Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Sofia: Do you want to have fun, Zara?
Zara: No thank you.
Sofia: Come on, Zara, do you want to have fun?
Zara: No thank you.
Sofia: You *don't* want to have fun?
Zara: I don't like fun.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chocolate Pancakes

Sofia said she wanted pancakes with chocolate milk instead of regular milk, so I said how about chocolate pancakes, and mixed some recipes together to get the "Fristrom Blend" -

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa (I'll increase this next time - I would have liked them a bit more chocolatey)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter melted & slightly cooled

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, mix the eggs & wet in another, combine, wooden spoon, batter will be lumpy, etc.
Might consider adding some vanilla next time too.

Anyway, I was a freakin' hero.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Role-playing with kids part X

Ok, more advice on how to role-play with kids, using my sample-size of one:
Role-playing & collaborative storytelling with Sofi is such a crapshoot. Sometimes, she's incredibly creative. And just recently, on Saturday, we played That's Drama, and it went pretty well, with Hedwig & Sirius Black rescuing the Weasley family from some dark wizards. "That's Drama is the best game ever," Sofia said after. Aw. She couldn't wait to play again.

Then, yesterday,
Me: "Okay, so Hermoine is surrounded by three dark wizards - 'We have you now,' they say."
Sofia (shaking): "Try a different way."
Me: "Too scary? Okay - um - she notices somebody's following her ... she's not sure who it is."
Sofia: "Who is it?"
Me: "It's Draco Malfoy. But Hermoine doesn't know that."
Sofia: "Try a different way."
Me: "Ugh. Okay. Um. Hermoine sneezes. She thinks she's catching a cold."
Sofia: "Try a different way."
Me: "What? Why?"
Sofia: "I don't want her to get a cold."
Me: "Okay, what do you want to happen?"
Sofia: "I don't know."
Me: (Exasperated.) "I have to cook dinner now."
Obviously not her fault, but it burns me out. In hindsight, she wasn't using TADW as it's supposed to be used - you're supposed to use it to stop the game from being ruined, not on a whim - and simply asking her, "Really? It'll ruin the game for you if Hermoine catches a cold?" might have saved things.

What I don't know is how to tap into that incredible creativity consistently - sometimes the muse strikes her, I guess. But usually she's got her internal critic turned to 11.

Something that works sometimes, when she's in "I don't know" mode, is giving her choices, like a Choose Your Own Adventure:
"Well, do you want to fight, do you want to talk, or do you want to run away?"
"Well, do you want to investigate inside, or do you want to go back?"

Another thing that works sometimes is asking her, Otherkindish, "What's something bad that could happen?" If she picks the bad thing it's usually not going to upset her.

Let's Face It, This Is Really Just A Diary I Keep Online

We've been doing a thing for a while now. "Hands up who loves mama?" "Hands up who loves dada" because everyone, even Zara can raise their hands.
This morning, a first:
Mama: Hands up who loves mama.
(Everyone puts their hands up.)
Dada: Hands up who loves Sofi.
(Everyone puts their hands up.)
Zara: Wah wah wuv dada.
(She puts her hand up.)

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A first

Last night While changing z's diaper:
z: I love mommy.
That's possibly her first sentence.
Me: you love mommy?
Z raises hand.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zara-English Dictionary

Thank you: Ank oo
Sofi: Pofie
Waffle: Wahwah
Tinkerbell: Inkbell
Wall-E: Wall-E

Friday, January 21, 2011

Collaborative Storytelling Elsewhere

It's been a while since I've done the collaborative storytelling thing with Sofia - just read a story that inspires me to start again. It's my bad! - the sequels to our stories about our cats got complicated with a new character every night... - and I got storyteller burnout or something.

The last collaborative stories I did with Sofi were story games...we played several sessions of Archipelago II, which is great for playing with kids (it's probably great for adults, too, but I haven't tried it yet) about a teen witch and her knight friend living in Toledo in medieval times. Again, after a while I got burned out and wanted to play with different characters, and our next couple of games (a mixture of Archipelago II and Once Upon A Time that I hacked together) were fun but Sofi didn't want to come back for more - maybe because we created new characters each time.

I am weak. When I have something that works, I should stick with it longer, until Sofi gets bored, not me. I should find ways to make it interesting for myself, instead of starting over from scratch.

Anyhow, links:

The article

Archipelago II

Once Upon A Time + Archipelago

The Adventures of Zoe and Zippy

Monday, December 06, 2010

I'm the Worst Dad

Sofia just said so. This is for giving her a timeout after she made Zara cry.
"Zara started it!"