Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summertime - Striking Fear in our Hearts

There has been an influx of articles about the dangers of summer: The dangers of swimming and the beach; the dangers of travel; the dangers of foods like popcorn, grapes, and hotdogs; the dangers of sunscreen; the dangers of no sunscreen; the dangers of playing outside...

The articles are filled with horrifying stories. Stories that kill you inside, just a little bit. Stories that make you want to lock your child up in a room with nothing but padded walls and mush to eat.

I realize that these articles are there to raise awareness. There are horrible stories out there because people don't pay attention to signs of heat stroke, or do tragically unthinking things like leave a child in the car "for a few minutes" or feed them chocking hazard food and don't watch them, or leave them unattended (or just don't pay attention) while they are in a pool...
I get it. Make people aware of the dangers to minimize tragedy.

But seriously folks, do we have to actually strike fear in the hearts of parents everywhere?
Like I need these constant panic attacks thinking of what "could" happen? As if these are not thoughts lurking in the back of my mind anyway? Must there be awful stories and DANGER! WARNING! DANGER! everywhere I turn?

How about this - if you are a parent, or taking care of a child at any time - do these things:
1. Watch them 200% percent of the time, especially around water, whether they can swim or not.
2. Read up briefly to see what foods are potential choking hazards for their age. For example, Under the age of three: Popcorn, whole grapes, hotdogs (even cut in round pieces) and anything round could be a hazard. Also, children under the age of three should be supervised when eating.
3. Knowing CPR is a very good idea!
4. If you are hot and sweaty, your child is even hotter. Children get heat stroke much easier and more quickly than adults. Keep them hydrated and keep them cool, even if that means pulling over during a road trip and hanging out for 30 min. in an air-conditioned building. Easy right?
5. Don't leave your kids or animals in a car, even with the windows open. It can quickly reach over 100 degrees. By quickly, I mean within minutes. Remember that heat stroke thing we talked about? So, just don't do it. It isn't worth it.
6. While it is not the best idea to lather your little ones (especially really little ones) up with sunscreen all the time, a bit of chemicals on their skin is better than a horrible sunburn. So, use good judgement. If you are going to a park where there is plenty of shade, they probably don't need to be lathered. Plus, that Vit. D is good for them. If you are going to the beach with very little shade in sight, well, sunscreen is your friend.

There, I have informed you of dangers, but not scared you senseless. Go forth and enjoy the summer!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sweet Little Helper

In just a few days my little baby boy will be 19 months old. I know I have been saying this since he was about a month old, but they really do grow so fast!
It has been such a joy raising this little boy, and as quickly as it goes, there is still so much ahead, and I can't wait!

He's been morphing from "baby" to "toddler" rather quickly lately. Hilarious tantrums, the "Happy Patrick Dance" that he does pretty much on demand, and just recently helping me wash him during bath time, and helping me dress him. He has always been very independent. I'm actually really happy about that, though it does make me a bit wistful for those tiny baby days where we just snuggled together for hours. More and more he is able to do things on his own, and I have noticed that as he can do more on his own, he's been a bit more snuggly too. Not just with me either. If grown-ups ask him for hugs he will sometimes give them. Other babies don't even have to ask - they get hugs before they even get a hello, much to their surprise.

I definitely have a sweet little helper on my hands. Now, I wonder if I can get him to help me clean?