Friday, May 29 2020

the green dinosaur, facebook, and pooping michael jordan




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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! I’d like to congratulate you on making it through another week. Happy Friday. Things have been pretty crazy lately, and tonight, I hope you can wind down with good company, good food, and good drinks - preferably drinks with alcohol in them, if that’s what you’re into. Personally, I’m planning on making a noticeable dent in a bottle of port that’s been sitting out on our kitchen counter. I’ve been waiting until we have some good cheese in the house.

Sip. So how is everyone feeling today? I have lots of energy today, and that’s no doubt a result of how little we did yesterday. Knowing the weather would be crummy and Rodney would be cooped up inside, we nabbed a silly little inflatable dinosaur from Target and let him open it in the morning. And even though the dinosaur unboxing made for a great photo op, it wasn’t a big part of Rodney’s day. The second it was all out of the box and blown up, Rodney left the dinosaur in the corner of the play room and went on with his aimless day.

“He didn’t even name him,” says Marissa. “But before going to bed last night, he said I love him.” Talk about mixed feelings.

With the lonely, nameless green dinosaur pushed aside in the corner, Rodney and I hung out on the couch and watched a movie. Against Rodney’s wishes, I put on the movie Aladdin, hoping to break Rodney out of his Blippi and Paw Patrol rut. And every fifteen minutes while the old Disney classic played, Rodney would quietly get my attention and ask “Dada - I wanna be all done with movie now. We watch Patrol now?”

He repeated the question word for word every fifteen minutes for the entire.

“Dada - I wanna be all done with movie now…,” said Rodney again. I looked up, and laughed, seeing the movie was over and the credits were playing.

“OK dude,” I said, “Now you can be all done.”

As Rodney reluctantly sat through my movie pick, I worked on some code on my laptop. Every morning, when I’m all done writing my journal entry, I run a little script that automatically blasts my latest entry out to Slack and Twitter. But the script doesn’t work with Facebook - so far, I’ve had to just log into Facebook and post it the old fashion way.

Well yesterday, with lots of time in the morning, I wrote the code to automatically post to Facebook. With each successful smoke test and dry run, my dream of running a script and immediately walking away from the computer every morning was becoming a reality.

As a final step, I needed to generate an access token so my app could talk to Facebook. I fumbled around in the Facebook web interface. My self satisfied grin turned to a grimace. Surely a hip, young technology professional like myself should be able to figure out Facebook, of all things, right?

I swallowed my pride and just googled it. In order to get an access token with the right permissions, I needed to have my script verified through Facebook. This can be done if you tie it to a business - all other venues of getting verified were suspended during the pandemic.

And to further sour my first Facebook developer experience, somehow I accidentally managed to log into my old Facebook account that I permanently deleted last year. Not so permanent after all, it would seem. I was right back in my old account, and there was even a cheery Welcome Back email sitting in my Inbox.

Sip. Facebook sucks, doesn’t it? You know, I read somewhere that social media platforms are kind of naturally anti-competitive. People don’t shop around for social media platforms like they shop around for cars, scrupulously comparing features and reviews. We just want to use what everyone else is using, and I think that’s why Facebook can get away with being so horrible. If there are any readers out there that enjoy explaining economics, I’d be interesting in hearing a free market perspective on this.

For lunch, Rodney and I cooked a quick batch of chicken noodle soup using leftover chicken breast in the fridge. Marissa had waffles instead.

“I feel like I set a bad example not eating soup with you guys,” said Marissa after gobbling up the last bite of golden yellow Eggo waffles on her plate.

“It’s OK,” I said. “As long as you’re nursing, you get a free pass. Plus, you can heat up what’s left later if you’re still hungry.”

My real motivation for making soup was to help Rodney’s digestive system. Yesterday was, as we refer to every third day, poop day.

“How you feeling dude?” I asked, leaning into Rodney’s personal bubble while he slurped soup from his spoon. “How’s your tummix dude? Feel like something’s happening?”

“Yeah!” Rodney replied enthusiastically. “Tummix feels good, Peter Parker.”

These days, I feel like we are so hell bent on sealing the final daunting chapter of Rodney’s potty training journey, that we’re cultivating a house that is obsessed with poop. Yesterday, we read the Poop Book several times. I played every poop song I could find on YouTube. Rodney spent his entire quiet time without any bottoms on - a style one might refer to as Whinnie the Pooh’ing It. All the while, I sat outside his room in my chair, paying close attention every sound and smell coming out of his cracked door.

As we do on every poop day, Marissa and I scoured the Internet for potty training tips, tricks, and encouragement. I sent her a helpful comment I found on reddit.

Your job isn’t really to “get him there” so much as it is to support him as he figures it out, keep the stress level low, keep him from tying himself up in knots about it.

We’ve been doing a better job keeping things positive. We keep Rodney’s spirits up with chants and songs. We’ve adorned the toilet with chocolate, candies, and unopened toys. It’s helped picturing myself as kind of a poop coach, and my job is to keep Rodney feeling strong and motivated. I’m like a pooping Phil Jackson, and my pantless son is a young, developing pooping Michael Jordan.

We made good progress yesterday. We’re still a bit far off from cracking champagne bottles in the locker room, but it’s worth celebrating that Rodney doesn’t seem scared anymore. Talking about poop no longer frightens him. I even caught him thumbing through the poop book on his own. I have a feeling that very soon, he’ll realize that he’s the greatest pooper the world has ever seen.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone.