You’re A Bad Parent

Here is a great post by my friend and fellow blogger, Underdaddy to the rescue

Underdaddy

You are a bad parent. Yes you.

You feed your kids crappy food. It may be all they eat but you allow it.

They drink too much juice at bedtime.

They stay up too late.

You use the television to babysit. And it is Spongebob.

You avoid some fun things because you don’t want the stress of managing the swirling mass of kids.

Does one have a saggy diaper that needs to be changed? You probably missed that because you were staring at a smartphone huh?

You forgot to brush their teeth before bed.

Your three year old just said, “Shit!” in context.

Your kid handed you a book at bedtime and you said, “Not tonight, daddy is tired.”

You just made your kid cry for wanting your attention. You are frustrated because they want to spend time with you and you are busy with something stupid. They only want…

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College Prep

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Just like any parent, I really want my girls to have the opportunity to go to college if that is what they desire. To be clear, I don’t believe college is for everyone and there are many paths that are valid such as trade school, apprenticeship, military service and many others that are good choices for different personality types. Contrary to popular belief, college is NOT for everyone. For some, college leaves them forty thousand in debt with a degree in a career that they will never get a job in and have no ability to unburden themselves from this crippling burden. Most of these unfortunate souls can be found clutching their liberal arts degrees while rocking back and forth in their parent’s basements. I don’t want my children to live in my basement forever. I know they are only two and eight-months old, but it is never too early to start considering their education.

The other day I get a phone call at work from my husband. Z has thrown up for the first time.   I shudder with the reflection of my own first vomit experience. It was chili. I was about Z’s age. I vividly recall spewing it onto the colorful carpet of my room. I remember a chili bean being stuck in my nostril for weeks.   I had immediate concern for the trauma that my two-year old had endured.

According to my hubby, he found her in bed with vomit in her hair and had to clean the sheets, the million stuffed animals, and the two-year old (who hates having her hair washed). I felt really bad for him because he is a sympathetic puker.   Hubby showed tremendous fortitude in his biohazard clean up duty.

It disturbed me all day. I was concerned about my baby girl sleeping in that soiled mess for hours.   I felt various emotions. I was sad, empathetic, and a little guilty when I reflected upon all the candy-corn I let her eat the night before (which was probably the cause of the incident in the first place).

When I arrived home I gave Z a big hug and asked her about the incident, “What happened last night Z?”

“I made my bed all sticky and icky and I made a weird noise.”

“A weird noise?” I asked with curiosity.

“Hoooooooouuuuuahhhh,” she responded.

I am familiar with this noise both personally and professionally, “So why didn’t you call for Mommy and Daddy?”

She considered for a moment and with a shrug said, “I just put my pillow and some animals over it and went to sleep on the other end of my crib.”

It was this instant that I realized that all my efforts were successful and this child of mine is far more prepared for college than I had previously suspected.

The Government Sucks

As a physician I have many friends who are nurses. I know, I know, this is somewhat unbelievable as that most physicians never even learn their nurses names and just shout things like, “Hey you!” or, “Nurse!”, or “Get over here!”. But it is true, nonetheless that I have several friends who are nurses. I can name twenty to thirty of them quite easily by name! Let me elaborate a little bit about these awesome people.

Most of the nurses I know are hard-working, and underpaid. They clean up the worst messes you can imagine that would turn most people’s stomachs. They clean patients who may not have bathed themselves for weeks. They serve as waitresses. They get yelled at for getting dinner orders incorrect that they weren’t responsible for taking in the first place.

These lovely people got into this profession so that they could make a decent living while helping people and making a difference in a tangible way. They spend nights and weekends away from their precious babies because this is a calling. While most of us are kissing their children good night, these folks are missing theirs.

But I will tell you what they did not sign up for.   They did not sign up for an incompetent government who refuses to protect them from the threat of a deadly illness. They did not sign up to take care of patients that could kill them with inadequate protection. They certainly did not sign up to risk their lives of themselves and their families while being villainized by the same aforementioned incompetent government.

Make no mistakes folks, these nurses are HEROES. If I were faced with caring for a patient with a disease that is 50-70% fatal and the infectious dose of virus required to obtain the disease was 1-10, I would run screaming. They did not. They are HEROES.   If there was a breach of protocol it was on behalf of the CDC for inadequate preparation, not on the part of the nurses who have probably not been trained in that level of safety equipment in ten years if at all.

If this spreads, which hopefully it will not, a lot of health care workers will have difficult decisions to make. Currently, if they stay and take care of a patient with Ebola and get sick they are eviscerated in the media for their breach of protocol. If they refuse and leave, I am sure they will be demonized as well. They are in a darned if they do, darned if they don’t proposition. It is time we start treating these wonderful people like the everyday heroes they are.

UT Extension is a “Party” Extension

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We decided to take the girls to the local Ag Extension to view their Fall display for some family weekend fun.  For you Yankees,  an “Ag Extension”  is the local university’s agricultural extension service.   They run experiments and give advice to the local farmers and run seminars and such.  They provide a valuable service to the community.

Good times were had by all.  We viewed pumpkins and flowers and grass displays.  Baby Bird slept through the whole thing while Z picked up acorns referring to them as “her donuts”.

I have a couple valuable conclusions regarding our trip to the Ag Extension.  First of all, I am doing something wrong as a parent.  My daughter is TWO years old.  TWO.   How does this kid not know what a donut is?   I am going to have to remedy this situation very soon.  Secondly, These displays were gorgeous, but I think there may be some substance abuse problems involved in their creation.  I will let you judge the evidence.

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Notice my first image on this post with all the trippy little fluid filled vials.  Pretty, hypnotic, makes me want a cheeseburger.  See the above image?  All the concentric circles? Also trippy.  Notice their are wine bottles all over the display providing a sculptural element.   That seems like a good thing for children.  It reminds me of Dr. Pepper’s kitchen circa 1998.   But, wait folks, that’s not all….. check these out.  IMG_20141018_110431_571 IMG_20141018_110350_782

That is a LOT of wine!  I don’t know who is responsible for these awesome displays, but I need to get invited to their next party.

I Am Judging YOU Moms of Chick-fil-A

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A blog has recently gone around Facebook about a mom saying she isn’t judging other mothers who are on their iPhone at the park and not taking care of their children. She says a lot of beautiful and flowery things about how she understands that those mothers are tired and this may be the only time of day that they have to themselves.

I get that, I do, but the time to be on your iPhone and have some privacy is in your own home with the bathroom door locked while you are pretending to poop like a normal person. So that lady on her blog may be nicer than me and she may not be judging you, but news flash, I AM judging you.

I had a couple of days off in the middle of the week the other day and decided to do something novel with my physician friend, Hipster Doctor and her baby girl Jabberwocky. My two girls and I joined HD and Jabberwocky for trolling Target followed by a play date lunch at Chick-fil-A.

Our local Chick-fil-A has an enclosed playground, and I must admit that they are fantastic at catering to the Ladies Who Lunch crowd. They took my order, and noticed my hands were full so they offered to bring my tray out to me while I got the girls settled in the playground area. What I didn’t realize is that the playground at Chick-fil-A is more like a Mixed Martial Arts Cage Match than a playground. It is a freaking free for all.

There was a veritable cavalcade of women who obviously do this daily either sitting isolated while playing on their iPhone, or with groups of friends happily gossiping, but they all had one universal thing in common. None of them seemed to give a crap what their precious angels were doing. I witnessed big kiddos shoving little kiddos to the ground without so much as a raised eyebrow. One portly little boy was going around spitting on the ground where the little kids were playing and I had to go talk to him myself about not spitting where other people have to play. He looked absolutely astounded and shocked that he had been corrected by an adult.

The good people of Chick-fil-A had graciously provided a dispenser of individually wrapped purel wipes to help sanitize the children after their play date in tuberculosis-laden sputumville. I witnessed two delightfully smocked children in expensive, lovely outfits repeatedly rip over half of these out of the dispenser and open them up to throw both the wrapper and the wipes on the floor. They finally stopped when I asked them to. I wish their mothers cared as much about the growth of their character as they do about how they look when they go out. My children left the house in Target hand-me-downs instead of fifty dollar boutique chic, however; if they behaved that way, it would be their A%$. When I pointed out what the girls were doing to their mothers, it was met with an overwhelming look of “whatever.”

I realize that being a mother is a hard job. I get that. I have the same job. My Pottery teacher has perhaps the sweetest, most polite three little girls I have ever known and in the words of The Hairy Potter and his wife, The Jillionaire, “Discipline has to be like gravity with kids. It is a force that is always on.”

I totally understand that you are trying to have a relaxing lunch with your friends…. Me too, and so is everyone else at Chick-fil-A midday with their little ones. In a few years when my daughters still listen to what I have to say and your little sociopath burns the house down you may wonder where you went wrong. (Okay, that last part may be a little extreme.) I allege that it went wrong with everyday opportunities like this when you failed to teach your children courtesy to the good folks of Chick-fil-A and to the other patrons. If you are unable to instill these values in your five year old, what is your sixteen year old going to look like? What kind of citizen are you rearing? So yes, I am judging you mothers of Chick-fil-A for all the good it will do in the face of your eye-rolling ambivalence.

Nightmares and Dreamscapes

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I remember having a few nightmares as a child. I had a recurring dream about tornadoes sweeping me away. Ironically, this dream went away after I was actually in a real tornado. I guess there is something to be said for facing your fears.

I remember being about five years old when Dr. Pepper in his infinite wisdom decided it was okay for me to watch Poltergeist. (He was about eleven at the time, so don’t judge him too harshly). That resulted in pretty bad dreams and an inability to sleep with the closet door open for about thirteen years. But one thing no one tells you is that there is something more disruptive and disturbing to your sleep than your own bad dreams, and that is the bad dreams of your two-year old.

Z is a pretty sound sleeper, but about once a month she will wake up screaming lie a banshee because of a bad dream. Here are some of my favorites:

“Z sweetie, what was your dream about?”

“A monster,” (keep in mind that this child is only allowed to watch PBS).

“A monster? What kind of monster? What did he look like?”

“He was blue and he was eating ALL the cookies and then he was going to eat me.”

That’s right folks, kiddo had a nightmare about Cookie Monster. She thought he was going to eat her. She has also had nightmares about dragons in the jungle who were going to eat her (I place the blame squarely on Dinosaur Train for this one).

Last week she woke up screaming and I asked her what was wrong and she told me there was a bug in her bed. I paused for a second on this one because we have had a little bit of a spider problem, and I figured that this was potentially a real situation. So, I emptied her crib and even lifted up her mattress and couldn’t find anything. Upon a more in-depth query it became apparent that the bug in question was a giant purple beetle with pink stripes and I realized that this was probably not a legitimate concern.

By far the most disturbing dream she had was also the one that was most panic inducing. It occurred a few months ago right after she turned two. I awoke to her screaming.

“Z what’s wrong?”

“I was in a rocket and a ball came at the rocket and the ball went BOOM and the rocket went BOOM and I died and Aunt Panda had to take care of my body.”

Wow, that isn’t a creepy thing for your child to say at all you creepy little kid. I don’t really know how my two-year old learned about rockets, or explosions, or death, or embalming. Not sure how this happened, but it is really weird being confronted with it.

Interesting thing, as soon as I come and comfort her, she is calm and ready to go back to sleep immediately. She has even told me, “Mommy strong. You keep monsters away.”

It makes me reflect back on a time in my childhood to one of my earliest memories. I was riding in the back seat with Dr. Pepper while my Mom and Dad were driving us somewhere at night. I was watching the lights of a plane flying overhead and I felt so small and so infinite at the same time. I remember feeling completely and totally safe. I remember feeling like nothing on earth could harm me.

I wish Mommy was strong enough to keep the monsters away.   I wish this was true. I wish that I could protect my daughters from all of the world’s evils. In a world where there are children being killed by hunger, and thirst, and disease and war, I can’t even protect my child from being made fun of on the playground much less any of these larger concerns.

It is humbling to realize how little control I have. I don’t remember the point in life where I realized that my parents really couldn’t protect me. I want my children to hold onto this feeling of security as long as possible.

This is all enveloped in the larger realization that ,my parents were never in control at all, and neither am I. You see, It is my Father in heaven who holds this world, including me and my precious girls in his hands. And I cannot protect them from all the things I consider bad, because some of them are just a result of living in a fallen world, and some of them may be part of his bigger plan for their lives. But it sure is comforting to know that I don’t have to be in charge and I can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

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