I have a four year-old and a one year-old and I can't imagine putting a relaxer in their hair because, like most kids their ages, they are busy-bodies. My mother relaxed my hair when I was four years old and my sister got her first relaxer when she was three. It really boggles my mind now.
It wasn't that we didn't know our daughter. It was that Only Child Week gave us a chance to bring her into sharp focus, without the distractions of work and school and French horn practice and babysitting commitments.
I had no clue that babies could ONLY communicate through crying. I never imagined that toddlers were actually little humans that needed to constantly test the world. I never imagined that 5 and 6-year-olds were so sure they had life all figured out, thanks to the toddler testing phase.
Every year as my daughter's birthday approaches, I take time to think about what parenting has taught me. I reflect on the lessons I want to pass down to her and the stories I want to share. And every year, I realize that she is one of my best teachers.
Before my son's birth, I envisioned long afternoons of cuddling and bonding, making gourmet meals for my husband and catching up on the books on my nightstand that had gone ignored while I worked full-time. It was going to be fabulous... and then our son got here.
When I first had my son, I had lots of mommy guilt. I felt guilty when my son wouldn't latch properly in the first week of his life, then I felt guilty if he vomited as I thought I was feeding him too much.
I know she was a regular little girl, a person with her own hopes and dreams before she was my mom. It's hard for us as children to picture our parents as people. I mean, you're telling me they had lives before they devoted it all to us? Indeed.
The latest report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention just came out. It reveals the results of their regular "Youth Risk Behavior Survey" and contains both good news and bad news about the lifestyle of today's teenagers.
They couldn't find anything for the DTaP vaccine or the HIB vaccine. They couldn't find any association with autism. And they couldn't find any risk from giving a lot of vaccines at once; in fact, one study found that getting several vaccines may help protect children against leukemia.
You thought you were being enlightened and anti-consumerist. You thought you were saving your friends money, a trip to the toy store and the hassle of gift shopping. Your intentions might well have been sincere, but really, you were just being annoying.