Toddler Colds Are Awful..a Modern Mommy Rebellion

Our dear daughter was a breastfed baby, which saved us a lot in the sickness department. When she did get sick, it never lasted long  – 3 days tops. Now that she is 3 years old and officially a member of the daycare community, some bugs are seemingly harder to kick than others. Exhibit A: 6 days of coughing, runny nose, stuffy nose, crabbiness, lack of appetite and holding of ears.

Being a modern Mommy, I followed the new rule to not medicate. So, my husband and I regretfully tried the saline drops, used the bulb, made the tea and gave tons of hugs. We even gave her this all natural cough syrup that had honey in it to soothe her aching chest. To that effect, I caught the bug and it turned into bronchitis (sickness in pregnancy to be discussed in a future entry). Finally, after 6 days of watching her cute little face look sicker and sicker, I had enough. Luckily, I have a team of parents to gripe to (thanks Facebook!) and they gave me some options on how to relieve my child’s cold symptoms and not risk overdose.

We purchased Pedicare and it worked like a charm. We gave her half the dose (1 tsp) and sent her off to bed. The next morning she woke up looking normal again and without the cough. She still has a runny nose, but I think I will give her another dose tonight…just to take the edge off.

Is that judgement I see in your eyes as you read this? Too bad! As miserable as I felt being sick, it was amplified by watching my little one suffer and hearing that chesty cough. I couldn’t take it anymore and neither should you! I say to the FDA: do some real studies and come up with some real solutions on how to treat our children under the age of 4. It isn’t fair! Don’t just tell parents that it will go away in a few days. Don’t have pediatricians turn us away and tell us to use our vaporizers!

And besides, our parents gave us Dimetap, Tylenol and all that stuff and yet we are here to tell the story.

Sometimes too much prevention is just that…TOO MUCH!


Toddler Hair Wars

It’s my least favorite subject concerning my daughter and yet EVERYONE loves to approach me about it. My daughter came to the world with a full head of hair and I was overjoyed. I just knew that she wouldn’t have my issues with hair, as I came to this world bald as a golden egg. But thanks to cradle crap and just being a baby, she has a patch in the back of head that refuses to grow.
Trying to be a Mom that listens to advice, I have tried everything that has been suggested. Determined to find something that will work so that everyone can put a CORK IN IT, I have compiled a list of what didn’t work and what I am willing to try.
1. Johnson’s and Johnson’s Baby Shampoo – This product didn’t work on my daughter’s hair because it stripped all of the moisture out. It left her scalp crying out for any oil that I could add. Not recommended for African American babies.
2. Johnson’s and Johnson’s Baby Oil – This product didn’t offer anything but a slick head for the little one. Also a product not recommended for African American babies.
3. Olive Oil – Olive Oil works on her hair, but it’s not lasting. I usually oil her hair twice a day and still it looks like a soft cotton ball and the patch isn’t filling up any sooner.
4. Carol’s Daughter Hair Butter – I used the entire container on my little lab experiment and it didn’t really do anything. Her hair is soft enough as it is, so it didn’t really offer any tangible results.
5. Carol’s Daughter Inner Shine Conditioner – I love this product! It smells great and it allows her hair to be managed. It doesn’t really stim
6. Tiny Twirls – The daily moisturizer worked great on Syd’s hair, but often left a residue after using it for several days. Recommendation: use in small quantities.

So far the next suggestions I have received are: braid her hair, don’t braid her hair, brush it several times a day, give her a hot oil treatment and let her sleep with a shower cap on her head. Excuse me, while my head twists off my head!

Offer suggestions at your own risk….I’m a Mommy on Edge!

Growing Apron Strings…A Separation Anxiety Tale

It is my personal opinion that motherhood should come with a life subscription of tissues. We’ve recently changed our schedule where Syd goes to stay with her grandparents every day. My husband works long days and sometimes long nights, which means that our little one doesn’t see her dad as much as she used to. Now instead of seeing her grandparents 2-3 times a week, she stays with them 5 times a week. The first week was difficult. Syd wanted to go for a ride, and enjoyed seeing her grandparents, but she didn’t want me and Jason to leave.  I forced myself to give her a quick snuggle and told her that Mommy and Daddy would come back and get her at the end of the day. Tearfully she allowed her Grandma to take her in the house, but her eyes caught me off guard. Hearing her cry “Mommy!” almost caused me to jump out the car and run back to get her. Fighting back the tears on the way to work, I said to my husband, “It’s official, separation anxiety has hit our family hard!”

I am learning that the best thing about the whole situtation is that it will end…eventually. Separation anxiety is fairly common and is good sign that a bond has been established between child and parents. Thankfully, my mom has assured me that Syd will get through this season and I am holding her to her word! 

According to Kids Health, it’s important for parents to say goodbye and not try to rush off when the child isn’t looking.  Other ways to ease the goodbye anxiety include:

  • Timing is everything. Try not to start day care or child care with an unfamiliar person when your little one is between the ages of 8 months and 1 year, when separation anxiety is first likely to appear. Also, try not to leave when your child is likely to be tired, hungry, or restless. If at all possible, schedule your departures for after naps and mealtimes.
  • Practice. Practice being apart from each other, and introduce new people and places gradually. If you’re planning to leave your child with a relative or a new babysitter, then invite that person over in advance so they can spend time together while you’re in the room. If your child is starting at a new day care center or preschool, make a few visits there together before a full-time schedule begins. Practice leaving your child with a caregiver for short periods of time so that he or she can get used to being away from you.
  • Be calm and consistent. Create a exit ritual during which you say a pleasant, loving, and firm goodbye. Stay calm and show confidence in your child. Reassure him or her that you’ll be back — and explain how long it will be until you return using concepts kids will understand (such as after lunch) because your child can’t yet understand time. Give him or her your full attention when you say goodbye, and when you say you’re leaving, mean it; coming back will only make things worse.
  • Follow through on promises. It’s important to make sure that you return when you have promised to. This is critical — this is how your child will develop the confidence that he or she can make it through the time apart.

 Just think, if we fast forward to 13 years from now, I will probably be composing a blog on how my child now a teenager wants nothing to do with me…the joys of parenthood!


Real Love For Our Little PK

It’s a Saturday morning and my husband has gone to work. The little one, afraid she’s gonna miss something, ran into the room and curled up in bed with me. Wasn’t too much longer that she’s back to sleep. Looking at her, I want to protect her from everything that can even try to harm her intentionally or even unintentionally. Times are changing, Jason is starting to preach and we are delving further into our own service to God.  This means that we can’t always go to Jungle Java, or the park or spend uninterrupted family time together. Does this prove an intentional hurt to our daughter?

As parents in the ministry, my husband and I remain vigilant to balancing home life, work life and ministry life. So much of our time is spent away from the home that oftentimes we are happy that our daughter is able to adapt to our busy schedule. But as she grows from toddler into a real life kid, I worry that she will regret the times that we can’t go to the park or some other activity because Mommy and Daddy are busy. It’s a battle that we fight and sometimes we win; sometimes we don’t.

I also worry about the perceptions of being a PK (or in Syd and her cousin’s case, a PGK; Preacher’s Grand Kid). So many times people see all of the things that she has done wrong and seem excited to punish her for it. It’s almost as if they don’t remember that just because these children are children of a minister that doesn’t mean that they aren’t real-life kids that make real-life mistakes.

Thankfully, I have friends who are also PK’s to give me advice on keeping our daughter balanced, but I also found an article on Just Between Us, a website dedicated to help/equip women who are in ministry, that provided true advice on keeping this coveted balance. The message provided from the article is simple: remember that your kids are real kids with real feelings and fears.

Here’s the main gist from the article:

1.  Maintain a healthy balance between ministry and family.

“The most negative thing parents can do is neglect their children for the sake of ministry,” one student wrote. “Family has to be the number one priority. Neglecting family will drive children away from the Lord and ministry – the things that children see as taking their parents away.

2.  Relate to children as a parent, not as a preacher or minister.

“Let your children know that they are not responsible for their father’s success in his work,” another student wrote. “Let your children know that they are important to you because you love them.” The student went on to recommend encouraging children to express their emotions and parents to listen to them with respect.

3.  Spend time with your children.

“The most important advice I can offer a minister or any other parent is to make time for their children,” a student wrote. “Listen to them and talk about what they want to talk about. Take interest in their lives.”

4.  Pray for your children.

“Pray for your kids daily. Make prayer a vital part of family life,” a student wrote. “Parents need to teach their children how to pray.”

5.  Don’t assume that your children will adapt to new situations.

“They’re exposed to a lot and absorb many unhealthy things without you knowing,” a student wrote. Another added, “Do not assume kids will automatically develop good Christian morals and values merely because Dad is in the ministry.” Other responses included consistency between what parents preached and how they lived and the need for direct moral instruction.

6.  Protect them from people in the congregation who might hurt them.

“Defend, protect their children from the congregation’s criticism,” a student wrote. In another response, there was underlying anger and unresolved issues in a PK who still remembered “with sadness” how her mother did nothing while a deacon scolded her little brother.

7.  Keep the communication lines open and be vigilant.

One student confessed that the son of a deacon molested her regularly and she never said anything because she didn’t think anyone would believe her.

8.  Don’t single them out as different from other children in the church.

Responses included advice to avoid saying, “You must behave this way or that because you are the pastor’s child.” Another student wrote, “I hate being put up on a pedestal. I wish my parents would have let me talk through my feelings about those situations, but in my house feelings were not discussed.”  She added expectations of perfection are placed on them and that their parents can help by “allowing their children to be normal children who sometimes get into trouble.”

9.  Love them.

“The most positive things a parent can do,” one student wrote, “are to love their children unconditionally, involve them in ministry, encourage their spiritual growth, demonstrate a vibrant relationship with the Lord, and teach them to love people as Christ does.”

Another piece of advice involved setting up a support group where ministry kids can talk with other ministry kids their age about “the unique stress they experience as ministry kids.” “Part of what has brought healing in my life has been the experience of sharing with other PKs who have watched churches split and parents lose their jobs as ministers,” one student wrote.

Are you a PK or parenting a PK? Share your thoughts and comments!

A Trip to the Pediatrician

Yesterday was another moment in my life as a mom when I wanted the floor to open and I fall in. We took our young daughter to the pediatrician for her 2 year old checkup. As soon as we walked in, she started to whine a little. Thankfully, the office television was plugged in to PBS Kids, so she could watch one of her favorite shows (and Mommy’s too), “Word World.”

Our time to venture to the back eventually came and we faced apprehension. Not only did she not want to be weighed, she didn’t want to lie down to be measured either. She was so scared! Sydney’s behavior and our revealing that she is head banger caused her pediatrician to ask questions to ascertain if she is autistic.

Keep in mind that our daughter is very sociable, very friendly and she makes eye contact with those who are speaking to her. She however is very apprehensive around new people and she is very feisty.

According to Dr. Greene, “Up to 20 percent of healthy children are head-bangers for a time. Typically, head banging appears in the latter half of the first year of life and generally ends spontaneously by four years of age. Boys are three or four times more likely to be head-bangers than girls.”

Read more:

In my heart of hearts, I seriously doubt that my daughter is autistic, yet more research is required.

Is your child a head banger?  Feedback is appreciated!