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Yes I Swear In Front Of My Kids
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The Kindness Gene
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How Early Intervention Helped Our Daughter Walk And Talk
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Are People More Entitled Than Ever?
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A Safe and Simple Way To Get Your Dog To Stop Barking

Yes I Swear In Front Of My Kids

*Warning: Adult Language Alert (If you’re eff word adverse, stop reading here).  As a writer, I love words. All kinds of words. Even the sweary kind. Especially the sweary kind. I try not to curse too much in front of my children, but I’m only human—a very passionate and expressive human I might add. So sometimes an “Oh for fuck’s sake” might escape my lips. I don’t think that makes me a bad parent. Words are just words unless they’re used to inflict hurt or disrespect. That’s when they’re truly offensive. Don’t even get me started on the R-Word. That’s one loaded word I never use. There’s never a positive reason to use it.  Coarse language isn’t necessarily rude or offensive. It’s about the way words are wielded.  Until recently my daughter has been oblivious to my salty language. My husband and I could talk about any subject in front of her without her taking much notice.  Now she inquires with great curiosity, “Who are you talking about? Who said that? Why did they DO that?” All the questions. I love that she’s noticing, but it does pose challenges. For example, the other day my son and I were watching a[…]

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The Kindness Gene

We were in line at a coffee shop when an older lady ahead of us spilled her change purse. Without hesitation my daughter leaped forward. On her hands and knees she collected the scattered coins and happily handed them over to the appreciative woman.  When it was time for us to order, the cashier leaned in to my daughter and whispered, “Thank you for being so kind.” My daughter shrugged and said, “No problem. I love to help.” And she meant it. She’s the sort of person who would give the shirt off her back. Or the shoes off her feet. The other morning she told me a girl in her class didn’t have gym shoes, so that’s why she was stuffing an extra pair of hers into her backpack.  When we left the restaurant a man waited to hold the door open for us. As we passed through my daughter said, “Awww, thanks!” while she looked up at him, beaming.  As we walked to the car it dawned on her. “Mum, I did something nice for that lady. Then that man did something nice for us. I get it.”  Watching my child articulate such a revelation was pretty moving. In[…]

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How Early Intervention Helped Our Daughter Walk And Talk

Raising a child with intellectual or physical challenges is well, challenging. That’s why getting the support you need early on is crucial. Despite doctors telling us there was nothing wrong, we knew otherwise. Parents always know. We feel it in our gut. Mother’s instinct—it’s real and it’s powerful. Though her birth was unremarkable, when she was a few months old we started having concerns. Our already tiny baby girl was losing weight and the milestones that mark healthy development weren’t being achieved. True fear kicked in when our daughter stopped feeding. We were losing her and we fought to make doctors listen. By the time they did, our baby was in full “failure to thrive.” It was at this time, when Avery was eight months old and living full-time in the hospital, that we got a diagnosis. We heard the words, “Chromosomal Translocation Disorder” and “Rare Syndrome” and “We are so sorry.” We fed her through a nasal gastric tube and she began to gain weight and the colour came back to her cheeks. With her health and growth on track, we turned our attention to her development. What would a disorder like this mean for our child? What would[…]

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Are People More Entitled Than Ever?

Are people more entitled than ever or am I just getting old and cranky? I nearly lost my mind when an episode of what I’m calling an “Engorged Sense of Entitlement” unfolded before my eyes at my daughter’s swimming lesson. Our local pool is stupid freezing so when lessons ended, my little swimmer had blue lips and icy skin. There are only four shower stalls in the locker room—one was broken and the other three were occupied, so we waited to rinse and warm up. Several minutes went by and my daughter continued to wait and shiver. The three mothers waiting in front of the occupied shower stalls stood stone faced, avoiding eye contact though they were fully aware of us standing right behind them.  They didn’t encourage their daughters to hurry even though others were obviously waiting (by this time a long line had formed behind us). Instead they told their girls to scrub their hair and clean behind their ears. These kids were taking their full bedtime shower complete with shampoo, conditioner, and a leisurely soak. We waited over ten minutes before one curtain finally parted and a girl stepped out. My daughter hopped in and was in and out in under three[…]

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A Safe and Simple Way To Get Your Dog To Stop Barking

Caring for, playing with, and loving a pet has innumerable therapeutic, developmental, and soul nurturing benefits. Our daughter has intellectual and physical challenges and she requires a variety therapies. Her favourite form of therapy and the one with zero negative side effects is pet therapy.  When I said ZERO negative side effects I may have glossed over one annoyance. Surprisingly it’s not the ridiculous amount of time it took to house train Avery’s new puppy. Did you know Yorkshire Terriers take great pleasure in peeing on every carpet in the house? It took well over a year, but she’s finally pee trained. Mostly. (We still don’t have any area rugs down on the floors though just in case…) Barking is the major hesitation I had when my daughter begged for a “wittle” dog. Little dogs have a reputation for yapping—a jarring, ear-piercing bark that makes me jump out of my skin. I love this little dog, but when she starts barking I forget how cute she is. I finally relented however because a tiny dog for my mini Dr. Doolittle daughter to love and look after was the right thing.  But the barking… 😤 A friend told me about a bark collar they got[…]

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