Motherhood: Google It

Never judge a mother by her search history…

Google screenshot

So much about me has changed since I became a mother. I am now responsible for keeping another human being alive.

I am now responsible for keeping another human being alive.

Let’s unpack that statement a bit: Another person is depending on my dubious abilities to feed, (mostly) clothe, and occasionally bathe him. That little person wakes me up in the middle of the night, expecting a response other than me shutting him in the laundry room (as I’m wont to do with our sometimes noisy dogs). I get up with this child, change his appalling diapers, allow my (much abused) breasts to perform essentially the same function as a Holstein, then gently rock him back to sleep and creep quietly from his room like a breastmilk-soaked ninja.

In response to all of this new pressure, so many things are different. My wardrobe has changed (all things stretchy), my go-to hairstyle has changed (hello, ponytail every. single. day.), my dedication to wearing makeup and brushing my teeth on a consistent basis has changed (understatement of the year).

However, one change overshadows all the rest: my Google search history.  Continue reading “Motherhood: Google It”

Misadventures in Toddler Tech Use

Toddlers and iPads and showers, oh my!

One of the marvels about young toddlers is that they can’t speak intelligibly or recognize when they’re pooping on themselves, but they can operate an advanced piece of technology with more ease than most adults.

My son regularly purchases shows, installs apps, changes settings, and generally wreaks such havoc with our electronics that we’re considering going off the grid just to keep ourselves safe from him. I’ve seen him bypass the lock screen on my iPhone so many times, it has ceased to surprise me. A few days ago, my husband was shocked when his tablet started loudly narrating everything he was doing, thanks to some feature that Ben had thoughtfully activated while he was at work. I picked up the baby monitor yesterday to see a cheerful Spanish greeting staring back at me, and no, we aren’t bilingual, in case you were wondering. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out how to fix that one, considering the number of Spanish classes I took in school.

To make matters worse, we recently decided to repurpose my husband’s old iPad for him (for the purpose of entertaining him on a long flight and to further encourage his chaos-creating tech skills). Y’all, this thing is so old, we can’t even download Netflix because the software is too out of date. It can handle simple toddler-themed apps, however, so we downloaded some puzzles, flashcards, alphabet and animal games, etc. (you know, the kind where you don’t feel like you’re TOTALLY rotting your child’s tiny brain). I took off anything with financial info or purchasing ability then sorted all the non-baby stuff into its own separate folder. Finally, I turned on Airplane mode, because I basically treat him like a black hat hacker on probation; no internet access, no problem.

Except…

You can’t uninstall the camera.  Continue reading “Misadventures in Toddler Tech Use”

The 5 Stages of Head Lice: From Denial to Depression

All the feelings that come after finding lice on your kids’ heads.

by Marcia Kester Doyle

There are few things in this world that send a shiver down a parent’s spine more than the dreaded words, “Your child has head lice.” You never think it will happen to your children since you keep a clean home and even cleaner kids. Lice only happen to people who don’t bathe regularly, right?

Wrong. No one is immune to these infectious parasites. They live on the human scalp and feed on blood to survive. The female lice lay 8-10 eggs daily, which mature in less than two weeks and have the capability of living up to 30 days on the scalp. I learned the hard way that not only do lice travel at the speed of light through an elementary school classroom, they can also invade the cleanest heads and have the agility of an Olympic pole vaulter.  

My experience with head lice can be summed up in five phases similar to Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief: Denial and anger, followed by bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  Continue reading “The 5 Stages of Head Lice: From Denial to Depression”

The Day I Became a Mother

Every year on my birthday, my mom calls to tell me the story of my birth. It started when I was a little kid, sort of turned into a joke as I got older, and is just part of my birthday tradition now. It’s no surprise to me that I still love reading and hearing other women’s birth stories – there’s something about how childbirth is both wholly miraculous and completely universal that simply captivates me.

When it came time to birth my own baby, I drew strength from all those stories too. I could hear my mom’s words describing my entry into the world as I labored to bring forth my son, and I leaned on the knowledge that I was following in the (sweaty, bellowing, breathless) footsteps of millions of women before me.

Now that almost two years have passed since that day, I’m finding that some of the details are fading from memory. I realized that even though I’ve written a lot about motherhood, I’ve never written about the day that started it all for me. So, here it is, and I hope it finds its place in the wonderful community of birth stories to encourage generations of laboring mothers to come.  Continue reading “The Day I Became a Mother”

5 Signs Your Toddler May Be Gifted

Think your toddler might be gifted? Here are some things to look for!

by Teresa Currivan, LMFT, Parent Coach

I had no idea what giftedness meant when I had my son. So, when he spoke his first word at 4 months, I thought I was hearing things. One day, when he was two years old, I was nervous about something. He said, “Mommy, just breathe.” I knew he was special, but I didn’t connect it to the word “gifted.”

I have a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In all that time, in school or in the field, the term “gifted” never entered into my training. Most professionals working with children do not have training in giftedness. Yes, you heard me right. Even the ones we pay a lot for neuro-psych evaluations, the ones in schools. And it’s not their fault. It’s just often not part of the curriculum.

In addition, an important fact to know is that most standard testing does not test into the higher ranges of giftedness. This is why so many highly gifted kids are not thriving in our typical schools. The more gifted the child, the less likely you will get an accurate assessment, unless you go to the right place.

As a result, we as parents need to know what to watch for (and when to look for it) and have some tools to identify and address what may be going on with your children.  Continue reading “5 Signs Your Toddler May Be Gifted”

Tell me a story…

What will your children learn about you?

“Tell me a story from when you were a little girl.”

This was one of my favorite requests for my grandmother, my Mimi, when I was a child. And unfailingly, she would oblige.

There was the time her family moved for the umpteenth time – her father worked in the oil field, so moves were frequent – and she was told to take all of her things and put them in two piles, one pile to keep and one to burn. So she did, and her older brother accidentally set fire to the wrong pile.

Or the story about when she was living on Lake Caddo as a child and had to take a boat to get to school, and on one of the trips a snake fell from an old cypress tree into the boat with them. (She had never been a fan of snakes, but I really think that snakes falling from the sky will seal the deal on a lifelong phobia.)  Continue reading “Tell me a story…”

The S-Word

What if I’m too selfish to do it all?

Am I too selfish?

This is my constant fear as a mom, friend, and spouse.

Even before having children, I always worried that I couldn’t be selfless enough to be a good mom.

After making it through the round-the-clock-nursing, what-the-hell-am-I-doing, sleep-deprived newborn days, I know that I am capable of putting my son’s needs before my own. It may be incredibly hard to do some days, but for this tiny human who depends completely upon me – I’ll do it.

For other people… not always. Continue reading “The S-Word”