When Did I Get Like This? contest giveaway

Six days until on-sale date! To celebrate, I’m giving away a signed copy of my book to the parent with the best answer to this question:
What parenting thing do you do all the time that you swore you wouldn’t (before becoming a parent?)
Per the subtitle, here’s my top three: the screaming, the worrying,  the dinosaur-chicken-nugget buying.
How about you? 
Post to comments. We’ll announce a winner on Friday.

what was it like before we were here?

Last night my five-year-old asked me, “Mom, what was it like in your life before we were here?”

I chuckled at the Hallmarkness of the moment, but it was a real question.

“Well,” I said. “Well, let me think.”

And I was struck anew with how very hard it is to remember life without my children. It all seems like one vast prelude now, one warmup for the real life that began when my oldest was born, bursting my world into Technicolor all at once.

This made me really want to try to remember.

“What did you do before you had us?” Seamus prompted.

“I slept more,” I admitted. “I slept a lot more, on weekends, at least. I exercised more.”

I couldn’t think of anything else.

“I was bored more,” I said finally. “Sometimes I would feel like I wasn’t sure what I should be doing with my time. Now that you’re here, I never feel that way.”

That’s the truth.  A five-hour airport delay, with three children, is not how I want to spend my day, but it is certainly not boring- it is nearly frenetic with activity. When I am with my little children, every moment is very, very full. And even if I runneth over with frustration or impatience, I never wonder what it is I’m supposed to be doing with my life.

Thanks, kids.

hot off the presses- my "book trailer"

My book is coming out in eleven days (but who’s counting) and HarperCollins has helped me create this video to promote it. I hope you enjoy! If you are so inclined, you could spread the love by posting to your Facebook page or Tweeting.

fat baby= adorable? or fat for life?

This just in: your baby’s delightful rolls of thigh fat are the latest thing you should be panicking about.

An article in the New York Times this week suggests that our war on obesity in childhood is not succeeding as it should– because we are not starting soon enough:

More and more evidence points to pivotal events very early in life — during the toddler years, infancy and even before birth, in the womb — that can set young children on an obesity trajectory that is hard to alter by the time they’re in kindergarten. 

In other words, mom-to-be, it’s already too late. You and your fatty-fat pregnant self have already ruined your future child’s life. Nice job.

I hate these kinds of articles, the ones that tell you the problems facing your children are 1) the mother’s fault and 2) too late to change. I also hate when, in their rush to sensationalize the problem, they leave behind any attempt to be reasonable. Yes, an obese baby should be treated. But a deliciously fat eight-month old can grow up to be a super-skinny seven-year-old, and I have the pictures to prove it. Baby fat is normal and healthy. EVERY fat baby is not going to face a lifetime of obesity. Of course not. But that doesn’t make a good headline.

If there’s a mother out there who will stop feeding her obese toddler Cheetos every afternoon after reading this article, that’s great. But there is probably also a mother out there who will cut back on her healthy baby’s pureed pears today, because she read this article and thinks her baby is too fat. Nowhere in the article is there a voice of reason, saying that most babies who can sit up unassisted– but cannot yet crawl– will attain a brief, wondrous, and adorable chubbitude. It’s up to been there, done that mothers to spread the word: enjoy your fat baby, feed him right, and all too soon, you’ll only have photos left to remember those thighs by.

do antibiotics create demon children?

My five-year-old is just getting over strep throat, and has been on an antibiotic for four days now. I thought he was cranky before he started the meds. Now I can safely say I had no idea what I was talking about. While his fever is gone, and his energy levels have returned to normal, my son has become the very definition of irritable. He is so astonishing hair-trigger with the tears and the yelling, in fact, that I am beginning to think this may be the amoxicillin talking.

Either that or I need to call this lady.

A friend of mine suggested I first try giving him some probiotics along with the antibiotics, because maybe all the bacteria-killing is getting to him. So I’m trying that but it does seem to me like a zero-sum game to be taking anti’s and pro’s at the same time. I’m not sure what “biotics” are but it is interesting that they can be considered both bad and good for you, kind of like how “flammable” and “inflammable” mean the same thing.

And I’m not sure I’m right about any of this, since all my Googling of “antibiotics” and “irritable child” have only turned up lots of pages on irritable bowel syndrome. I would say, right about now, that my son’s bowel is the least irritable thing about him.

Have any of you ever noticed your child being extra-cranky while on antibiotics?