I was never into the “princess thing” growing up. That’s not to say I was a total tomboy. Just partially. I loved running free outside. My mom owned a plant store and we’d get these giant shipments of plants in huge boxes. My siblings and I would use them to make forts in the yard, begging our parents to let us sleep in them. Back then, we lived in the country on an acre of land. Now that old house is surrounded by a subdivision. Whenever I’m in State College I avoid going to it. It’s too depressing.
But back to the doll thing: Fia prefers pets to princesses, bugs over Barbies. So far, I’m breathing a big sigh of relief. I hope it stays that way. Regardless, if she goes the princess route, it won’t be because I pushed it on her. But I’m kind of hoping she doesn’t get into it. I don’t really want all that crap, err, clothes and wands all over the place. Plus the whole connotation of a princess is a damsel in distress; a girl who needs rescuing. Granted there are more modern–and positive–takes on princesses now than when I grew up (thank god) but it’s just not something I want to embrace head-on.
When it came time for Halloween, thankfully “princess” was never mentioned. Instead, she wanted to be a pig. Specifically Olivia, who does have some princess outfits. But generally speaking, Olivia is a minimalist so even her princess get-up would be cool. Fia wanted to look just like the stuffed animal version we have.
Now, I’m not saying anything is wrong with being a princess. She’s been Abby (from Sesame) and a butterfly in years past, both of which have princess elements. But what if when she gets older, I present her with an even better idea of what a girl could be? I wish I could pull these pictures and post them, but they are embedded in the link below.
Here’s the gist:
Photographer and mother Jaime Moore wanted something to find something creative and inspiring when taking pictures of her 5-year-old daughter. She searched around but only came up with things like how to be a Disney Princess. So she started thinking about what she could do on her own. Here is what she came up with.
Wait at the end to see the 6th picture…
Helen Keller and Laura Ingalls were my childhood heroes. Who were yours? Do you like the ideas from Jaime for costumes? I think when Fia is a little older and could understand what it meant, it could be really amazing to dress like women who changed the world. Who knows, maybe all our girls will change the world. Mine is a Sagittarius so she’s off to a good start.
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Fearless Feisty Mama, Milestone Monday, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips, Moving to Los Angeles, Must Read
Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at email@example.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.
Growing up, I wasn’t a very popular kid. And like any prepubescent boy, that stuck in my craw. Looking back, it seems absurd. Why would I long to be idolized by people who willingly wore Z. Cavaricci pants and gained God-like status merely for having rich parents? But anyway, it was due in large part to my lack of rank and general absence of confidence that I anticipated one holiday a year more than any other- Halloween. It was the one day out of 365 that allowed me the luxury of being somebody else for 24 hours.
I know it sounds like a bad thing, but trust me, it wasn’t. Halloween served as a reprieve from an adolescence marked by mediocre grades, a modest group of friends, and an astonishingly dreadful track record with the ladies. None of that mattered on October 31st.
I took Halloween seriously, and still do to this day. I always scoffed at classmates who’d show up at my door wearing a football jersey, or worse, no costume at all. In my mind, Halloween wasn’t just a suggestion to embrace the mysterious creep within, it was an obligation to. I always took this time of year as a chance to allow myself to be scared, made to feel a little uncomfortable even. But most of all, have the time of my life doing it. And believe it or not, I think instilling the same tradition in my children will actually benefit them as they grow up.
I also think there’s a great deal that our children can learn from Halloween. Here are just a few of the learning points:
Of all days, Halloween is a day that rewards creative thinking. Since I was so into Halloween as a kid, my parents hosted parties at the house. One year, we even held a costume contest. Try as I might to remember what everybody wore that night, I only remember one costume. Jessica Dickson dressed as a giant Oreo cookie. She took home a prize. I was always partial to spooky costumes, but that one still sticks with me. Years later, I see people dressed in innovative, mind-blowing costumes like this and I’d bet good money that, as kids they were encouraged to put thought into their costume. Fuel a creative mind and you’re more likely to raise an inventive adult that harnesses individuality.
Know How to Have Fun
It sounds simple, but there are plenty of people who need to be taught how to enjoy themselves. Halloween practically forces you to have fun. And you’ll find that the majority of people who claim to “hate” Halloween aren’t people you’d want at your party anyway. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my son lick his proverbial chops in eager anticipation of All Hallow’s Eve. I intend to stoke that fire.
Go All the Way
Halloween not only gives children a public stage to show off their creativity, but it also tests their ability to follow through on something that isn’t an ice cream cone. So if your kid is attempting to put together a homemade Jack Sparrow costume but gives up halfway through, offer some encouragement to get back on the horse. It’s a fantastic opportunity to teach our children determination, while showing them the tangible fruits of their labor at the same time.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
This might be the greatest lesson that Halloween teaches our kids (and adults too, quite frankly). It reminds us that, at the end of the day, we’re all kids yearning to play dress-up, if even for one day a year. However, those of you with daughters dressing like sexy devils or kittens likely don’t embrace this whole dress-up concept. Can’t blame you.
So, next Thursday, when you’re trying to keep up with your proud son rocking the homemade Jack Sparrow costume, know that by embracing Halloween, you’re enabling their individuality, and that’s the best treat of all.
My son, Antonio, at age 2 1/2, standing in front of the first door at which he “trick-or-treated” on his own
What are your memories of Halloween, as a kid or an adult? Join the conversation by adding a comment below!
Not sure what you’ll be yet? Use our Halloween Costume Finder, and then buy your favorite Halloween costumes at Shop Parents.
* Halloween photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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Here’s a good question: when do you stop getting in the bathtub or shower with your kids? Fia will be 4 in a couple months. Em will be 2. I find it fun to jump in with them if I need a quick wash or if they’re begging me to get in. They love it when I do because then they try and torture me like they perceive I do with them, ie: pouring water on my hair that gets into my eyes. Except I don’t cry.
We play with bubbles, they pour nice warm water down my back, and then I wash their hair at an angle that causes less agony than when I do it tub side. (Fia hates water on her face so if I can lean her up against me and tilt her head, we have less chance of getting water in her eyes than if I’m outside the tub with a cup.)
So when is the statute of limitations for this sort of thing? Granted I know some moms breastfeed their babies until they’re 6, so I’m sure the range of response to this question will be vast. For me, I’d want to err on the conservative side of this question. I wouldn’t want to traumatize my kids with the memory of, “My mom took a shower with us when we were 12.”
So generally speaking, do you stop before the age of 6? 8? Earlier? Is it different for a mom-daughter equation and a dad-boy equation than it is for mom-son and dad-daughter scenario?
Why do I feel creepy writing this? Why do I feel like I need to shower right now…by myself? Perhaps it’s because I simply can’t imagine them growing up past this perfect and innocent stage and going through puberty. Or wanting privacy. It all seems so foreign. Right now they are my babies and none of this “age-appropriate” stuff comes into play. But it will. So I’m asking….
Plus: Are you an attachment parent or positive parent? Then, check out our free growth charts to see if your toddler or preschooler is on the right track.
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Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. He has written the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt” and is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.
Have you ever been talking to someone, and you suddenly find yourself wondering if you left the stove on at home? So, you retrace your steps, map out your entire morning, and before you know it, you haven’t been listening to your friend at all for 45 straight seconds. At that point, you have one wish and one wish only: Please don’t ask me a question that relates to the story you just told me. And I find that, as a parent, this type of situation presents itself far too frequently. It doesn’t help that your brain is so worn out that it has lost the ability to focus on, well, anything.
Let’s be clear; I was not a very good student in school. Part of the reason is because I didn’t apply myself to subjects I found boring (which was almost all of them), and another part is that I have a difficult time retaining information that doesn’t relate to fantasy football stats or character plots on Breaking Bad. So, naturally, a great concern of mine is that one or both of my sons will start asking me questions I flat out don’t have the answers to (because I either wasn’t paying attention when they were being taught, or I just don’t remember). Considering my sons don’t play fantasy football or watch Breaking Bad yet, I get the feeling I’ll find myself stumped early and often.
Randomly, here are five questions I’m hoping I never have to answer for my children:
1. Can you help me with my algebra homework?
I fear the day my son comes home with an equation-filled ditto and realizes his father is an idiot. Calculating 20% of a tip? You got it. Figuring out exactly how many rushing yards I need from Maurice Jones-Drew to score enough fantasy points to win my matchup? Done. But…finding x? I have to admit, I’ve been trying to find x for over 20 years, and I give up. I’ll sooner find meaning in a Kevin James movie. Sorry, kid, but I’m afraid I can’t help you. And I really don’t care where x is. You shouldn’t either.
2. What’s the difference between a crocodile and an alligator?
I will never, ever remember. Yes, I know I can simply Google this. So, let’s do that right now…
I clicked on the very first result that came up after asking the search engine, “What’s the difference between alligators and crocs?” and one of the first sentences is: “All alligators are crocodiles, but not all crocodiles are alligators.” I’m confused already, and I’m an adult. What chance do I have of explaining this to a kid?
3. If someone pushes me, should I push them back?
This is a tough one. I want my child to stand up for himself, but I don’t want to encourage violence. Nor do I want to encourage him to bypass revenge, only to rat his classmate out to the teacher. As someone who dealt with a moderate share of bullying myself as a kid, it’s very tempting to suggest that my son tap dance on this kid’s face with cleats.
4. Who’s that guy hiding in my closet with the Bill Clinton mask on?
This isn’t a political statement. I’m just really freaked out by those presidential masks. Any of them. Especially when I see one peering out from behind the crack of a closet door. Because how in the world can I be expected to protect my kids from this hooligan if I’m terrified myself? It should be noted here that George Clinton would make for a much more fun, dynamic mask.
5. What do you do for a living?
A college basketball mascot. Dishwasher salesman. The guy who duplicates keys at Home Depot. All sexier jobs than mine. I work in webcasting, virtual meeting technology. It’s not that I’m ashamed of what I do. It’s just that I’m ashamed of what I don’t do. And what I don’t do is a job that you’re really excited to tell your friends or teachers about. I plan to book a vacation every year that overlaps with “Career Day.”
Do you have a question you’re dreading? Worse, have you already been asked it and now your kid has lost faith in your intelligence? Tweet me with the hashtag #kidquestions.
Plus: Check out these so funny and so true parenting quotes or take our quiz to find out if you’re setting a good example for your little ones.
* Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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I don’t want to wish away the time with my kids. I know it goes fast. But there is one thing I am seriously excited about when they turn 6: the ability to give them cough medicine.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t like to medicate if I don’t have to. Or, if alternative therapies worked, I’d be all game. But at times, there is absolutely nothing that helps Fia’s chronic cough. Last week her cough turned into walking pneumonia. I’m convinced it’s because of her coughing that hard for that long, night after night, not sleeping, that wears the whole body down. So what is worse? Giving them a small dose of cough medicine or letting it turn into this? Now she’s been on hard-core antibiotics for five days. Yes, the cough is gone, but did it have to get that far in the first place?
I get the body is supposed to learn to fight on its own and during the day it can. But at night when a kid is puking because he or she is coughing so hard? It’s just wrong. I mean, we’ve managed to build the Hadron Collider, figuring out the physics of the universe and yet I can’t give my kid relief in the night?
I got so fed up with her cough last week. This, after she was gurgling in her throat from all the mucus. I did the nebulizer twice, both inhalers, and had the humidifier turned up so high the moisture made it feel like the Amazon Jungle. Emmett then started to cough so hard he started throwing up. So while Phil slept with her propped up on pillows, I slept holding Emmett upright in the rocking chair.
The next night, as it all started again, I gave Fia Benadryl. She slept like a baby. Em and I had to just plow through because being under 2, I get that he’s too little to do much.
But generally speaking, it’s so f–king frustrating I want to scream.
Months back when her cough was bad, the Vicks Vapor Rub on her feet was an absolute miracle. I still use it on both kids, but the results aren’t as impressive.
Fia has asthma fits that become exacerbated when she gets a cold. I’ve been to a pulmonologist and the pediatrician countless times. Everyone just kind of shrugs, since there is nothing they can do.
So why can’t we give our kids cough medicine? Because in 2007 the FDA looked at the limited studies and said that the amount required to help a cough is too strong to give kids under 6, Many of the pharmaceutical companies voluntarily recalled it for infants (which, frankly, is impressive for an industry that is all about money). The kids cough medicine you see on the shelves today won’t give any dosing for kids under 5 or 6. Now part of this decision is due in part to people not following directions properly and overdosing kids to a fatal level.
The thing is, it is hard to distinguish between all the medicines. I have to read the dosing sheet from my pediatrician’s office at least 3 times to make sure I’m doing it right. There is a huge, potentially life-threatening issue if you don’t distinguish between a regular formula of Motrin or acetaminophen and the concentrated drops. This American Life had a heart-wrenching report on babies dying from mistakes in acetaminophen dosing.
Back when they took the medicine from the shelves, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association said the products were being pulled “out of an abundance of caution.”
It went on to say that…potential misuse of the medications, not product safety, is driving the voluntary withdrawal.
I asked my pediatrician about it and she said that all cough medicine has really been proven to do in young children is put them to sleep. Ack. Argh. That’s all I’m asking for: something where she can sleep and not be exhausted night after night from coughing. But she said if there is a cough that needs to work itself out and you are basically drugged asleep, it can be incredibly dangerous. So I’m not faulting all this, I’m just saying that for all of you who had kids before the rules changed, count yourselves lucky that you missed sleepless nights of aggravating coughs.
I’ve tried the homeopathic remedies and the humidifier. If’ it’s a minor cold they might work. But a major cough? She’s screwed.
So unless I decide to “go rogue” and just do it myself (which plenty of my friends have done, as did parents whose kids were born before 2007) I just have to wait 2 1/2 more years. Maybe on her 6th birthday I’ll do a goodbye cough-themed party.
Is anyone else frustrated about this? Or does anyone have any suggestions?
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acetaminophen, asthma, benadryl, cough medicine, FDA, humidifier, inhaler, motrin, nebulizer, Pediatrician, pharmaceuticals, pulmonologist, Vicks vapor rub | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations