The beginning of February was eventful, to say the least.
The month started with hanging out with my god daughter, Emma. I’ve babysat her before, but I’m learning now that as she grows older, she’s changing. When she first started eating solid foods, she would eat anything we would give her. It’s getting more difficult pleasing her appetite as she’s being more selective of her food.
She’s been loving her iPad, named “Baby iPad.” Since she was gifted this for Christmas, I’d like to address this. There’s this whole debate surrounding cell phones and tablets for kids, but my take on this is that it should be looked at as situationally diverse. There’s a spectrum when it comes to parenting, not just “good” or “bad.” There are a lot of factors that come to play whether or not it’s a good idea to expose young ones to technology. Other factors to consider are privilege, addictiveness, and negligence.
First, let’s consider the role of toys. They are used for amusement, hand-eye coordination, entertainment, and education. Televisions, computers, cell phones and tablets could substitute or replace toys for the same roles. The difference is that toys are tactile objects that don’t necessarily strain your eyes.
For argument’s sake, let’s refer to tablets and like manner as the general term of technological entertainment objects. Like toys, privilege is determined on how the entertainment objects are offered and used. The psychology surrounding the relationship between the objects and kid rely heavily on rules set by the parent(s). Furthermore, there’s the risk of addictiveness with any type of entertainment. Rules allow for discipline and will help with self-control. Batteries die and technology sometimes fails us (screen breaking or system failing), and it’s important to know that there are alternatives.
Correspondingly, there is confusion when it comes to the widespread notion of technology curating negligence. By confusion, I mean blurred lines. People think it’s black and white, but one has to consider each situation differently. Not all kids are the same, therefore their needs are unique. Some kids need more stimulation than others. Yes, tactile toys do offer stimulation. However, technology opens the way for an abundance of entertainment. It’s important to note that having good stimulation for children’s minds is necessary for their development. It’s been proven that video games help with decision-making in children. There are cognitive benefits such as improvements in spatial skill, neutral processing and efficiency. These benefits can be seen in games where there are the varying dimensions of complexity and social interaction.
The goal should be entertaining your kids while they’re learning and having a blast doing it. A parent should not be expected to watch over their kids 100% of the time. It’s nearly impossible.
There’s also personal preference that comes to play; just like how some people prefer writing notes using paper and pen versus typing on their laptop. Tactile toys and technological entertainment devices both have great things to offer. Kids could decide for themselves whether they like one or the other better.
When strangers observe a family out in public with their kids on a phone or tablet, they could be quick to judge. Seeing that, it’s of vital important to remember that we are only catching a glimpse of this unique family. Each family member has their own needs and caters to them differently. With this is mind, it’s no one’s business how parents raise their children, unless negligence is involved.
From personal experience, I grew up in the generation of computers and CD-ROMs. As a kid, I’d say I was far from the ordinary. Technology peaked my interest from the very start, but to cover all grounds, paper and toys did as well. I started using the computer at the age of 2, similar to my god daughter with her iPad.
I learned everything by myself with little guidance from my parents, as they were busy with parental responsibilities and me, being an only child. Independent, and whatnot. My parents saw that I was quite fond of the computer, so they got me some computer games. Reader Rabbit and Jumpstart were among those that were dear to my heart.
My interest in computers led to me playing more video games, but it also paved way for me learning how to code basic HTML and CSS from a very young age, as well as basic Photoshop skills. I spent a lot of my time on the computer, but I also spent a lot of time doing other things. Things like dial-up internet refrained me from spending too much time on the web, but I did understand what it was like to take breaks. I’d imagine this only shaped me to become who I am today.
In today’s age, technology like that is no longer scarce; it’s the norm. Cell phones and tablets offer an exponential amount of possibilities for childhood exploration. Platforms like Netflix and YouTube had the incentive of offering a hub just for kids
Given these points, this discussion is always open.
Moving on, I had my second Winterlicious outing this year. For those of you who don’t know, Winterlicious is an event in Toronto where local restaurants promote their businesses at fixed prices for a 3-course meal. It’s become a sort of annual tradition between my family and friends. Gabriel and I made reservations at Prohibition Gastrohouse. I’ve eaten there once before and loved what they had on their menu. On our lunch menu, we had the following:
Baby Buddha Bowl
Quinoa, Chickpea Fritters, Hummus, Black Beans, Edamame, Pickled Red Onion, Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Cucumber, Arugula, Parsley, Mint, Pepitas, Sunflower Seeds, Tahini Dressing
Mini Haute Poutine
Duck Confit, PQ Curds, DF Frites, Duck Gravy, Demi-Glace, Duck Crackling
6oz Fresh-Ground, Free-Range Local Beef, Aged Cheddar, Tomato-Dijon Mayo, Bacon Jam, Crispy Onion, Dill Pickle, served with DF Frites, Artisanal Greens, or Soup
Woodland Mushroom Bolognese, Goat Cheese, Avocado, Baby Arugula, Crispy Onions, served with DF Frites, Artisanal Greens, or Soup
Fresh Berries, Berry Coulis, Meringue, Chantilly Cream
Espresso-Soaked Lady Fingers, Marsala Pastry Cream, Chocolate Shavings
We both thoroughly enjoyed our lunch. The poutine is to die for! I loved their fries and dip. As someone who drenches everything in ketchup, I was happily surprised that I didn’t feel the need to ask for ketchup.
Speaking of poutine, we tried out Philthy Philly’s. Their website advertises their Philly Cheesesteaks and sandwiches but I heard about this place for their poutine. I’m assuming they’ve opened up recently because I’ve never seen this restaurant before; it’s a few doors down from my favourite Greek restaurant, Esquire. If you ever check this place out, I’d recommend looking over their menu online to avoid being overwhelmed by the amount of choices. I had the Perogie Poutine, which consists of cheese perogies, sour cream, bacon, and sautéed onions. We made the mistake of order two regulars, but we totally could have just shared the “Philthy” (large).
To continue our downtown adventures, we hit up the Toyota dealership to check out a car. It was my first time actually paying attention to the process of getting a vehicle. Whenever I joined my parents at the dealership, I would usually just daydream. Since being friends (and partners) with Gabriel, he’s opened up my interest in cars. Some aspects still do, however, bore me to death, but I do have to deal with them inevitably. Observing the car-dealing process also helps with my anxiety surrounding “adulting.” Becoming an adult is kind of like being thrown into the sharks, so anxiety is normal.
Back to car shopping… I’m the type of shopper who is shy, independent, straight forward and avoids help at all cost. But of course, you can’t avoid anyone at the dealership, as there isn’t really a such thing as window shopping. Granted, you should know an idea of what you want. Better yet, know exactly what you want. I’ve witnessed clients going back and forth from showroom to showroom in the middle of a deal, with a very frustrated salesperson.
For anyone who’s looking to buy a car, I’d recommend you bring someone with you whom you trust, who could offer some guidance or advice. Better yet, if you know anyone looking to buy, shadow someone to observe the process. Like any other big purchase, it’s crucial to do some research first. Do some soul searching and research on the what it is you’re looking for. Are you looking for new/used? Lease/Finance? $0 Down? Low interest? Sedan/Sport/SUV/Truck? Having a list of priorities will help as well.
To sum up, I’ve learned a lot from the beginning of February. Stay tuned for more vlogs coming your way.
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