Saturday, January 26, 2013
When my toddler asked about death, I tried to be honest.
Now that Sweet G is almost three, 95 percent of the time I spend caring for him is allotted to explaining the workings of the world, the mind, and the body. It rains when the sky fills up with water. Your mind is the part of you that fills up with thoughts and ideas. We poop when our butts fill up with the food our body doesn’t need. It amounts to some of the best conversations I’ve ever had and some of the most acute stress I’ve ever felt. Sometimes I end up worried that I’ve skewed my son’s worldview so drastically that no one—not even the therapist I’m inadvertently pushing him toward—will be able to realign it. In fact, I’m certain that I did some actual damage last year when I tried to explain life and death to Sweet G, who had just …
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Once upon a time, my toddler would eat anything I put on his plate. Not anymore.
When he first started eating solids, Sweet G was a champion of nutrition. He’d eat quinoa, mushrooms, plain yogurt. He’d even ask for a second serving of pureed prunes. He loved vegetables so much that the hub and I used to joke about the blue ribbons he’d win in steamed broccoli eating contests. But, by the time his second birthday came around, his food preferences were altogether different. He demanded cookies and candy. At his second birthday party, we found him alone in the kitchen with his face in the cake. It’s all our fault. Though the hub and I limited his sugar intake until his first birthday, we quickly fell into the habit of giving him treats. Like most parents, we didn’t see the harm in giving him a lollipop during a long …
Friday, December 14, 2012
20 children, and six adults have been reported dead in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to Newtown Patch. What will you say to your children?
- POLICE & FIRE
Friday, December 14, 2012
Parents' hearts are in their throats in Gwinnett County and across the country as news spreads of an elementary school shooting in Connecticut that reportedly took the lives of 20 children and six adults. Newtown Patch in Connecticut is posting live updates about the shooting, which was reportedly carried out by a single adult who is now dead. The incident will raise questions about how future such massacres can be prevented. It will also require parents everywhere to figure out how to discuss the violence with their children, many of whom will be returning to their schools next week. Parenting.com offers advice for discussing tragic incidents with children. Among the suggestions: The New York Times parenting blog offers a dialogue and a …
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Despite sleeplessness and guilt over having abandoned my children, I find hope for the future in my first-year college students.
I am not exaggerating whatsoever when I say I have not slept for longer than two hours at a time for over nine months. There are nights during which Baby T wakes up 10 or 15 times per night. My sleep is so poor in quality that I rarely dream. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for pity (unless it comes in the form of a latte or a foot rub). After all, this is the kind of sleeplessness I signed up for when I decided to bear two children within the span of two years. I only mean to say that I’m tired. Really, really, really tired. So when I was offered a full-time university-level teaching position in August, my immediate impulse was to turn the offer down. The last thing I needed was another sleep thief. Anyone who has taught writing to …
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Can a mother love a child too much?
A few years ago, a love song came on the car radio. “I’ll stand by you. I’ll stand by you, won’t let nobody hurt you. I’ll stand by you,” Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders promised an unidentified lover in a sweetly sorrowful tone. Five months pregnant, I quickly crumpled into tears as my future life as a mother flashed before my eyes. I saw myself cradling a newborn, holding the chubby hand of an infant, catching the fall of a wobbly toddler, guiding the bicycle of a school-aged child, and collapsing under the weighty hug of a taller-than-me teenager. Caught up in the music and imagined moments, I hardly knew where I was when traffic slowed and stopped. I sat there at that stoplight thinking that I had never in my life loved anything or …
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Are parties and organized sports keeping parents from choosing homeschooling for their children?
After having been a student for 21 years, I can, without hesitation, describe my dream school. It’s a happy place where the curriculum, hours of operation, and pace of learning are determined by and personalized for each student. As for the dress code, it allows, nay encourages, leisure pants. You might be thinking that I might as well stay home. Come to think of it, the description does sound an awful lot like that of a home school. And, in fact, if my both of my parents hadn’t worked full time jobs during my elementary and high school years, I would have begged to be home schooled. There were times that I would have given anything to not have to sit through math class or wait in the cold predawn dark for a school bus to take me to a …
Saturday, May 26, 2012
How a recent Time magazine issue and a former child star’s response to it taught me to embrace extended breastfeeding.
When he was 20 and I was 19, my husband and I spent two weeks traveling across Canada by train. During one portion of the journey, we watched in disgust as three siblings, who ranged in age from one year to five years, took turns at their mother’s breast. We weren’t entirely insensitive. Breastfeeding is common in my husband’s family, and I had plans to nurse my own toothless, maybe-babbling-but-not-talking, maybe-crawling-but-not-walking BABIES someday. And we were thoughtful enough to wait until the group left the train to scrutinize the woman’s choice to breastfeed in public and to shame her for allowing her five-year-old to nurse at all. When we returned from our trip, the woman starred as a crazy Canadian in the stories we told our …
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Parenthood can cure even the most irrational squeamishness.
Let’s face it; kids are gross. They’re grimy, snotty, crusty, crummy, and all modes of stinky. My infant son operates a cheese factory in his neck folds, and my nose often knows when my two-year-old son enters the room. If they weren’t absolutely charming otherwise, we’d be a troubled family. It hasn’t always been this way. I, too, used to think of children as perfectly pure, sweet-smelling joy manufacturers. I wanted to be a young mother to many, many children. We’d frolic around barefoot in a field full of shin-tickling wildflowers, bouncing rainbows off one another’s hearts. That romantic image was dissolved long before I had children of my own. I was lying on the floor holding my super smiley three-month-old nephew up in the air at arm…
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
An overview of the winter programs offered by the Youth Services department.
One of the marks of a great town is its library. Free access to information and to a safe space go a long way toward creating a strong community. But it's not always the number of books or hours of operation that matter. For those of us with little ones, a library's departments and programs can make the difference between a so-so city and an kinetic community. As far as community assets go, Brighton District Library's Youth Services department is particularly noteworthy. Each season, Youth Services hosts dozens of community outreach projects, guest storytellers, craft sessions, seasonally themed events, book clubs and educational programs for a variety of age groups and for the whole family. If your child is 6- to 18 months old, consider…