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October 30, 2007

Exercise, or food?

Sari Weltman of Nob Hill Elementary suggests we take a look at the nutritional analysis of the lunch menu items.

She compares it to McDonald's menu, which she emailed me: One McDonald's cheeseburger has 300 calories and 12 grams of fat. A breaded chicken patty sandwich, offered by Broward County, has 340 calories and 15 grams of fat.

School macaroni and cheese has 340 calories and a whopping 22 grams of fat.

She writes:

Don't you think it's hypocritical for schools to mandate 30 minutes of p.e. a day, when the cafeteria's lunch offerings undermine those efforts?

As a parent and teacher, I would like the answers to the following questions:

1. Why don't schools offer SKIM milk to students? (Yes, lowfat is offered, but fat-free is not)

2. Why can't school lunches include more fresh fruits and vegetables. Offering a salad option is a good start, but why not provide salad with every meal?

3. Why are schools allowed to have vending machines that sell chips, candy, and soda?

POSTED IN: Elementary School (54)

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October 29, 2007

Am I like JonBenet's parents?

I had a great idea. My church announced a talent show, and I lept at the chance. Not for me, but for Lily, my kindergartner.

Somehow it popped into my head that thrusting her in front of a crowd would promote leadership qualities.

Perhaps I did not stop to think that very few world leaders, none that I can think of right off hand, get up and jump rope in front of crowds, while counting to 100.jumprope.jpg

Lily is obsessed with jumping rope. She learned how to jump recently, and ever since, she takes it with her everywhere she goes. She also just learned how to count to 100. I figured we would merge her two biggest talents.

And surprisingly, she said she'd do it.

Apparently there's a big cult-like following to jump ropes. There is even a Jump Rope Institute that says: "We believe that WE CAN, WE WILL and WE MUST help people from around world learn about THE MAGIC OF THE ROPE and how to use it correctly to ROPE TO SUCCESS!''

So you see? I wasn't that far off base.

But I wonder if this was the kind of logic that provoked the Ramseys to enter their beautified little girl (later mysteriously murdered, case unsolved, for those who pay no attention to the world around them) in all those beauty pageants. I never did understand that, until I entered Lily in this talent show.

I guess some parents believe that winning beauty contests builds leadership qualities, or at least self esteem.

Maybe they're right, and maybe I was right, too.

But Lily and I did not anticipate the carpeted steps in the sanctuary. Her rope kept getting snagged on the steps.

And she was counting so quietly that no one could hear her. They kept wondering why she was still up there, trying to jump rope. Finally I had to explain, "She's counting to 100, too, and she's only on 35!''

Well I had to sort of be "the hook'' to get her off stage, even though she only reached 50.

She told me afterwards that she didn't think she did a good job. And that's after I told her over and over again how proud I was of her, and what a great job she did.

Some parents are too afraid of competition; they think their kids should never experience losing. But I think a little bit of losing is good for a kid.

I also think some kids are naturally hard on themselves. Lily is one of those. So I'm not sure if this was good for her, or not.

But I told her never to say anything bad about herself.

"You should be your biggest fan,'' I told her.


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Elementary school and exercise

Sometimes a story turns out differently that you expect.

When I began researching an article about the state and a PE mandate, I thought I'd see schools scrambling, struggling and whining. Personally, I think the school day is too short (only six hours in Broward) and I feel that parents, rather than schools, are responsible for a child's health.

But after collecting data from about a half-dozen schools, I actually saw a pretty big change. More schools pushing fitness, and the children picking up on its importance.

Paradigms are heavy, someone once said, so it takes a lot to shift.

But I still wonder about the teachers out there: Is this the way to go about it?

POSTED IN: Elementary School (54)

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October 26, 2007

Let kids be kids on Halloween

My son hates wearing hats. I doubt he'll put on a Halloween costume. But who says children HAVE to dress up for Halloween?

That's the holiday debate in our home right now. My wife would love for our 3-year-old son to don a costume for trick-or-treating. I would too. Problem is, my boy doesn't like hats, jackets or heavy sweaters. And last Halloween, he hated his cowboy outfit, even though he looked cute enough to make a Halloween TV commercial.

That's why this year I'm predicting he will refuse to dress up before we head out to knock on neighbors' doors for candies and treats. Sure, he says he wants to be something for Halloween. Ask him, and he'll say "I want to be a scurvy pirate." It sounds so cute to hear him say scurvy (or "scurby").

But wait and see. When the moment arrives, he'll be begging to go outside with his regular clothes. In my mind I can hear his words: "Please, Daddy, I don't want pirate. Don't want it!"

Still, we hope. We have one pirate costume ready and two back-up costumes. A fireman outfit, complete with a faux buzz saw. And a Harry Potter outfit, which right now is really just a pair of large black eyeglasses. (Again, he looks really cute because he already has Harry's big eyes and hairdo.)

My wife and I won't force our son to do anything he really doesn't want to do. But besides my son's likely pleas to wear regular clothes, I also dread seeing my wife's face should he not wear a costume. My wife LOVES holidays and all the traditions that come with it. Her face brightens up like a Great Pumpkin when she talks about trick-or-treating as a child. And she really wants my son to have similar wonderful holiday memories.

Again, I do too.

I just hope my son Danny sees it that way. Otherwise, he'll be trick-or-treating as a plain 3-year-old. I just hope that won't diminish his candy booty on Halloween night.

POSTED IN: Activities (143)

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A Tarzan for my desk

By Cindy Kent
Reporter Assistant

My desk at work is my home. Rather, there are remnants of my home at my desk. That includes a flip-flops motif and just a lot of stuff.

But I needed one more thing to make the feng shui complete.

A memento of each of my children: A few tiny cinder blocks represent my older son's masonry work. Photos of my daughter show how active she is.

But what would represent my youngest son, Tom? I decided to ask him, especially since he would notice if I swiped one of his toys.

So I told him it would be really cool to have something to put on my desk, perhaps a little car, one of his key chains from his collection, or an action figure. I really emphasized my desire for the action figure. OK, I begged.

After sifting through his treasures, he came up with the perfect thing -- a tiny Tarzan.

Making sure he had eye contact with me, and with one hand on his hip, he handed it over with an admonition of sorts.

"Mom," he said somewhat indignantly, "you don't really need this -- I am your action figure."

Cindy Kent is a Fort Lauderdale mother of three.

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October 25, 2007

Sneaky parents hide spinach in the brownies

Moms disguising vegetables in their kids' favorite meals is nothing new. Still, I've enjoyed reading about the controversy over Jessica Seinfeld's possible plagiarism in her new book, "Deceptively Delicious," which is now number one on the New York Times bestsellers list.

Some of the recipes are almost identical to combinations in "The Sneaky Chef," which came out last year. Both books encourage parents to puree healthy foods, like squash, and mix it into similar-colored foods, such as macaroni and cheese. Same thing for spinach into brownies, avocado into chocolate pudding and sweet potatoes into grilled cheese.

The New York Times had a great quote from Jerry Seinfeld, Jessica's husband, about the controversy: "I really don't think we have another Watergate here."

Of course we don't. But I would like to know if parents think mixing healthy foods into their kids' meals has any long-term benefit. Don't we want our kids to make healthy choices on their own? Are they really learning anything by us being sneaky?

POSTED IN: Food (56)

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October 24, 2007

Hugs, not drugs, but no actual hugging

It's "Red Ribbon Week" at my kids' schools. This is one of the silliest undertakings I've ever seen.

Red Ribbon Week is sponsored by the National Family Partnership and is designed "for people and communities to unite and take a visible stand against drugs."

At our elementary and middle schools, the kids are supposed to have different activities each day to remind them to take a stand. On Monday, they were supposed to wear red.

My nine-year-old forgot. "Ooooh, you take drugs!" a friend chastised her. I'm sure the girl immediately ran to the principal's office to report my daughter the drug-taker.

At our middle school, the kids were told to give each other "hugs, not drugs." However, as my 13-year-old reminded me, they are told on the first day of school they are not allowed to hug each other.

I'm so tired of these "just say no"-type slogans that are really meaningless when it comes to the reality of whether a teenager is going to try cocaine or meth or any drug. Does anyone really think campaigns like these prevent teens from caving in to peer pressure or deciding to experiment?

POSTED IN: School Issues (135)

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October 23, 2007

12 hours in a small car

triproad.jpgEveryone said we were making a mistake taking a road trip to North Carolina late last week in my relatively small car. They said we should fly, or rent a van.

Several people suggested that I give my kids some kind of NyQuil.

But we did none of that. We piled in and drove the 12 hours to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, so that Lily could be the flower girl in my wonderful cousin Clay's wedding.

On the plus side, the kids were within slapping distance from us. But on the negative, Creed's smelly feet were too close to Lily's nose. And their DVD player wasn't loud enough to compete with our radio.

The melodious sounds of Tool coming from the car stereo were diminishing their experience of the "Bully Ant'' movie.

I even had headphones for them, but that didn't work out well.

We really needed a soundproof Cone of Silence to drop over them, like on the old Get Smart show.

"I don't like rock and roll!'' Lily shouted, as we sang loudly to AC/DC .

"Why not?'' I asked.

"Because they crazy around,'' she said.

We don't watch MTV much, so I don't know where she gets her information. Bob informed her that her beloved Elton John also "crazies around'' quite a bit.

But really, surprisingly, the road trip wasn't bad. A little closeness can be a good thing.

We only had a few dramatic episodes, the worst of which was when Lily asked us to "raise your hand if you want to see me hold my breath for a long time.''

Stupidly, I raised my hand. I thought she wanted me to!

"That means you want me to die!'' she accused. Well I tried to smooth things over, but 5 minutes later Creed informed us that "Lily is crying because she thinks you want her to die.''

A setup!!!

Apparently that was her version of a Road Trip Game.

POSTED IN: Family Issues (231)

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Flu shot ingredient concerns parents

My son recently had his three-year check-up. And, as usual, the doctor asked whether I wanted to give him a flu shot. I had fully expected to do so, until I asked whether the flu shot contained the ingredient thimerosal, a form of mercury used in small amounts as a preservative in many flu vaccines.

It did, so I turned down the shot. And now I’m feeling guilty about it as I search for other places where I can give my son a thimerosol-free flu shot, which he had received the past two years with other doctors.

Aside from typical jitters of injecting mercury into my son’s veins, there’s the larger concern that has been raised in recent years: Some researchers and patient advocacy groups have charged there is a possible link between thimerosal and autism. As a precaution, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Public Health Service in the late 1990s agreed that vaccines given to children should be thimerosal-free (or have only traces of it).

The only exception? The flu vaccine.

Some say the possible benefits of getting a flu shot (even one with thimerosal) outweighs the possible negatives. But I’m not so sure.

Just because the ingredient hasn’t been deemed “unsafe” is not reason enough for me to expose my son to it. It reminds me of the recent controversy over cold and cough medicine for young children: The medicine hasn’t been labeled “unsafe,” but that didn’t stop drug makers from pulling certain brands from store shelves until further study.

So tell me: Am I making a mountain out of a molehill?

POSTED IN: Health (111)

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October 22, 2007

Maybe he didn't do such a good job ...

Let's stop the praising madness! OK, full disclosure: I have been guilty of some excessive praising. "Good job," I might say to Elias as he places the airplane puzzle piece in the huge airplane slot. "Great job," I've said to Evan on countless other occasions, some worthy, others not.

Of all the articles I've read in recent times about the whole over-praising thing, in which experts have warned our generation of parents against continuously complimenting our kids, this one from New York magazine is probably the most enlightening, and I wanted to share.

It's pretty long, but worth the read. Here are some of the highlights, taken directly from the article by Po Bronson:

- 85 percent of American parents think it's important to tell their kids they are smart, according to a Columbia University survey cited in the story.

-Giving kids the "smart" label does not prevent them from underperforming, and might actually cause it.

-Here was perhaps the most insightful part of the story. It involves an experiment on fifth-graders, in which groups of kids were given easy puzzles to complete. One group was praised for intelligence ("You must be smart at this.") Others were praised for their effort ("You must have worked really hard.").

The students were then given a choice for the second round of tests, one was more of a challenge, the other was a similar puzzle as the first. The majority of the kids praised for their intelligence chose the easy test, while 90 percent of those praised for their effort chose the harder test.

Psychologist Carol Dweck, who led the study, wrote: "When we praise children for their intelligence, we tell them that this is the name of the game: Look smart, don't risk making mistakes."

The experiment went on in other stages, and I won't regurgitate the details here (that's why you should read the article). I found the effect that praise had on these kids to be fascinating, and I'm going to think twice about the way I praise my own kids. The story also goes on to discuss issues of self-esteem and describes other praise studies. Check it out.

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October 18, 2007

It's a scary world for Ana Isabel

OK. Let's go down the list. There seems to be a toy recall every other week now a days.
Fortunately, my Ana Isabel, 2, only has had one or two of the recalled toys in her toy box.

Then there's the scare that cough and cold medicines for infants and toddlers are not safe. That sent us scurrying through the medicine cabinet. Again, we're fortunate Ana hasn't had anything worse than pain-in-the-gums teething so far.

And, of course, there's the nightly horror on the evening news or the morning scare in the newspapers of the latest crime against a small child.

We could just shut off the TV, not get the newspaper and take a stick-our-heads-in-the-sand approach. But both my wife and I are in the news business. So that's not really an option.

It's enough to give a father a full head of gray hairs to put it midly. What do you suggest to deal with the scary-world anxieties that come with parenthood?

POSTED IN: Toddler (127)

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October 17, 2007

When the kids are in the car, beggars get $1

Do you treat our ubiquitous South Florida car beggars differently when your kids are in the back seat? I do.

beggar.jpgIf the kids are in the car, I roll down the window and give the beggars a dollar. If there are no kids, I may or may not, depending on my mood.

I want to show the kids the right thing to do, to be generous, to open up your heart. Many of my friends take a hard-hearted look at the guys (and they are mostly men) who hang out at busy intersections with "Will work for food" or "Disabled vet" signs. They think they are in situations they can get out of and will spend the money on liquor.

But who knows what they will spend the money on, or how they got into their predicaments? I tell my kids to imagine how degraded they must feel to have to display themselves amidst the traffic.

Still, I can't say I always take out my wallet when I am driving by myself. Do you?

POSTED IN: Family Issues (231)

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October 16, 2007

I seized the cell phone!

I took away Creed's cell phone in order to teach him the Spanish alphabet. However my genius attempt has completely failed.
Here I thought when I bought his cell phone that I had bought the perfect disciplinary tool.
Something even better than a paddle with aerodynamic holes in it.
The cell phone. So desperately wanted by my son, and thus, I figured, desperately held onto. I'll have only to whisper a threat of taking it away, and he will immediately fold like a Razr flip phone, I thought.
So when I found out that Creed's Spanish grade was suffering because he had not learned the alphabet yet, I took the phone away. I told him he could have it back when he could tell me the Spanish alphabet.
That was like three weeks ago. I keep getting the phone out to hold it tantalizingly in front of his eyes.
He's forgotten about it. He's over it. He doesn't care that much about getting it back.
And I'm kind of glad about that.
But now what do I do about the alphabet? Would it be a violation of protocol to take a second item away from him? Such as food?

POSTED IN: Pre-Teen (57)

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October 15, 2007

We're not the only nuts

If you think South Florida has cornered the market on nuts and sports parents, take heart: Our sister paper, Newsday, carries a report about a parent, upset about his son's playing time, who punched out a coach.

Brooke de Lench, who runs a web site called, writes an op-ed piece that brings us to the point: When there are kids on the bench, frustrations mount. My take is that the parent is usually more embarrassed than the kid, especially in this case, because Pop Warner football, like youth tackle football down here is open about being competitive.

Basically, I believe 99 percent of the parents are out there trying to do the right thing. The dangers pop up when they get too worried about their child being "successful," which they equate with winning. So they want to help their Johnny or Sarah get that extra goal, or make that extra basket...

And that's where it starts getting crazy.

POSTED IN: Sports (29)

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October 12, 2007

14 darned good water-safety tips

While writing a story about Jazmyne Robinson, a Pembroke Pines girl who called 9-1-1 after her brother went unconscious in the family pool, I asked the Baby Otter Swim School to give me a water-safety checklist.

They caution (correctly) that nothing makes a pool completely safe, but they sure provided a heck of a list, perhaps the most complete I've seen. Here are their "layers of protection":

1.) Parental supervision
2.) 4- to 5- foot fence around pool and a closing gate
3.) Fence around yard
4.) Telephone by pool for emergency use only - call 911
5.) Proper safety equipment near pool - a "Shepherd's hook." You never want to jump into the water to make a rescue because you can become a victim as well.
6.) Pool water level as high as possible so edge of pool can be reached by small child
7.) Alarm chime on exit doors to pool area
8.) Know CPR
9.) Swimming lessons
10.) Know how to turn off pool pump if swimmer gets caught in drain.
11.) Proper drain cover
12.) Remove all toys or rafts in pool when finished swimming.
13.) Cover for spa
14.) Teach safe pool rules to your children.

POSTED IN: Health (111)

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Dress your little one as Jeffrey Dahmer this Halloween

The last few years I've dressed up as Carrie in the famous horror movie. I had blood all over me. I take a whole crew of little kids trick-or-treating each year, and I slather fake blood over anyone who wants itdahmer.jpg

I'm not into the goody-two-shoes Halloween costumes where the boys go dressed as golden gourds and the girls are ballerinas.
One of my colleagues, Tim Collie, wants to talk to parents about this issue. Here's what he wrote to me:
I'm looking for parents to talk to me about the "gore line" -- where they would draw it in an age of Jason or Freddy Krueger masks, as well as all kinds of oozing grotesquries. I want them to compare Halloween for them as children, and Halloween now in these scare terms. My number is 954-356-4573, or they can email me (
Will you help out a fellow reporter?

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October 10, 2007

Where do you buy kids' shoes?

The lack of places to buy kids' shoes in South Florida is driving me crazy.kidsshoes.jpg

I've tried Target and Payless, but you have to be lucky that they will have something semi-fashionable and in your kid's size. My 11-year-old, Rachel, inevitably finds a style she likes that is in every size but hers.

I've been wondering why most department stores don't sell kids' shoes. Or why there aren't more kids' shoe chains. Don't you think it would be extremely profitable?

The only place I've found that's pretty consistent is Nordstrom. They have every size, but the prices are so much higher.

I heard is good for kids' shoes, but I never know what size my kids are, so I'm not sure that would work.

Can you make a recommendation for a great kids' shoe store?

POSTED IN: Shopping (28)

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October 9, 2007

Is the Duke Talent search akin to a Nigerian banking scam?

Creed came home with a letter yesterday alerting us that he is eligible' to participate in the Duke Talent Identification Program.

Apparently this program has been around for 27 years now, and I guess back in 1980, my parents must have thrown the note away, or maybe Duke couldn't find me. We did move around a lot.

brainiac.jpgAnyway at Creed's school, the kids who scored in the top 5 percentile on some of those standardized tests got this letter from Duke University.

For the low, low price of about $130, Creed can sit alongside high schoolers and take not just the S.A.T. but also the A.C.T.

Why would I want him to take these tests when he is 12 and in 7th grade, you ask? Perhaps because I have $130 or thereabouts to throw in the garbage can.

According to Duke, which by the way is a fine school that accidentally, I'm sure, rejected my application for college, this program would help me compare my child's performance to others across the country.

Hmmm. I thought that's what the standardized tests did.

If this might help Duke give him a scholarship, that would be good. Then I could have all the Prepaid Tuition money back and we could use it to get braces for Lily, since I'm sure she will want perfect teeth like the rest of the kids in Plantation.

But I'm just not sure what the benefit of this program would be. My husband actually remembers the Duke talent search and claims he came home with a similar note in his backback several and many decades ago.

Or maybe I could use it to help me defend Creed at school. This particular line from Duke's website might be useful:

Exceptionally bright students often go unrecognized because they hide their talents, underachieve, or exhibit behavioral problems.

One of the frightening tidbits I gleaned from Duke's website in reviewing this is the advice that you should start planning your child's college when he is in middle school. Please raise your hand if you have done this.

Personally I feel I should at least wait to see if he makes it into a professional sports league or if our house is going to be destroyed by a hurricane, prompting us to move to Nashville.

POSTED IN: Pre-Teen (57)

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October 8, 2007

Sibling rivalry at its finest

First off let me establish that I love both of my children. Dearly. They are 21 months apart, Evan just turned 4 and Elias is 2. What fun ages, one might think. And when I first got pregnant with Elias, people kept telling me that the boys would be so close in age that they would be best friends.

But have I told you just how charming and sweet they are individually? I don't get much of a chance to hang out with just one of the boys, but when I do, it's so ... peaceful. Refreshing, even. I recently took Evan out for a milkshake and we shared one shake with two straws. Kodak moment right there. And Elias often wakes up before Evan and he can be so sweet and fun to play with.

Together, these moments don't happen as often. We keep trying to reinforce this whole "best friend" thing to Evan (without seeming too forceful), that Elias is his brother and friend for life, so he should treat him nicely. But they can't seem to play nice. Of course I know siblings fight, I'm the youngest of three and I remember the bickering well. But we are struggling with Evan's continued jealousy and his sharing issues.

A toy could be ignored for weeks on end but as soon as his little brother grabs it to play with, Evan either panics or goes into a mini-tantrum. We've even tried to buy Elias a couple more little toys that are his own, but then Evan seems to gravitate toward those things. Everything Elias does, Evan wants. I thought it would be the other way around, given that Evan is older and should be the leader.

Any thoughts, tips? Or should I just resign myself to a lifetime of refereeing?

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October 4, 2007

The William Tell Overture for Moms

This woman must be a fly on the wall in my house....and I'm sure dads can relate, too.

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October 3, 2007

I'm done with useless cough medicines

I noticed a long time ago that after giving my kids cough medicine, their coughs were unchanged.

I wondered what was in these concoctions that they had absolutely no effect. Now I see I wasn't imagining this.

A Food and Drug Administration panel has proposed banning these medicines for kids under age 6 because of health risks and little proof that they work. And they apparently don't work for adults either. The American College of Chest Physicians recommended last year that people with coughs take antihistamines instead of cough syrups.

The most difficult part of all this is what to do with a kid who's coughing. You feel so bad for them and want to help them. My kids want me to do SOMETHING if they're sick, even if it means giving them these placebo medicines.

Will you give up cough syrups now? Or do you think they really work?

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October 2, 2007

Spoiled brats and their straight teeth

If 40 percent of Creed's schoolmates are on free or reduced lunch, then why do they all have cell phones and braces?

As some of you know from earlier posts, we gave in to the pressure and bought Creed a cell phone this summer when he turned 12. I've resisted his begging to improve his "plan,' and I put only $15 on this pre-paid phone every month. That doesn't allow him enough minutes to actually use the thing for phone calls. Which is fine!

So I hear a lot about "everyone'' having better cell phones and cell phone plans than he does. He said that in comparison to his peers, he is "low-tech.''

braces.jpgNow I come to find out that the other "right'' he and his peers think they have is to get braces. You know, orthodontics. The thing that only the rich kids had when I was little. The thing my parents said we could not afford, and thus, I did not get.

I took Creed to the orthodontist yesterday, and of course they suggested he wear them for 18 months for the low price of $2,400.

This was no surprise. If I drove a new car to a car lot, I would assume the car salesman would come up with a reason for me to buy another new car.

No different at the braces factory. Creed's teeth aren't even crooked, but the guy pointed out that his least straight teeth are the ones that show the most! Gads!

I was wearing my new "Don't Tase Me, Bro,'' t-shirt, and the orthodontist laughed but then admitted he didn't get it. Then when he saw that Creed also had a t-shirt, he said, "oh, so you're a t-shirt family?'

Yeah, we're a t-shirt family. WHATEVER!!

Then he told Creed that his face is pretty and he could pass for a girl. Then he asked why in the world we call him "Creed.'' What kind of nickname is THAT?, he asked.

It's his middle name.

We'll probably go ahead and let Creed get braces. But first I had to tell him that he and his peers at Seminole Middle School, if they indeed 'all have braces,' are just a bunch of spoiled American brats who apaprently cannot afford to pay for lunch but are entitled to have perfectly symmetrical teeth.

"Do you think that in Third World countries, the children are running around saying, 'I need braces so I can have a perfect smile?' '' I asked Creed last night on the way home. "No, they're saying, 'I'm starving. I haven't eaten in two days! I need food!'' I told him.

"Is this a Third World country?'' Creed asked.

"No, but even in this country, poor kids don't get the privilege of braces.''

"Are we poor?''

"No! But I want you to know that you don't have a right to braces. You're only getting them because you're a spoiled American brat.''

That was good enough for him.

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October 1, 2007

The next thing for skateboarders

A new hybrid skateboard/snowboard is becoming increasingly popular with kids.

Seems harmless enough.

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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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