Posts Tagged ‘Postaday’

Daily Prompt: Back to the future

Anachronism — The word that inspired Michelle W’s daily prompt the other day.

Anachronism (noun): an error in chronology; a person or thing that’s chronologically out of place. Write a story in which a person or thing is out of place, or recount a time when you felt out of place.

The moments that come to mind when I think “anachronism” reflect snapshots in time, where a glimpse into the make-believe world of my daughter leaves me struck by the passing of time and technological progress. Some things remain the same when it comes to the make-believe of the very young. Little ones re-play what they see and experience over and over again, presumably to help them gain understanding and awareness and belonging in their surrounds (a developmental process I discuss at length in two posts — Part 1 and Part 2— over at my other blog: In many ways children’s surrounds haven’t changed much: adults go to work, chat with other adults, manage the finances, cook, clean, care for the children. And children play, follow adults through stores or marketplaces, and so on – you can easily imagine this of course. But subtle things change in these daily dramas – things you don’t necessarily expect when you use your own childhood memories as your baseline for comparison.

I became a professor of Psychology before I became a parent. Before becoming a parent, all those developmental milestones, complete with illustrious examples from my own childhood and from research experiences alike were neatly tucked away in my mind, ever ready for class discussion. Once I became a parent, I eagerly awaited the opportunity to see these moments unfold in real-time, in my own home!

I was not disappointed.  My little one grew and changed right one time, allowing me to mentally tick off those first year milestones one after another. For example, on her first birthday, much to my delight, not only did she utter a clear word, but she also demonstrated a clear act of make-believe (oh joy – a sign of symbolic representation, just as Piaget predicted!). But the act gave me pause. Here’s what she did:

She picked up a calculator, held it to her ear, and said plain as day, “hello?”

At some point in her second year, a similarly delightful moment for reflection presented itself. We were playing “store” together (oh what fun – more evidence that her internal scripts were growing and maturing, right on time if not a little early — she was clearly preoperational!) and I was the customer where she was the cashier. With the vividly painted wooden fruit settled nicely on the counter in between us, I reached into my imaginary purse, and with the image of coins and bills in my mind’s eye, I pretended to fiddle with money and then dropped coins into my daughter’s expectant hand. But her response gave me pause. Here’s what she did next, with a slant-eyed, quizzical look:

She pinched her thumb and pointer fingers together and made a swiping motion with her forearm, stating, “here you go.” Then she handed me what must have been a paper receipt.

So much for the age-old example of using a banana for a telephone – telephones don’t look that anymore. And so much for coinage too. When I shop I pay with a debit card, not cash! Silly me.


What do princesses pretend to be, when they play make-believe?


Travel theme: Tilted, take two

Though I’ve already entered a post in response to Ailsa’s travel theme “tilted” I just can’t stop thinking about alternate views. My first “take” on the challenge — images of my daughter taking an off-kilter approach to her surroundings — was a fun stretch, but since that time, a desire for a more literal interpretation has lingered in mind. In particular, I love the diagonal angle of the surf at sunset and the lonely sloping tree Ailsa presents in her challenge.

So, the other day while we were cooling off at the beach (indeed, it was downright chilly!) I tried my hand at some imitation. What do you think?

slack tide at Indian Beach

slack tide at Indian Beach

strong wids and crashing surf make plumb lines the exception not the rule

strong winds and crashing surf make plumb lines the exception not the rule

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right? I think I’ll happily continue to work on capturing tilts in my images. Thanks for the challenge, Ailsa!

© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

A word a week: Unexpected

Expect the unexpected” is sage advice for any parent, right? Right. Or sometimes, just expect to be charmed in the most curious ways.

"up you go little guy"

“up you go little guy”

After watching for a moment, I asked my daughter: “Whatcha doing?” She turned with a grin and said, “Mama! One of these little guys was giving another a piggy back ride and I thought I’d let some of the others join in the fun too, so I am helping them all take rides!”

Enjoy the ride, little ones...

Enjoy the ride, little ones…

Charming, indeed! I wonder how many more little snails are out there now, compared to two weeks ago? Unexpected and totally delightful innocence. For more images that capture the unexpected, visit “A word in your ear” and enjoy the ride!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

From the daily post: “FreshThe definition for fresh has a bit of a fork in it – it’s a state (new, recent, previously unknown) and it’s a taste or sensation (cool, sweet, invigorating, refreshing)”

I’ll take both interpretations and run with them. In the summertime, there’s nothing like the fresh berries that grow here in Oregon! Whether straight out of the market container or cooked up in a delectable pie (Vintage Betty Crocker recipes are my favorite), these berries beg for forks!

© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

Though there isn’t a personality trait — in any scheme I am aware of anyway — called nostalgia, I can easily imagine one, perhaps ranging from “lost in the past” on one end of the continuum to “cutting-edge modern” on the other. In such a scheme I wouldn’t fall all the way over into the “lost in the past” side of things as I do enjoy many modern conveniences, but I would definitely fall left of center. Even as a child I loved all things old and still have the collection of antique “tiny bottles” I started when I was five or six years old. I recall spending hours looking through my Mom’s collection of antique books, gazing at her collectibles and thinking about what the families were like, who enjoyed our furniture before it became a part of our household artifacts. Once I could read, my favorite stories were of times long past.

In keeping with the personality theme, I am delighted to note that my daughter shares this sense of intrigue and interest in times long gone. In these last six years its been a joy to share with her stories, activities, and movies I loved as a child. I’ve toyed with passing along my antique dresser to her (the one my parents picked up at a garage sale when I was an infant and that I’ve kept with me ever since) but still am not quite ready to part with it, if even to move it across the hall.

Whether it’s nature or nurture that spurs on our sense of wonder for things from the past, we’ll never know. But I do know this: at present a favorite pastime of ours is to let our imaginations reach back along the time-space continuum. Nostalgia, for us, is not just in the past — it’s sure to be part of our futures too. What’s old is new again.

© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

Daily Prompt: Nature

An ongoing civic project in my town centers on natural reclamation — of wetlands, bird habitats, and native vegetation. A trail-head to one part of the loop through the project is just a couple blocks from home, so we spend quite a bit of time keeping our eyes on the natural growth. In the spirit of the Postaday prompt “The natural world” I thought I’d share a handful of images taken during our walks and rides. All photos taken with my iPhone 4, some enhanced with Instagram or Hipstamatic.


© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Companion

The weekly photo challenge hosted by the Daily Post prompts us to present Companionable images. With the definition “a mate or match” in mind, I thought of this image here, capturing a moment in a stretch of time where two cousins demonstrated their companionability over and over again: their shirts match, their intensity matches, their need to be right, to be first, to be …., well, you get the idea! What a good match they make! IMG_7076

© Erica K O’Shea at “”, 2013.

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