Moms & Dads: Stories, tips, and advice on raising your kids from South Florida parents | Sun Sentinel blogs

Moms & Dads

South Florida parents share their stories and advice


previous June 2008 | Main | August 2008 previous

July 31, 2008

Youth sports injuries and a sports parenting question

I'm working on a story about youth sports and injuries, centered on how to decide whether to a.) take your kid to the emergency room or b.) tell him or her to "suck it up."

Anyone have any tales to tell? Life experiences? If so, call me at 954-356-4725 or email me at nsortal@sun-sentinel.com.

Meanwhile, the Positive Coaching Alliance has a monthly debate, and I like this one:

Several weeks into the season, you are frustrated by your child's lack of playing time. The team is successful on the scoreboard, winning more often than losing, usually by comfortable margins. As far as you can tell, other parents and athletes on the team seem satisfied with the status quo, even ones who also are sitting on the bench. But you wonder if a coach has a responsibility to get players into games even when there are no external rules or requirements to do so.

Your child has not complained about not playing, but you sense diminished enthusiasm since the season's start.

Should you talk with your child about this? If so, what do you say?

Should you approach the coach about this? If so, how would you go about it?

Is your approach affected by whether players had to try out to make this team?

Fire away with your thoughts. I'll come back and re-comment on them in a couple of days.

POSTED IN: Sports (29)

Discuss this entry

July 30, 2008

Do cell phones affect kids' developing brains?

I was accepting the fact that my 11-year-old will get her first cell phone in the next year or so, but a new warning is giving me pause.teencell.jpg

The director of the University of Pittsburgh's Cancer Institute, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, told his staff last week they should limit their cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. He said children should only use cell phones for emergencies because the phones' electromagnetic radiation could affect their developing brains.

Although lots of studies have shown no link between cell phones and cancer, cell phones have not been around long enough to study their long-term effects. I have a feeling we aren't going to like what we hear 20 years from now about these toys that have become so important to us.

But it's also become almost impossible to raise a kid today without giving them a cell phone. Even if you tell them not to use it too often and to use a headset, they are going to do what they want when you're not nearby.

What kind of limits have you placed on your kids' cell phone use?

POSTED IN: Health (111), Lois Solomon (211), Pre-Teen (57), Teen (158)

Discuss this entry

July 29, 2008

Webkinz ... Does it lead children to more serious abuse of video games?

I feel that I should retaliate against my cousin for buying Lily a Webkinz bunny.

He asked me if she had one, and informed me that his kids love their Webkinz so much theybunny.jpg
are on the computer every single day.

Even though he's one of my favorite cousins, I should have burned the bunny right then and there.

It's cute and all. But Webkinz is one of those stuffed animals that comes with a secret code. And it turns out the bunny can be tossed in the fire. Because as long as your child gets that secret code, he or she has access to a special website where a cyberversion of the bunny "lives.'' And apparently it's so much fun even for a six-year-old, that they will want to hog your computer every extra minute.

I thought we had all decided that people who live cyberlives online, who have "jobs'' and "earn money'' and "purchase things'' all in quote marks, online, are socially deficient and pretty weird. No?

Yet almost every day, I have to hear Lily ask, "Mommy, can I get on w-w-w-dot?'' And I let her.

On the company's website, they answer such questions as: "Are the wishing well and the Wheel of Wow gambling?'' And "Can Webkinz pets die?''

I'll leave you hanging on the answers.

The game is educational I suppose. But so is going to the library and checking out five books.

Should I be writing in her babybook that her first logon name was "crystal5pink'' and her first password "babydolly5''?

And now that you all know her secrets, will she get on the website to find that someone has broken into her bunny's "apartment" and stolen the "pink couch" out of his "bedroom"? Will you get her bunny fired from his "job" "painting fences"?

Please, parents, help me find that perfect Christmas gift for my cousin this year.

POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160), Elementary School (54)

Discuss this entry

July 28, 2008

Randy Pausch: A Tigger, not an Eeyore

(Also posted on Nick Sortal's Trialsanderrors)

I thought there would be greater media attention Friday when Randy Pausch died.

For those who haven't followed it, Pausch was a Carnegie Mellon professor who gave a spirited "last lecture," a tradition at his school. It truly was his last lecture. He was dying.

A Wall Street Journal writer was there to see it, and wrote it up. Then came ABC appearances for Pausch, and Oprah and a book at the top of the best-seller list.

During a time when we have too many useless messages going viral in our media, this was an exception. Such thoughts as: "We can't change the cards we're dealt, just the way we play the hand."

I often quote to my children his line: "You have to decide if you're a Tigger or an Eeyore."

So why am I posting this on this blog? Here's what I want you to do: Because it's summer, and presumably children aren't wrapped up in school work and you have time, please sit down with your child and watch a 10-minute Youtube version of his lecture. And watch or tape the ABC special, set for 10 p.m. Tuesday, with your family. Then talk about it.

Also, there's this 78-minute, longer version of his lecture,and a USA Today version of the story, which includes a box of his tips.

POSTED IN: General (185)

Discuss this entry

July 25, 2008

Don't mess with my playground

Visiting your neighborhood park with your children should not be a lesson in profanity.

I still remember when I took my son to one of our favorite haunts in Davie, and he came across some graffiti on the side of the playground.

“What does that say, Mommy?” my three-year-old asked.

I diverted his attention elsewhere and seethed at the thought of delinquents destroying the recently refurbished playground. I should have reported it to the city.

That’s what some parents in Coral Springs are doing as they patrol their area parks. Called Park Moms, they check to see if the garbage is picked up, equipment is functioning properly and the playground is graffiti-free. (You can read about them in today’s Sun-Sentinel.)

If only there was a Park Moms in every city. Now there’s an idea…

Tell us what you think, and share your playground stories.

POSTED IN: Anne Vasquez (67), General (185)

Discuss this entry

July 24, 2008

Knotted, tangled mess of a head

Following up on my colleagues post below about hair, my nearly 3-year-old daughter, Ana Isabel, wakes up most mornings with her hair looking like a rats nest.

tangled.jpg

I mean it's bad. Really bad. So bad my wife and I have had to cut out knots in her hair.

We're perplexed on how to prevent it.

Ana has this beautiful long light-brown, almost blond, hair. It's thin and wispy. We don't shampoo it every night at bath time and we use gentle baby hair products.

My guess is that Ana is a thrasher as she sleeps. She whips her head back and forth on the pillow, which makes a mess of her hair overnight.

For the most part, the problem comes when it's time to comb her hair. She hates it. It become this long drawn out process to get her ready to go out of the house.

For me, this falls under the I-know-nothing-about-this aspect of being a dad to a little girl. I didn't anticipate it and I'm at a complete loss for what to do. Is it even something I should worry about?

Any suggestions?

POSTED IN: Luis Perez (32), Toddler (127)

Discuss this entry

July 23, 2008

Why must girls have long hair?

There are pictures of me as a little girl with hair past my shoulders and probably halfway down my back. But I haven't had long hair since junior high.
longhair.jpg
So I can't relate to my three girls, ages 9, 11 and 14, who refuse to even get their hair trimmed. The lengths range from the shoulders to the butt.

They are no longer at an age where I can make them go for haircuts. I have been thinking about bribery.

Why am I so obsessed with them getting their hair cut? It simply will look better. I think it will be more flattering to their faces. It will be easier for them to wash and brush. Why do they need to look exactly like everyone else? And on and on.

I know at some point I will have to give up on nagging and wait 'til they come to me and say they want a haircut. Any ideas for incentives in the meantime?

POSTED IN: Family Issues (231), Lois Solomon (211), Pre-Teen (57)

Discuss this entry

July 22, 2008

Are Dora bikes for boys?

My son wanted a Dora bike. So what if it’s a “girls bicycle”?

Dorabike.07.08.jpg

Still, I hesitated. Couldn’t he just make this easy and choose the Hot Wheels bike? But why should he? The Dora bike was colorful, much livelier than the muted blue-and-orange Diego bike next to it. Should I tell him that adults have categories of “girls” and “boys” that we generally follow? When is it appropriate -- or offensive -- to reinforce gender identity?

The same thing happened at Target last week. He wanted the pink Dora pull-ups. Reflexively, we said they were “for girls,” but then we asked ourselves why it should matter.

Back in college, it was easy to “deconstruct” gender categories, to dismiss the “hegemony” of how they falsely shape our world. Then we had kids. And we realized that gender helps order their world. Alexander also loves trucks, and I’m sure that’s not an accident. Somehow, he figured out that boys like trucks. But it’s a fine line, of course. I’m not looking to raise intolerant boys.

OK, so you want to know, right? He ended up with a Thomas the Tank Engine bike. I told him he could get the Dora bike if he liked. But he chose the train instead.

POSTED IN: Matthew Strozier (59), Toddler (127)

Discuss this entry

Now we have a gun-toting teenager

At first I wasn't sure if arming my teen-ager would be a good idea. I pictured him sawing off the end of his new BB-gun rifle and shoving the weapon into his shorts, jumping on his bicycle anddaisygun.jpg
riding towards some kind of stand-off with Plantation police.

But putting trust in teens, scary as it might feel, can actually build a sense of responsibility in them. I think kids rise to expectations. And you have to set them very high.

So, yes, we bought Creed a BB-gun for his 13th birthday. We also bought him a few pistol-style air guns that shoot plastic BBs and are less powerful than the rifle, in case you "accidentally'' shot someone with it.

I think most boys had a BB gun at some point in their youth, and I wasn't going to deprive him. Even I spent quite a bit of time as a teen shooting BB guns. I was on a BB-gun shooting team with other kids whose parents worked at Oklahoma State Penitentiary. We were taught to shoot by convicts, so I guess you could say we were trained by experts.

But there was a kid among us, Jimmy Cook, with a glass eye -- the result of a ricocheted BB. Creed has heard about him 1,000 times. So Creed wears his gun goggles.

So far, no one has been seriously injured.

I told Creed he could shoot lizards. He was horrified. That's when the teen came out:

"Mom, I don't shoot lizards! I'm not a monster like you!''

OK. Guess I'll have to dust off my trigger finger and take care of those lizards myself.


POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160), Teen (158)

Discuss this entry

July 21, 2008

Keeping in step with teens

"Oh, j/k."

What? I was befuddled.

"J/k."

My wife stepped in to translate. "Just kidding."

You know, that's where I draw the line. I completely sympathize with the mother in those commercials who can't get straight answers out of her daughter and her mother because they speak in text message abbreviations.

"IDK!"
"My BFF Rose!"

So one of the girls said something and was mistaken. What does she say? "Oh, sorry, my mistake"? No, that would be accurate. "My bad"? I got used to that one quickly, for some reason, regardless of the torture it does to grammar.

"J/k."

Just kidding. No, I wanted to scream! You were not just kidding. You were wrong, you were mistaken, you misunderstood something. I might be able to stomach the text abbreviations in actual conversation if the abbreviations made sense. But she wasn't just kidding.

So, here's my solution: when they speak to me or text me, it's proper English only. That means "was," not "wuz." Really, "wuz" is not an abbreviation. It takes just as much finger work, so no excuses. And if they insist on communicating using abbreviations and alterations that take a degree in linguistics to sort out, I'm taking their phones away and burying them in the backyard.

J/k.


POSTED IN: Rafael Olmeda (59), Step-parenting (59), Teen (158)

Discuss this entry

July 17, 2008

To Pre-K 3 or not? That is the question

Ana Isabel turns three next month. And all the talk among the parents of the three-year-old set is whether to send their children to Pre-K 3.

pre-K3.jpg

First off, Ana seems a bit young to me to be going to school. For Pete's sake, she's not even potty trained yet. (But that's a question for another post).

I don't see the benefit of sending Ana to what's essentially glorified day care. She's a bright child already reciting the alphabet and counting up to 12 in English and Spanish. She gets to 20 with a little prodding. She speaks in full sentences, albeit short ones she repeats all the time like "I don't want to!"

I know there's an argument to be made for socializing children at this age. Ana gets along well with other children, shares and plays well with others.

The certified teacher that runs the Mommy-and-Me program that Ana attends told my wife that everything Ana would learn in Pre-K 3, can be taught at home with simple lessons.

So can someone please explain to me the benefits to sending my child to Pre-K 3?

POSTED IN: Luis Perez (32), Pre-K (25), School Issues (135), Toddler (127)

Discuss this entry

July 15, 2008

Apple sauce for everyone!

Alexander, our 2-year-old, has launched a battle for the household’s hearts and minds. His strategy is clear: small victories will change the parenting landscape. What, mom says no apple sauce until I finish lunch? Well then, head over to dad on the couch and ask in that adorable 2-year-old voice, “Daddy, can I have some apple sauce?” Who can resist that? His ostensible target is one plastic cup of applesauce, but the campaign is more sweeping: to be greeted by apple sauce at every meal. To be, indeed, the apple sauce king of Fort Lauderdale.

Why stop there? If that trip to the potty seems intimidating, ask oh-so-nicely that “mommy take you.” She is, after all, in the bedroom dressing for work, buying you several key minutes with Henry, your new Thomas the Tank Engine piece. Who knows, you think to yourself, maybe they’ll forget. Sure, there’s a slightly wounded parental ego to consider, but the prize is much bigger: spending the entire day in pajamas with trains. This is, after all, the side of good.

But sometimes it doesn’t work. Parents get stubborn. In that case, remember you are a big brother. Get mom and dad to focus on Rowan while you repeatedly jump off the couch. Victory at last.

And how does this play out with your little ones?

POSTED IN: Matthew Strozier (59), Toddler (127)

Discuss this entry

Football: like military school only cheaper

Any parent who's had a boy in tackle football knows what I'm talking about when I say that it's the next best thing to disciplinary boot camp.footballIMG_2726.jpg

They might not paddle in the schools anymore, but thank goodness football hasn't wimped out.

Kids who are treated like babies into adulthood will always be babies. I'm sure you work with some.

Not in football. In football, it's, 'No excuses, just do it.''

Creed's coaches are fond of telling his team that football is about "controlled violence,'' and "controlled aggression.''

Strength of body, and mind.

When a kid got yelled at for not paying attention and then glared at the coach, he was outta there. You will not disrespect a coach, he was told. Take your stuff and leave.

They teach physical toughness, too. When a kid was sitting on the field the other night after a tough two hour practice in the blazing sun, he was asked: Are you passing out? No, he wasn't.

OK, came the coach's response. Then get up on one knee! We don't sit down on the field!

One coach told my son's team that they're there to learn about life: That life is tough, you have to work really hard, and sometimes someone's going to put a foot up your rear. And you just have to learn to deal with it.

Touchdown!

POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160), Sports (29)

Discuss this entry

July 14, 2008

A place for my step's stuff

Quick - find your driver's license.

If you have one, there's a good chance you've already found it. It's in your wallet, or in your purse, or in your front pocket.

Remember when you first got it? How long did it take you to remember to carry it with you at all times?

I'm in the middle of a discussion with Kayla, my older stepdaughter, about this subject. She recently got her learner's permit, and over the weekend she wanted to drive from her grandmother's house to Blockbuster. studentdriver1.jpg

"Oh, wait," she said. "I can't. Never mind."

"Why can't you?" I asked.

"I don't have my permit. I left it in mom's car." (We were in my car at the time).

I spotted a lesson there. "Your permit is something you should carry on you at all times," I said. "You wouldn't think of leaving the house without your cell phone. You should treat your permit the same way."

That struck a nerve, but not the one I wanted to strike. What I intended as experienced counsel, Kayla interpreted as "attitude" (by the way, she wasn't entirely wrong about that. But it missed the main point, which was that she could be driving more if she followed that advice).

Lesson lost.

So help me out here. If you've got a child old enough to drive, how did you get him or her to realize the importance of carrying a permit or license at all times?

POSTED IN: Rafael Olmeda (59), Step-parenting (59)

Discuss this entry

July 10, 2008

Are you happier as a parent?

A Newsweek article summed it this way: NO!

It details research that says people with no children, fewer responsibilities, more time and money for themselves, are actually happier than those with children. Sounds good, no?

It made me think back to my bachelor days and when Carrie Ann and I first got married. Sure, we went to more parties, traveled more and drank more wine together. It was nice, I must say.

Now try to imagine life without your kids. That means no Ana Isabel running up to me when I walk in the door, arms stretched out yelling papi. That means no watching Lucas Emilio grow from a newborn into cooing, smiling baby. That means no watching Ana try to read a book to her brother. Or no Lucas smiling as his sister tries to cuddle with him.

Thanks. But no thanks.

Being a parent is hard. No doubt. But can you imagine life without your children in it? I can't.


POSTED IN: Family Issues (231), Luis Perez (32)

Discuss this entry

July 9, 2008

My kids’ cholesterol

Now I’ve got to worry about my kids’ cholesterol.

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends cholesterol testing for kids after age 2 if there is a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. It also calls for testing if the family history is unknown or for those with other risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. If the readings are normal, the test should be repeated in three to five years. And get this: cholesterol-reducing drugs should be considered for kids older than 8 with high LDL levels.

Our kids fit the testing criteria. There’s a history of heart disease and high cholesterol on both sides of the family. But still, is this really necessary? Our boys, ages 8 months and 2, eat a low-fat diet and get lots of exercise. My fear is that testing too early would lead to heavy-handed and ultimately unnecessary treatment. But then again, knowledge is a good thing. Knowing my cholesterol makes me eat more healthfully. And as the New York Times has reported, researchers say the obesity epidemic gives new urgency to dealing with heart disease early.

Still, it reminds me of my pediatrician's comment about lead testing. When I asked if our kids should be tested, she said she’s not had a case in a decade of practice in South Florida. The new construction in this area means chipping lead paint is, in most cases, rare. After the scare about lead in toys from China, she got several requests for tests, but usually discouraged them. The blood test is hard for kids, and the threat wasn’t high enough to justify it. Cholesterol is not lead poisoning, but could there be a parallel idea here: can we take too much precaution?

So what would you do?

POSTED IN: None

Discuss this entry

Dara Torres: Gold medal example

By Cindy Kent

I want to be Dara Torres, the Parkland Olympic hopeful and oldest female swimmer in the history of the games -- and cool mom.

Very cool mom.

(Just a little aside here - we, the media, tend to string together her vitals every time she is mentioned. We don't profile men the same way - "that 41-year old dad and oldest male in the history of...")

Torres is fit and full of energy.

I can see it in the photos of her and her with her daughter.

She said she was doing this for her daughter. I get that.

Being devoted to something, the follow-through and discipline, getting in shape and staying healthy to be your best for your family - I get that too.

So - I think I measure up pretty darn well to my fellow mom.

Well, not in a bathing suit perhaps - but in spirit, for sure.

I am a great example to my kids. I have passion, enthusiasm and energy in just about everything I do - including housecleaning, the laundry and yard work.

Though I'm still trying to get the kids buzzed about doing even the most mundane, yet necessary things in life - I know they see my joy in being their mom. I like to think of myself as their personal Olympian!

(Hey, where are those kids--just when I'm looking to quote one of them here?)



Cindy Kent is a Fort Lauderdale mother of three

POSTED IN: Family Issues (231)

Discuss this entry

July 8, 2008

What's your kid-time tolerance?

This past weekend I was surrounded by old friends at my 20th high school reunion. I went without my kids, and I can say without question that was the best decision. Who wants to be reminiscing with friends until 3 a.m. and then be woken up at 7 a.m. by the sweet sounds of the Wiggles and demands for chocolate milk?

While I missed my kids, I was thankful that my mom and husband had them instead, safe at home. That feeling was reaffirmed when I saw a dear old friend after she had just spent the day at Animal Kingdom (the reunion was in Orlando). She was exhausted.

The next day, as we all gabbed and dished about our lives and about our classmates, she talked about her own family (she has two boys, ages 4 and 6) and made a confession:

"I have a four-hour tolerance with my kids," she said, somewhat sheepishly, waiting to see our reaction.

She didn't have anything to worry about.

I often have guilty feelings about my weekends at home with the kids. I always schedule a trip with the kids to Target or Publix -- gotta break up the day some way. I let them watch a little too much TV on Saturday and Sunday mornings. And yes, we play ... but it gets old!

My friend said after four hours, she's done. She's got them fed, bathed and in bed well in time before she's too tired to watch a movie and have a glass of wine with her husband. She's not necessarily on the floor with them playing trains every minute of those four hours either.

I think I like this kind of plan. I spend so much time with the kids on weekends that all I feel like doing at night is collapsing on the couch. Can't even clean the kitchen sometimes. So if you let the kids entertain themselves a little more, you'll be less tired. Sounds good to me. Gotta try it.

Moms, dads ... what's your limit?

POSTED IN: General (185), Nancy Othon (21)

Discuss this entry

Kids say what they're thinking, while parents cringe

We've probably all had the experience of our young ones making some kind of rude observation that is best kept to oneself. (Such as when Lily looked at a woman in the Publix checkout next to me, and asked, "Mommy, is that a man?''')

Adults who don't have a self-censor have no friends. But we have to expect this kind of embarrassment from kids.

This weekend we went to visit the grandparents. They're in their 70s.

Lily and I and her grandmother were sitting at the kitchen table.

"Are you going to live in this house forever?'' Lily inquired.

"Well, I don't know. Maybe,'' her grandmother replied.

Lily paused for a great while.

And then she said, so innocently:

"How do you spell die?''

Great question, Lily. And why do you ask?


POSTED IN: Brittany Wallman (160), Say what!?! (25)

Discuss this entry

Games stepfamilies play

Well, looks like I was right - about being wrong.

Yesterday I wrote about not being able to shake the feeling that my stepdaughters don't like me. But I did wonder whether I was being overly sensitive.

This morning I noticed a game on our kitchen table. It's called "Visual Eyes," and it apparently involves rolling dice with images on them and using those images to come up with common expressions. Never played the game before, but that's not really the point. The point is, it's a family game. It's a game that's no fun unless we all play it together.

Gametime is tricky in our household. Their talents are very different from mine. The girls are great at games like Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution. I'm much better at Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble. So we need to find games that we can all enjoy, which is not always easy.

Card games work, but the games we play are really designed for more than four people, so they're better at larger family gatherings. Scattergories is a big hit with us, too. We've got Yahtzee but haven't played it yet. Now we have Visual Eyes.

When I asked my wife about this new game, she replied, "The girls got it for you."

Maybe they sensed something was off in how I was feeling Sunday. I just thought it was a very sweet gesture on their part. And shame on me for thinking they don't like me.

What games do you play? And how do those games draw your family together?

POSTED IN: Rafael Olmeda (59), Step-parenting (59)

Discuss this entry

July 7, 2008

Social networking site for babies

As a child, social networking involved a red kickball. All it took was the sight of the ball being launched in the air by a neighboring kid's foot to get me outdoors and socializing.

How pedestrian. kickball.jpg


These days kids socialize by logining on to a MySpace, or Facebook or uploading a video of said selves to YouTube.

And in this new social structure enters TotSpot, a place for pre-school kids to swap virtually boogers.

Does your wee one use TotSpot? Lifestyle reporter Liz Doup would like to hear from you. Send her a note at ldoup@sun-sentinel.com.

Or perhaps you frequent the site, famzam that is geared more to families wanting to share photos, videos, recipes, etc. Either way, Liz would love to talk with you.

POSTED IN: None

Discuss this entry

Shaking the stepfather blues

I'm getting this feeling, and I can't shake it.

I feel as if the girls simply don't like me. I'm probably being overly sensitive, but the feeling has been growing lately. Yesterday was our first anniversary, and the girls said nothing to me about it. They wished my wife a happy anniversary, but I was on the other side of our car at the time. Maybe they felt their well-wishes to her counted for me, too. I don't know. When they reached me, they asked me to get a video game out so they could hook it up and play.

Maybe I didn't do enough. After all, it's their anniversary of being in my family, too. Maybe I should have gotten them a card or something.

All I know is that lately I've felt less like a "dad," step or otherwise, and more like "that guy who married their mom."

Any advice for shaking that feeling?

POSTED IN: Rafael Olmeda (59), Step-parenting (59)

Discuss this entry

July 2, 2008

A house divided on the doctor's visit

My wife, Shola, and I see doctors differently. I avoid them; she sees them as a resource. To me, it’s a challenge to stay out of the doctor’s office; she sees a doctor's visit as a faster route to good health. Neither is wrong, but they inevitably conflict when it comes to parenting – as they did this week.
Docoffice.jpg

Rowan, our 7-month-old, gets sick regularly. He has bronchiolitis, and the pediatrician says he’ll get sick on and off until he’s 2. The tricky thing is to figure out when his routine illness is turning into something else. And this week Alexander, who’s 2, got a double ear infection. Then Rowan started pulling on his ear. And just to make matters more complicated, Rowan is teething. So the question arose: should Rowan visit the doctor?

I said no. My reason wasn’t medical. I was falling back on my hardy Midwest upbringing. I’m sure I went to a pediatrician as a kid, but I have no memory of it. Heck, I wonder if our “gentleman’s farm” in Central Illinois even had heat. So I protested that Rowan didn’t need to see the doctor, and cited the evidence from my childhood. Yes, Shola responded, “that’s why you can’t hear now.” Fair point, I thought: I do like the TV much louder than she. So I relented, given that winning this argument essentially involved putting our child at risk.

So I took Rowan to the pediatrician, which thankfully did not take all morning. She checked him and pronounced ears “perfect.” He was sick, but in the familiar way. So I enjoyed a moment of pride – we didn’t need a doctor after all! (This reaction, of course, is nothing to be proud of.) But then the pediatrician offered this line: “It’s hard to tell when his congestion gets more serious, so you were right to bring him in.” Ah, so close to victory!

Later that day, as I gave Rowan a bottle, something else happened. He pulled at his ears.

POSTED IN: Health (111), Matthew Strozier (59)

Discuss this entry

Can we handle a square milk jug?

A plastic gallon of milk has always been too unwieldly for a little kid to pour. But I'm afraid a newly engineered jug might be even worse.
squaremilk.jpg

According to this story from The New York Times, the new shape, being sold at some Wal-Mart and Costco stores, saves the grocer storage space and needs less washing, thus saving water. Fewer truck runs also need to be made because more milk can fit in the cab.

The new shape, apparently the wave of the future, is supposed to save us consumers money: 10 to 20 cents a gallon.

I'm all for saving gas and water. But I'm skeptical those savings will be passed along to us.

POSTED IN: Food (56), Lois Solomon (211)

Discuss this entry

Advertisement
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.


Search this blog
Get text alerts on your phone


Send me the following alerts:

STORM - Weather Alerts
NEWS - Breaking News Alerts
LOTTO - Lottery Numbers
SPORTS - Breaking Sports News
BIZ - Business news headlines
ENT - Entertainment news headlines
DEALS - Free offers and money saving deals


You can also sign up for by texting any of the above keywords to 23539. Message and data rates may apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel. You will receive up to 10 msgs/week for all keywords but Storm; you will receive up to 5 msgs/day for Storm, only during severe storms. You may receive subsequent messages clarifying/confirming your Stop request. T&Cs and Privacy Policy: mobile.tribune.com
E-mail newsletters
Get the news that matters to you delivered to your inbox. Breaking news, hurricane alerts, news from your neighborhood, and more. Click here to sign up for our newsletters. It is fast, easy and free!