Tag - parenting

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Beware The Snapping Turtle
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Partners In Parenting
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Online Medical Research: A Blessing And A Curse
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A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons
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Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Bullies
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I’m A Parent, No Doubt
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The Sweetest Voice
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Parenting: A Glory Story
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Her Voice
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A Bittersweet Anniversary and Post Traumatic Stress

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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Online Medical Research: A Blessing And A Curse

  With so much medical and genetics related information accessible online, many parents regularly turn to the internet to research everything. If you’re the parent of a child with special needs or specific medical issues, it’s crucial to understand as much as possible about current challenges, potential problems, and helpful therapies.   This knowledge is both a blessing and a curse. Our daughter has a chromosomal deletion/duplication disorder. This damaged DNA makes her susceptible to certain diseases. Incredibly, scientists have identified a number of specific faulty genes as the cause of certain diseases. We have a comprehensive list of which of our daughter’s genes are affected and after delving into the online world of genetic gene cards, we’re aware of which diseases may be looming. I don’t have to tell you how frightening this is. It’s like knowing your child will likely be in a horrible car accident in the future, without knowing when or where or how severe, yet you’re powerless to stop it. There’s nothing you can do, but being armed with information and a solid understanding of your child’s diagnosis or prognosis is essential in terms of being able to ask the right questions.  Most doctors do not appreciate Dr.[…]

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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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Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Bullies

Yesterday I wrote about a schoolmate calling my child a not-so-nice name. It happens. Unless you’re one of the minority, you’ve probably been teased too. Even if you’re a rock star. I have a theory about that, which I shared on Facebook after posting the link to Sticks and Stones.  First of all, I have to say how much I value my Facebook friends. The support I find there is second only to a heart-to-heart coffee chat in a girlfriend’s kitchen. My Facebook status could say: “I’ve decided to become a nudist. Also, we’re buying a trampoline.” My Facebook community wouldn’t judge. Instead they would mask their repulsion and offer supportive comments like, “I’m sure you have a sound reason for this alternative lifestyle choice. But be sure to bring a towel to sit on at the park. Those benches can be splintery. Also, you might want to consider some kind of protective eyewear while trampolining?” Good friends, sound advice. And this always seems to be the case whenever I post a comment or question about parenting. It helps to know we’re not alone and to feel justified or at least not completely off base in our parenting choices. Anyway, my theory….[…]

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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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The Sweetest Voice

  No matter how often I hear my children’s voices–and I hear them often since I gave birth to two chatterboxes–I’m never deaf to how sweet they are. Not the words necessarily, but the actual sound; the unique pitch and tone that make them easily identifiable in a crowd. Didn’t I read something about that and penguins? Oh nature, you rock my world. As we sorted through Christmas ornaments last week the kids sang carols, in the way kids do–loud and out of tune. My son sang in a prepubescent high pitched trill that only dogs can hear. While my daughter hummed in tone than can only be described as the lowest on the register. Granted the girl has a cold, but wow. Coupled with her inability to carry a tune we jokingly referred to her as “The Monotone Baritone.” Out of tune and off pitch, it was still music to my ears. Listening to them talk to each other, uttering phrases they’ve clearly heard from me, like mocking birds, makes me smile and reminds me that little ears hear all. *mental note: quit cursing* As I walked my girl through the school parking lot she chattered away, repeating herself,[…]

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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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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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A Bittersweet Anniversary and Post Traumatic Stress

  This story was originally published in 2010. Avery continues to do well on her anti-seizure meds and life is good. 🙂 It was an ordinary day. If you consider 40 degrees Celsius in May normal. Avery and I dropped big brother at school and went through our day like any other. It was exactly one year since her first seizure—a severe and nearly fatal episode. I never seen a war, but yet I have Soldiers Heart nonetheless. At least that’s what they used to call it. Today we know it as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD usually develops as a result of a “terribly frightening, highly unsafe or life-threatening experience.” It doesn’t make a difference whose life was threatened – yours or the life of someone you love. People who experience post traumatic stress tend to avoid places, people, or things that remind them of the event. But what happens when you live WITH the person who reminds you of the trauma IN the place where it happened? I tell you what happens; you avoid thinking about that event, ever. If you find yourself feeling any emotions related to said event, you crack a joke, call a friend or[…]

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