Stories from November 2009

We Interrupt this Broadcast…

Lisa Kerr

Dear Purveyors of Fine Holiday Merchandise,

Now that the holiday season is upon us I’d like to get a head start on my psychological clarity during what can be a very confusing and stressful time. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

To begin, what is at stake for my children at Christmastime? If they do not receive exactly the most popular and expensive toys will they simply be ostracized, ridiculed on the playground, or do you think they might meet physical harm? To reinforce this message, do you really think that 10 Christmas commercials per every 5 minutes of television viewing time are enough, or should I paste the 27 flyers we get in the mail every day to their walls? Thanks, by the way, for all of the terrific commercials you now show at the movies. I was worried that we might have some wasted time there, but you had us covered.

Further, what do you think the minimum number of gifts should be for our children to know we truly love them? 25? 50? 100? Is there a love to dollar formula you can refer me to so that I can ensure my children’s happiness and be spared any potential embarrassment among the neighbors? (Read more…)

Giving Thanks

Laura De Veau

As you belly up to the Turkey and fixin’s this year, what are you going to be giving thanks for?  For me, I am giving thanks to those people and possessions that make my life a little more manageable:

I’m thankful for my pre-school, for giving Spicy Girl enough structure and fun to make her the engaged and curious kid that she is developing to be. 

I’m also thankful for the other mom who is often running just as late for pre-school pickup as I am.  It’s nice not to travel alone. 

I’m thankful for the Pamper’s Baby Dry #4 diapers that rarely leak. 

I’m also thankful for my very vocal friends who remind me that life isn’t always about being a mommy, and I need to remember the folks out there who could care less about poop.

I’m thankful for the Internet, as it is a wealth of knowledge about parenting do’s and don’ts.  

I’m also thankful for Facebook, which allows the Hubby to show Spicy Girl how to play Farmville.

I’m thankful for magic markers, crayons, glue sticks and construction paper, which are the canvass of creativity and expression.

I’m also thankful for the reliability of window cleaner, scrubby sponges and vinegar for removing pretty much every stain that can be left behind after an afternoon of “expressing one’s creativity.”

And finally, I’m thankful for macaroni and cheese.  

… and, if Spicy Girl truly understood what “giving thanks” meant, she would tell you the same thing.

Gobble!  Gobble!

Lose a Nap. Lose a Mind.

Kate Chretien

I know that, as a parent, I will eventually have to learn to let go. My children will grow more and more independent, until one day, I will be waiting, paranoid out of my gourd, for them to come back home after a night out with friends.  *breathing into paper bag*

While I have absolutely no problem letting go of some of their baby-ness (case in point: whining, tantrums, wiping butts), I’m having a tougher time with others.  And, nothing’s harder for me than accepting the disappearance of a nap.

Because that is directly linked to my sanity.

We as parents get accustomed to naps as a break in the day, a time to recharge (nap, snack, sit), clean up the disasters made during wake time (meal-time apocalypse, toy fall-out), go into brain hibernation mode (emailing, internet surfing), or to finally take a moment for personal hygiene (one word: toilet). Okay, who am I kidding? There’s no cleaning. (Read more…)

Angie: Sick Kids? Uh, No Thanks.

Angie McCullagh

I tend to be a little hypochondriacal. My worries used to revolve around me and my health. Every ache or pain was cancer or heart disease or something that would cause certain death. A small jabbing behind my eyes = brain tumor. Painful gas = ulcerated colon. Weakness in my right leg = deep vein thrombosis.

Now, though, I have kids! So I get to transfer all my health concerns onto them. With Milo and Belle, however, I dwell less on the catastrophic possibilities and more on the what-in-gods-name-will-I-do-if-they-get-so-sick-they’re-home-for-a-week?

I do my best to rein it in. I do. (Medication helps). But this swine flu threat, as you can imagine, has me in a small tizzy.

I’ve been stalking the pediatrician’s office, checking their website hourly, calling, waiting for the vaccine to come in. And because Milo’s allergic to eggs, I’ve had to put him on a waiting list at the allergist’s office where, when it’s our turn, we go through the rigamarole of his getting skin tested for the h1n1 vaccine before they can administer it. (Read more…)

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This Weeks Tip

You would think at our age that we wouldn’t have to worry about these things. But, as Kate will attest, even at *ahem* 27, untimely breakouts can (and will) happen. What to do? Apply an ice cube for 30 second. Then soak a cotton ball in eye drops and press it to the “spot” for 3 minutes. The theory is that the ice and drop combination will cause blood vessels below the surface to contract—leaving you looking, well, a little less like Rudolph.