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Parenting Exposed (literally)
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Waiting Room Worries
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Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”
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Let’s Put Libraries Back at the Heart of School
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Small Kids, Big Worries

Parenting Exposed (literally)

Parenting makes us vulnerable. We expose parts of ourselves we never imagined we would – emotionally and in some cases, physically. Something happened several years ago that I’ve only shared with a select few. I feel like now is a good time to dust off the details and share it out loud because I can laugh about it now.  Back in the summer of 2011 when my daughter was a spunky five-year-old, we were invited to attend a big outdoor children’s event. I didn’t want to go. It was difficult taking my daughter out back then. She’s a precocious kiddo whose physical and cognitive delays make it tough to rein her in sometimes. But my son who was obsessed with lizards at the time was desperate to see the reptile show at the party. His needs frequently come second to his sister’s—which is often the case of siblings of kids with special needs. He was so looking forward to holding a Bearded Dragon, how could I deny him that (creepy) pleasure?  We were at the event less than five minutes when Avery stuck a sponge covered in green paint in her mouth, picked up a pile of goose poop in her[…]

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Waiting Room Worries

My husband and I have sat in many waiting rooms over the past few years, anxiously awaiting news. It’s scary, and nerve wracking, and lonely—your basic trifecta of darkness.  But thankfully and luckily and gratefully (your basic trifecta of good fortune) our children’s surgeries have gone well. Yes, I said children.  I rarely write about our developmentally typical boy child. He’s a full-on teen now and his stories are his stories to tell. But recently he had to have surgery. He’s the kid we don’t have to worry about or fill out complicated medical waivers for. I actually said something to that effect not long ago so apparently I jinxed it. Anyway, it was fine. He is fine. I asked him if I can share a bit about it at some point because we learned some things from this experience that I know other parents can benefit from. He said, “Sure,” with a shrug. So I’ll get to it one of these days.  But back to the undisputed star of this blog—our developmentally atypical girl child. She has several surgeries under her belt—none as serious as some of the ones friends’ children have gone through. But, there have been risks and[…]

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Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

Ask any former meat eater and they’ll likely have an achilles heel—the one dish that makes them involuntarily salivate whenever they smell it. For me, it’s spicy chicken wings. It’s not the chicken, but the sauce that gets me. As a vegan-ish person I was thrilled to discover these Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings” at a local pub. I ate a few. Okay, I ate enough to actually hurt myself.  I made them at home to serve at a party recently and they were gone in seconds. Even my carnivore friends loved them. I’m definitely making these again. But I’ll pace myself this time. 

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Let’s Put Libraries Back at the Heart of School

My son and I started the Harry Potter series together when he was little and his passion for reading (and writing!) took off from there. My daughter has learning difficulties, but it hasn’t impeded her reading. She often sneaks the light back on after bedtime to read. She looks at the pictures for clues and makes up the words when she can’t sound them out. Some nights she reads in a loud whisper to our cat and falls asleep mid-sentence. My children are lucky—they have both the passion and the opportunity to read. Their bedrooms, their classrooms, and their school library are filled with books. They get books for Christmas and they use their birthday money to shop for more books. This isn’t the case for a lot of kids. They may have the passion for literature, but not the resources. It’s unfortunate and wrong. My first few years as a teacher were spent at a high needs elementary school in Toronto. My classroom was sparse and the school library was outdated and depleted. It was frustrating. My students wanted to read. They NEEDED to read. “The imagination developed through early literacy is an important part of children’s overall growth, fostering cognitive and social development and ingenuity—the building blocks[…]

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Small Kids, Big Worries

Anxiety is a pain. Whether we come by it genetically or situationally, it hits all of us at various times in our lives. I’ve written about my struggle with worry—as a parent of a child with special needs and a variety of medical issues, I worried about our girl a lot. I looked too far ahead and fretted about the what ifs. I couldn’t stop the catastrophizing.  When you live in the past or in the future, you miss the present, and that’s where all good stuff happens. So I did the cognitive behavioural therapy exercises and it made a world of difference. Don’t get me wrong, I still have moments where I freak the hell out, but I know how to reign it in. This whole being mindful thing is a work in progress.  Adults coping with anxiety is one thing, but what about children with anxiety? Watching your child worry is like being poked in the stomach with a sharp stick.  I’ll unabashedly tell you about my fight with my worry monster, but sharing someone else’s story is offside. But I can say that having a sibling with special needs can create fear and anxiety for good reason. Watching[…]

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