Unless your child is the rare bran muffin addict or prune junkie, chances are that the foods he or she is clamoring for are scant on fiber. (Those chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and white bread sammies most kids are clamoring for aren’t exactly fiber-rich.) But fiber is important because it allows us to feel full without consuming excessive calories and keeps our gastrointestinal tracts humming. Children and adults should be eating 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories consumed.
Any school event that encourages other people to give my kid disgusting chemical and dye filled candy is an event I loathe. Valentine’s Day seems to be the pinnacle of cheap, red dye 40-laden candy. Besides the fact that my kids are extremely sugar reactive and turn into little dictators when they’re on a sugar-high, I just can’t sit idly by while entire classrooms of little ones are pumped full of junk.
Staying healthy when you have a house full of walking, talking petri dishes –– I mean kids –– is no small feat. And while I don’t recommend you put your kids in a bubble until those spring bulbs you planted spout above the thawing ground, you can do a few things to keep all those germs at bay.
To win the war of the wills with my adorable-but-stubborn 3-year-old, Charlie, I have to give him choices. “Milk or water?” when he asks for juice; “Do you want to play with your books or your blocks?” when he demands to watch more TV. This approach, however, hasn’t translated well to potty-training. “The Elmo potty or the Dora one?” just wasn’t enough to compel him to sit down long enough to get the deed done. I was worried he might be too stubborn to potty train—but then Jeanine, the mom of Charlie’s best friend, Stevie, who is probably even more stubborn than Charlie, told me she’d trained her son in less than three days using a sort of “boot camp” she cobbled together from parenting blogs and her own mommy instincts.
My husband is one of eight grandsons, with no female first cousins. After my first son was born, I got lots of knowing smiles from those familiar with his male-dominated family tree and comments like, “Aren’t boys great? It will be so cute one day when he has a baby brother to play with.” Sure, boys are great. But I hoped to have a daughter, too.
For every new mom who can proudly yank up her shirt and give her baby lunch in the middle of a baseball stadium, there is another woman who breastfeeds her baby in restrooms, parked cars or pumps at home and brings a bottle to avoid the dreaded “NIP,” or nursing in public, experience. If you’re shy about nursing (I was), you might even be afraid to leave the house with your baby, or you could have trouble with letdown, which can be frustrating for you and your baby alike.
“Have children,” they said. “It will be fulfilling,” they said.
And so you did.
It was nothing at all like the books said. So much harder than your mom made it out to be. And way more amazing than anything you had ever done before.
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