guest posts. Having Internet access issues though. I'll keep keeping on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:51 PM
horizontal rule
153

144.1 -- Here the rule is that the court doesn't care where got your property or where it is located: it's going to be divided equitably.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 3:53 PM
horizontal rule
154

Alex was very early with the movement milestones. He's been standing since he was about 6 months, I think. Younger maybe. He was crawling very very early [4 or 5 months?]. He's been cruising since he was about 7 months, although he still can't walk unaided [he's 9 months] he's now able to grab things and pull his entire body off the ground. He's also experimenting with using objects to help him climb to reach things he's not supposed to get. His physical abilities significantly exceed any impulse-control, or sense of self-preservation. So he's a constant menace to himself and others. He probably hurts himself several times a day.

On the other hand, my wife's friends babies who are a similar age, are mostly all a fair bit ahead of him when it comes to speech [babbling, etc]. In some cases a long way ahead. Last time I was at the doctors with him I did ask about it. See! Crazy worrying about milestones, I'm there. But he is pretty late with the babbling and the worry was maybe he has a mild hearing problem or similar. I think the Doctor seems to think it's just usual variance in development, and we are worrying too much. He understands words we use. He just doesn't babble himself.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:02 PM
horizontal rule
155

I think the Doctor seems to think it's just usual variance in development, and we are worrying too much. He understands words we use. He just doesn't babble himself.

If that's your standard for healthcare professionals, maybe the NHS does need to be reformed.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
156

(IANAFL, and the FL I office-share with says that 153 doesn't reflect reality here.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
157

154 -- Are you speaking both languages with him?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:09 PM
horizontal rule
158

157: Glaswegian and English?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
159

154: You are so, so far away from where you should be worrying about productive speech. Nine months? Normal variation on speech milestones can be years. The anecdotes everyone tells about the kid who doesn't say anything until four or so and then starts with the complete sentences are real.

If you're sweating about hearing or cognitive development (which, also, why would you do that yet?), though, focusing on babbling is probably not what makes sense. If he reacts to things you say, by looking at you or with facial expressions, he's fine, and you should be able to reassure yourself that way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
160

Oh, and what Charley said, but I'm sure you know -- IIRC, raising kids bilingual slows them down in language acquisition on the front end. They catch up just fine, but lag as toddlers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:15 PM
horizontal rule
161

His physical abilities significantly exceed any impulse-control, or sense of self-preservation.

This is true for most people until about age 20.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:18 PM
horizontal rule
162

My newly minted 19 year old is the living embodiment of 161.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
163

My kids were born cautious. Doesn't mean they don't do dumb things sometimes, but even as toddlers, you could see them including "Am I going to get hurt if I do this?" as part of the thought process.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:32 PM
horizontal rule
164

Sally's school gives out virtue-based awards with the academic awards at an end of year ceremony. Sally won "Prudence," complete with a misspelled plaque stating that she exemplified the spirit of "considering all sids of an issue before taking action" back in sixth grade. But I've probably told that story before.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
165

148,150: Likely seems reasonable enough. You don't unilaterally purchase a house unless you plan on some other unilateral action that will justify the decision.

Woodrow needs to pick a jurisdiction and preemptively file for divorce. He can always back out later, but it really looks to me like she's making tracks for the door. The best scenario is that she does not fully commit and is in a sort of fuzzy state of half-assing it, in which case Woodrow can take the initiative and ensure his best outcome as far as access to the kids and possession of common resources.

At the point where she's already halfway out the door (as indicated by the unilateral purchase) it's time to cover bases and ensure that the least bad outcome comes about.

There's always a long shot at reconciliation, but even so, forcing a crisis is the best bet for getting everything on the table.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:36 PM
horizontal rule
166

Re 157 and 159

Yes. Although more English than Czech.

He understands words. If you ask him where the dragon is he'll look at it, or ask him to get his car he'll bring it. He knows games, eg if we say berani berani (Czech for ram) he'll gently butt heads with us, or if we tell him his stuffed giraffe wants a kiss, he'll kiss it. He just doesn't babble. No nonsense sounds or consonants. I expect we are being misled by milestones that claim babbling (but not recognisable words) should be fairly established.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:37 PM
horizontal rule
167

Yeah, there are milestones in the "worry if this hasn't happened yet" sense, and milestones in the "this usually happens around now" sense. I am very certain that if receptive speech is fine, which as you've described it he's beyond fine into quite impressive for nine months (my standard for 'quite impressive' being 'my kids certainly weren't doing that at that age'), productive speech you don't worry for a very long time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:41 PM
horizontal rule
168

163: The only existing film clip of me as a child is from the late 70s. It shows me (aged c.7) and my younger brother (c.5) walking downhill toward our grandparents' house after an unusual snowfall. The path is icy. I edge forward cautiously. He runs full tilt down the hill, delighted.

Now I'm a college professor and he runs a large multinational company.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:42 PM
horizontal rule
169

Re: 167

Yeah. We are more aware of it, and paying attention rather than actively worrying. Some of his peers chatter non-stop. Where he'll be silent or just grunt 'uhh!'. Then again, some of those same babies are passive lumps physically while he dismantles the environment around them or literally carries of their stuff in triumph (my wife has had to apologetically return bottles of formula that he's robbed at playgroup ). I expect it'll all even out with them catching up physically and Alex verbally.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 4:52 PM
horizontal rule
170

166: See, yet another instance where I'd declare the kid a genius! Yay for teaching your kids Czech. My apologies for not rtfa, but is this just for him to be bilingual or are you intending to live in the Czech Republic? My husband wants us to get a nanny that will teach the kids Farsi. Not because we're Iranian or intending to live there, but because it's a charming language.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:26 PM
horizontal rule
171

Re: 170

My wife is Czech and none of her family speak English. So we have practical reasons.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:30 PM
horizontal rule
172

What makes a language charming?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:33 PM
horizontal rule
173

If the snakes don't bite you when you use it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:36 PM
horizontal rule
174

if we say berani berani (Czech for ram) he'll gently butt heads with us
If he brought you rice instead I'd be really impressed.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:37 PM
horizontal rule
175

The nice thing about having many kids is they generally average out around the milestones. One was early walker average talker, one early talker average walker, one late walker late talker, one early talker late walker. The last one instead of being "oh no she's one and not walking!" we were "hooray, another place we can travel without baby proofing!"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:39 PM
horizontal rule
176

It is a very beautiful language. I studied it fairly intensively almost 20 years ago and can still recite about 20-30 lines of Rumi's Masnavi from memory. Unfortunately I never made it to Iran to study it and plans to travel to Tajikistan fell apart because a war broke out. *Pet peeve* It's better to call it Persian though. It's like calling German Deutsch in English.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:42 PM
horizontal rule
177

So that's why SP had so many kids: the central limit theorem!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
178

I did very very little playing imaginative games with my kids I think. That's why you have more than one, surely? My brother and I certainly didn't ever expect our parents to do that sort of thing.

Spike/SP/Todd - kids can set up their own minecraft servers once they can do it themselves. Wtf with the rainbow loom? And two year olds get controllers that aren't plugged in whilst everyone else plays Mario Kart and they are happy.

Clearly the secret to being a happy stay-at-home parent is to do as little as possible for/with them.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
179

When can you start using your kid as an excuse to start playing minecraft?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:52 PM
horizontal rule
180

That would have sure been funnier if you hadn't fucked up the tags, Stupifu Tweetyd.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
181

172: If it's lilting and soft? The better and more accurate explanation is that my husband is Ba/ha'i and he wants to raise our kids speaking the most common language of Ba/ha'is.

176: A lot of my friends are Iranian and they call it Farsi so I just go with that. The trap in your statement is that other people will argue that Persia no longer exists, so you can't refer to the people as Persian or the language as Persian. I take no stance.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
182

What, no one here speaks Lori?

My kids are about the same with the physical milestones (about average) but language should be interesting, because the first one spoke Persian first, then completely dropped it, and is now "very verbal" in English according to his teacher. I didn't bother with Persian with the second one, but he gets a lot less attention (don't have two unless you really want more than one, dear god), so we'll see how it goes. As for their personalities, they're so different I'm already completely disabused of the idea that I'm doing much more than teaching them manners.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
183

What makes a language charming?

You know, as long as it doesn't sound like this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
184

I will grant you that Schmetterling is a terrible-sounding word.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
185

182: The second one makes up for less attention from the parents by getting attention from the older kid. Or at least that's how we reassure ourselves that Newt isn't neglected.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
186

183: how can you call a language that has the word Dudelsack ugly?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
187

I was just trolling, of course.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
188

176 -- My cousin's son just recently did a Fulbright based on some form of Farsi that's spoken on the Omani side of the straits of Hormuz. You can go there. (In the midst of which, he went to Kabul to lecture on the Shahnameh in Dari. I can't recommend going there just now.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
189

At nine months, Φ is crawling backwards, babbling hilariously, trying out "ki'eh" when she sees the kitty, and clapping on command. On one occasion she pretty clearly pantomimed for a bottle, but she hasn't done it again. Her three favorite things are light fixtures, trees, and people. She was quick to smile responsively and she's relatively late to locomotion, for which we're grateful.

Further to 167 - the milestones are statistical norms, and they don't say what the normal range is. nattarGcM, it sounds like your baby is miles ahead on physical milestones and just more of a listener than a talker. Certainly sounds like he understands more than Φ.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
190

You all have geniuses for babies! I thought they just drooled for the first 1.5 years.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
191

I took Zardoz to her first psychology experiment the other day. It was an attempt to determine if babies prefer agents who imitate other agents over agents who do not do that. I can't speak to which agent she preferred but she definitely liked the light fixture much better than either of them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
192

Oh, that's cool. I wonder if there are baby experiments at CalTech, that's closer than USC or UCLA. Although then they'd want to send her to space. Although then she would totally charm the aliens who want to destroy us. Decisions!


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
193

I like hearing babies babble (although that may be because I don't have to suffer it all day, every day). It's a pleasure to witness a mind outrunning its tools, whereas with adults the opposite is nigh-universally the case.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
194

188. That's a lot closer to the Luri that Ogged referred to than Persian. And Oman has some very cool old Semitic dialects/languages to study that would suck me in first. Not that that's an option anymore.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
195

Definitive proof that German is not an ugly language.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:32 PM
horizontal rule
196

On one occasion she pretty clearly pantomimed for a bottle, but she hasn't done it again.

I'm not sure that's statistically significant.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
197

I always thought French was a much uglier language than German, but people look at me like I have two heads when I say that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
198

From what my parents tell me, I never babbled. Of course, now I babble all the time in comment boxes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
199

Re: 189

Yeah . Alex claps on command but has never, as far as I know, pantomimed anything. His favourite things are the oven & dishwasher (because forbidden). Little bugger can open the oven so when cooking we need to barricade him out.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:38 PM
horizontal rule
200

Our 15 month old has entered the opinionated stage where she knows what she wants and we have to figure out whatever communication she can use and satisfy her desire, otherwise she's mad until we do so. That phase lasts for about the next 20 years.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
201

198: Beeblebrox?!?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
202

There's a story somewhere about the (probably now mostly discredited but whatever) Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget. He had a theory about various stages of childhood. In most countries where he lectured people were interested to learn, as a descriptive matter, that children pass through several developmental stages as they get older. In the US, almost every single question was a variant of "how can we help my kid to complete these stages at an earlier age and why isn't my kid there yet"?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
203

(probably now mostly discredited but whatever)

Less than you'd think. His wife was an amazing experimentalist. The stages stuff is sorta bullshit-ish, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:43 PM
horizontal rule
204

I should know exactly what the range is, but as long as your kid is within three months of a milestone or something, i don't think the professionals care. Selah graduated from early intervention and I have to admit I was not as excited as her physical therapist to pressure her to walk down stairs unassisted, but otherwise she mostly does what she's supposed to do. She can do the stairs, but I'm glad she'd rather hold a hand than try it alone given how steep and tall our stairs are. (The PT was a non-parent; the developmental interventionist has a child a month or two older and agreed that she wouldn't encourage her child to climb these stairs either, milestone or no milestone.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
205

179: Safely, seven. Six is plausible but five is either genius child or half-assed parenting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
206

Or both.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
207

Easily 6, but he does have an older brother who he watched first.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
208

194 -- I don't doubt it. I'm just impressed as hell that a 23 year old, as he was when we met in Kabul a couple years ago, has anything useful to say about the Shahnameh, in any language. And that he rode in taxis in Kabul, and understands enough Pashto to know to bail out of a cab when it's on the verge of going very very wrong.

On the other hand, he's just another U of Chi grad student with stupid libertarian contrarian views, so we argue on FB alot.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
209

208: those damn cab drivers were probably feeding him a lot of Friedmanesque bullshit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
210

I think the Doctor seems to think it's just usual variance in development, and we are worrying too much.

That was what Matt Smith said but you might be surprised when you get a second opinion from Peter Capaldi.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 7:21 PM
horizontal rule
211

"I see you've regenerated!" "Yes, and my notes on your baby's prognosis are wrong, wrong, wrong. Nurse, fetch me my sonic screwdriver."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 7:34 PM
horizontal rule
212

I had to give my kid all sorts of support at 6. But at 7 he's far outstripped me. He seems to have just discovered that Minecraft has a command line, and you can use it as time machine, to change night into day.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 7:55 PM
horizontal rule
213

160: IIRC, raising kids bilingual slows them down in language acquisition on the front end. They catch up just fine, but lag as toddlers.

Interesting. I didn't know this, and it surprises me for some reason. Spanish was my first language -- until age two or so -- and then I guess by age three I was equally into English. Then we moved back to the States, and the Spanish was all but lost. Still I understand and respond to a variety of commands (Vamanos! Ayudame!) I suppose those impressed themselves most upon me as a toddler, coming from my parents.

I'm guessing that I all but lost the Spanish because it was completely aural, no literacy to back it up. Total guess. In any event, I hope people don't eschew bilingual child-raising because of the lagging behind on the front end.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:17 PM
horizontal rule
214

To be clear, I'm not worried about the Calabat. He's clearly strong. He seems to be naturally a bit cautious and generally content to stay wherever he is. (He rolled over once around four months old. And he didn't do it regularly for another three months after that. Why roll?) He just prefers babbling nonstop to attempting to move.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
215

I'm guessing that I all but lost the Spanish because it was completely aural, no literacy to back it up. Total guess.

No, most likely just because you didn't continue to hear and use it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:23 PM
horizontal rule
216

He just prefers babbling nonstop to attempting to move.

So the second generation of Unfogged commenters is coming along nicely, it seems.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
217

It's somewhat painfully obvious sometimes that he's my son.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:25 PM
horizontal rule
218

NTTAWWT.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
219

215: Yeah? Well, yeah, but still I'd have thought that I would have picked it up again more readily than I ever did. Because, you know, toddler yacking about this and that -- toys? bedtime stories? taking a bath? -- should imprint itself, right? But apparently not.

Apparently it's just more like a made-up language that you nattered on in at one time, very long ago.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
220

219: Maybe you just weren't exposed to it quite enough for it to sink in permanently? I know this sort of thing does happen, but I don't know enough about bilingualism to say anything about why.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
221

220: Definitely wasn't exposed to it enough. I had a, erm, nanny, Spanish-speaking, and for a couple of years spent more time with her than with my parents, who were both working during the day in the Canal Zone. So my parents were accustomed to Spanish, and things like commands weren't unusual around the house, but I really only spoke it, toddler-level, with the nanny, Hilda, who taught me how to speak initially.

Not really the same as being raised in a bilingual household. It nonetheless makes me sad that I lost the Spanish.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
222

Parsi, my dad learned Japanese like that because his dad was stationed there when he was a toddler, and it did seem to disappear completely after he moved back to the US, though there's a beloved family story about how at age 3 or so he thought you spoke English with family and Japanese with tradespeople and so bowed to a plumber and started speaking to him and almost caused an exorcism panic. My dad seems more than usually good at picking up languages, which may just run in the family, but he never went any farther with Japanese after he lost it and I don't know if he ever tried. I think it's a pretty common story among kids who grow up briefly speaking languages their parents don't.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
223

Danish was my first language, forgotten once I started kindergarten. I think a language must be used until somewhere around 8-10 for it to be permanent, but I'm sure someone here knows better.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
224

Anecdote in 222 happened in South Buffalo, not Tokyo. (Bedtime for me.)

LizSpgot, that's why I'm generally skeptical of plans like your husband's, though it could make more sense to have a child learn a language that is used religiously than just some random one the parents don't speak. But it just seems so hard to keep up bilingualism without a lot of adult and peer support. Mara's best friend's parents only speak to him in English when we or other English speakers are around, because they want him to retain his Indian home language and have seen how few of their friends' kids have managed. (But I'm also fascinated by your husband's theory and had no idea that would be his motivator. So interesting! Also, you will probably be better parents than I am and have more time for that sort of stuff. I am still trying to get mine to speak standardish English, so I don't even have feel guilty about being a control freak who doesn't want them learning languages I don't know while they're still young.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
225

223: Dare we ask when you became fluent in Meow?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
226

About 10 years ago. It was an immersion program.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
227

222, 223: Ah. Thanks - I've always felt vaguely inadequate at what I lost .. but toddler self had.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
228

Speaking of kids and milestones: my org holiday party features skits (live, video, ppt) by staff. We did a bit where we thanked various important alums and other worthies for showing up, the introduced the nominee pending to lead us... And because the nominee looks quite young, had my 5yr-old stand up (as the nom) and do a little speech.

It was hysterical. And the ham loved it. Read the lines like a pro, to the point everyone (include nominee) raved. Good times.


Posted by: James A Garfield | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
229

196: STUFF IT, POINDEXTER, A FATHER KNOWS.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 9:43 PM
horizontal rule
230

I am very good at taking my child out to lunch and to a bookstore, with some window shopping. I think I'd make an excellent stay at home parent if I could do it in, say, a nice bit of Manhattan.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-27-13 10:03 PM
horizontal rule
231

221-223: Come to think of it, I had a similar experience with Navajo around that age; picked up a little bit from my Navajo babysitters and went on to forget it all.

Bilingualism is interesting, and I wish I knew more about it. Under the right circumstances kids can become effortlessly fluent in both languages, but those circumstances are pretty specific and hard to replicate if they don't already obtain.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 1:55 AM
horizontal rule
232

I'm not an expert on bilingualism, but know some of the literature. If you learn a language before 6, even if you forget it you will still retain its phonology, and be able to relearn it with a native accent. Ability to learn a language without a foreign accent diminishes until around 12 or 16 or so, with variation based on speaker and language. E.g., Dutch people can learn English as an adult and have almost no accent. I'm not sure if toddler level is enough exposure though. There's a debate over whether one can be completely equally bilingual, with some people claiming one language will always be dominant. It's also really hard to maintain bilingualism in a not fully bilingual environment, eg the US.


Posted by: Brittany | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 2:56 AM
horizontal rule
233

Fuck you autocorrect


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 2:57 AM
horizontal rule
234

I know lots of bilingual people - a mixture of friends whose parents are immigrants, and friends whose parents are native English speakers but who grew up and were educated in Europe. I guess it'd be pretty hard to test exactly how good each of them is in each of their languages, except most of them report that they can convincingly 'fool' other native speakers. I have a work colleague whose kids are trilingual. She's French, her partner is German, and the kids go to English schools. Each of them is very strict about only speaking 'their' language to the kids.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 4:26 AM
horizontal rule
235

My wife's English is near native level, although she didn't start learning English until she was about 16. She has a noticeable [mild] accent, though, and no-one with a decent ear would think she was British [except the occasional tone-deaf middle-class SE of England person who asks if she's Scottish].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 4:27 AM
horizontal rule
236

223. My mother was taken to Denmark most summers as a small child. She says she learned usable Danish every time and then promptly forgot it before the following year. As an adult she couldn't speak a word of it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 5:53 AM
horizontal rule
237

I was changing the kids (3rd and 1st grader at bilingual Spanish school) after hockey last night and the other kids in the locker room going on next were 5th graders who had just started Spanish this year and were saying typical 10 year I-learned-a-new-language jokes (hey, how do you say "I lost my pants?") My kids were rolling their eyes at the 5th graders' bad accents.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 6:08 AM
horizontal rule
238

I'm just impressed as hell that a 23 year old, as he was when we met in Kabul a couple years ago, has anything useful to say about the Shahnameh, in any language

Soft bigotry of low expectations, Charley.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 6:10 AM
horizontal rule
239

People can be fluent in multiple languages, especially if they use them all frequently, but true dominance is usually possible in only one language at a time, or at least some people argue this. That would include the ability to, say, write an academic paper, compose poetry, fill out a complicated financial/medical form, and be up to date on all the slang.* Most people can't do all those things in multiple languages, or at least not concurrently, i.e. one's dominant language can change depending on the primary language environment. It may be the case that in some contexts people can actually have multiple 'dominant' languages, but my guess is that it is far rarer than simply being fluent. For example, my partner's native language is Italian, he moved to the US as a young child and was raised in an Italian speaking home with extended stays in Italy every year. He is completely fluent in Italian, but he would be at a disadvantage in producing Italian technical or academic writing and his knowledge of the most current slang is lacking. If he were to live in Italy for an extended period of time, his dominant language would most likely switch to Italian, although it would easily return to English after some exposure.

*In fairness, many monolingual people can't do all of this. Also, I'm setting aside the whole thorny concept of "fluency" as an achievable, measurable object and also the inherent language prescriptivism and viewing languages as discrete entities, etc.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 6:12 AM
horizontal rule
240

223. My mother was taken to Denmark most summers as a small child.

Jeez, the Vikings were persistent.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 7:13 AM
horizontal rule
241

Surely there are tons of people who are up to date on academic terms only in English and on slang only in a different language.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
242

Aren't more people in the world bilingual (or at least fluent in more than one language) than monolingual? This is a possibly wrong factoid I picked up somewhere. I guess if you consider Chinese dialects separate languages, which you should, and India and much of Africa it's possible.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
243

My nephew is being raised bilingual. I bet it will stick, since he lives in a bilingual city and will go to a bilingual K-8 school.

I wonder what the largest number of native languages can be learned practically. I recently visited a family where the parents each speak a different language (their native languages) to the kid and he gets a third language (the country they live in) at day care. (The parents common language is none of these three.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 7:50 AM
horizontal rule
244

In German-speaking Switzerland I think it's more the norm than not for reasonably educated middle class kids to be fluent in four languages (German, Swiss German (which is very different), French, and English). And if you're the kid of a foreigner or immigrant you can add one more to the mix, so a lot of young people are fluent in five.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 8:05 AM
horizontal rule
245

except the occasional tone-deaf middle-class SE of England person who asks if she's Scottish

That's really something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
246

with variation based on speaker and language. E.g., Dutch people can learn English as an adult and have almost no accent.

Dutch people and no other people.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
247

re: 245

She has picked up quite a bit of intonation, and speech patterns from me, so her prosody [for want of a better word] is probably quite Scottish. But her basic pronunciation isn't, to my ears, at all, and there are clear (albeit soft) central/eastern European features, too. I guess someone not paying attention and who isn't used to thinking about accents much might just pick up on the intonation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
248

re: 246

I suppose Dutch* is sort of technically the most closely related European language [leaving aside the fact that much more of the vocab is French].

* or Frisian, which isn't really Dutch, I suppose.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
249

242

I'm pretty sure that's right. Polylingualism/glossia is more common and it's more an anomaly that Western Europe isn't so much.

246
And strangely, it doesn't seem to work the other way around.

I had a professor who was born in Israel to Hungarian immigrants, and was bilingual in Hebrew & Hungarian from birth. At 10, her parents moved to Argentina, where she learned Spanish, French, German, and Italian. Then in her 30s she immigrated to the US, where she learned English, which was her primary academic language. She could reasonably considered fluent in 6 languages.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
250

She also had the most amazing accent.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
251

224: I agree that it would be a lot more practical to select a language that the kids would use, like Spanish. I'm not expecting them to use the language their whole lives. I think there's a lot of value in the plasticity that bilingualism brings to the brain. I took five years of French in middle school/high school and I love how I can still recognize French and come up with words.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
252

248. Frisian and English were apparently mutually intelligible until about 1500, so it makes sense that their easy for speakers of the other to learn, I suppose.

Myn hoverkreaft is fol fan Eels


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 10:18 AM
horizontal rule
253

The Creepiness of Precocity (aka things North Korea leads in).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
254

Guitar-savvy here can confirm or not that they seem to actually be doing the playing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
255

There's an interesting disconnect between the amount of lay interest in bilingualism and the amount of solid research on it. Mostly because there are so many uncontrollable independent variables, in my opinion, but the problems involved with defining "language" (vs. dialect) and "fluency" certainly contribute as well.

I'm heading to the LSA annual meeting again next week. Maybe I'll learn something else about this there.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
256

I notice plenty of people capable of understanding English for academic purposes that aren't actually what I consider fluent in English. That said, my definition of fluency requires that one get my puns.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
257

Receptive skills and productive skills don't always align very neatly, too.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
258

re: 252

Yeah, I had a friend who studied in the Netherlands who'd learned a tiny bit of Frisian. We had fun comparing the Scots and Fries versions of lots of things. They were often the same.

'Keek oot' and the like.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
259

I am bilingual, with English having taken over dominance from irish from about the age of 4 or so when I started school. I certainly found I had a facility for learning languages in secondary school although I have forgotten most of my French and German at this stage.
The first child/ second child difference is I think well recognised where the parents are trying to keep a home language going. IIRC there is some research on monoglots too wrt accents where second and subsequent children have much more peer influence than parental influence.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
260

re: 254

It looks convincing enough to me. They are playing recognisable chords, and the kids playing the bass parts seem to be playing the right sort of thing. They can either play it, or they can play it well enough to mime along with a slightly better performance convincingly.

There are quite a few really good east Asian [especially Korean and Chinese] classical guitarists.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
261

re: 259

Yeah, a good friend of mine [a psycholinguists, funnily enough] is from a (Glasgow) Pakistani background, and she speaks good Punjabi [and Urdu] but her young brothers and sisters don't.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
262

I was more or less bilingual in serbo-croat as a child, or so I am told - could certainly read it in cyrillic, for we had encyclopaedias, and speak it fluently to the servants. All that went, completely, on return to England and boarding school. I was, I think, bilingual when I lived in Sweden: if anything Swedish was then my dominant language. If I spend long enough (>4 weeks) immersed in it even now that state returns, and I find myself having to translate thought into English. But that was really from the effort of bringing up a toddler largely in Swedish: there is nothing like teaching a small child a language to really force it into your mind.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
263

261: I myself am actually the second child; though eldest did have better pronunciation / accent (but hasn't kept it up), the big difference was with the third. He showed some signs of language confusion and my parents followed the conventional wisdom at the time which was to quit the bilingualism. (Now the widom is just to carry on and they'll sort it out in time.)
The theory I think is that the oldest gets clear one-person-one-language from the adults, but the younger children also get the older children switching languages.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
264

263: I think I remember your saying that some of your family members use Anglicized names (apologies if there's a more polite or appropriate term) and others don't. Does it fall along bilingualism lines?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 4:04 PM
horizontal rule
265

The theory I think is that the oldest gets clear one-person-one-language from the adults

When I was little I spoke to my (English) mom in an English accent and my (American) dad in an American one. I also spoke Chinyanja, but that's long since faded.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 5:06 PM
horizontal rule
266

I'm guessing that I all but lost the Spanish because it was completely aural, no literacy to back it up.

I remember being shocked to learn that my ex-boyfriend's father was illiterate in his first / native / dominant language. Hindi and English were for reading and writing, and there was never a need to learn to read and write Tamil. (This in contrast to ex-boyfriend's mother, who was raised in a family that put great value in their Tamil cultural heritage and who grew up surrounded by works of Tamil literature.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
267

Going back to Minecraft, why can I find whole bunches of redstone but not a single bit of gold or wheat?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-28-13 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
268

265: When I was little I spoke to my (English) mom in an English accent and my (American) dad in an American one.

This I find fascinating. Though, on reflection, not that bizarre: I certainly adopt different American English 'accents' when speaking with different people. I notice it chiefly when I'm at one extreme or another, either talking with (certain types of) academics -- in which case I speak in a much more clipped manner, enunciating very clearly and no doubt sounding somewhat fey and/or snooty -- or on the other hand with the relatives I (fondly!) call my country cousins.

That may be more dialect or something, though. It's not just word choice, though: with one set I'll say "Yeah" and with the other I'll pronounce that word "Ya". My knowledge of appropriate linguistic terms is inadequate here. We've talked before about code-switching, which obviously also involves pronunciation.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-29-13 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
269

267 - gold's not important; get iron for making stuff. Wheat: break some grass (punch it) and you'll get seeds to plant. Says kid D, who just walked into the room.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-29-13 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
270

263: gosh, well remembered. It's more complicated than that, somewhat to do with whether the person has become known professionally or culturally (music etc) by the Irish version.
My older brother uses the English version mostly, having felt himself in secondary school assumed to be a raging IRA sympathiser. His children are in a Gaelscoil* though so they go by both/and.
*can't make link work for some reason but google will explain


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 12-30-13 5:20 PM
horizontal rule