Nerd Parenting

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Nerd Parenting

Post by Mel on Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:03 am

Since I know there are at least a few other parents around, I thought it might be fun to start a NerdLounge parenting* thread! Smile

To introduce myself-as-mom, I have a one year old son who has already started absorbing our nerdy interests (enjoys books and watching his dad play video games, heh). I love him to bits, but it's definitely been tough at times, particularly because I am very introverted and my alone-time is so much more limited right now. I'm also trying to juggle working at home with being the primary caregiver--my husband is able to help out quite a bit and for the last few months I've been having a mother's helper come in to give me a little additional writing time, but it's still another very big change.

On the personal benefits side, my son is forcing me to practice being social with strangers more, because he loves the attention and tends to spend the entire time we're in public staring at anyone within visual range until he finds someone who'll start chatting with him (and therefore me). Wink

We're planning on having another kid at some point... I would rather sooner, given my age, but neither my husband nor I can imagine having the energy to deal with an infant + another little kid at home all day. So that will probably be waiting until this guy's in school, unless one of us has some very lucky career developments.

Other NerdLounge parents: What's up with you?

*Legal guardians also welcome
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:41 am

Woo! I love this thread.

Nerd parent here! I'm a divorced mom of three kids: 2 boys, ages 9 and 5, and a 7-year-old girl. My eldest son is on the autistic spectrum, so there are some extra challenges there.

One of my favorite things about nerd parenting is sharing all my nerd loves with my kids. I remember a lot of "firsts" -- the first time we watched Star Wars, or Labyrinth, or the Gargoyles cartoon. Reading Dealing with Dragons or the Tamora Pierce books with my daughter. Teaching my eldest how binary numbers work versus base 10 math. Building a solar powered car with them. Teaching them to code. Sometime in the next year or so, I'm going to teach the two older kids how to play D&D and magic, and I'm making foam swords for us to all go out and fight in the yard. My eldest son wrote a fanfic this year.

I think one of the appeals of geekdom for me is that it's about not giving in to adulthood. You may be grown up, you may have responsibilities, but you can still approach your hobbies the way kids do. Having my kids around and sharing this stuff with them is like getting that first experience all over again, and I LOVE it.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Caffeinated on Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:33 pm

I have a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a baby on the way. All boys. I stay home with them while my husband does the kind of STEM job that growing up a nerd in the 80s/90s lends itself to. We haven't made any particular effort to introduce the kids to nerdy interests, although they're clearly picking some up just by example. The 4 year old effortlessly bypasses the parent lock on the ipad and changes settings. I've learned to keep all devices in airplane mode when they might be in reach of little hands.
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Mel on Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:33 pm

ElizaJane--Yes! We are so looking forward to getting to share things we love with the kid(s). Just a couple days about my husband said to me, "When do you think he'll be old enough to start the Ghibli movies?" (Then we gave acknowledgement to the sad fact that he will be first exposed to the dubs since he won't be able to read the subtitles yet. Wink )

Caffeinated--It's amazing how quickly they pick these things up! A few weeks ago my son figured out the home button on my iPad and now I can't offer him the few apps he liked because as soon as he gets his hands on it all he wants to do is push home home home. I am nervous to see how well he'll be using it in another year. Razz

Congrats on your third! When's he due?
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Caffeinated on Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:56 pm

Thanks! He's due at the start of April. Officially the 4th of April, but we're hoping for April Fools Day. Smile
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Mel on Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:15 pm

A spring birthday--nice! We were hoping for that, but hard to plan these things. Wink
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Conreezy on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:27 pm

I remember a lot of "firsts" -- the first time we watched Star Wars,

I look forward to this. I'm not a parent yet, but my wife and I aren't too far away from trying to conceive. I plan on training her/him in the ways of the lightsaber (and unlighted saber) very early on!

The question I have for you parents is this: should I introduce Star Wars from Episode I, or start at IV, like I did?



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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by The Wisp on Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:30 pm

Not a parent, but I'd say the original trilogy first. The prequels pretty must spoil all the major plot points and twists in the originals.
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Autumnflame on Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:21 am

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Conreezy on Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:31 am

Autumnflame wrote:Machete Order!

I like this idea.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Mel on Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:06 pm

I think we'll probably do Machete Order. Grin Of course, I'm also still holding out on owning the movies the hopes that they'll finally release the untampered-with original trilogy on blu ray.
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by The Wisp on Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:28 pm

Mel wrote:I think we'll probably do Machete Order.  Grin  Of course, I'm also still holding out on owning the movies the hopes that they'll finally release the untampered-with original trilogy on blu ray.

I bet they will right around the release of the seventh movie when everybody is feeling super nostalgic, but maybe not.
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by kleenestar on Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:31 pm

Oh, sweet, a parenting thread!

My delightful daughter just turned five weeks old, so she's not really up for any interests beyond boobs and pooping in her pants. We did buy her a onesie with the symbol of Gondor on it, and another that says "Smash the patriarchy!" so I think she's getting a good start.

As for me, to my very great shock I am loving the hell out of being a parent. It helps that my daughter is a very sweet, loving, sunny, easy baby. She loves to be held and cuddled, especially when I'm singing to her - yes, there have been baby arias! - and she's already sleeping some six and seven hour stretches at night. Her other visible trait is that she's incredibly big and strong. She's in the 97th percentile for height, and every medical person she comes into contact with is boggled by her muscle strength. Let me just say she did not get any of these traits from me, but I'm pretty sure I'm raising a future paladin.

It also helps that I have a partner who is doing at least half the parenting work (though really we each think the other person is doing the lion's share!). He does one of the night feedings every night, so I'm surprisingly well-rested - certainly more so than I was as a first-year faculty member who was also doing home renovations while sick as a dog from pregnancy. In turn, this means I'm pretty alert and perky, so I'm reading a ton of books and watching TV and playing whatever games I can play one-handed. (I just started Attanasio's Radix series, if anyone's curious, and I'm re-watching Avatar on the road to seeing Korra. And Shadowrun on the iPad is pretty great and totally one-hand-able!)

My only complaint is that I have relatively few hours when both my hands are free, and most of those get earmarked for basic life maintenance stuff like bills, laundry, and keeping the house clean. That means that I'm way behind on email, I don't have much time to post here, and most important of all, my copy of Dragon Age: Inquisition is sitting untouched on my shelf. Baby, you have much to answer for.
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Wondering on Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:34 pm

Oh, a parenting thread! Yay!

I've got a 5 month old daughter. I worked from home before she was born, so I'm still doing that, but part-time now, and being the sole daytime caregiver. When my husband gets home from work at night, he starts his second shift with baby related chores. He does all the feedings when he's home, too. For me during the day, almost any spare time I have when she's napping is spent on my job. Fortunately, I have a very flexible job and accommodating manager.

I have found it fascinating watching the baby grow and learn how her body works and start to acquire language skills. It's like my husband and I have a grand science experiment!

Since she's only 5 months old, she's not really into any adult nerd interests, but we're making sure to give her lots of nerdy type toys (that are apparently only for boys these days), like robots and dinosaurs. We read to her quite a bit, and I sing so so much. Right now, she's most interested in the dog, and she wants very badly to crawl.

I'm starting to think about things I want to have her do when she gets a little older. I definitely want to get her in baby swim lessons. And then there's good, old story time at the library. And a friend of mine has her daughter in Kinder Music, so I've been looking into that, too. So much that's possible to do, but we're not planning on taking her out to do those sorts of things until she's at least a year and can have her MMR shot due to all the anti-vaxxers making the world less safe for the rest of us. Sad

It also helps that I have a partner who is doing at least half the parenting work (though really we each think the other person is doing the lion's share!).
Oh, good. It's not just us to think that, then. Smile

The question I have for you parents is this: should I introduce Star Wars from Episode I, or start at IV, like I did?
We plan to show her in original order, starting with IV. But we're going to start her with the original versions, not the updated ones that have Hayden Christensen at the end of RotJ or Greedo shooting first.

For anyone with a girl, I recommend A Mighty Girl's site as a useful resource. I was pleased and surprised to discover it's so much more than a Facebook page that posts about strong women from history. We found their holiday gift idea lists invaluable at Christmas.

I'm thinking about getting her this shirt, but she grows out of things so fast at this stage, I may hold off until her first birthday.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Wondering on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:39 pm

Did/Does anyone here make their own baby food?

I'm thinking of doing it. I miss having time to make big, involved meals for dinner, and I think this might allow me to do cooking that I want on the weekend for a baby care purpose.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:54 pm

I used to, Wondering! It took a while to get the swing of it, but I would make big batches and freeze it in ice cube trays.

I'd use frozen veggies for the most part - peas, corn, green beans, broccoli, and spinach. I'd do squash and sweet potato by roasting them. Carrots we still bought in baby-food portions, because we were warned that that root vegetables could be dangerous if not carefully grown.

As they got older, I'd buy chicken thighs and stew them for the meat, and we made applesauce and mashed bananas and avocados. They really liked avocado. Smile

We saved a HUGE amount of money: baby food is ridiculously expensive, and we could make enough for a lot of meals out of a $1 bag of veggies.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Wondering on Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:57 pm

Oh, I hadn't heard that about root vegetables. Do you remember the specifics of the issue there?

I'm pretty firm about buying organic for the baby at this point, so while organic veggies are more expensive than non, it's still cheaper than the very pricey jarred organic food.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:19 pm

It was 5 years ago, so my memory is hazy, but from what I remember it had to do with the fact that root vegetables absorb higher nitrates, and baby food companies screen for those, whereas you can't at home. My knowledge is 5 years old, though, and fuzzy, as I said.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Mel on Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:23 pm

I haven't done much in the way of purees, but we've been taking a baby-led weaning approach, which has included a fair bit of cooking things for him or taking bits out of what we cook for ourselves and letting him eat them as finger foods. E.g., french fry size pieces of sweet potato, baby carrots, little stalks of broccoli. Today for dinner he was eating leftover homemade meatballs.  Smile  I've been really happy with how the approach has worked out, because he's, at least so far, happy to try all sorts of new foods and eats pretty much independently (he does eat some purees--we've done the freeze in ice cube trays thing for some fruits and veggies--and things like yogurt, but out of refillable plastic pouches we got that he's been able to handle on his own since about nine months).
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Wondering on Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:56 pm

ElizaJane wrote:It was 5 years ago, so my memory is hazy, but from what I remember it had to do with the fact that root vegetables absorb higher nitrates, and baby food companies screen for those, whereas you can't at home.  My knowledge is 5 years old, though, and fuzzy, as I said.

Ah, okay. I just looked this up. Looks like carrots and beets are the usual suspects, but there's some debate. I'll ask the pediatrician what she thinks. Thanks for the heads up!

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Wondering on Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:41 am

Any advice on how to handle relatives that frequently make comments to my baby that what she's doing isn't "ladylike?"  

I'm talking older relatives who still have problems viewing me as a full adult and respecting what I have to say when it differs from their opinions. Specifically, my issue is with parents and aunts.

Baby's burping or passing gas or blowing raspberries. You know, because she's a baby, and someone will tell her, all fake offended or pearl-clutching, "Oh, Baby. That's not very ladylike." I've told then to stop it with the gender norms, but it's not helping, and I'm really worried this is going to happen when she's older and I'm not around to even criticize it.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Raindancing on Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:47 am

It's tough. I have the opposite/same problem with people joking that my son falls short of male gender norms (he's 2.5 years old).

I was able to talk to my mom, and she's gotten better. My father-in-law... well, I really have no hope there. He only sees what he expects to see, so he'll talk about how boys hate princesses while my son is happily watching Sofia the First. I think you will have to accept that your kids will get crappy messages about gender (although it is particularly shitty that they get them from people who love them) and try to give them better messages, and the tools to deal with people that believe crappy things.
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by reboot on Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:47 pm

Not a parent, but maybe when they are old enough that they ask why boys cannot like princesses or what ladylike is, give them a 101 talk about how some people have stupid* ideas about what boys and girls can do.


* You might want to reconsider using "stupid" as it can result in the children telling people that they are stupid, if my niece and nephew are anything to go by. But then again, having a 5 year old tell someone they are stupid, sexist and think old is pretty amusing
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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:01 pm

Can you counter it with more gender-friendly language, still in the mode of banter?

Them: "Oh, Baby. That's not very ladylike."
You: "She's prepping for locker-room culture in her first NFL start."

It's funny and non-confrontational, but counters the assumptions.

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Re: Nerd Parenting

Post by Caffeinated on Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:48 pm

It's such a tricky thing, the gender stuff with little kids. Before I was a parent, I thought it would be simpler than it feels now. But when one of my little boys seems to be more interested in something coded "girl", I get a little uncomfortable. I don't go and say no you can't play with that it's for girls, because I do think that would be shitty. But I worry, what if he says/does/wears/whatever "girl" things and gets teased or bullied for it? I never anticipated the fear and protectiveness that this stuff would bring up in me, and it makes it weirder and harder than I expected.
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Re: Nerd Parenting

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