The breath of beauty in an engineer’s body.

Niko with pretty good computer posture

“The child is innocence and forgetting, a new beginning, a game,
a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a sacred Yes.” ~Nietzsche

Now 4.5, the heir apparent is well and truly showing signs of an engineer’s mind.ii

He points out that interior columns in commercial buildings hold up their roofs, despite us never having discussed anything of the sort.iii He loves building “mini-Lego” (ie. non-Duplo), diligently following the instructions even when they’re upside down and backwards from the model. He also enjoys his Brio construction set, playing quietly by himself in the living room while dad sleeps “until the little hand is at 8 and the big hand is at 12″ even when he’s up an hour earlier.

And while my office is usually verboten territory for him, on a quiet Saturday morning, I broke down recently and let him sit on my lap for a few minutes, tapping away at my Unicomp keyboard into an empty TextEdit file. His keyboard mashing brought up Spotlight Search once or twice, but he generally seemed perfectly content to just pound out giberrish,iv with, it must be admitted, rather good posture. Certainly better than mine.v

He might wear glasses at a much earlier age than I did, but he’ll also be spending far more time in front of screens than I did at that age (though it would be tough to spend more time in front of screens than I do as an adult). So if this is the hand he’ll be dealt, the least we can do is encourage better posture, better breathing,vi and a better life!vii

We must turn the child’s sacred Yes into an opportunity for positive growth. Because what else is parenting ?
___ ___ ___

  1. Because Ol’ Freddy has a quote for everything!!1
  2. He’s unlikely to be a competent sys-admin by the time he’s 10, unlike Jack Baruth’s wunderkind, but only because my kid doesn’t have a competent live-in teacher! Thankfully, these things are for hire. I mean really, it’s not like I’m going to teach him piano, skiing, swimming, badminton, squash, tennis, taekwando or any other activity that he’s going to take lessons for in the next decade, so why should I have to teach him coding ? King Philip II hired Aristotle for Alexander, neh ?
  3. I dunno about you but this comment surprised and delighted the hell out of me!
  4. For what else is code, or any language for that matter, but gibberish defined ?
  5. I’m a bit of a Slouchy McSloucherson, but it’s not my fault! See footnote vi!
  6. Niko has naturally incompetent lips, like his mother and I, but our parents didn’t have the means or skills to diagnose such a deformity. We do! So every day Niko has to practice his exercises, including :
    – Lying on his back with his eyes closed, breathing through his nose with his lips gently but completely closed for 30 seconds
    – Holding a water bottle attached to a string using only his lips to hold the string, for 20 seconds at a time, increasing the amount of water in the water bottle weekly
    – Placing a bread bag twist tie between his lips when he’s watching TV as a reminder to keep his mouth closed while breathing

    And surely more to come! He has the potential to be a handsome young man, but mouth breathing deforms the face (high palate arch, crooked teeth, narrow face, smaller airway, receding chin, poor cheekbone definition) so we have to nip this shit in the bud!

  7. Beauty is a form of power, donchaknow ?

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