||Reading Daniel Okrents Great Fortune, the story of Rockefeller Center. Its not as compelling as The Empire State Building, which I went on and on and on about a few weeks back, but its cast of characters is stodgier. High tight-ass quotient, I think. The ESB had Al Smith as a prime character, and you cant beat Al for color. Anyway, I found this quote about my favorite architect, Raymond Hood:
Weekends in Connecticut were an extension of Hoods never-ending joyride, his frequent social gatherings spiked with his favorite pranks (he was inordinately fond of firecrackers), his favorite cocktail (an explosive combination of applejack, lemon juice and absinthe) and more architecture talk, architecture argument, architecture scribbling.
The critical words here are firecrackers and absinthe. Man, was I born in the wrong decade.
Cold, dank, grey day. But who cares? Its a great week. Its the week of No Child Care At Any Time Ever, just 5 days of dawn-to-dusk parenting. Its almost a relief; we dont have to run off to go somewhere. Were just hanging around doing that home-schooling thing. We played a game this morning; I intentionally lost. And here comes the ethical discussion.
Its okay to lose, she said, echoing some other authority figure.
Yes, but its better to win. But its okay if you lose.
But its great to win!
But its okay to lose.
Later we got out some books to do thinking lessons, as she likes to call it. I got the books at the drug store. Simple stuff predict the next symbol in the sequence, match objects, determine the order in which certain pictures should go, match the yellowcake assertion with the correct intelligence agency, etc. She got most of them right, which earned As. Sometimes she got a B.
Why a B?
Because you got most of them right, which is great! But this one was wrong.
Its okay to be wrong.
Well, that depends. Its okay to make a mistake when youre learning, but its not good to be wrong because youre not thinking or trying. Thats not how you learn.
I want a C!
Well, no, because that means you got a lot wrong. And its okay to be wrong, if youre learning. But its better to have a B or an A.
How about G?
There is no G in grades. I mean no, grades starts with G, but there isnt a G grade. Except in government service.
Because theres A, B, C, D, which is bad, and F, which you really dont want, but it's okay if at first you - oh, to hellllLLO! with it
And so on. Its a fine line; you want to teach them how to want to succeed without making failure the shameful thing WE ALL KNOW IT IS. When youre dealing with a toddler mind, its okay to be wrong and its okay to lose, but at some point you have to gently reinforce that there are more desirable states, and they should be pursued. She knows this. When she says its okay to lose shes asking for permission ahead of time should her best prove insufficient.
Tricky business, parenting. Back to work; big site update tomorrow, and a new Fence if youre so inclined. Later ~