Archive for the ‘
Your Child ’ Category
Monday, June 30th, 2014
Each month in Parents, we print the 27 truest words about parenting from our favorite bloggers. Our August issue features a quote from Mike Julianelle at Dad and Buried. Read his full blog post below.
Having kids is not all it’s cracked up to be.
For one thing, you have a tiny human being in your house. This is almost as bizarre as having an animal in your house, but at least animals have fur. All my son has is tons and tons of drool.
For the most part it’s fun to have him around, except of course for the drain on my finances, the stress on my marriage, the elimination of my social life, the inability to sleep, the constant threat of fecal explosion, etc. It’s actually very much like running a farm; at the beginning there was even milking.
I know this is old news; everyone already knows that kids are a drag. But not all kids are a drag in the same ways.
Here then, is a list of things I hate about my son, and my son only.
1 – He makes everything more important.
Work, money, food, health, free time. Everything means more now. I need to work harder to make more money to buy more food. More expensive, healthy food that won’t make him get fat and get diabetes. I have to eat healthier too, and I have to exercise so I don’t get fat and have a heart attack. Free time is no longer free, it’s time to spend with him, and I need more of it because he needs more of me, and I can’t go to the movies or to the bar because he can’t come and I can’t watch the stuff I want to watch when he’s around because it might make him kill people so I have to make sure he watches the proper stuff which just gives me a headache and I can’t let him watch too much because he has to go outside and oh my god there’s just so much to think about get out of my HEAD SCHWARTZ!
2 – He’s better looking than I am.
Which is funny, because everyone tells me how much we look alike. But it’s clear he blows me away, just by virtue of being younger and not having bags under his eyes or a scowl on his face. I’ve never in my life gotten as many compliments as this kid. I mean, the dude’s a chick magnet, and it’s a lot of fun to get all this attention from the ladies, but not that fun since I’m married and he’s a long way from puberty. It’s like having a superpower you can’t use. I feel like Mr. Incredible, except when he’s fat and hates his life.
3 – My wife likes him more than she likes me.
Every husband knows this is true. Ask Oedipus.
4 – He reminds me of my mortality.
Everyone tells you that having a kid around teaches you to see old things as new again; reinvigorates your perspective on life; let’s you experience things through a child’s eyes. All it has taught me is that I’ve wasted my life and I’m 35 going on 60 and apparently that’s gonna happen in the blink of an eye since having kids somehow accelerates time, according to every single parent I’ve ever met. Great. So I’m old, and I’m getting older, and he’s in my face with his wasted, idiotic youth all the time, AND soon he’ll be 25 and I’ll be dead. Parenting!
5 – My parents like him more than me.
He’s their only grandson and they don’t remember what he was like as a teenager because he’s only two. I, on the other hand, revert to being a teenager with every visit home. Advantage: grandson.
6 – He gets terrible music stuck in my head.
I defy you to not be humming this song all day long:
And then there’s “Yo Gabba Gabba!” At first you’re like, oh, a hipster show for kids, maybe the music will be tolerable! And then you can’t stop singing “Try it! You’ll like it! TRY IT AND YOU’LL LIKE IT!” to yourself over and over and over and over. I don’t blame the shows themselves; they are what they are. I blame my son. He did this to me. Thankfully I got a little payback – he’s been humming “Call Me Maybe” for weeks. REVENGE.
7 – Everyone likes him more than me.
Honestly, this kid is a charmer. It’s gross. He has more social skills than I’ve ever had. I can barely go two minutes without insulting someone, this kid has gang members blowing kisses on the F train. The last time I blew a kiss at a gang member, well…let’s just say I’m lucky I was still able to have a kid.
8 – He makes drinking/being hungover/going to the movies/going to dinner/sleeping everything harder.
He makes every adult-based and/or private and/or quiet activity harder. I can’t get drunk when he’s around, and even when he’s not around, he will be the next morning, when the cure for a hangover is NOT his Elmo guitar in my face. I can’t sleep late when he’s around alive. I can’t go to the movies or dinner with him, which means I need a babysitter, and last week we scared off our best one when we came home drunk. He just makes life harder. More rewarding? More meaningful? Sure, whatever. I just want to get drunk in peace. Is that a crime?
9 – I like him more than me.
He’s a better person. It’s just a fact. Even though he’s still stained with Original Sin! BETTER PERSON THAN ME.
10 – He makes everything less important.
Who gives a shit about going to the movies or watching Breaking Bad? I could sit and stare at my son all night long and that would be entertainment enough. I mean, ALL HE DOES is fall on his face. It’s hilarious. He has 100% ruined my life, yes, but that was my old life and this is my new one (a fact that is both pathetic and, frankly, kind of necessary). He is my new one. I honestly couldn’t care less about myself anymore. Like I said above, he’s Me 2.0 and he’s better in every. single. way. Which makes me have to try and be better too.
Which, in all honesty, is a major pain in the ass.
*Fine. Maybe it should be “Top 10 Reasons Why I “Hate” My Son”
Keep your active kid busy with our activity finder and shop outdoor games.
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Thursday, June 26th, 2014
When you’re experiencing cold-like symptoms, it’s easy to swallow some meds and get on with the day. But it may be years before your little one learns how to swallow a pill, and he may not be enticed by chewable remedies, either.
This is where sprays come in. Arm & Hammer’s Simply Saline Nasal Mist and OCEAN Saline Nasal Spray are both drug-free products designed to help those suffering from nasal congestion. All Simply Saline sprays and OCEAN Nasal Care products are safe to administer in conjunction with other oral and nasal medicines (consult your doctor first, as sprays may flush out any other nasal remedies), plus they’re A-ok to use while pregnant and breastfeeding.
Arm & Hammer offers various versions of the Simply Saline Nasal Mist, including a product specifically for babies (ages birth and up) as well as one for kids (ages 2 and up). The spray for babies has an infant-safe nozzle. Compared to Neti Pots (which are suitable for those ages 5 and up), the Nasal Mist is gentler on little noses and easier to use as a whole.
OCEAN for Kids Saline Nasal Spray is safe for children and infants, and it, too, includes a smaller spray tip for young ones, plus it provides extra moisture.
Though the weather is warming up, it’s still important to be mindful about cold prevention. Summer colds are common, as slightly over half of the respondents in a Simply Saline survey, released last week, report experiencing one within the past year.
Confused about how to administer nasal spray? This video can help.
Images courtesy of Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC and Simply Saline, respectively.
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GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Your Child
Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Pirates and princesses may conjure images of make-believe lives, but Disney Junior’s “Pirate and Princess: Power of Doing Good” event encourages kids to tackle real-world issues in collaboration with the ASPCA, Youth Service America (YSA), the National Wildlife Federation, and First Book.
The tour, which is part of Disney’s Summer of Service, is focused on “engaging kids and parents in activities that not only highlight community service but also empower them to take these learnings and continue the work amongst their friends, families, and neighbors,” said Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, in a Disney Junior press release. Activities will incorporate the shows Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.
The event will come to seven cities: Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York City, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Check out the schedule and sign up for your free tickets!
Whether or not the tour will visit your area, you can still check out the related family activities to complete at home. If you and your kids decide to make a pledge of service, share your efforts on social media using the hashtag #PowerofDoingGood.
If your kiddo can’t get enough of all things pirate, she’ll love these creative cupcakes!
Photo credit: Disney Junior
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ASPCA, community service, Disney Junior, first book, national wildlife federation, pirate, pirate and princess: power of doing good, princess, summer of service, volunteering, youth service america | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Your Child
Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
This Wednesday, June 18, is International Picnic Day! Be sure to pack up some snacks (watermelon, for one, is a must!) to enjoy outside on this summer day. Meanwhile, get in the mood with these picnic-inspired outfits. Click the images to shop!
Baby will be the most festive guest at the picnic table when she shows up in this adorable one-piece from Kickee Pants.
Nothing says picnic like a good old-fashioned pair of Levi’s overalls.
If it’s an overcast day, toss this Target raincoat in your tote bag just in case. The weather will certainly seem less dreary with these bright colors in the mix!
Pair these Jojo Maman Bebe shorts with a solid-colored top for a casual, summery look.
Bugs are not welcome at this gathering…unless they’re gracing this gender-neutral one-piece by Burt’s Bees!
Help kids get in the picnic spirit with this fun song!
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Monday, June 2nd, 2014
The FIFA World Cup kicks off June 12 (just around the corner)! Parents caught up with U.S. soccer team striker Jozy Altidore to get his insight on the upcoming tournament and starting kids young in athletics. At the age of 24, Jozy has some pretty mature insight into the values that make a successful, kind kid—on the field and off.
P: How you were drawn to the sport at such a young age and what makes soccer a great sport for kids?
JA: My family, from their background, it’s kind of a natural thing. They’re from Haiti and in Haiti soccer is basically number one. My dad is of Haitian descent and he got me into soccer since I was 3. I’ve been playing ever since then and I just fell in love with the game.
P: What makes soccer special for young kids?
JA: I think any sport [is great] for kids because it keeps them off the street. I know that’s important. That’s one of the reasons why my family put me in, to make sure I was doing something that required discipline. I think soccer is great because it’s a team game, being able to function in a group. It’s kind of a brotherhood; you’re a group of guys and you grow together as people and as players. You travel together; you play; you go through a lot. It’s a great thing for young boys and young girls to get into. Most importantly it’s fun!
P: You turned pro at age 16. What was it like to still be a kid navigating a world of professional athletes?
JA: It was next to impossible. I struggled with it at first, obviously. There’s so much to do and you’ve got such little time and adjusting to playing with grown men and not children, that was hard as well. Just getting used to what comes with being a professional, the criticisms, fans and all that. [You have to] quit worrying about if everyone is going to like what you do or like you as a player and just try to have a positive outlook on everything and work hard. That was the biggest challenge I think for me.
P: What was your most memorable moment from the last World Cup?
JA: Just walking out of the tunnel that first game because I’ll never forget it. I cried a little bit. It was just so surreal to me. It was just amazing. I don’t think I’m going to be able to replicate it. It was so special to me.
P: What are you most excited for about the upcoming World Cup now that you’ve already been? Will you still have that adrenaline walking out of the tunnel?
JA: Most definitely. Hopefully I arrive at the World Cup in a more mature way and not that youth where I’m just excited and I want to run everywhere and bounce off the walls, you know? Hopefully, I arrive there with more of an understanding of what’s new for me and how I can help the team to the best of my abilities. Just try to impact the tournament in the best way I can for my teammates. I’m looking forward to that.
P: Is there any one match that you’re most looking forward to?
JA: The first match is special for a lot of reasons. It’s the first game of a childhood dream. You can’t replicate the feelings that you’re going to feel on that day. You can try. You can play a lot of big games against big opponents, but that feeling as a player that I’ll have walking out of the tunnel against Ghana will be immeasurable. I’m excited for that. I’m excited to be part of it and I’m excited for the guys to have that experience, as well.
P: You started the Jozy Altidore Foundation back in 2011. What inspired you to do this?
JA: Well in 2010 I went to the place in Haiti with the earthquake. I was shaken up because it hit close to home for me being that my family is from Haiti. I just felt helpless like I couldn’t do anything. It was in that moment where I felt like I should try and do something. My family helped me figure out how to do that by getting a foundation. I could have donated something, which I did, but I thought having a foundation would be a more hands-on approach. I looked into it and I started it and I haven’t looked back. It enables me to help in many different ways, not only Haiti but in many different areas.
P: Your foundation’s mission statement says that you specifically want to serve underprivileged children. What is it about young kids that you relate to or feel for? What draws you to help that population?
JA: I’ve always been a big fan of the youth. I guess when you go everything so young that kind of just happens. I want to help the youth and see them do well.
P: You’ve said that no one is ever too young to make a difference. How do you hope to encourage young people to volunteer and raise money?
JA: I think it’s an easy thing. Kids are very naïve in a sense where they just want what they want. So if they want to help, they’re going to help. I think that will naturally just happen. I think kids just have a good heart and are genuine about their feelings. I figure that the best way to teach [generosity] is to teach them young because that’s the time when our hearts are the purest and you know they’ll get the most out of it.
P: Aside from this spirit of volunteerism, what other values did your parents impart to you that you have carried on and have made you so successful?
JA: My dad always says to be modest. To this day he always says it’s better to be modest, it’s always better to listen and sometimes not speak. He said it to me yesterday, actually. He’s always saying that to me. I think a lot of kids and a lot of people sometimes lose sight of that. I think it’s something that might be simple, but I think we oftentimes don’t do it.
P: Do you have any message for young kids who are dreaming about careers in athletics?
JA: To dream big and big and bigger! I think that’s important for kids. You can’t really tell anybody that “You can’t do” something. I think they have to believe they can. With that and with being persistent, they’ll make it whether it’s being a big time athlete or something else. I think we need our kids to believe in themselves and believe in what they can do.
P: Father’s Day is coming up. Do you have any plans? Anything special you do on that day even if you’re not with your dad?
JA: In my family—I don’t think I’m dissing anybody else—but I try to make them feel that they’re special every day whether it’s how I call to speak to them or give my mom a call when she’s least expecting it because for me my parents have been instrumental for me from day one. [Father's Day] will be a nice day to express that again, but I try to do that every day because I’m so thankful. I’m so grateful. I don’t know where I’d be without them.
Soccer not for you? Use this video to teach your son or daughter to throw a perfect pitch!
For more suggestions of fun activities with your kids, download our Activity Finder app!
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GoodyBlog, Time for Fun, Your Child
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
For the new mom who loves adventures, it can be hard finding a simple way to transport an infant around, especially with trips to the beach and boardwalk this summer. That’s where a stroller like Quinny’s Buzz Xtra can be a big lifesaver.
Despite being on the expensive side, this premium stroller may just be worth it for the all-terrain tires, which will help you maneuver more rugged paths (think sandy shores and hiking trails!). Plus, it easily unfolds with a special hydraulic system, and the large canopy will provide some extra protection for your little one. Sweet!
This week, Quinny is giving ONE lucky GoodyBlog reader the chance to win a Buzz Xtra stroller in the style of their choice (pending availability). It’s one of our highest giveaways ever, with a value of nearly $600!
To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day May 28. Be sure to check back on May 29 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
In the meantime, learn some tips for smart stroller safety!
Click here for official rules.
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*NOTE: Because of the value, winner must complete an affidavit before receipt of prize.
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Babies, Giveaways, GoodyBlog, Must Read, Shopping & Gear
Thursday, May 8th, 2014
While celebrating at the bowling alley or arcade may sound more exciting than hosting a party at home, it isn’t hard to throw your kiddo a fun (and budget-friendly) birthday gathering on your own turf–especially now that it’s getting nice out. Here’s how!
- If you have the space outside, set up a station for kids to tie-dye their own t-shirts (or tank tops, socks, you name it). They’ll automatically have a souvenir to take home and will enjoy choosing their own colors and designs.
- If it’s a hot day, remind kids to arrive with a swimsuit under their clothes, then break out the water balloons! Have guests form pairs and see who can toss the balloon back and forth the longest without it breaking. It doesn’t need to be too competitive—getting splashed is part of the fun!
- Put together an “estimate jar” filled with candy and encourage each kid to guess how many pieces are in the container. A parent or older sibling can monitor the station and help little ones write their name and estimate onto a notecard for the birthday child to later review. The person with the closest guess wins the treats in the jar!
- Older kids with school lockers will love making cool collages featuring words and pictures from their favorite magazines. Keep old issues on hand so that when it’s party time, you’ll have enough copies to go around. Everyone will leave with a unique creation that they can later frame or hang.
- Forget about calling for delivery—kids will have fun making their own pizzas in your kitchen. Purchase a variety of toppings (cheese, pepperoni, olives, veggies) and guests will be able to choose what they’d like on their personal pie. This is a perfect solution when faced with a room full of picky eaters! (Oh, and we all know the best part of a party is the cake! Make your own following the recipes here).
Finally, don’t forget a piñata! Here’s how to make your own!
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GoodyBlog, Your Child
Monday, April 28th, 2014
If you’re expecting a little one anytime soon, you may be longing for the day you’ll be able to answer that pressing question: “Is it a boy or a girl?” But how significant is your baby’s gender, anyway? According to Christia Spears Brown, PhD, author of the newly-released Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, whether you’re having a little Ethan or a little Emma shouldn’t influence much. And it’s not about being gender neutral, she says. “It’s making gender irrelevant to how I raise my child.” Read on to hear what Brown has to say about many of the gender-related issues she explores in her book.
Gender isn’t just relevant to parents of older kids. As you write, “One of the very first questions a parent-to-be is asked is ‘What are you having?’” What do you hope parents of babies will take away from your book?
“I think this book is best targeted to parents of babies. I want parents to recognize that gender, for the life of their child, won’t predict very much about what their child acts like or thinks like or is able to do. Parents have to think, ‘How can I foster the traits, skills and abilities of my child in which gender is just irrelevant?’
We want our kids to grow up to be nurturing and empathetic, for example. All toys teach kids something. What toys foster nurturing and empathy? Baby dolls, for example. All babies should have baby dolls and things that they can practice caretaking for. We know that boys and girls both like baby dolls until they’re about 2 years old. There’s not a gender difference in that.”
Can you explain the consequences of categorizing children by gender?
Every time we say, ‘What a smart girl you are,’ ‘What a good boy’—that teaches kids from a very early age that gender is the most important thing about them. Kids think, ‘If this is so important, I better figure out what a good girl or a good boy is supposed to do,’ so then kids create the stereotypes for themselves. The other part is for parents to recognize that our language matters. The times that we label gender, the ways that we constantly color-code, all that does matter—even if we are trying our best to be really egalitarian and to foster gender fairness, those really subtle messages tell kids these are the things that you need to pay attention to. That starts right from the beginning. It’s impossible to avoid pink and blue worlds. But to reduce it as much as possible—and it’s not about being anti-pink, there’s this big anti-pink movement, it seems—it’s more teaching kids that you don’t need to be categorized by gender.”
You note that your daughters’ relatives often gift stereotypical presents that they assume young girls would enjoy. How should parents address instances such as these in which others’ views on gender don’t align with their own?
“I think there’s ways to do it that are respectful. I very subtly correct the stereotypes that I hear them say. I do correct it with my kids in private, I’ll just typically say, ‘They kind of forget that boys and girls don’t really differ this way,’ or, I sometimes say, also for older folks, ‘Back when she was young, girls didn’t roughhouse as much as they do now, but now we know that girls roughhouse just as much as boys do.’ I do make sure that I don’t let that stuff go uncommented on, but I also want to be really respectful of the people in our lives. When it comes to the toys that well-meaning relatives give, if I find them really stereotypical, I donate them. I try to walk that fine line of being respectful and recognizing that people of a different time have different attitudes about gender than I do, and it’s not really my job to change them. I try to in subtle ways, but my job is to really just help my kids navigate the stereotypes they encounter. I want them to have a stereotype language, to be able to recognize stereotypes when they hear them. I can’t protect them from all the stereotypes they’re going to encounter, but I can give them tools to recognize them.”
Are your kids ever upset when they receive a toy that you’d prefer to give away?
“I explain why I don’t like it. You know, ‘These clothes really aren’t appropriate for a kid to play with. Let’s give this to someone else, because I just don’t think this is the best toy for us to have in our house.’ They seem to be ok with it. The reality is, kids have plenty of toys. They have plenty of other things; this one toy isn’t going to make or break the birthday or Christmas.”
How do you work to address stereotypes with your kids?
“My 3-year-old had a big princess movement for awhile, which I’m not real fond of. I didn’t want to just ban princesses, because I felt like that wasn’t quite fair, so I was asking her, ‘Well, why do you like princesses so much?,’ and she said it’s because they wear sparkly, pretty outfits. I had to reflect on my own attitudes about it and I thought, well, really what I don’t like about princesses is that they’re passive and they wait for the boy to come and save them. I don’t mind the sparkly, pretty outfit. There’s nothing wrong with that. So I suggested, well, what if we don’t keep the princesses but get other dolls that are also sparkly and wearing nice outfits. Wonder Woman came to mind. She has a tiara, she has a very sparkly belt, very sparkly bracelets, but yet she has lots of powers, and she’s very strong, she comes and saves the day.”
So what do you think of Frozen?
“I think the princesses are fine in it. What’s frustrating as the parent of a daughter is it’s really hard to find movies that feature girls in which finding love is not a primary theme. Typically the movies are either about finding love or about pushing against finding love. Brave was a movie, which, again, I liked, but it’s about how she doesn’t want to find a boyfriend. In Frozen, there’s that boyfriend, true love theme. It ends up where the true love is the sister, which is a great take-home message. I would love a movie where a girl goes on an adventure and there’s nothing love-related, because boys get those movies where boys just go do interesting things. My philosophy is talk to them about it. We went to see Frozen, and I talked to [my then 9-year-old] and I said, ‘I really wish there were movies about girls where it wasn’t always about boys and who they were in love with. I think you do lots of cool stuff, and I think a movie about girls doing lots of cool stuff would be great to go see.’ Research shows that the best way to help kids battle stereotypes is to recognize them. Knowledge is power, when you recognize them, you can fight them, which I find is much better than just trying to censor and edit out the world.”
How can parents impart these beliefs on their children without going to the extreme of raising a child as a gender neutral being?
“From the moment they’re born, focus on their individual strengths. Keep your focus on ‘what’s my individual kid like’—it’s not about making a political point, it’s not about trying to make them gender neutral—it’s what are my individual child’s strengths, and how can I foster those without consideration of gender. Within that, you’ll have natural variation. Some girls are going to be more feminine and caretaking and passive and verbal, whereas some girls aren’t. Within each of your kids, there’s going to be natural variation, so if you happen to have a very passive, somewhat sensitive girl, that’s just who she is, and that should be fostered and valued. But recognize that not all girls are going to be that way. Some girls are much more rough-and-tumble and don’t like to sit still. There’s nothing inherently wrong with feminine toys or male toys. It’s figuring out which is the best for my kid and what are they interested in. That’s tricky for parents of babies, because babies come out not being able to tell you what they’re interested in. For babies, try to provide both. Have trucks and cars and blocks and dolls and stuffed animals so that kids can naturally gravitate toward whatever they’re specifically interested in.”
You write that “mothers talk more, interact more, and are more sensitive to the smiles of girl babies than boy babies. Baby boys are handled more roughly than baby girls” and these biases carry over as kids get older in terms of how parents respond to their children’s emotions. How can parents work not fall into these traps?
“Again, it’s that idea of knowledge is power. There are very few actual differences between boys and girls from birth. There are no differences in how they express emotion. There are no differences in their temperament beyond some kind of impulse control. There are very few differences in terms of activity level. There are no differences in terms of how much they like to look at people and how social they are. Part of it is knowing what the facts are and then being able to check your own preconceived notions. No parent tries to raise a stereotypical child. The goal for parents is really just check their own preconceived ideas. When you think, ‘Oh, I’m having a boy,’ what do you think that means? Well the reality is, it shouldn’t really mean anything. It should be irrelevant, because knowing that they’re a boy shouldn’t predict anything about their behavior or interests or preferences. But if you assume that that’s going to predict what your child will be like, then clearly you have some assumptions. Research shows us that those aren’t accurate assumptions, because there aren’t reliable differences between boys and girls. You’ve got to own what your own assumptions are and do your best to keep them in check. That’s tough for all of us; I have to do the same thing. When we live in this culture, we’ve all been influenced by stereotypes, and we all endorse them, at least implicitly. The only way we know from research to reduce our own stereotypes is to be aware of them.”
How do genetics determine your baby’s gender? Watch below to learn about this amazing process.
What career is your child destined for? Find out.
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