I wrote a thing! It got published!

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Since quietly moving my blog over to Egypt Titchenal, I have been trying my hand at writing pieces for publication by online magazines, and I’m proud to announce that yesterday I was published over on Mutha Magazine! Maybe head on over there and show me some love? I’m hoping to write more pieces like this in the future!

And while you’re at it, go ahead and follow my new blog!

Monkey Mind-Reader

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His dense toddler body was snuggled up close to mine, with his chubby little hand on my neck. The room was dark, and I was in that almost-asleep state where the mind wanders to the most random of subjects, right before drifting off to sleep. He was so quiet, his breathing so normal, that I assumed he had already fallen asleep. And my mind wandered to a conversation I’d had with my friend and co-worker earlier in the day, about society and life, and…bonobo chimps.

I was so tired that I was actually imagining the chimps. I could see them vividly in my mind, sitting on the grass, grooming each other, making soft hooting noises at one another. The image of the chimps was accompanied by facts I learned in my Psychology 101 class, mixed with thoughts about ‘where is the state of the world going to be in 20 years?’ musings. With the image of a chimp in my mind, almost asleep, I hear:

“Monkeys mama? Ooh ooh, ah ah?”

He wasn’t asleep.

He was asking me a question.

And based on how I had just been vividly thinking about ‘monkeys’ (yes, I know they’re apes, but to him they’re all just monkeys), it felt vaguely eery (and slightly cool) to think…was he reading my mind? And if he was, how do I feel about it?

I’ve read stories and watched shows about psychic kids. And am wondering if Potamus fits under that, or were we simply both tired, and our consciousness merged in the dream space, or the remembrance space from where we used to be in one body.

Thoughts? Anyone have similar experiences?

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This post originally posted over on Egypt Titchenal, my new blog. 

Modeling Manners

I don’t like talking to people that I don’t know. Maybe that’s where Potamus gets it. Once someone is in my inner circle of trust, it’s different, they’re “my people” (as my son would say) and I feel free to move about the cabin like normal. Strangers? No thank you, and not in a stranger danger way, but just like a wary who are you and can I trust you?

So it really shouldn’t surprise me, that Potamus is fine at the park with “his people,” Mari’s sons, but as soon as some other random kid comes along, he asks “who’s that? who’s that people?” And even when I say, “I don’t know who that kid is, but it’s okay, just play with your people if you want,” he gets afraid, timid, worried about someone else in his space. And so, today I decided to do something different. I can’t just have my 3.5 year old sitting on my lap at every play date with a strange kid within 50 yards.

I took him by hand and walked him over to strange kid, kneeled down, and said, “excuse me, my son would like to know what your name is. His name is Potamus.” And the kid said, “I’m Pedro,” and then went to play. And after that Potamus was fine playing in the same neighborhood as Pedro.

But two minutes later a man walks up to me and asks, “did something happen? Did he do something wrong?” Figuring this was Pedro’s dad, I said,

Oh no! My son is shy and wanted to know who your son was. So I showed up how to introduce himself. He goes to school, but is sometimes nervous about kids he doesn’t know on the playground.

The dad looked SO relieved that his kid wasn’t being punished or berated, and said, “that’s a good idea, teaches them manners.” I smiled and he left.

But about 10 minutes later I see him crouched down with his kid saying, “so you can go up to someone and ask them what their name is. It’s called introducing yourself. That way you know who they are.”

So, pass it on folks, modeling manners works!

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The next kid we tried it on was not interested at all in talking to me or didn’t speak English. Potamus was not impressed with my introduction skills that time.