Little girl dreams about farms, fairy tales and flying tigers

As we come closer to reverse engineering our own brains questions like this come up:

When we look at a glass of iced water, we perceive the liquid and the solid ice cubes as independent things even though they are intimately linked as part of the same system. How does this happen? Out of all possible outcomes, why do we perceive this solution?

No clue and I’ll raise you one: When do we begin to perceive that the liquid and solid ice cubes are dif? Because, guess what — I don’t think every baby does. In fact, just betcha that when they’re really little, kids see stuff a lot cooler than when they get older. Dr. Seuss and Sasha Shulgin (1925 – 2014) cool. Like liquid ice.

I mean, nobody knows what babies dream — right. Or toddlers. Just look at all the crazy illustrations below for some artists’ impressions. Because arguably the reason we tell kids fairy tales is because no one else would believe them. It’s obviously part of the process of peeling the water away from the ice cubes and getting your reality on.

Life starts in the barnyard, correct. My daughter, for example, knows very well that “horses like hay and goats like to play” — even though she’s only seen a couple actual horses, no goats, a few cows, the odd flock of wild turkeys. Because she’s into it — Massey Fergusun tractors, anthropomorphic scarecrow technology, old-school cowbells — all the stuff. Very basic, you say. But look how young you (probably) got involved yourself. So, yea, it would seem basic.   P1140141 


As a thought experiment, did you ever ask yourself Why does “Mr rooster crow at dawn / all the piggies stretch and yawn” Because kids do ask those things. Not that they doubt it, because basically they do not doubt it. After all, Raggedy Ann & Andy, Shaun the Sheep, Farmer Jones’ animals — that stuff really happens, e.g., “lambs always seem to hurry /  rabbits feel oh so furry.”

But throw in some friendly alligators, talking cat, and a witch or two and the you’ve really gotta have some computational  (or analogous ability) to keep all the monsters under the bed where they belong. Because when you’re really little, you don’t even know how to say “Damn, Mom. What the hell’s this all about ?” and so on.  Example. There’s a book my baby girl likes (somewhat) called Ted, Bo and Diz: The First Adventure. (In Indonesia, we’ve translated it into English (from English) as The First Adventure ; ) 

Short story long, you’ve got teddy bears and a zebra picnicking on a broad beach with high sandy bluffs behind them.  Shortly thereafter, they’re off to sea in a small rubber raft to save penguins (apparently from global warming).  And they succeed — with the help of whales. It’s epic all right; like Noah’s Ark for atheists. But is that like what my daughter dreams about? It would explain the occasional nightmare.


Kids aren’t stupid, though. If one day the three bears come on stage half-naked with restraints — or the little gingerbread man hops from the oven half-baked — they’re going to have questions.

The most far-fetched scenarios occur, with regularity: Little girl walks into the woods and gets eaten by a wolf  — after reaching the safety of her grandmother’s house; or she may burglarize a family of bears or team up with other wild animals — birds, or often fish. They can and do bear her up over the poles or escort her down into the sea kingdoms.

Remember though, older folks don’t like “being lied to.”  The very term “fairy tale” is fraught, an out-and-out term of derision in some contexts.

Sweet dreams./ Selamat malam.


How to make a magic flying tiger toy that will certainly affect your little one’s dreams, maybe even cause nightmares

Tiger ingredients as  follow:

1) a stuffed tiger sold at the Jakarta Zoo in Ragunan (maybe around rp 200,000, but really crappy, too)

2) an old office chair (which they sell (used) in Tebet on the way to (and from) Pasar Rumput/Manggarai, on the side of the road

And what works is to slit him up the belly, put a thin piece of plywood or whatever in there and sew him up again. Then mount that board on your chair, after you’ve take the actual chair part off.

I’d say easily ages 6 months (yes, takes two people or else make a saddle ) to 3 years, except I think she’ll wear it out faster than that. Maybe if you substituted a better-quality tiger. When she’s really upset (i.e., teething) she can self-soothe just by going around the house (for an hour) on the tiger.

Though madly in love now, with her harimau, she fell out of love for a brief period about the time she was learning to walk. And sometimes she fancies it will be more fun to push him than to ride him. But deep down all her 15-month-old soul wants to do is ride, fly!

Careful: Moves fast, spins, and has no brakes (why do you think she likes it ? ) 














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