I have the good fortune of living in a beach town, where our family can jump in the car and head down to the water any time we want, just as soon as all seven of us find and put on our swimsuits and flip-flops, apply sunscreen, load the car with boogie boards, chairs, buckets, nets, towels, balls, drinks, and snacks, drive over the drawbridge, cruise around for a parking space, pay for the little ticket to put on our dashboard, and haul everything out onto the sand. When it comes to sun protection, we don’t just care about it; we are connoisseurs. Continue reading
How do you know if a child has allergies or a cold? This is an issue dear to my heart, in part because my family has contributed more to the financial success of the facial tissue industry than anyone since the inventor of facial tissues, Mr. Puffs Kleenex I think it was. Despite my intimate familiarity with runny noses, even I’m not always sure which is which, but there are some clues that can help.
What’s the connection between warm weather, kids, and stomach flu? Children aren’t supposed to be sick during the summer; they’re supposed to be outside getting poison ivy, tick bites, and sprained ankles! But while respiratory infections like colds, sinusitis, and actual influenza occur much less frequently during the warm months, some kinds of intestinal viruses emerge like cicadas, leaving kids sucking on popsicles for all the wrong reasons.
Have you ever run out of gas? If so, then one thing is for certain: you are not a baby. I mean aside from the fact that babies can’t legally drive cars, it seems they always have plenty of gas. But how much is too much, and what can you do about it anyway?
It served me right, really. When my daughter was still an infant, I was that dad, the one who could work every conversation around to what a great eater she was: “Did you know that Kevin Bacon was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Pollak? Which reminds me that my daughter just tried palak paneer, and she loves it!” Six months later, it was no longer my favorite topic: “Hey, David, does Abby still like Indian food?”
“Right, so have you seen Hollow Man yet? It looks kinda scary….”
Next time you’re around other parents and conversation starts to lag, ask them to share their zaniest potty training stories. (Warning: if you are not already a parent yourself, do not do this, or you may never become one.) Mine would probably involve taking my son’s potty with me to the soccer field so he could practice his skills in the back of the minivan while his big sister played. Let’s face it: when the goal is to never change another diaper, almost anything seems reasonable!
How many of you knew that Monday kicked off this year’s Screen-Free Week, or as my children call it, “But Daddy!”? That’s right, the idea is, if not to completely eliminate screen-based entertainment in our children’s lives for 7 days, then to at least help them engage more in the “real” world. Rather than playing Plants vs. Zombies, for example, they can stagger outside themselves and see some actual flowers.
I have an 11-year-old son who is very, very interested in disasters. This last week had him glued to his iPhone, following every wild rumor from Boston, MA to West, TX and sharing them all with his 8-year-old brother. We can hope that as we begin a new week those of us not directly touched by the troubling events of the last several days can relax and resume our lives, but we also know that at some point in the future, hopefully later rather than sooner, we will be struggling to help our children understand yet another inexplicably awful event. What will we do?