Skip to main content

Lessons from my children, Kyle and Alexis

I'm the proud father of two wonderful children, Kyle and Alexis. Kyle's an energetic six (6) year old boy and Alexis is his equally lively three (3) year old sister; they're both very cute and smart and headstrong.  From time to time, my children will say things - sometimes directly to me or to their mother or others - that gives me pause as a parent.  It's usually something clever or witty but on occasion, it's bad too.  In such moments, I often find myself awestruck by the seemingly guiltless words coming out of their mouths.  Naturally, I've decided to chronicle all of their "wise for their age" utterances in this blog post.

Date: 12/13/18 (approximately)
Scene: We're in the bathroom; Kyle sits down on the toilet to pee.
Me: Why are you sitting down to pee?
Kyle: So I don't spill pee everywhere.
Lesson: More males should've been taught to sit down to pee; myself included. I must admit though, as a 41-year-old man, that statement makes me feel uncomfortable, i.e. un-manly.

Date: 12/26/18
Scene: We're in the kitchen; I've just given Alexis a cup of juice.
Me: It's delicious, isn't it?
Alexis: No daddy, it's tasty!
Lesson: Liquids are tasty; solids are delicious.  Whether that statement is factually true is beside the point; what's important is that I found myself agreeing with her assertion.

Date: 1/1/19
Scene: Kyle's telling me about his experience at the New Year's Eve event at church.
Kyle: None of the ladies wanted to dance with me!
Me: Oh no, that's not good.
Kyle: We're going to have to do something about that.
Lesson: As soon as you identify a problem, you should start developing a solution for dealing with it.

Date: 1/7/19
Scene: Alexis is in the kitchen looking at a picture of my wife, Kristle, on the refrigerator.
Alexis: Mommy, you look nice.
Kristle: Awe, thanks, baby.
Alexis: And, you were once tan like us; but, now you're white.
Kristle: I'm not white baby.
Lesson: My daughter is acutely aware of the racial differences between herself and others, even at 3 years old. Relatedly, I had a similar experience with my son, Kyle, when he was about 4 years old. At that time, he'd pointed out the similarities between me and him vs. his sister and mom. 

Date: 2/15/19
Scene: Alexis, her brother Kyle and I are all watching Vampirna on TV, a kids show on the Disney Junior channel.
Alexis: Daddy, Vamparina is babysitting a little vampire.
Me: Oh, I see; that's cute.
Alexis: I want to babysit too.
Me: Well, maybe you can babysit your baby dolls (I pointed to her 3-5 dolls strewn across the living room floor).
Alexis: No, daddy. They're not babies; they're my friends! 
Lesson: Don't belittle the relationships that kids have with their toys -- they're often just as complex and meaningful as those that adults have with each other.

Date: 2/16/19 (circa)
Scene: I can't quite recall the exact date or what we were doing but I know we were in the living room of our apartment.  It was there that my daughter Alexis made a statement regarding our Google Home smart speaker that really stood out to me.
Alexis: Alexa is not smart. It's like a kid. Google is an adult.
Lesson: What?  Where'd she get that from...?  I suspect she heard it from someone and was just reiterating it but I can't be sure.  Perhaps she learned about Alexa from TV; or, from her time at my wife's family house during last Thanksgiving in Maryland.  They'd just bought an Alexa device at that time.  Regardless, it's brilliant!  Oh, by the way, the similarities between my daughter's own name and age relative to that of the Alexa device hasn't been lost on me.

Date: 1/15/20
Scene: I'd just helped Kyle pour a cup of orange juice in the kitchen.  As he drank it, we started talking about the health benefits of orange juice.
Kyle: Did you know that the skin of oranges are good for you... More people should eat it.
Me: Yes, but it doesn't taste very good; it's bitter.
Kyle: It contains vitamin J.
Me: Really?  I don't think I've ever heard of vitamin J before.  You definitely taught me something!
Lesson: So I immediately went to Google to learn more about vitamin J; mostly to verify that it was a real thing.  It is!  But it's not related to orange juice, as far as I could tell.  But now I'm left to wonder how my son learned about this relatively obscure vitamin.

Date: 1/26/21
Scene: I was sitting in an arm chair in my bedroom while speaking with my 5yr old daughter Alexis
during the course of our conversation, my daughter said to me "i'm sad"
i asked her "why"
she said "because i don't like my skin color"
i asked "why"
she said "i want to have mommy's skin's color"
i said "why"
she said "because everybody in my class has a different skin color than me. only one, two kids have the same skin as me."
i said "i love your skin. i think it's beautiful. i think you're beautiful. and a lot of people wants skin like yours"
kyle walks into the room and I inform him of our conversation.  I tell him how beautiful he is and then I hug them both
Lesson: It's important to see people like yourself in your environment

Date: 4/11/21
Scene: Alexis rolls into the room on a hoverboard and asks me if I know how to do a bun?
Me: a bun?
Alexis: yea, bun (gesturing to her hair)
Me: yeah, I think so
Alexis: so do it
Me: why can't you do it
Alexis: I don't know how
Me: Okay, just take out the pigtails and I'll put it in one
Me: (as she begins to take out the pigtails, I notice some of her hair coming out)
Me: I don't like that you're losing your hair
Alexis: that's how life works
Me: what did you say?
Alexis: that's how life works
Lesson: Even though she's just 5 yrs old, she incredibly smart and self-aware of life's challenges

date: april 30, 2021
scene: we're in the kids room; i'm laying on the bunk bed and alexis is sitting in the chair across the room.
alexis: tomorrow i'll have a test
me: tomorrow? tomorrow is saturday
alexis: oh?
me: you mean monday?
alexis: yeah, monday
me: what's the test about?
alexis: it's a math test
me: you ready for it?
alexis: i'm ready for anything
me: woah
alexis: i'm ready for a hand stand
me: a hand stand?
alexis: yeah. you're always ready for the things you know how to do, right!
lesson: she continues to amaze me with her intelligence and manner of speaking.


Popular posts from this blog

A better UI/UX for Cookie consent banners

I'm sure you've seen them before; those pesky, inescapable  Cookie consent banners !  They typically appear at the top or bottom of websites -- often obscuring important content.  For example, if you were to visit  CNN ,  Zara , or  Unicef  today; or, any other news, e-commerce, or charitable website for that matter -- especially those with an international presence -- you'd likely see one; a UI / UX eyesore.  Such Cookie consent banners, ubiquitous and omnipresent, have become the defacto solution for complying with an important part of the European Union's (EU) ePrivacy Directive  (ePD). If you're unfamiliar with the ePD, it basically mandates that websites first obtain a user's consent before storing and/or retrieving any Personally Identifiable Information  (PII) about them in and/or from HTTP cookies.  ( HTTP Cookies are small pieces of data stored by websites in a user's web browser for easier retrieval later.)  The Cookie Law, as the ePD has becom

The Crucial Role of Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Service Level Objectives (SLOs) in Software Applications

In today's digital era, software applications are at the heart of business operations and customer experiences. From e-commerce platforms to enterprise solutions, the performance and reliability of software applications can make or break an organization's success. To ensure seamless operations and meet customer expectations, having robust Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Service Level Objectives (SLOs) in place has become paramount. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of SLAs and SLOs and how they contribute to the success of software applications. Defining SLAs and SLOs A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a contractual agreement between a service provider and a customer that defines the level of service expected. It outlines the metrics and targets the service provider commits to achieving, such as uptime, response times, and resolution times. SLAs establish a mutual understanding between the parties involved and provide a framework for measuring and managing s

Using HTML tables for website layout

I first became a front-end web developer in the year of our Lord, 1998.  Back then, the HTML specification had just reached version 4.0; Internet Explorer 7 was the dominant browser; and, the mantra of separation-of-concerns  was still being preached to web developers.  (Back then merely uttering the phrase CSS-in-JS  would've gotten you killed, professionally speaking.)  What's more, back then, HTML tables were still de rigueur; in fact, many websites used them for layout purposes ( DIV-itis hadn't caught on with the masses as yet; that would happen several years later.) Yes, it was the stone ages of the web -- in comparison to today.  Today, there's a wealth of newer technologies for developers to choose from when building websites, i.e. HTML5 , CSS4 , ES9 , etc.  Long gone is the mantra of separation-of-concerns and in its place sits CSS-in-JS, mockingly.  And, long gone are table-based layouts too; they gave way to the aforementioned DIV-itis phenomenon and t