Category - parenting

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Partners In Parenting
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A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons
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All About Pooh
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I’m A Parent, No Doubt
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Parenting: A Glory Story
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Therapy As Play—Joyful Learning
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Mother of the Year
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What’s The Expiry Date on Breast Is Best?
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Her Voice
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Elmo For Zack

Partners In Parenting

My husband and I are partners in every way. Well, except for banking—I “chequed” out of all the financial stuff years ago. Though I feign interest, he and I both know I’m thinking about Mad Men or what might be happening on Facebook while he’s explaining our bank statements.   But that’s okay because I am in charge of other important things—like groceries. Somebody has to menu plan and use coupons. It bores him to tears, so I do it.    Like I said, partners — each with specific roles and duties, like a well-oiled machine. Speaking of which, he deals with all things automotive, while I take care of the laundry. He’s actually banned from touching the dryer. The man has shrunk one too many pairs of my yoga pants.   When it comes to parenting, we share duties equally. Sometimes we employ the “good cop, bad cop” routine. I’m always the good cop because I can’t stomach the bad cop shtick.When Avery was first diagnosed and we got a glimpse of what we might be dealing with, we realized that one parent would need to stay home full-time. We both knew it would be me. Not that my[…]

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A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons

I started watching this video through “teacher” eyes; interested in what makes this particular educator unique. I didn’t expect to be so incredibly moved by his experience as a parent.  I wonder if his parenting a child who has a disABILITY makes him a more compassionate and intuitive teacher? I can’t see how it wouldn’t. It’s clear he has been able to incorporate his personal struggles and strengths into his teaching. He generously shares his positive attitude and can-do outlook with the world and his students are benefitting.  Sometimes even the most seemingly ordinary people live the most extraordinary lives. And they are often the people who teach us the most important lessons about life.  Watch this. It’s truly wonderful. 

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All About Pooh

  Some days are so full of crap that even when viewed through rose coloured glasses, everything still has a distinctly brown tint. When we arrived at my son’s first swimming lesson, we learned it had been cancelled due to a “pool fouling.” Um, gag. When we got home, I got down and dirty in the backyard picking up the ample evidence that we own two healthy dogs. Avery came outside to “help” but was promptly sent back inside. This kind of KP duty isn’t suited for child labour. Clearly her boot hit a land mine on her way back in, as evident by the brown smear across the kitchen floor. But alas, the sun was still shining so we headed back out to soak up some more vitamin d. Avery drove her new Powerwheels jeep to the park. She managed to stay on the sidewalk half the time. The other half, she was off-roading over people’s lawns, collecting canine fecal samples for blocks. People, just because it’s winter, this does not mean you are excused from stooping and scooping!  As I cleaned the tires mired in ick, Avery ran inside to take care of her own pressing business. Like[…]

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I’m A Parent, No Doubt

  Parenthood is filled with anxiety fueled I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-I’m-doing daily doses of doubt.  None of us are truly prepared to be “in charge” of another human being. We’re all just kind of thrown into this  But, when you ARE in charge of another person you need to learn to do just that – take charge.    I have two children – our youngest has special needs. I had a normal pregnancy and birth experience and it wasn’t until our daughter stopped feeding and began to fall off the growth chart that we knew something was wrong.   I took her to several doctors; all of them told me to stop worrying. One paediatrician, who I ran into several years later told me, “Women have been feeding their babies forever. You just need to relax.” That was helpful. He also advised that we just “wait and see.” Seriously? But he was the professional and presumably knew what he was talking about. So I doubted myself — but only for a moment.   Instinct told me to take action. I packed a bag and took my child to Sick Kids Hospital Emergency. We were admitted and spent nearly a month in hospital receiving the care we should have had from the start.     Taking a stand or questioning authority takes me way outside of my[…]

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Parenting: A Glory Story

You ponder the sleepless nights, the childish outbursts (yours AND the kids’), the emotional and financial drain, and the myriad of adjustments you’ve had to make to your life, and you wonder, “Is parenting worth the sacrifice?” The day my daughter was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder is the day our lives changed forever. We were in the hospital at the time, our tiny girl hooked up to a feeding tube, when the doctor explained what we would be facing in the years to come. Appointments, hospital stays, and numerous therapies loomed. One parent would need to stay home to manage this hectic schedule. It was going to be me. My maternity leave was coming to an end, but I would not be returning to my job. More than a job, my chosen profession and passion. When this reality hit, I sat rocking my baby in my arms, grieving for my old life. A passing nurse peered in at a sobbing mother and soon a social worker arrived to talk to the woman in room 2C who was coming unraveled. It seems selfish looking back at how devastated I was to be losing my career. Was it really a loss[…]

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Therapy As Play—Joyful Learning

  When your child achieves a new milestone, it’s a true wonder. You think, “How are they doing this all by themselves?? Where’s my camera?!” Whether you share these pivotal moments; blog them, Instagram them, Facebook them, scrapbook them or simply hold them in your heart, they’re worth celebrating. My daughter started grade one this year. Though cognitively she is approximately age four, she’s holding her own with her peers. She relies less and less on her Educational Assistant (who we are so thankful for by the way) and she’s making decisions, following routines, and learning with increasing independence. From being warned that our child may never fully integrate into a class of her peers, to…this? I can’t express how thrilled we are. So how did she come this far? An initial diagnosis isn’t always the eventual reality. Sheer determination and moxy also factor in. Never underestimate moxy. It’s fierce.  Family and friends have also been instrumental by providing us with the support and confidence we’ve needed to see us through challenging times. My father-in-law refers to us as, “Team Thornbury.” He’s right. We are a team. We just need jerseys.  And finally, our community. If our child had been born[…]

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Mother of the Year

When Heather lost her three year old son Zack, she didn’t stop being a mom. Though her heart was broken, Zack’s brothers needed her more than ever. So she embraced them and loved them as mothers do while she made a plan to keep a promise; the one she made to Zack and to herself as they said goodbye. She vowed to keep his memory alive and to have Elmo, Zack’s comfort and joy, speak his name. And that’s just what she did. Heather tirelessly raised money to create a room (two rooms in fact!) in Zack’s name at York Central Hospital. She also persevered until Kevin Clash (the puppeteer who IS Elmo) knew how much Zackie loved him. Kevin knows and he was touched. And Elmo did speak Zack’s name. Heather is healing with her family and she continues to tell Zack’s story, not only to keep his memory alive, but to help other families deal with the pain of losing a child.” Heather and I became friends online. We bonded over our special needs kids and soon discovered we had many other things in common. When my daughter was in hospital shortly after Zack died, Heather kept tabs on[…]

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What’s The Expiry Date on Breast Is Best?

  Time Magazine published this story about attachment parenting. The cover showed a mom breastfeeding her three year old son and the internet lit up like the fourth of July. Obviously generating a buzz was a factor in the magazine’s choice of cover shots. Every “mom blogger” from here to Timbuktu has weighed in on this. Some cheering, some outraged, some gagging a little. This photo may not depict the serene bonding experience of breastfeeding; it was used to spark debate. But haven’t you ever fed your child on the fly? I once breastfed my daughter while shopping for a new refrigerator. I was in a rush and she was quite happy nestled under my coat. Just because we weren’t locked in a gaze of love and warmth, it doesn’t make me a bad parent. It makes me a busy, multitasking mama who was trying to stick to a feeding schedule. The first thing I noticed in this photo was the mother’s arms. “Wow, her biceps are tight,” I thought. The next thing I noticed were her shoes. “Where can I get those ballet flats?” I wondered.    I’m the mother of a son who was way off the growth[…]

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Her Voice

  We all want our daughters to have a voice. I need my daughter to have one.  I won’t always be around to speak for her – to explain to others why she may not understand, or to make her understood. Before my daughter was born, deep down I worried there was something wrong. All the prenatal testing indicated she was fine, but sometimes a mother just knows. When she was born, and I held her in my arms, I saw only perfection. I still do. We soon discovered our girl was special. In fact, she’s so unique there isn’t a name for her particular syndrome. She has come miles further than we were told she could. Her future is bright, yet shadowed by developmental and medical challenges. Our daughter doesn’t understand the rude looks or ignorant questions. A stranger’s comment about her “walking funny” results in a carefree smile. Teasing, from a neighbourhood kid earns him a giggle. One day, she will understand and feel the sting of hurtful words and actions. The most important thing I can do to prepare her is to help her to find her voice. My girl is a mess of blonde curls, big brown eyes and pouty pink lips. She’s beautiful. People want[…]

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Elmo For Zack

When my friend Heather‘s son Zack passed away, every parent’s worst nightmare became a reality. But what Heather she chose to do with such insurmountable pain, is beautifully inspiring. Through her grief, Heather works to keep her boy’s spirit alive by celebrating him every day. So many of us have never met Zack, but we know him because his mama is always finding ways to share him with us. Heather has spoken at conferences and on television, sharing stories about Zack and her quest to raise money to build Zack’s Dream Room at York Central Hospital. Heather not only raised enough money to build this special room, but there are now two playful cosy rooms dedicated to making any child’s hospital stay more comfortable. Heather also shared Zack with his hero—Elmo. Kevin Clash reached out and made this message not only for Zack, but also to comfort those children who will be staying in one of Zack’s Dream Rooms. Heather wrote: My dream was for Elmo to know now much Zack loved him, and that one day he would say Zack’s name….this is the video that made my dreams come true. I only wish were here to see it all and celebrate with[…]

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