Hayley's diary 1998

October 1998

Friday, 23 October 1998

Hayley told me today that she wanted to stay in Kindergarten next year because she didn't want to leave Mrs O'Neill :-) She said she wanted to stay there for five years. She asked me what grade she would be in when she was 11. I thought out loud for a second: "In first grade you will be six, so six minus five is one; eleven minus five is six." So you'll be in sixth grade. "What's minus?" she asked. "Minus is taking away --- if you have eleven and you take away five, you have six."

I made up a little sheet of additions and subtractions for her, as I had done a while ago, and she did them with no help from me, just confirmations. As I was making up the sheet, she did some of them in her head. She did 8 + 5 in a curious way; I don't remember exactly, but it was something like: "eight plus five is four and four and five... that's four and nine... that's thirteen". Associativity already :-)

She was quite surprised when she got to 8+5=13: "Hey! That's thirteen --- how come that's the same as the other?" I answered: "Well, you can add things together in different ways to get the same thing: one plus three is four, but two plus two is also four." "Oh, yes; I forgot about that."

Saturday, 10 October 1998

Hayley is reading a book to me, called

The Jungle of Animals

Page 1
Once, there were three farmers, that's because they had a lot of animals. Goats galloped, cows mooed, horses swished their tails back and forth, and they even heard the soft sound of water running.
Page 2
And, even that was another pond they found things laying on the ground.
Page 3
And cows were falling in the water! And some things were falling in too --- the sun and the moon were heading towards the water. And even the Noah's ark sailed across the Atlantic while sea turtles swam and octopuses swished and sharks tried to catch up while whales lobbed tails in front of Noah's ark's way.
Page 4
And there were dinosaurs and whales and other things like that in the sea and on land on the beach there were dinosaurs walking around and roaring like they had never seen a whale lob-tailing.
Page 5
And sometimes on land and when there was nothing to do the triceratops and stegosauruses met and on the slow ground there was a nest but nobody was caring for it. So they went in that nest and pretended that they were babies. But they were really three.
Page 6
Once there were animals running in the jungle slashing and spraying water into the pond.
Page 7
Animals ran. Everything had babies in this jungle it was happy; maybe some did not have babies. No-one knows. We do not know how this story will end. The End.

Chapter 2: The Jungle

Once there was a big jungle and there were lots of noises. It was nice there. Animals were free, and animals loved it there because it was nice and cool. And it was great for people too. The End.

September 1998

Tuesday, 1 September 1998

August 1998

Saturday, 29 August 1998

Hayley was over for the day today; we went for a walk down to the corner store and ran into a neighbourhood boy Joe and his aunt also going to the store. Hayley was pretending to be a dog, as usual, and I had to hold her leash, something that makes me a bit uncomfortable, but which I figure I ought not let bother me.

Joe's aunt and the people in the store were quite happy (as usual) to go along with it, and Hayley explained happily to passers-by that she was pretending to be a Husky, taking me for a walk :-)

We got on well with Joe and his aunt (Joe is 3), and we met up later to go to Billy Taylor park where there was a neighbourhood fiesta. There wasn't much organized, but it was fun.

Saturday, 15 August 1998

I was in LA last week, and unable to connect, since AT&T worldnet thinks it was reasonable to charge me $1000 for one month's ISP service, and Microsoft Network seems to be having trouble upgrading their servers (why does this not surprise me? :-)

Sunday, 9 August 1998

Hayley is being "White Fang" this morning :-)

It's funny how she identifies more with the animals in the films we watch than the people... but as I was thinking last night, the animals usually do get *much* better roles, so it isn't really strange...

Saturday, 1 August 1998

Last night Hayley slept over for the first time in a while --- it was really nice to have her sleeping here again. Kathy came to get her this morning to get her hair cut. Hayley looks adorable now, a bit like Madeline. They went to a birthday party, and now Hayley is here for the afternoon.

She wanted to make a carriage for one of her horses to pull, so we got her box of blocks (a great box I found a while ago in a second-hand store, with many many different shapes). We taped together a bunch of blocks to make a platform, and then I drilled holes through some of the cylinders so we could stick an axle through. I made the axle out of an old coat-hanger. It looks a bit like a flintmobile, but it works :-)

Yesterday Hayley wanted to make a corral for her horses, so we took a cardboard box and cut it into pieces that formed the sides of the corral (a hexagon, as she rightly pointed out). Then we took some other cardboard boxes and made a stable that joined onto the corral, with a tunnel leading between them. We cut out doors and windows in the stable. It looks pretty neat, actually :-)

July 1998

Wednesday, 15 July 1998

Here are some random bits and pieces I managed to type in as Hayley was acting out a scene for me. She was playing the part of a dog called Heaven. Some of the pieces seem very disjointed, but that is mainly because it was hard for me to type them in while responding to her requests of my participation; she constantly tells me what to say, in my capacity as critical audience. Currently when she wants to make a narrative statement, she says "Pretend she (the bratty girl's mother) says XXX". When she wants a criticism, she says "Pretend the bratty girl said YYY".

This dog is clever. He's fighting against the devil's brother. Heaven is thinking about getting the devil's brother away from him so much he almost can't breathe.

The dog was smart; if you looked at he was tired you would try to hurt him but then the devil would keep going everywhere trying to chase him.

Pretend he was happy.

The devil is trying his strongest to kill the dog.

But the dog has more power than the devil.

Heaven has fallen in love with Rose. This is the starting of Heaven when he was an Indian dog.

Who is the dog growling at? The English.

The English dog pushed the Indian. The devil isn't that smart.

When Pickles are grown up (25) they get the huge taxi, but now he's only one year old... I mean six weeks old, he's a tiny little baby.

I was trying to explain the concept of "organic" to Hayley.

She is organizing things in her "taxi-boat", a big plastic trunk. She wanted me to write down the recipe of things. I said inventory would be a better term there.

What did she learn today? Originally I had asked her "in school", but that restriction was dropped :-)

Monday, 13 July 1998

My personal philosophy with regard to things like eating and sleeping is similar to that expressed by Catweazle, a 10th century magician transported to modern times, in the children's fantasy books Catweazle and Catweazle and the Magic Zodiac. Catweazle has recently discovered himself unexpectedly in the 20th century, on the grounds of a large house. He creeps into the house looking for his pet toad, and is surprised there by a young boy who lives in the house. The young boy thinks he is a tramp, and that his talk of being a magician are just ravings. The boy is bored with his summer holidays, and decides that Catweazle doesn't seem dangerous, so he is talking to him (and later finds him a place to live on the grounds of the house). Catweazle notices an alarm clock, and says to it "What is this that sayeth 'Tick tack, tick tack?" The boy tells him it is a clock; it tells people when to go to sleep, when to get up, when to eat, and so on. Catweazle is very surprised: "I go to sleep when I tire, rise when I am rested, and eat when I hunger. Begone, oh demon [to the clock]!"

This seemed, as well as very amusing, very profoundly "right" to me at the time, and basically it still does. That is how I usually operate with Hayley -- I let her decide more or less when we eat, and I am very reluctant to force her to go to bed. This has been the source of vast problems for me and Kathy since our divorce, since when Hayley stays up late with me, she is cranky for Kathy the next day.

Hayley has been interested in natural disasters recently. I have been reading her a couple of books on them: The Violent Earth, and a french book on natural disasters. She was particularly intrigued by tsunamis. Oddly, just a few days later there was a massive tsunami in Borneo. Hayley is getting good at visualizing things; I explained how the tsunami was like a big wall of water washing over the land, and she asked a bunch of questions about what would happen to the houses, and what would the people do, and so forth. I reassured her that we didn't get tsunamis here :-)

July 1998

Sunday, 12 July 1998

Today Hayley came over for a few hours after taking a bike-ride with Riccardo and Kathy, Hayley riding in a bike seat on Riccardo's bike.

My friend Cathy was down for the afternoon, and we went out for a "picnic". We made sandwiches --- peanut butter and jelly for Hayley, cheese for me. We also took some chips, the only portable food I had handy.

We wandered gently around the neighbourhood, and when we found a nice stone wall to sit on we stopped there. I thought the owners of the house wouldn't mind if we spread our little tablecover on the edge of their lawn to picnic on... I hope they didn't.

We talked about the flowers we saw on the way, and found some lavender, which Cathy and I had previously only seen in France, so we wondered a bit about how widespread lavender was. There are some beautiful gardens around here, one of them particularly reminds me of my Aunt Joan's house in England; Aunt Joan is a wonderful lady with whom I've had too little contact, I think.

Saturday, 11 July 1998

Over the last few months I slowly came to the realization that one of Hayley's current goals is to miss a sleep cycle. She knows that I and many of my friends stay up late frequently, and she has seen me pull all-nighters quite a few times. When she is with Kathy, which is most of the time currently, she has a very rigid schedule.

I think the root of the schism between Kathy and me concerns authority. I believe in minimizing constraints: as ye harm none, do as ye please. I therefore never order Hayley to do anything unless I fear that not doing so will harm her. Kathy, I believe, agrees with me to a large extent, but there are things that she will order Hayley to do that I will not --- a good example being ordering her to bed at times that are arranged without discussion with Hayley.

Friday, 10 July 1998

Hayley was describing a computer game she wanted to write:

There's a big globe that turns, and there's a snowy ball on the sun, and that's where the black dog lives. Because he likes it very hot. He likes it very hot, but on top of him, he loves it cold. So. And, let me just think. Heaven is always with you. Because you know what? If the black dog growls at you, you can never play this game again. That's the rule. So Heaven is always with you so the black dog doesn't growl at you, so you can play this game always. So if he growls at you like this: "eeeeehhhhhh", that means hi! But if he growls at you like this: "gggrrrr", that means get away from here and never come back. And if the black dog bites another dog, it become a black dog, and gasses! And it goes pffffft. And if the flies bite the dogs, they becomes brown dogs, and go "dit dit dee" (jumps).

And it's tail is pink, and its lips are blue, and its eyebrows are black, and its face is white, and its ears are green.

And if you ask for a lightbulb, he brings along a screw, just like the dumb schtroumpf.

After you've done all the stuff at the snowy ball, if you get the five stars, you get to go in the black dog's owner's car! And if you click on heaven, he doesn't do anything. But if you click on the black dog two times and on heaven two times, they jump together, and have a fight.

Want me to tell you about the hut? The owner's car, if you click on it, but even if you don't get the five stars, you can still go in the owner's car before that. If the owner tells you "go in the car, dogs!" If you see the car going away, you have to click on the house. You have to click on the owner's wife's car, and she brings you to his grandma's, and she takes care of you.

And when the owner's back, she brings you back to his house.

June 1998

Sunday, 21 June 1998

Hayley tried to pull an all-nighter again last night, but ended up falling asleep at 4am. Later, she was at the zoo with a bunch of kids. The zookeeper said that bats were nocturnal. Hayley raised her hand...
Hayley: My Dad let me stay up until 4 am
Zookeeper: Did that make you feel nocturnal?
Hayley: Yes

Saturday, 20 June 1998

Fetchy (played by Hayley) was telling me a story today as we went to the store down the road. It seems that Fetchy's father Heaven, who along with Fetchy is owned by Hayley's imaginary friend Ghost, is off at the moment in a war in Africa (I later showed her Africa on our world map, and listed some of the countries --- apparently, Heaven is in Madagascar).

Heaven is tired of the war so he just pushed himself out. You know what push yourself out means? It means his robot distracted the bad ones, and in the meantime himself got away, and you know what, while they were asleep, the robot sneaked out and then when they woke up, there was no more heaven or robots, and you know what? They were just fighting against themselves! Ha ha!

Hayley is a good wordsmith:

Daddy, can you inside-out these
[handing me some pants that were inside-out] while I get some underwear?
I don't remember hearing anyone use inside-out as a verb before.

Wednesday, 17 June 1998

Hayley is over for a bit; she was drawing flowers for Varda and asked what a buttercup looked like. I found a picture of buttercups on the web somewhere.

We played around with the microsoft photo editor (one of the few pieces of microsoft software I use) and produced:

Saturday, 13 June 1998

Deja vu :-| (seeing the beginning of last week's entry)

Varda has been teaching Hayley how to play Perquackey. They had "FAMIY", but were missing an "L" to make "FAMILY". Hayley suggested that they pretend that the "I" was a lowercase L; Varda said that would be ok by Hayley and Varda rules, but not by the regular rules of Perquackey.

Hayley is writing a different book for me now, concurrently with the Little Spino book. This one is about the Narnia world; Hayley told me it was called "How the Wood Between the Worlds Began". "The Wood Between the Worlds" is a place in The Magician's Nephew. I thought that was an interesting title, as "The Magician's Nephew" is a story about how Narnia began, and the Wood Between the Worlds appears in it, but none of the Narnia stories says how it began. Hayley has an excellent imagination.

She was telling me about a new girl at her dayschool:

H: Manou looks different from everyone else but we're not allowed to make
fun of her, because we don't want to scare her.
I drew a picture of an apple with a slice cut out of it, and the seeds were showing in the middle. Because of the perspective, Hayley first thought there should be another line of seeds, but I tried to show her how the apple was positioned. I was about to get an apple to show her, when I asked:
D: The apple's seeds are in the middle, so you can't see them over
there.  ... Do you want me to explain again?
H: That's ok; I get the point.
Doobul, Atlas' Aunt, Squeaker, Wicked Witch, Wunzel, Doozel

Saturday, 6 June 1998

I can't believe it has already been a week since I last wrote here... Hayley and Kathy have moved into their new house, much nearer me, so that is convenient. Hayley showed me her room today. She brought over a kitchen set, which had lain ignored in the cellar for years, but which she couldn't separate herself from now :-)

I started to teach Hayley some grammar with the kitchen fridge magnets; we have those magnetic poetry sets, and someone (Caty?) a while ago divided them into word categories: nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. An "s" had dropped on the floor, and I asked Hayley to put it back on the fridge. She pointed to words, looking for one that the s would fit on. At first we were in the adjective section, and green, heavy, tall, didn't work well, so I suggested we move over to the nouns, and explained the three categories. She found a word to pluralize, and then went on with more of the single-s pieces. She added one to baby, and I explained a little about english rules and how they were complicated because it was such an old language. I told her that if she wrote "babys", people would understand what she meant.

May 1998

Saturday, 30 May 1998

Hayley is making a roof for her dragons' baby carriage.

Today was quite a busy day... I went to get Hayley around 11am, then we came back to Ivy Street. We played inside for a bit, and I started reading her Charlotte's Web. Hayley made a baby carriage for the baby dragon she was being, using the cart we made a while ago, and constructed a big roof for it out of sheets of paper taped together.

While we were outside she played on the jungle gym while I read more of Charlotte's Web and the first Narnia story.

At some point we were inside for a pee break or something and Hayley asked me why indians didn't wear shoes. I expressed some surprise, since most indians (we established that she was talking about American Indians, not natives of India), as far as I know, wore shoes. She said that in Pocahontas they didn't wear shoes. I said maybe that was because it was in South America, where it was warmer, and they didn't need shoes. In the north, I said, they often wore mocassins, and I got out a Lucky Luke (Canyon Apache) to show her.

Today we got a bigger bed for her, and she said that she liked the way the room was now --- "I can peer through here" --- the crack of the door. "Peer" seemed a very apt word.

Tuesday 26 May 1998

Hayley is over this evening for a few hours between school and bed. I told her some more of the Narnia story (PSL: SantaClaus to AslanFirst, E: StonePicnic to KnifeSharpening), and she is doing arithmetic with Varda now. Here is one of the arithmetic sheets we did a few days ago:

Varda and Hayley did cumulative addition, then Varda made up a song for Hayley:
I'm a little popsicle
cold on a stick 
pick me up and give me a lick
hold me in your hand between your finger and your thumb
eat me up!  yum yum yum
and we did a bit of fractions. She is not really ready for fractions yet; after a while she said something like "Daddy, can we please not go there?".

We also alphabetized Hayley's books, by title, not author, since that seemed more appropriate for her. As Varda pointed out, this will lead to different categorizations, and the notion of sorting. We're teaching her spelling and numbers while we play, which is good.

Saturday 23 May 1998

I picked Hayley up from school yesterday; it was fun. We walked around the woods for a bit, places we had not seen before. Many of the trees there have numbers, little metal tags with a number and some text on them. The first few numbers we saw were 1035 or so, and I think overall the range was 560-1100; we didn't figure out the algorithm for numbering the trees.

We made dinner: Hayley wanted cereal (combination of rice krispies and cocoa puffs), and I made for me and Varda some spiral macaroni with red sauce. I hadn't realized Varda didn't like red sauce :-( and she fell asleep before we could figure out what else to make her to eat, so she went hungry.

Hayley had her cereal on the floor since she was being a dog at the time (Heaven). We did some counting -- she can count to thirty easily, and is learning to count backwards too. She counted from five to twelve, and sixteen to one, and five to negative five, and negative five to five, so she groks negative numbers pretty well.

I made up some addition problems for her, and presented them as a puzzle:

Now I am trying to scan some stuff in, and the scanner software is being unco-operative since I installed microsoft's system pack 3. A lot of things have broken since then. So I am trying to figure out the scanner... Going to reboot again. Sigh. I *must* try to find this kind of software for linux.

Friday 15 May 1998

What animal needs oil?  A mouse because it squeaks!
How do you stop your dog from barking in the back seat of the car?
Put him in the front seat!
Those are kids' jokes.
Hayley is being a dog called Heaven. Its nickname is Barky. It was a kid earlier; now it is 15. Heaven is dancing to the radio; she told me to look, and I thought she was dancing very well --- she was standing on one hand and one foot (the opposite side) and jiggling around.

Saturday 9 May 1998

We played pictionary for the first time, Varda, Hayley and I. It was very interesting, but I think varda would be able to recall it better. It was interesting how Hayley would get confused and think that she couldn't show me the picture she was drawing. But she did astoundingly well, considering that without thinking I had pulled out the normal version, marked 12 and up. So she got words like ???

Hayley and Varda made me a book today. Here is the text; we'll scan in the pictures later. This book turned out much bigger than I expected, so I'll put it in its own web.

Page 1
Spinosaurus Grows Up
words by Varda, but Hayley said them, and pictures by Hayley and Varda

One day, a spinosaurus was born in an egg.  It was a spinosaurus, but
it was named "little spino" when it came out of the egg.  It was a
six-month-old spino, and it was not very fierce.

It could play with a lizard, very politely.  You would *love* the
Spino; he would not eat you.

And he was born in an egg, but he had to walk a mile to find his
mother.  But he could find his way; he knew the way.  

Page 2

After a couple months, he walked a lot with his mother, and hunted for
long-necks with his mother, and he hunted for food with his mother.
And his last name was "Brushy".  And when he didn't clean his room, in
the bushes near the forest, his mother would say "Little Spino
Alexander Brushy!" Clean the room, or I'll clean up all the rock-toys
in your room and put them in a leaf-garbage bag.

Page 3

Soon, it was mothers' day, and he had given her a present.  Her TV was
broken and she had no flowers, so on Mothers' day he gave her flowers
because she wanted them a lot.  And she wanted a TV a lot to watch the
news.  And he gave her a TV to watch the news.  And it was a leaf TV,
just like the one that had broken.  And the leaves were torn apart:
that's how her TV had broken.  And soon he had a friend named Antsy,
and his middle name was Pandrin.  And his last name was Fancy, because
he was all different colors, like a rainbow.

Antsy was also born in an egg, but he didn't have any parents.
[added later]

Page 4

His mother let him play with his friend a lot, and they watched
television.  And while they watched television, they ate guanabana

And they drew pictures.  And then they went to their own houses and
played for *two whole hours*.

And then afterwards, they got tired and played with each other.  And
then Antsy started asking a lot of questions.  And Little Spino said
"I love you!"  Antsy said: "Why do you love me", because you are my
friend, and there is nothing like a friend in the world.

Page 5

Sometimes, in Antsy's room, when she wouldn't clean her room, their
Mom would say: Antsy Pandrin Fancy!  Clean up your room, and she would
start cleaning.

The sister went out of her room and said "Where are my toy foods?"
The mother said: "Clean up your room, and *then* you'll find your toy foods."

[foods of which pictures were drawn]
cheddar cheese
a spoon you eat with
a knife you cut with
[foods of which no pictures were drawn]
a fork you spear with
a tray
a jar of apple juice
a jar of gum [laugh]
(pretend gum in a pretend jar)
(everything is pretend too)

Page 6

The End.

Special for Daddy 
Saturday 09 May 1998

Tuesday 6 May 1998

Here are some signs we have made. The reason for making them in the first place was that a piece of grouting in the hallway came loose, and Hayley hurt herself a bit walking through it on all fours (she was pretending to be a unicorn). So first we made one that said "No animals allowed", but then we decided that was too restrictive because then I wouldn't be able to walk through there.

Then we added some text to make:

We talked about the difference between mythical and imaginary --- I said that mythical was a kind of imaginary that a lot of people knew about, like Santa Claus.

Later Varda and Hayley made another poster to make it clear that it *was* ok for two-footed animals. Later on Hayley showed this to me, and said:

Santa Claus is meaning his eyes because he's thinking:
"oops, it's daytime and I only come at night, and it's sunny and I
only come when it's snowing!"

Beth tells me that Hayley has a very large vocabulary. She seems very advanced in many ways, but her social skills with other kids don't seem up to par. This is not at all surprising, since she rarely associates with children who are her age now. Next year will be quite a change, but I think she will do fine.

April 1998

Friday 24 April 1998

Beth was telling me Hayley does subtraction now... Beth had nine kids to wash or something, and she had done seven, so Hayley said "one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine" there are two left!"

She said to me today:

H: Do you like meatloaf?
D: Umm, you know I don't eat meat.
H: Meatloaf no, the song, silly!

Monday 20 April 1998

If there were lots of js in jack it would spell jjjjjjjack
Hayley and I discussed the spelling of jak vs jack, and I explained that I had changed my name to Jak because too many people were called John, and that I had chosen the spelling to be different.

I picked Hayley up at 4:30; we were the second to leave, I believe. I was going to write down what happened, but it is now two weeks later, and I don't remember... Sigh. Life goes by too quickly.

Sunday 19 April 1998

Hayley was playing in her room while I was on the phone, and she got a set of letter-and-numbers and laid them all out. After I was off the phone, she proudly showed them to me, but said she had been unable to find the letter 'o'. I looked at the blocks: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10... A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N... P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z... I looked again --- in fact, there *was* no zero in the set; presumably whoever made it didn't understand the concept :-), and she had used the 'O' as a zero. A mathematician already :-)))

Today was a very interesting day for many reasons.... I had not seen Hayley much for a long time, and during much of that time my attention was more directed to varda.

We felt out many boundaries today.

Buying flowers for Kathy Daddy, can I buy some flowers for Mommy? I said no, I wasn't going to buy flowers for Kathy any more. we pushed at boundaries, and ended up with me explaining that buying flowers would be a gesture of love, and that I liked Kathy but didn't love her any more. So Hayley switched to "I don't want to go shopping with you any more" We had quite a fight over that, too...

She wanted to ride in the cart, so I put her in it. Then she started ordering me around, telling me to push the cart here or there, and I said no.

So I took her out of the cart and we had a battle of wills for a while

After a long battle she said to me "how did that start, again?"

At the checkout counter she asked me if she had been good. I started to say yes, and then said "No! Remember, you pitched a massive fit at the beginning!" "How did that start?" "You wanted to order me around from the cart" "Oh, yes [looks embarassed]".

March 1998

Sunday, 22 March 1998

Yesterday Hayley came over in the morning and we played together all day. Towards the afternoon, I decided we should go for a walk. I asked Hayley if she wanted to go to the playground, and at first she agreed, but as soon as she realized it would mean getting dressed, she decided she didn't want to go. I didn't insist, but later explained to her that it would be really nice for me if we went, and that we had been doing what she wanted all day, and now it was time to do something that *I* wanted to do. She thought about that for a while (an hour or so), and when I nudged her again I explained that her doing this for me (going to the park with me) would be a present, like the birthday presents and christmas presents she had given me, and I told her how much it pleased me when she spontaneously gave me things (I think I have mentioned here -- she will sometimes just decide she wants to give me something, and she will pick a stone or a flower or a piece of grass, or *anything*, and give it to me. I explained about how it is the act of giving that is important, and that though sometimes the gift itself can be of great sentimental value, even a gift that is not kept imparts a message. This all sounds much too metaphysical for a four-year old, but I firmly believe that people take things in at varying levels and that all of them are important.

Thursday, 12 March 1998

I went to Nebraska to teach for a week, and had to stay over the weekend, just in time for the biggest storm of their winter :-) I'd been complaining about not getting enough snow, so I guess I got what I asked for :-)

February 1998

Thursday 26 February 1998

Hayley is helping me to clean up the house.
H: Daddy, if you want to put any of my books away, could you please ask
   me where to put them?
D: Ah, because you have things organized?
H: Yeah.
Hayley putting on a bandaid:
You know what I do?  You see this white part?  Where the booboo
is, I put it on the white part, and the rest I put the sticky part
I was in California a long time ago.
Where are you now?
I'm in Providence.
After my school in Providence, I'm going to Cranston to my mother's
Pretend she said "waaaah, I want to go too!"
Waaaah, I wanna go too!

25 February 1998

D: What's four and 1?  
H: Forty-one?
D: Ah... no, suppose I have five balls and I add one, how many would I
H: [counts on her fingers] five!
D: Very good!  How about fifteen and two?
H: Ummm... I don't know.
D: Hmmm.  Maybe...  Fifteen and two makes sixteen?
H: Does it, Dad?
D: What do you think?
D: Why?
H: Because we need sixteen and seventeen.
D: That's right!  Fifteen and two make seventeen.

20 February 1998

14 February 1998

This morning Hayley was mad at me because I made the triple-red soup without her... She stormed off in a huff to the living room, saying she was so mad she didn't want to speak to me. A few minutes later she apologized for snapping at me :-) She's very sensitive. I was talking to a friend on the phone the other day, and I asked Hayley not to bother me for a bit because my friend was upset, and she suggested that we send her a Valentine card to make her feel better... She made one and sent it.

12 February 1998

Hayley and I are making cookies for the valentine party at her preschool tomorrow. She is also making a dinosaur mobile.

11 February 1998

She brought home a picture of a boat with me and her in it. It is very colorful; she must have been pressing hard with the crayons. She says her arm was getting really tired at the end :-) It's viewed from above, with me on the left and her on the right; the triangle is a sail. I have a white head with very large brown (! my eyes are blue) eyes; she has a blue head; we are both sitting down. There are Simpsons stamps around the boat.

Here is a (pretty lousy) picture of the shopping cart Hayley and I made tonight. I'll try to get a better picture over tomorrow.

We made some vegetable stock together.. . that was fun, because it is so quick, and nothing needs to be peeled :-) Hayley is (very rightly) very concerned about knives... I chopped and she dumped in the pot.

8 February 1998

We were playing around with the scanner again, and came up with this: It is still really painful to get these images over... I should find a better solution. At the moment I scan them in using Plustek's scanner software, use Micrografx Photo Magic to clean it up and convert to jpg, QVT's ftp to transfer to Brown's ftp site, QVT's telnet to connect to a machine inside the Brown firewall, rcp the files from ftp to the brown servers, and then run the webupdate to get them back over firewall. Sigh.

Wednesday 23 October 1997

2 February 1998

Hayley forgot her new sleepy toy Nanook (a little beanbag husky) here the other night, and was inconsolable until I had searched the house from top to bottom and found it... Fortunately she was satisfied with the notion that Nanook wanted to stay with me tonight. I brought it over to her school today, and she "talked it", saying in a tiny voice "I liked staying at Daddy's except that it was dirty!" We're going to have to talk about the value of discretion soon :-)

1 February 1998

Hayley had her first weekend with me alone this weekend; Kathy and Ricardo went on a ski trip. We had a lot of fun. Hayley had been complaining how messy my house was, and so we had agreed that she would clean her room and I would clean the rest of the house. As soon as she started to try to organize her room though, it became clear that she didn't have enough storage space. We decided she needed some bookcases, so on Friday afternoon after picking her up we went shopping. At Ann and Hope we found a huge bookcase with cupboards on the lower half; not exactly the style I would have picked for a child's room, but Hayley clearly prefers function over form.... The salesman explained to us that we could finish our other shopping and then go round the back to pick up the bookcase. Hayley was rather concerned that someone might take it, but I assured her that it would be ok.

One of the people working in the back was missing a hand, and Hayley was greatly intrigued by this.

H: Why is that man writing with...  like that?  With no hand?
D: Well, it looks like he lost his hand.  [A little unsure how the man
   would feel about her asking him about this]
H: How do you lose a hand?
D: Hmm.  Well, it might have been in an accident.  Like a car accident.
H: I was in an accident when we were going to camp!
D: True, that was a pretty small accident, though.
H: It didn't seem small to me!
D: Right, but it would take a really big accident to make you lose a
I'm never sure in cases like this whether to do the "pc" thing and hush Hayley up until we can talk about it privately, or whether to encourage her to be open and ask people like this what happened. I'd like to do the latter, but don't want to encourage boorishness... I'd be very interested to hear any comments from people who have disabilities or unuusual characteristics that prompt childrens' questions, as to the best way to handle this kind of thing.

January 1998

31 January 1998

Hayley had her first bowling experience today :-)

One of her friends had her birthday party at a duckpin bowling alley, which was pretty fun. Here are some pictures of her bowling. There wasn't much light, unfortunately, so they aren't too good. After a bit of initial timidity due to the strange environment, Hayley settled down pretty well, and enjoyed it a lot. The foam blocks in the gutters are definitely necessary for four-year olds :-) There was some question as to whether some of the balls would actually ever reach the pins, but that just made it all the more suspenseful :-) Most balls knock down at least *some* pins, so there is a lot of cheering. Hayley is not used to handling balls that heavy, so it took a bit of practice, but by the end she had it well under control. Duckpin balls don't have holes, so there isn't the possibility of the child taking off with the ball, fortunately.

27 January 1998

I told Hayley yesterday that we needed some house rules, so we made them together:
    Daddy can have his lunch whenever he wants. Hayley can have her lunch whenever she wants. Don't touch hot lightbulbs on the top [she burned herself like that a little while ago] Never touch steaming water Never drink from [sic] your mouth at a river cuz you might get a praying mantis... [changed to] nose-leech. nose-leech . You can climb high things like stairs, but make sure your mother is behind you [mother -> or father or whatever part of your family] so they can catch you.
I think we need a few more rules :-)

14 January 1998

It's been months since I have had time to write here... Finally I have a bit of breathing space, so I'll try to get some more stuff down.

Here is a little bit of a transcription from one of our "Bratty Girl" games, though for once there was no bratty girl --- the step-sister and step-mother provided the antagonists. For this first bit I tried hard to make the transcription as accurate as possible, including stumbling and so on; for the rest I won't spend as much time, and just get the gist and the vocabulary. But I thought it would be interesting to get a written sample of some of the interesting speech patterns Hayley has, e.g., sister-er. It's also interesting to see some of *my* speech patterns :-)

The numbers in square brackets are just the tape counters; this chunk lasts about 4 minutes. The characters here were Hercules (big and dumb :-), Cinderella, her step-sisters and step-mother, and various horses.

H:(?)            outside...
D (Herc):        Hmm... are you sure? 
H (Horse):       I'm sure.
D (Herc):        I think... umm... What about the secret compartments?  
H (Horse):       What?
D (Herc):        Aren't there some secret compartments somewhere where
                 people can  hide?
H:               No.
D (Herc):        I think there are!
H (Horse):       [through clenched teeth] No there are not!
D (Herc):        Let's see... Hmm...  Where *are* all the people?  What
                 about... Oh, there's one... see, that was a secret
                 compartment; there's no-one in it though. 
H (horse):       And this one's a secret compartment!
D (Hercules):    You're right.... there's one there, too!
H (horse):       No there's not.
D (Hercules):    No-one in there, ok
D (Hercules):    It's not?
H (horse):       No!
D (Hercules):    Hmmm... Where did all the people go?
H (horse):       Umm, umm, some are in here...  and some are... oh
D (Hercules):    Are they all asleep like in Cinderella?  [Confusing
                 Cinderella and Snow White :-)]
H (horse):       No, nah... [confused] umm, no, they're not all as..
                 asleep.   umm, umm
H:               Pretend these two sneaked up...  Now could you please
                 be these two?  [gives him step-sister and step-mother]
D:               Who are they?
H:               Umm, those are Cinderella's step-sis...ters!
D (step-sister): Hey, where's Cinderella?  This castle is a mess!  Look
                 at all the dust all over the place here!  [squawking]
                 Cinderellaaaa!  Where are you? 
H (horse):       She is in a drawer and we won't... get her out for you.
D (step-sister): Well, we want her!  We want her to come out here and...
                 sweep up the floors!
H (horse):       No.
D (step-sister): No??  What do you mean, no??


H (horse) :      Pre...Pretend they saw saw more dust on the castle.
D (step-sister): Look at this place!  It's a... it's a pigsty!  How can
                 we stand this?  Cinderella!!!
H:               Now could you please be her?  [points to step-mother]
D (step-sister): Sister!  She can't hear us.  We've gotta... we've
                 gotta find her.
H:               No, that's not the sister, that's the step-*mother*.
D:               [whispers] (Oh!)
D (step-sister): Step-mother!  She can't hear us.  We have to go and
                 find her...  Let's go get Hercules.
D (step-mother): Hercules!
D (Hercules):    Yuh?
D (step-sister): Can you help us find Cinderella?
D (Hercules):    uhh hmmm
H (horse):       Umm, No, no, they, they want her to do *everything*.
D (Hercules):    Say what?
H:               Umm?  What? did you say?
D (Hercules):    Huh. What's... You don't want us to find Cinderella?
                 How come? 


H (horse) :      Umm, cuz she does *everything* for the sss...
                 step-mother-er for the step-mother-er and
                 step-sister...  so, so we don't want her to sweep
                 the, the floors every single d..  day... that she
                 does... it's...  
D (Hercules):    But this place is such a mess! Who's going to do it
                 then?  Who's going to clean up if Cinderella doesn't
                 do it. 
H (horse):       [whispers]: STEP-MOTHER and STEP-SISTER!
D (Hercules):    Hey, that's a great idea.  Hey, step-mother, step-sister.
D (step-sister): Yeah?
D (Hercules):    Why don't *you* clean up?
D (step-sister): US? Clean???[incredulously]   That's not our
                 job, that's Cinderella's job.  We don't do that kind
                 of thing; we don't stoop to that.
D (Hercules):    Huhhh..  Well, I think you should... I think everyone
                 should do their own share.
H (horse):       Cuz Cinderella *always* does it...
H:               Dad, you're missing a hole [I was trying to put
                 Hercules' cape on him]
D :              Oops.
H (horse):       Pretend he checked under the
                 horses... and.... Pretend he looked under the
                 horsies... heh...   and there he saw two Cinderellas
                 and one fairy god-mother! 
D (Hercules):    Hmm...  Oh my!  Oh I say!
                 There's... there's... Look, look under there!
                 There's, there's Cinderella! Hi Cinderella! 
H (horse):       Pre... Umm, Pretend the step-mother and
                 step...sister-er-er... threw dow- down it... threw
                 down this... like that. 
[50 -- 4:00]

14 January 1998

Hayley wrote her first C++ class today :-)
class                        HAYLEY
  A member;

I couldn't find anywhere where template *data* members were explicitly prohibited, so I wanted to see what my compiler thought... Hayley wanted to type, so I dictated and she drove :-))

The whitespacing is a little unorthodox, but hey, she's only 4 :-))

It's kind of neat to have her type into an environment with syntax-highlighting because there is positive feedback when she spells a keyword correctly :-)) And with other code on the page I could point out the words she was to type a lot of the time, which was interesting... She doesn't do typing completely sequentially --- sometimes she misses a letter, and finishes the word, but then sees that it is not right and fixes it.

It really is interesting to see how she is learning to read and write... She doesn't do phonics at all yet, but she knows a bunch of words: "dinosaur", "cancel", "Hayley", "exit", "quit". She asked me why there was a red cross next to "cancel"; it's in one of the Borland dialog boxes.

I have tried phonics occasionally, but she isn't really interested yet, so I don't want to push her at all... She'll have plenty of incentive once she realizes what reading stories is like... Curiously, because the stories she finds interesting by now are ones with relatively complicated words, it's actually *lessening* her desire to read, because what she *could* read, "A is for Apple", etc., isn't interesting...

The URL for this document is ~jak/hayley/diary/1998.html
Created: 5 Jan 1998