My parents just left town after their holiday visit, but not before asking my children a question critical to their grandparental mission: “What can we get you that your parents would never let you have?” And so it was that the kids returned from an outing involving rice-and-cheese burritos, ice cream sundaes, and giant cups of caffeinated soda. Then my folks returned to their hotel, leaving us to deal with aching tummies, wired kids, and shot bedtimes. A good time was had by all.
One thing about being a pediatrician: I spend more time talking about poop than anyone other than a wastewater treatment engineer. Color, texture, frequency, all day it’s potty talk. Maybe that’s why I don’t get invited to many parties?
If it hadn’t been for concussions, the detective shows I enjoyed as a kid could never have worked. From Jim Rockford to Thomas Magnum to Sonny Crocket, it seemed like barely an episode went by when they weren’t getting conked on the head and dragged to some hideout from which escape seemed hopeless. On waking up they’d rub their heads for a moment, then set about loosening the ropes around their ankles while taunting their captors into giving everything away. Continue reading
More and more parents seem to be rebelling against all those singing, flashing, jiggling toys that conspire to make the average mom’s living room sound like a Vegas slot machine floor. Do these things really help infants grow brain cells, or do they just prepare them for future careers running the deep fryer and the soft serve machine simultaneously?
Among the first things we want to do with new babies is to take pictures of them. Am I right? In this age of social media, we don’t even have to wait until the printer gets done with those precious polka-dotted announcement cards with the velum and ribbons. We can start tweeting out photos before the cord has been clamped!
In short, no, there’s not. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of information out there about what does and doesn’t help children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD’s). Unfortunately, much of that information is confusing at best and, at worst, frankly misleading.
I fully recognize that just by writing this blog I’ve opened myself up to unending criticism of my own parenting, the loudest from my kids: “You? Advise people on parenting? Don’t you remember the time you..?” Go ahead, fill in the blank. They sure will!
When doctors talk about “bugs,” we usually mean microscopic organisms that can only be visualized with a powerful microscope, and even then they just look like spiky balls or little sticks. Head lice are a different story: they’re right there, creeping around on your child, looking back at you like, “Yeah, what are you going to do about it, huh? Now leave me alone, I’m trying to lay, like, 10,000 eggs here.” No wonder our reaction to head lice is usually sheer horror!
Periodically I have the privilege of talking to a medical student, premedical student, or even a high school student who is considering a career in pediatrics. Usually they’ve already asked themselves the obvious questions: “Do I like medicine? Do I like children? Do I like the stuff that comes out of children?” But I propose one more: “Do you like answering questions?”
I suspect that those who say divorce is too easy have never actually been through one. Regardless of how dysfunctional the marriage was, most people who’ve divorced compare the experience to major physical trauma, like donating a kidney…without anesthesia. The health metaphor isn’t off base; the stress of divorce is enough to measurably shorten your life. Continue reading