Categories
Mindsets Sports

Austrian Grand Prix Spoiler Alert Fail

I sat down to watch the pre-recorded Austrian Grand Prix after work. My son came up to me …

Son: Do you know who won the race?
Me: No, I haven’t looked. I just want to watch the race.

My son left the room, and returned a few minutes later.

Son: Can I show you something?
Me (thinking this has to do with a game he’s been playing lately): Ok.

He shows me the Formula 1 app on his phone, and gleefully shows me who won the race I just started watching. 😱

Me: Haven’t you heard of spoiler alerts?! 😭

🏎️

By the way, what a race! If you’re interested, here are some race highlights (🚨 SPOILER ALERT 🚨):

Categories
Events and Life Mindsets Sports Wellbeing

Today’s alternative to my usual run

Frisbee and a ball
Our frisbee and ball

I finally took some time to get outside, and exercise for the first time in about a week. I was going to do my usual run (it’s effective but I don’t particularly like it) when my daughter asked me to take her to the park.

I was about to say “No”, and that I wouldn’t have time, and then it occurred to both of us that I could take her to the park, and get my cardio workout.

So we took a ball and a frisbee. Our daughter (and, later, her friend too), threw the frisbee, or kicked the ball, and I ran around fetching it for them.

This worked out to be a win-win, I think.

Categories
Education Tutorials Useful stuff

Teaching kids fractions

Our son is learning fractions at school. He’s finding them a little challenging, so I’ve been trying to help him. On one hand, my math knowledge still seems to be sufficient at his level. On the other, I don’t remember doing this stuff like he does it at school.

I found a couple links that will hopefully be helpful to him (well, aside from the examples I worked through with him, some artful diagrams with blocks, and loads of patience), so I thought I’d share them –

I also found the Khan Academy videos on YouTube (also worthwhile if you just want the videos):

Kids these days have such awesome resources available … (and, thankfully, so do we parents!)

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Dawid Małecki
Categories
Books Education People Useful stuff Web/Tech

Building a computer with my daughter and Hello Ruby

I bought the Hello Ruby books for my daughter a couple months ago. She was interested in learning to code, and I had recently watched Linda Liukas’ wonderful TED talk about how she came to write her books.

So I bought both of the Hello Ruby books: one about programming, and the other about computer hardware. I read the stories in both books to my daughter, and then we paused for a time.

I realised that Liukas also made available PDFs of the computers that school kids could download and print to make little cardboard computers. I downloaded the PDFs, and had them printed on 300 gram paper the other day.

Our daughter cut out the various pieces, read about components like RAM, ROM, the CPU, and GPU, and then we sat together this afternoon and built her computer.

Having done this, it may be time to return to the books, and start exploring some of the exercises in the books. It’s a great way to introduce kids to what is otherwise a pretty technical field. Our daughter loves the Hello Ruby approach. I’m a fan too.

Categories
Events and Life

Married For 12 Years

Today Gina and I have been married for 12 years. I’ve had the opportunity to wake up next to her almost every morning in those years (well, and a year or two before that too 😁).  I’ve loved my wife since our second date. I’ve driven her crazy in all that time. We’ve raised two amazing kids over the years, and I have her to thank for that.

I hope I have many more opportunities to pay tribute to my long-suffering, immensely patient, and beautiful partner. She and the kids are the loves of my life, and I am a better person with them in my life.

Our last two anniversaries:

Categories
Events and Life Mindsets

When kids start treating the staff poorly

Reconcilable Differences #66, titled “Inherent Injustice”, is both hilarious and cringeworthy for parents. The hosts, Merlin Mann and John Siracusa, were talking about raising young kids, setting examples for them, and issuing parental edicts.

I started giggling at around 31 minutes when they were discussing how kids seem to struggle with this idea that their parents are not servants who exist to cater for their every whim. I had to share this:

I had another laugh at about 1:01:30 when Mann and Siracusa started talking about resolving inconsistencies in rules that parents make for kids. I definitely have a preference for Siracusa’s approach. As with terrorists, there are times when you just don’t negotiate with kids about rules.

This was probably one of the funniest discussions I’ve heard for a while on this show. Even if you don’t listen to the show (and it can be an acquired taste), definitely spend a few minutes listening to these discussions.

Categories
Events and Life Mindsets

Being a parent gives you superpowers

Parents often tell their kids they have superpowers of some sort. My favourite myth (which may actually be true) is that mothers can see through walls and whatever our kids are doing on the other side of those walls.

Fortunately kids believe this long enough to give us time to come up with something more plausible (and similarly effective) as they grow older.

Leaving aside the myths, there are times I think we really do develop some kinds of superpowers as parents.

One of my superpowers is the ability to hear a crying child over some background noise (in my case a fan in our bedroom) in the middle of the night and be on my feet and in my child’s bedroom before my conscious mind has even realised that I’m awake.

That sort of thing still amazes me after more than 9 years.

Image credit: Chris Barbalis

Categories
Events and Life Mindsets

Being a Dad is mostly the stuff you didn’t intend doing

Laura-Kim has been publishing a series of Father’s Day posts and she asked me to make a contribution so I wrote a post titled “Being a Dad” one afternoon, while I was sitting at a park with our kids.

The thing with “Dad posts”, especially when they are written for a Father’s Day series, is that it is tempting to delve into the profundity of fatherhood. I’ve certainly written those posts before.

Fatherhood is what happens when our kids disrupt our plans

This time around, I wanted to focus on an aspect of fatherhood we often don’t focus on because, well, it’s a little embarrassing. You know that saying that “(l)ife is what happens to us while we are making other plans”?

It occurred to me that much of being a Dad is like that. We have things we want to do, either with our kids or on our own, and those things are often not what our kids want to do.

I thought I had something meaningful, profound even, to share about the magic of being a Dad and then I was interrupted.

I was at the park with my daughter at the time. She asked to push her on the swings and I lost my tenuous link to what I thought would become a deep insight into the source of the magic of fatherhood.

As I pushed her higher and higher (these kids are crazy) I tried to remember where my thought train was derailed and failed. Instead I found myself captivated by the sunlight in my little girl’s hair and I realised that she isn’t such a little girl anymore. When did that happen?

Instead, our kids have a tendency to pull us out of our plans and send us down another path (usually a paved path in a park towards an inadequate hiding place). Sometimes being a Dad is recognising that our kids’ impromptu plans are the more important ones.

With that, here is my post. I hope you enjoy it (I certainly enjoyed writing it):

http://www.harassedmom.co.za/being-a-dad

When you are finished reading my post, go read the other Dads’ contributions to Laura-Kim’s series: