Category Archives: Samson Bear

My Wild Child

Nowadays, it’s easy for parents to give in to iPads, phones, or any other source of technology to distract or placate the little ones. This is what may be ‘screen time.’ I am guilty of resorting to this too, however, I like to have it as the last ‘educational-show/game’ option, if  I need to quickly prepare food,  calm him in public (or in the hospital, like last week). This is where, as parents, our patience is tested but also a reminder to teach the little ones to take control of their own emotions, thinking and enjoy the things outside of the little addicting device.

I am consciously trying to spark his curiosity even though he naturally explores it himself. Whether he is indoors playing, helping me clean or cook, there are plenty of activities to keep him occupied, while learning something new and using his colorful imagination. Outdoors, anything and everything is a playground to explore. (You should have seen him at the beach! He was fascinated by the ‘agua!’)

Now, the car is a common place where kids have screen time. (Recall mini-vans with flat screens?) In the car, I encourage Sammy to observe his surroundings. He will spot an airplane or any object of interest miles away… probably above normal visual threshold. Or he will count cars and tell me the colors he observes.

The other day we were on the road as the sun was setting. He shouts ‘sun setting momma.’ As the sun fades in front of us, he asks ‘where it go?’ and found myself giving him a lesson on earth science and Copernicus, ha! Most times, he is listening and watching too closely that he will repeat mommy’s bad word that slipped amid road rage. “Fak??”

I learned a lesson there myself. He knew it was not good to repeat it and continued to distract him with other things passing by. He is very smart and curious, my baby!

Sure, he may be curious about technology too! Technology (phones, iPads, laptops, etc.) introduce him to a lot of learning material and it is just a matter of balancing it out. But the outdoors, the wilderness, is the best teacher a child can have for a healthy emotional, physical and mental development. ❤

 


Agua

To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.

― Isaac Newton

 

Looking at the world through Samson’s acute observations is refreshing.  He sees novelty in everything and uses application too; he knows that the droplets falling from the sky is water.  Pointing to the sky, he says with amazement, “agua!” He loved every minute of the pouring rain. I explained the process of precipitation and how I look forward for him to play in the rain when he gets a little older, just like I enjoyed it as a little girl. The simple and fun days… I get to relive them through my son, Samson.  Together we explore the world, even the simple yet complex/beautiful things, such as nature. To expand his curiosity is essential, especially at this young age, where he is absorbing and studying everything! He already loves to explore and learn, even if it gets him in trouble, but stays safe too. (Those neurons be firing wildly, yo. See ‘Bubby’s Circuitry’)

 

 

 


Imagination

Samson embraces his growing imagination. David Brooks, author of The Social Animal, says “blending neural patterns is called imagination- arduous and practical. No simple machine can blend two complicated constructs” such as Samson’s ability to imitate a tiger. What does the tiger say? And there he is, making “tiger” sounds. Soo precious! He also pretends to fly a plane, while holding his helicopter up in the air. It seems simple, but is far from it. According to Fauconnier and Turner, “building an integration network involves setting up mental spaces, matching across spaces, projecting selectively to a blend, locating shared structures, projecting backward to inputs, recruiting new structure to the inputs or the blend, and running various operations in the blend itself.” That’s only the start of it.

My bubby’s imagination scared him when he discovered his shadow; not the playful one created by the sun, but the distorted and spooky one created by the nightlight. He rushed to hold me—turns around and there it is again— with a worried and make- it- go-away look on his cute face. I remedied this new and (probably) only fear of his by challenging him a little bit. With a flashlight, I showed him the “bunny” shadow created by my hand. At first he hated it before learning that it was my hand creating these images on the wall. Then he tried it. It was super adorable! He approached it with ambivalence at first, but after seeing what his cute little fingers created with a flashlight, he became comfortable experimenting more with the shadows, like a “peekaboo” game. He was at ease by the end of this activity and I, in good riddance that my bubby gained his confidence back.

He relies on me for comfort and security. It is sooo easy providing that to such a beautiful angel, my son. He trusts me to “make the spooky shadows” go away. I will always be there to comfort and make sure that he continues to embrace his *Spongebob Squarepants voice and rainbow motion* IMAGINATION.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. –Albert Einstein

 


Bubby’s Circuitry

“As we grow and learn, we reduce the number of connections in our brain and instead focus on smaller number of stronger connections. As we learn to read, the circuits get carved to interpret the squiggles on a page. The connections go from being universal to being specific. The links you do not use, you lose. Over the course of childhood, circuitry is wired up according to experience – interaction of environment.” – David Eagleman

Watching Samson grow and interact with the environment is so fascinating. I love his concentrated look while building with legos. And he knows to return the toys to the toy box.  “Monkey see, monkey do.” Recently, he discovered the “fun” in laundry, helping me transfer it from washer to dryer or from floor to basket. He is so sweet helping momma… all while learning about responsibility too! Here, his energy is mellow and focused. I’m a proud momma!

When I read to him, identifying characters comes smoothly to him. “Where’s the fishy, baby?” He knows where to find the fishy on the following pages of The Cat in the Hat. His memory and problem solving skills are very sharp, as well as sensory and motor skills!

He loves throwing a baseball fast with such a strong arm and great coordination. This is further reinforced when I chase after him as he explores. It’s difficult keeping up with his high amounts of energy and excitement, however, I enjoy it.

Running around naked is one of his favorite things to do around the house. That is okay if we don’t have an agenda, but he likes doing this in the mornings before work OR after he had a poopie diaper. I have to clean him before he runs around with a stinky and dirty butt! Somehow I manage to clean him up in 30 minutes!? That’s a long time struggling with a strong toddler, Samson.

I wonder how this is going to change once he hits the “terrible twos,” which is 10 months from now but I’m already kind of nervous. According to neuroscientist, David Eagleman, “By age two, a typical neuron has a more than 15, 000 connections- almost twice as many found in an adult.” No wonder! I may have to rely on Red bull!

Hopefully, I’ll have a lot more fun activities for Samson to utilize his full potential for learning and developing stronger motor skills. Experts’ advice parents to introduce two year old toddlers to more tactile materials such as musical toys, restock books, and to expose them to new environments. Well… I guess he’s a step ahead since he’s already been introduced to all that. He’s so smart. 🙂


Surviving Parenthood, Part 1

If you’re Type A like me, time management, organization, and schedules are critical for sanity. After Samson falls asleep, I prepare lunches for the next day, clean around the house, shower, and maybe watch an episode or two of my favorite show(s). By this time at night, I’m running on fumes, but it saves me a lot of running-around in the morning. Ideally, waking up 30-45 minutes before Samson is best to prepare his bottle, dress, wear minimal make-up and put my hair in a bun. Everything runs smoothly and on time… until, a minute before heading out the door, there’s a mess in Samson’s pants and it gets on me too!  Then traffic is hateful, in addition to crazy metro delays.

Okay, breathe in, breathe out, Maria. Oxygen to the brain! I’m freaking out by this point. This one classic example may or may not backtrack me at least 30 minutes to work. Example numero dos: let’s say that the entire week has been executed as planned– no accidents, minimal mess, cooperative metro ride, and then… my poor baby gets sick. Whether I’m at work or home, it’s a rush to the doctor or pharmacy.

Tres! Sometimes Samson is unlikely to stay on his sleeping and/or eating time; I have to find flexibility in my schedule and accommodate it to my baby’s needs. There’s A LOT, A LOT of multitasking, COFFEE, and sometimes wine involved– but that’s its own blog post, haha!

The three examples share this in common: schedule disruption. Even if there’s good time management and organization, key to surviving parenthood is flexibility and PATIENCE to abrupt changes! Stay calm and approach the issue efficiently with a lot of love, hugs, tickles, bottle and toys! Oh, this also means, being late to work, missing work or a special event.

Sacrifices must be done without freaking out about the schedule disruption(s). Samson is my top priority and whatever comes our way, all the challenges of being a mommy, it’s all worth it for him. He’s growing to such a smart, funny and sweet little boy! He’s definitely the best part of me and his daddy combined. Most recently, he prefers to throw the baseball with his left hand…hmmm! ❤


Monday, Where Art Thou?

This weekend needs to be over soon so I can see my bubby, Samson! He spends every other weekend at his father’s house. I miss him so much already! It’s Friday night and I’m at home looking through all his pictures and videos on my phone… from the first time he smiled (at 5 weeks) to the first time he crawled (at 8 months). He’s sooo precious; without him I feel incomplete and restless. Ughh, this sounds like a bad case of separation anxiety, but I’m glad he has lots of fun with his daddy.

Isn’t he the cutest, most handsome and beautiful boy everrr??