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Social Isolation Drinking
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Pandemic Parenting When You Have A Child With Special Needs
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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

Social Isolation Drinking

It’s no secret that I enjoy a peppery shiraz fireside or a frosty Corona with lime on the patio. The sound of a beer top being popped is one of my favourite summer sounds, second only to maybe cicadas or a distant lawn mower (not sure why I love that sound… probably a pleasant childhood core memory). Drinking is a big part of our social culture. “Wine-c’clock” has been glamourized and normalized. Blah, blah, old news. This post isn’t about that, or about binge drinking, or the health risks specific to woman and alcohol. Nobody wants to hear that right now. Epic buzz kill.  I’m not preaching the gospel of sober living. That would be rather hypocritical since chardonnay makes my day. That should really be on a t-shirt. Anyway, I just thought I’d bang out a few words about how this pandemic boozefest has become less of a supportive crutch and more of a hobbling. For ME, specifically.  As a rule, I rarely set out to get “drunk.” I don’t actually like the spacey feeling of being intoxicated. It’s probably a type A personality, first-born, controlling Capricorn kind of thing. I like to be in control at all times. That’s likely a[…]

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Pandemic Parenting When You Have A Child With Special Needs

I just had a full blown pandemic panic attack. I haven’t had one in years. A general panic attack I mean—pandemic specific panic attacks are a new thing.  If you’ve never experienced a panic attack, they’re pretty awful. It’s a slow build that can also feel like an out of the blue gut punch. It’s hard to breathe. Picture a floundering fish, gasping for air. There’s sweating, a racing heart, and a tightening in the chest significant enough to question whether or not to call 911. There’s also a sense of doom. Big time foreboding. There can also be tears. A lot of them. It’s nothing I would personally recommend.  During the SARS outbreak in 2003 I was busy giving birth to my first child and fairly oblivious to the hysteria. I was, from what I can remember, pretty chill for its entirety.  But pandemics are clearly panic proliferating. I mean, have you been to a grocery store in the past three days? The frozen food FOMO is enough to set anyone enough off. But I think what I experienced earlier today is rooted in something above and beyond the regular “I don’t have enough toilet paper and sandwich bread” panic. […]

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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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