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Showing posts from October, 2013

Raising Gremlins, er, Triplets

I originally posted this in November 2012.  Since that time it has grown into one of my personal favorites as well as one of my most popular posts, so in honor of the season, I'll post an edited version: I recently relived part of my childhood by watching Gremlins.  The movie ticks through the rules of owning a Mogwai.  Of course the characters pay no heed.  The movie moves through each consequence.  Meanwhile, it dawned on me:  triplets are a lot like having a Mogwai.  
One moment you are celebrating a happy, warm, loving Christmas season.  Just you, your family, and the dog.  You receive an awesome gift.  In real life it’s a pregnancy after 3 years of trying.  In the less dramatic, movie version, it’s a Mogwai.  So far, so good. Pretty shortly thereafter everything comes apart.  Months of worrying about a triplet pregnancy.  Then months of bed rest and hospitalization.  Then the real invasion begins.
What where those rules, again?
Oh, right.  No sunlight.  No water.  No fee…

Super Cool Blue Parents

Last week I talked about how incredibly easy it is to be a good parent.

It really takes almost no work.  As an expert quoted in this WebMD article notes, “what mattered to babies a thousand years ago is still what matters today:  You, the parent, are your baby’s best learning tool.” 
Parenting: The Ug-Uhu-Acho Story For literally hundreds of years parents had no real guidance on developmental markers and strategies. Sure, they received plenty of input from in-laws; you have in-laws, right?
And yet children kept getting smarter and making scientific discoveries.  It isn’t like the Uhu, the Mom whose kid discovered fire, checked with some stone-based Dr. Sears predecessor.  I suppose if she had she would have immediately look over at her heavily bearded husband Ug, who was undoubtedly playing with his Apple iCore and ignoring the kids, and say, “Ug!  Acho should play Fire now.  Go get Acho fire for play.”
[Note: Depending on the age of Acho in this story, Ahu probably just doomed him to sm…

Parenting: You Are Doing It Right (Most Likely)

When you become a parent, you get tons of advice.  From friends; from parents (now grandparents); from great grandparents; sometimes from siblings; often even from complete strangers you meet on the street.

The complaints are as varied as they are frequent: You aren't feeding them enough, or god-forbid you are feeding them too much, or all the wrong things; you are ignoring that they are cold; does she feel warm to you?; you aren't putting them to nap properly; have you missed that they she is teething?; you aren't setting enough boundaries, wait wait, you are setting entirely too many!.

Almost every suggestion you'll hear comes complete with the potential for the opposite advice from some other corner.  Except maybe two: You probably are letting them play with too many toys your parents' generation never had and you probably are being more permissible than they were; just accept those, um, facts.

But check out the graph above, because to my thinking, the…

The Good Way To Watch TV With Your Kid

As long as there are televisions, you will probably see stories about the negatives of letting children watch it.  So if you are a new parent, or a born-again new parent, you are going to see stories about how television viewing leads to every conceivable negative outcome you could dream up for your child.
Lack of reading skills; check.  Lack of focus or concentration; check.  All of this will of course lead to a life of crime.  All from television.
These stories and studies miss two important things that make parents’ jobs and lives harder:

1) There is a correlation/causation thing going on here and 2) there is a “good” way to watch television with your child and a “bad” way.
Lets get to the first issue, well, first.  Correlation.  To paraphrase Forrest Gump, good parenting habits are what good parents do.  Plenty of parents park kids in Pack-And-Plays and leave them to their own devices.  That isn’t that much different than parking them in front of television.  Yet many people w…